By Benjamin Norton, Age 10

Hi, my name is Benjamin and I just finished the fourth grade. This year has been very rough for me due to a bully in my class.  Tyler (not his actual name) made things miserable for me. He would tease me on a daily basis, calling me “stupid” and told me that I sounded “weird” when I talked.  At one point, he announced, “Oh no, I have to go to a party with Ben!” in front of other classmates. It got to the point where I wanted to do anything to get out of going to school, including getting hurt so that I could miss class.

One of the problems is that I didn’t tell anyone about Tyler until the end of the school year.  Eventually, things got worse and I told my Mom and she got the principal involved. I realized that I should have told an adult about Tyler much sooner.

Another issue is that bullying is not addressed much at my school.  This past year, bullying has only been mentioned once and that was when cyber-bullying was discussed in my technology class.

I have thought a lot about bullying and I came up with some “rules” that I think will help other kids:

Stand up for yourself. It is ok to verbally defend yourself if you feel comfortable doing so.

Tell someone. Tell a trusted adult about what is going on.

OK to walk away. If someone is giving you a hard time, it is also OK to just walk away.

Peaceful.If you stand up for yourself (or others), do it calmly and peacefully.

Overall, I am looking forward to the 5th grade.  I feel more prepared to deal with issues in the future if they occur.  I hope that my experience and set of “rules” can help others deal with their bullies.