One of my goals is to share real world experiences along with thoughts and articles about the issues which crop up in my writing. And to do that, my plan was to contact people and ask them to share some of their experiences, but before I had a chance to execute that plan, I got into a Twitter conversation with Brooke about one of the articles I had posted and the next thing I knew posted an interview with her and her daughter Gabbie about Gabbie's experiences being bullied (Bullying: A Real World Experience. After posting that, I received a Facebook message from CJ, who I have known for years -- although most of the time we've been in different cities/states. His mom and I have been friends since before he was born. CJ, or now more appropriately Cecil (c'mon dude, cut me some slack... I've ALWAYS called you CJ) hasn't had the easiest life, but his outlook on life has always been good (okay mom, we'll except some of the teenage rants). He has HFA -- which is High Functioning Autism, and I know that his mother fought for him to receive the education he deserved. When he read about Gabbie, he wanted to share an experience about a time when he was bullied in school. The below is completely in his words.
My story Armijo High School Fairfield, CA:
My bullying experience began when I was put in a class called metal workshop. I was about 14 or 15 years old, our country was at war with Iraq, and a lot of Mexican students leaving the campus, and my P.E. class while taking to the downtown courtyard to protest the Illegal Immigrant Crackdowns by then-US president George Bush.
When I was in Metal Workshop, there were some students who were nice to me, including the only girl in the class who supervised my arc welding activities while there were some students who were the worst people you could ever imagine, including one student: Big Steve. My mom, stepdad, and I called him that because he was huge and Steve was his first name. Once, I had a bunch of Yu-Gi-Oh cards (my favorite card game) hidden inside my backpack, and when I was on the bus, I found out that they went through my backpack, and stole the cards. The next day, I confronted Steve and asked him if he stole my cards, and he said to me, 'Do you think I play that Jewish shit?' The trading card game itself is from japan, and what he said was just unbelievable. Wonderful people, aren't they? -_-
A couple of days later, I found the charred remains of my stolen cards near the forging machine, Those B.$&*%s!! and after that, I have my trading cards locked in the teachers office nice and safe when I come to class. One day, when I was outside in the back of the shop, I saw Big Steve and some of the students pouring a can of gasoline inside the 'Cat house.' It's a place where a bunch of stray cats go to eat catfood, drink water, and rest. I have no idea why the school put that there, but I could assume that's the reason why California is in debt. And no, they didn't set it on fire. One day after that, when everyone got into class, my teacher was all saying, 'Which one of you poured gas in the cat house?' Prepare yourself, what happens next will SURPRISE you! :D I then said, 'Hey teach!' and he said, 'Yes Cecil?' and then I said, 'I know who poured gas in the cat house!' :3 And the teacher said 'Who did?' And I said, 'It was Steve, and those guys right there!'Ha,Ha,Ha, Snitching simple-minded Cecil FTW! >:)
After class started, Big Steve went up to me slowly, put his big meaty hands on my shoulders, and he said, "so, you like to talk shit, huh?' So then, the bullying continued. I got locked inside the shed out behind the shop, Thank god the teacher found out I was locked in there or I would be in there all night, and my mom and Stepfather would be organizing a police search team! My grades in the class were slipping due to Big Steve and the others, and I witnessed some of the students outside reading a porn magazine! 0_0 Soon, my mom got tired of the bullying, and she decided to tell one of my other teachers about the situation. His name was Mr Henderson. He was my Science Teacher, and one of the most popular teachers in the school. He was in his 40's, though he looked very young. He was very nice and he actually let me bring my 2 guinea pigs to the class to show everyone in class. Little did I realize, I was gonna remember this man forever, for the rest of my life, and so will everyone else.
After hearing what my mom said, Mr Henderson invited me over to his class after school to talk about the bully. "What is Steve's race/ethnicity?' he asked me. I then said, 'He's American.' *facepalms* No, Cecil! American means anyone of different race and backgrounds who have citizenship in America! You're supposed to say he's "Caucasian!" LOL I then told him every single thing that they did to me, and then after that, Big Steve was never seen again, Probably kicked out of school. and I was transferred to a different class.
A couple of weeks later, my science class had a substitute teacher. I asked one of my classmates where Mr. Henderson was, and they said that he called in sick, and he won't be in for a while. Then, one day at school, I found out the worst: Mr Henderson passed away while he was in the hospital. This sent a huge shock to every single person in the school, including my friends, my teachers, a girl that I liked, and me. I went home to my mom crying, and I tried to look in the local newspaper for any information about any funerals, because I wanted to attend it. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend because his family wanted the funeral to be private.
After these events, I got my learners permit from my driving teacher. I was the last person he graduated before he quit teaching drivers ed. to become head of school board. I graduated Armijo High School in the summer of 2006 with a high school diploma.
My parents divorced and we were about to move. I went to my girlfriends house to say my final goodbye before the move. I never saw her again until I visited Facebook a couple years later, and then I decided that she has her own life now and that I should live my life and find another woman to be with and share my life with. One of my dreams We moved to Ohio and I lived there for a few years. I now live in North Carolina. :)
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Cecil. I think it is fantastic that you, with the help of your mom and a good teacher, were able to address a bad situation successfully.
If anyone else has an experience they'd like to share, I'd be happy to hear it. Send it to me at lkgardner-griffie [ . } griffieworld ( dot) com.
By sending your story to me, you imply tacit consent for me to post the experience to share with my readers, unless otherwise specified in the email.