By Inaaya Firoz, Age 10

It all started in 1st grade…

I was what is called “the new kid” but the first graders treated me with respect. There was this boy I knew so, on the first day he excitedly said “Inaaya!” Some third graders heard my name and started calling me “Inaaya the Papaya” and other cruel names. I told a teacher about the name calling but she thought I was making it up.

The name calling stopped after the middle of the year but the third graders still would bully me. Now, the third graders would follow me at recess and say “Hi Inaaya!” in a rude, mocking tone.

There was one third grader who stood up for me and told my teacher, who actually cared. My teacher told my guidance counselor who called me, the bullies, and the witnesses. The witnesses did not watch a crime, but watched bullying happening which is worse than a crime. The witnesses told the counselor of my bullying problem and the counselor gave the rude older kids a stern talk. After that the bullies did not tease me.

When I went to second grade in a new school, I took the bus. Our bus driver assigned us spots and I was right next to the bully and one of her friends. This bully constantly called me “Ananya” even when I told her what my name was. She would also tease me and say “Here comes Ananya, everyone’s best friend.” You could hear her say NOT under her breath.

This year I told a teacher but, because the teacher did not care, I also told a safety patrol who cared and told her boss, our coach for PE. The coach gave my bully a stern talking and sent her with an SBR mark. An SBR mark is a Student Behavior Report to state a bad thing someone has done. If you get a certain number of SBR marks you get a principal visit, which obviously would not look good on your resume.

In third grade name teasing followed me everywhere. This second grader would call me “Anya” and when I asked her “You know my name is Inaaya right?” she would respond by saying “I know, I just don’t like saying your name.”

I never told a teacher in that situation and now I regret that because maybe if a teacher told her not to do it, someone else could have been saved from bullying. Luckily after 75% of the school year she left the school to be homeschooled for unknown reasons. Thankfully, I haven’t really been bullied, but if I had been bullied, I tell a teacher and the situation is solved. The lesson is to always stand up to a bully!