Question for our younger members.

June 26th, 2007  

Topic: Question for our younger members.

I'm really only interested in hearing responses on this thread from American high school students. My interest is twofold one as a teacher and two as a grown-up with a personal interest, more on that later.

In light of events like Columbine shooting, Paducah shooting and all the other school shootings right up to the Virginia Tech incident... has high school bullying and hazing lessened? Have the popular kids taken a step back and said, "Nah, I don't think I will pick on the nerd." Or has there been no impact that you, as an American high school student, has seen. I'd like to hear from all the members here who are currently in high school now.

My personal interest is that when I high school I was the kid who was picked on. Those of you who have seen me now might find it hard to believe but its true. One kid in particular made my life hell, every day of high school. I'll just use his initials, JT. JT's dad was a LEO and must have felt somewhat untouchable. He was a football star in a high school where the footballers could do no wrong. The movie Varsity Blues had nothing on my school.

When JT saw me in a hallway he would punch me, hard. He literally knocked me out more than once and I had a concussion from a slushball he hit me with from about 20m out. I have two false teeth from his handiwork as well. But the crowning jewel came at a party once I walked in carrying two twelve packs of beer that belonged to my "friends" who paid while I went and got it. JT came up and told me to give him the beer, I said no... I thought my friends would back me up since it was their beer- they didn't. He began kicking me and didn't stop even after I was crumpled on the ground, not until a girl stepped in front and made him stop. They had to sneak me out in their car because later he wanted to "finish the job". The girls I was friends with feared for my life. JT was prone to dropping acid and was violent even when sober.

That was the final straw for me after three years of hell from this kid. I went to a friend's house and borrowed his shotgun... I didn't ask and he freaked when I walked out of his house with the gun and he called my best friend. Mike came over and asked me "What the **** are you thinking of doing with that gun?!" I told him JT would no longer be a problem just as soon as I sorted out where he lived from the phonebook. Mike proceeded to kick my ass (twice my size) and saved JTs life... and my own.

If it weren't for him Columbine would have happened about years earlier and would have been called Billy Mitchell High School. I am never surprised by these shootings, for obvious reasons as you can see. It makes me go cold knowing that if not for the grace of God and a real friend, there goes I. I would be dead or a veteran of prison rather than the Army if it weren't for my wingman.

In the twenty-one years from that night I have never told anyone about it till now.

So I ask, what is the state of American high schools today? Have the kids learned from others' mistakes or do teenagers still have their head firmly implanted in their rectum still?
June 26th, 2007  
At my high school there is very little violence like what you are refering to, but I dont think it has much to do with columbine. I think that the entire dynamic of high school has shifted in the last few years. Look who makes the most money now - its the very nerds that the popular kids pick on. And honestly, a lot of popular kids think about that before they do anything. Another thing (at least at my school) is that the girls at my school, or at least the ones that most of the guys are interested in, also happen to be the most intelligent and the strongest of the girls. The flow of power doesnt have the football players at the top, it has that specific group of girls at the top. And they dont like fighting and that kind of stuff. As a matter of fact, most of those girls tend to date "nerds" or guys that are more on the intelligent side.

Now this isnt to say there is no fighting, I have been involved in 3 fights in my entire high school career, all of them not cause anyone messed with me, but because the guys messed with my girl friends. I think that "nerds" have become smarter at playing the system as well, they have learned that they can use the rules and stuff like that to control whether or not they get attacked.

All in all, yes I think that high school has changed a lot in recent years. I think that nerds are picked on less, and that jocks tend to have less power then they did. Even though generally im a nerd, iv never been attacked to that point, everything like that has been verbal, and I respond in kind.

Edit: One kid in particular taunted me a lot at the beginning of the year, but in the one time I resorted to physical action, I shoved him up against a locker by his throat and told him never to talk to me or about me again. And thats where it ended. He threatened me, his friends threatened me, but thanks to my verbal responses, my girlfriend, and a few other strategies, none of that ever happened.

I was in a similar situation as you were in that I got into a situation that could have gone down hill straight to someone's death. The kid that I meantioned above attempted to sexually assault my girlfriend. I saw this going on, and I saw her attempt to fight him off. I ran over to him and layed a wakizashi at his throat. I let him know that he was not to come within 50 feet of my gf again, or his life would be forfeit. Luckily it never went downhill but the tension in the room was palpable.
June 28th, 2007  
Cheers for that WNxRogue... seems your the only high schooler capable of comment.
June 28th, 2007  
FO Seaman
I was schooled in the DoD System, no such happenings in DoD Schools.
June 28th, 2007  
Interesting. I had friends at Peterson AFB schools who were hazed pretty heavily. Glad to hear its not like that now.
June 28th, 2007  
Our school has a very strict policy dealing with violence...Not saying that we don't have fights, we do but the teachers ALWAYS know about it.

Our school has more of a problem with verbal assaults, which in my opinion is worse. I see that happen everyday in school, to a lot of people, and to tell the truth im ****ing sick of it!! I've even stepped in a few times and got in big arguments with some of the "popular" bitches. I think that if more people fought back and got their anger out on the spot, we wouldn't have a problem with school shootings.

The teachers see this, and they tell them to stop saying whatever they're saying, but I think it's time they should take action on this. People can get beaten down on this, as well as physical assault.
June 28th, 2007  
I attend a military school, so it is different than what happens at the public schools. Sure, we have hazing, but it isnt too bad, and it happens to everyone. Also, a lot of the people that would otherwise be nerds, play sports. Almost everyone in the school plays at least one sport.

My freshman year I attended a public high school though. I agree with WNxRouge. People dont beat each other up very much any more. The physical part is almost gone. I dont even remember much verbal stuff from the jocks to the nerds. Of course, our football team was shitty, but still.
July 1st, 2007  
Rob Henderson
The stuff that amazes me at my school is the ammount of this verbal abuse that goes on behind a persons back. How much stuff can get around about a person without that person ever knowing. Rumors and gossip are the fists of my high school. Making fun of people, talking about people, and their actions behind their backs is the main source of any fights that happen. Thankfully, most conflicts are resolved through our outstanding peer mediation team.
July 1st, 2007  
Nothing near that level happened at my high school as far as I know. I am one of those nerdy types who was picked on in junior high, so I know what you're talking about, but I never experienced any bullying in high school other than the usual "go back to junior high" stuff as a freshman (but every freshman gets that).

I think the reason was that my school was really broken up into separate groups that rarely touched each other. My high school is a public school, but the school is a "magnet school" and is well known for its academic achievements, and in order to participate in the fancy academic programs, you have to take a test in order to get in. The people in these academic programs were very separate from the "normal kids" who went to the school because they lived in the district.

It was like two completely separate communities in the school. All the "nerdy" kids in the academic programs (myself included) only hung out with our own kind, and the others kept to themselves too. There was never any friction, hazing, or bullying as far as I know.

I have never witnessed a high school fight or ever been in one. In the four years I was there, there were at least two stabbings, but that's because we have OH students (mentally disabled), some who may get overly aggressive. I guess I was lucky to be at such a safe school.

People did mess with me when I was in my JROTC uniform as a freshman. They'd scuff your shoes or stain your uniform shirt or mockingly salute you but that was the extent of it. This disappeared completely after my freshman year.
July 1st, 2007  
C/2nd Lt Robot
I've only been physically bullied in middle school and in pre-school, but the kid in middle school backed down at the correct moment. In pre-school the kid was a douche, he was in 8th grade easily 2.5 times my size; that's the only time I've been in a fight, and I won. In elementary school I was verbally bullied a lot, and I was the one who got in to trouble because I'd kick them to make them stop - it worked. After middle school I've never been physically nor verbally bullied. Mainly because I have a perpetual ticked off look that scares people. Which usually works to my advantage because not too many will mess with me unless they're my friend - I make it known that I have strong thighs. One of my friends I made this year was afraid of me for a while but now she calls me, "a big teddy bear" .

After the VT shooting one of the teachers started to get on my nerves because she pulled me aside and told me to smile every time I'd walk by her - she was afraid I'd snap if I didn't. That was the only time I talked back to a teacher.

At my school I haven't seen any bullying, mainly because I don't pay much attention to what others are doing around me. We had maybe four fights during the 06-07 school year. I can't comment on past years at my school because this was my first year there (although I've been told many times before that I was there for my freshman and sophomore year). Also I spent the last half of the day at the CareerCenter where there is no drama and no fights - the (majority of the) kids that are there want to learn.

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