Inspiring Victims of Bullying to Stay Strong
Sixteen-year-old Kathleen wanted to inspire those who had been bullied to not give up. She is a talented young woman who wrote and performed the song "Don't Let Them In" which won Seventeen Magazine's 2013 "Mean Stinks" contest.
"I wrote this song because I felt that most bullying prevention campaigns I witnessed at school were solely focused on getting the bullies to stop bullying. I thought there needed to be a message directly to victims to not let bullies get to them, because bullies are often empowered by the reaction they get from the victim. I had witnessed multiple times that if a victim would stand firm and confident and act like the bully's words didn't affect them, the bully would get discouraged and move on to a victim he/she could get a reaction from. I also found that some bullies simply could not be reached by the school programs – they were going to continue to be mean and bully others, no matter what. Some kids (and adults) are just mean, maybe because of problems in their personal lives. I don't mean to suggest that bullying prevention programs are not effective. Some definitely are. But some individuals cannot be reached for whatever reason (at least by the efforts of just the school) and I saw a need to empower victims to be true to themselves, not to let bullies into their hearts, and not to give the bullies the reaction they are looking for."
Check out Kathleen's song here (http://www.teachertube.com/video/dont-let-them-in-anti-bullying-psa-original-song-by-kathleen1-352934).
I am currently 18 years old, but most of the bullying in my life occurred when I was in elementary school all the way through most of high school. Growing up, I was one of the few Caucasian children in my school. I was bullied constantly about that. People would constantly try to push me around, and threaten me. I felt horrible about the fact that I was white, so much that I started to resent myself for it. I can remember back to the third grade when I got so depressed about having to go to school and face the other children that did nothing but belittle me. I stopped going to school for days at a time. On average I would miss about 8 or more days in a month. I moved to a different town, where I thought things would be different seeing as I was no longer the minority. Eight grade proved to be even worse than the school in my hometown. I moved from the ghetto to a suburban town. This made me an even bigger outcast than before. I got picked on, pushed around, and verbally abused. The teachers and principal refused to do anything to the girls that were constantly putting me down because of the deep pockets that their parents had. I became suicidal by the time I was 13, but at the same time my focus was also on revenge. Every time I got picked on I wanted to target the abuser, I wanted to get even. High school came, and it got worse my freshman year. I stopped going to school any chance I had. On average I attended maybe 1 full week at a time. It got so bad that I had to be pulled out of a regular high school and put into homeschooling.18 year-old girl from CA