Since starting this blog, I’ve been acutely aware of feeling hopeless at times when I consider the enormity of this problem: Will bullies ever stop? It feels like for every small change I’ve seen or heard about in one community, I read yet another story of a young person committing suicide after years of torment.

There are countless adults who live with the emotional scars of being bullied. Some adults live with the regret of being passive bystanders, refusing to do what was ethical for fear of becoming the next target. Lastly, there are adults who were bullies, and who are somewhat detached from how painful their behavior was.

I read about Lynda Frederick’s poem on Facebook over the weekend. Ms. Frederick wrote a heartfelt poem about her victimization as a high school student on the Facebook wall of her class’s 25th year reunion. Her act was brave and admirable. In turn, her former classmates reached out and apologized to her via telephone, email and any other method of communication available.

Taken from the article linked, Ms. Frederick’s poem is quoted below:

that little girl who came to school with the clothes she wore the day before
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had to walk to school while others rode the bus
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who had bruises and was dirty
instead of asking why.. you picked on her
the little girl who was always crying
instead of asking why.. you picked on her

It was touching to read that Ms. Frederick’s former classmates have raised money for her to attend the reunion. While it cannot change what has happened, it’s a kind and heartfelt gesture.

Ms. Frederick astutely stated, “[Bullying] never leaves you. I wanted people to know that for the one who is doing the bullying, it could just be a phase, but for the person who is being bullied, it stays with you all your life.”