“OUCH!

THAT HURT”

A look at
BULLYING
From the eyes of
BULLIES,
VICTIMS, and
WATCHERS
Many believe the root cause of
Bully-behavior is displaced
anger and the root cause of
being a Victim is low selfesteem. Actually, a bully in one
situation may be the victim in
another, and vice-versa. Then,
there are the Watchers who
have their own root cause!
These stories and pictures give
us a look into Bullying
dynamics
from
different
perspectives.
In order to find solutions to problems it is important to ask the right questions.
Before we know the right questions, it is vital to understand why people act and
react the way they do in certain situations. Participants in this anti-Bullying project
are teenagers who have that information.
Produced by: Center for Folk and Community Art
A “Telling Stories Through Visuals” Project
cfcamurals@aol.com
(305) 534-8807
http://ArtMurals.Org
http://artmurals.org/2015/08/bullying/
http://snn.bz/category/alive/purple-passions/

THANK YOU

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural affairs,
The Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs
Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, and the
Children’s Trust

• Miki Smith • June Dressler & David Polasky

Masses-Valera, P.A. • Julie Glasgow
Miami Beach Community Development
Corporation
Barrows Enterprises

Tika, age 17
Cindy and I went to the
same High School. She
dated Patrick and fell
head over heels for
him. Patrick looked like
a sweet young man
who truly cared for
Cindy, but the truth is,
he was a bully. He
called her names, hit
her in the face and
cheated on her. Once,
in the school cafeteria
Patrick lost his temper
and in a heated
argument with Cindy,
he showed everyone
his true colors. He
slapped her! Everyone
in the cafeteria went
into shock.
Administrators rushed in
and grabbed a hold of
Patrick. Her friends told her to leave him, some told her to never speak to him
again. But she said she loved him.
In Junior year, Cindy was still with Patrick. When her friends again told her she
should leave him, Cindy left her friends. When Senior year came around, Cindy
came back from break, pregnant. She said she was happily willing to have his
baby because she loved him. But the abuse never stopped. Patrick called her
names, beat her and messed around with other girls in the school. One day,
while pregnant, Cindy walked into class with a bruised face and a black eye.
Our teacher knew what was going on but even she couldn’t help Cindy, who
did not want to be helped. After graduation, Cindy and Patrick vanished from
the scene. Hopefully Cindy is okay and doing what’s best for herself and her
baby. I felt bad being a bystander unable to say or do the right thing to help
Cindy, but I learned that a victim has to want to be helped when being bullied.

Jennifer, B., age 15
On my way to class
after lunch, walking
with my friends, I saw a
boy laughing. Out of
curiosity, I looked to
see what was funny.
He was laughing at a
developmentally
challenged girl, calling
her names and saying
some hurtful words.
People around him
were laughing with
him. I didn’t think
anything was funny
about what he was
doing. I felt bad for
her. I hate when
people mistreat
someone because
they have a disability.
People who have challenges need love and encouragement. That day I felt like
a “bigger” person because I didn’t laugh along with the others.

Thessica, age 15
Jada was
very
prideful
and had
everything
in the
world she
wanted,
yet she
used to
pick on
Quani a girl
in our class
who was
very quiet,
respectful
and kept
to herself.
Jada
picked on
Quani for fun. Quani didn’t do anything about it, but when she was alone she
cried.
Jada always had a crowd around her to make her feel popular. But she didn’t
have any real friends. One day, after silently listening to Jada’s bullying words,
Quani couldn’t take it anymore. Quani stood up, walked up to Jada and hit her.
A fight broke out. Ever since then, Jana has left Quani alone and Quani is no
longer depressed. Witnessing the whole thing I felt bad for Quani when Jada was
being mean, but that’s who Jada is! When Quani finally stood up for herself I
respected her.

Frenchie, age 14

I saw a girl being bullied because of her accent. She was born in Haiti and when
she was seven, her
family moved to
America for a better
life. But it got worse
for the girl. People in
school mocked her,
judged the way she
dressed and
laughed at the way
she spoke. I told
them to stop
because I knew
how the girl felt. My
cousins came from
Haiti and I would
hate for people to
make fun of them or
bully them because
they don’t fit in.

Kamesha Noel, age 16
I was visiting my cousin and used her computer to go on Facebook, doing
the usual things teens do. While scrolling down, I saw pictures of a girl I had seen
around school. These pictures were posted by other teenagers and they wrote
mean things about her, calling her every bad name in the book. They downtalked her so badly that this victimized girl deactivated her Facebook.
The next day, the victim came to school all alone, with nobody to talk to, not
even a classmate or teacher to vent her feelings to. On her way to class, she was
suddenly surrounded by her Facebook Bullies. They said lots of mean,
inappropriate things to her. They also used their fists to push her and drag her
around the hallway.

Usually, when I see people being bullied, I just mind my own business
because I do not want anything to do with the situation. In this case I was too
afraid to stand up for someone I don’t even know.
Later that day I saw the victim all alone, bruised up and crying. I decided
to talk to her and tell her to speak with an adult. She took my advice, the bullies
were made to face the consequences in school, she’s bully-free and I’m proud
of myself for being kind to her when she needed a friend.

Stephanie Lubin, age 15

As I walked to school I noticed the sun shining, the start of a beautiful day. Then I
noticed a group of bad boys walking on the inner side streets heading my way. I
was on the left side when I noticed a young boy on the other side trying to reach
me. I recognized him as a sixth grader in my school. As the young boy walked
towards me, the bad boys called him nasty names and used disrespectful words
to hurt his feelings. He threatened to call the police. The bad boys laughed. In
my head, I felt proud of him for defending himself. But the bad boys surrounded
him and started to push him. He kept saying, “Leave me alone,” but the boys
trapped him so close he couldn’t get out or push them away. So he sat down on
the ground. He put his hands on his ears and his elbows pointing toward his face.
He shut his eyes really tight and just sat there, shaking.
I felt so scared I wanted to run away, but I couldn’t just leave him there.
Instead thought about myself being in his position and I walked up to the bad
boys and said, “Why are you guys doing that to the young boy? Don’t you have
anything better to do than bother this innocent kid? Please leave him alone,
now!” And the boys left!
I thought I sounded weak, but I said it with a very serious face and showed
the bad boys that I wasn’t afraid of them, even though I was. The little boy
thanked me and walked very fast to the school. I felt so happy afterwards
knowing that he was safe and I did something excellent.

Apple Cider, age 14
It started in Kindergarten with verbal abuse. By third grade, I was being
pushed down and tripped. I was afraid to go to school, afraid to tell anyone
what was happening. By middle school, I thought it would stop but the very first
day I was made fun of because of how skinny I was and my hair. Every day I was
called “ugly”. Then one day I was punched and slapped. I hit the low of
depression and had an urge to cut. I cried myself to sleep every night. I hated
my body. In sixth grade I had suicidal thoughts and wrote a story about it. A
guidance counselor found it and called me down to the office. I met with the
Principal, Assistant Principal, Counselor and my mom. They had me see a
therapist. I started to improve gradually, but in 8th grade I was going through a lot
and hit depression again, again having suicidal thoughts, crying myself to sleep
and having the urge to cut. I would look in the mirror and see UGLY. That’s all I
saw.

Then, I tried to change. Instead of focusing on how terrible I feel, I act nice, with
a big smile. I go out of my way to help people. Now, I’m in high school and I’m
still being bullied, verbally not physically. I have a few friends who are supportive
and I’m trying to care less about what bullies say about me. But being called
names, especially about things I can’t change or have control over, still hurts.

Fan Fan, age 15
At the beginning of 7th grade, I ran into a group of friends from my previous
elementary school who were standing together and talking. I joined in their
conversation, mostly about how we spent the summer vacation. As it turned out,
three of them and I were assigned to the same homeroom. Our homeroom
teacher instructed us to pick our seat and my group, the four of us, sat together
in the back row. We started to make jokes, friendly jokes at the beginning. But as
the school days progressed, the jokes became more personal. One day,
because I was assigned homework from all my classes and my book bag was
bigger than usual, the Big Joker in my group made a snide comment. Out loud,
he said, “That boy looks like a terrorist with that big ol’ book bag.” The whole
class laughed. Since then, this Big Joker has been joking about others like they
don’t matter. One day he made a joke about our Hispanic friend. And he
repeated this joke, or another one, every day. While the whole class laughed I
was disgusted by these mean-spirited jokes. I told him to stop, but he didn’t. Then
one day he made a joke about our Hispanic friend’s mom, who I’ve known since
Kindergarten, and he started to cry. Finally, the Joker in our group realized how
hurtful he was being and stopped. Today, in 9th grade we are all friends working
to achieve our high school diploma.

Albertiny, age 15
More than once I witnessed a friend of my older brother bullying a little third
grader. I told my brother what this bully had been doing, striking the younger
boy, taking his money, spilling his supplies on the floor, throwing his shoes in the
garbage, and worse, but my brother wanted nothing to do with it.

One day when I was passing through the hallway, again I saw this little third
grader being bullied by this older boy and as I watched, I saw myself in this exact
situation.
“Beat it or you’re next!” the bully said to me as I walked over so, thinking of
myself, I fled. The next day, again I saw this bully beating on the third grader and
this time I refused to continue being a witness. I ignored the bully’s words to beat
it and he pushed me. I dodged him, giving the third grader enough time to run
away as fast as possible. Luckily for me, he ran into my brother. My brother
scared the bully off temporarily, but I couldn’t allow the bully to continue striking
fear into the hearts of my fellow schoolmates. My brother was no longer the
bully’s friend. He encouraged me to tell all the teachers and the Principal. The
bully was suspended, and homeschooled. What seemed to be the beginning of
a horrifying school year turned out to be a school worthwhile attending. All it
took was a voice.

Shay, age 16

I was in the third grade the first time I was bullied. I was the only girl sitting around
three boys who were much older and taller than me. The leader was Jason. I
believed he came from a rough home based on the way he dressed. He wore
shirts with holes and his pants weren’t clean and smelled like weed. His followers,
Robertson and Frantz were afraid of him and never stood up to him when Jason
bullied me. He called me Fat, Chubby, and worse. I told my mother and the
teacher. When the teacher asked the boys if they bullied me, they denied it. I
missed three months of school because I had so much fear of Jason. As a result I
wasn’t prepared for the FCAT and had to repeat third grade. To this day I regret
missing school because of fear. I should have spoken up and asked to be moved
to another class.
In retrospect, I learned a lesson. Now I refuse to be a victim. I will stand my
ground and show anyone who bullies me that I am not bothered by what they
say. Rather than be defensive, I would agree with them. I would say, “Yea, I’m
fat. Maybe I should lose weight. Thanks for pointing that out. Have a nice day.”
Or I would say, “You’re right. I am ugly. But I like being ugly.”

Tyrone, age 15

A friend of mine was bullied by her whole class. They made fun of her skin and
her appearance, as well as the way she talked. I never understood why they
had a need to bully her. She didn’t cause them any problems. But each one had
a reason. They called her ugly, crack head, weirdo, and more. They never gave
any thought to how they made her feel. They thought they were being funny.
She pretended not to care but she seemed sad. I wondered why the teacher
never stopped the class from bullying her. The teacher just watched and let it go
on.
I had another friend who was always being bullied, and one day he left the
school building and walked into the street to get run over by a car. Fortunately,
somebody stopped him.
I kind of wish I had done something before my friend became so depressed, but
don’t really know what. If I get involved with the bullies and try to stop them then
I’m afraid they will bully me.

Verra Blaise, age 16
Today I witnessed someone being bullied. She was in class doing work. Some girls
started to make fun of her and some boys heard the commotion of laughter and
they too started joking and laughing. The girl tried to make a joke back, but no
one laughed. I could tell she was humiliated. She stormed out of class but the
bullies continued to make jokes about her and laugh. I’m not going to lie, some
of the things they said were funny and I laughed too, but I knew I was wrong for
doing that.

Kiarra, age 15
In my opinion, a bully is someone who doesn’t have feelings for the person being
bullied. I am a victim of being bullied, bullied by a girl in my school; a girl who
was my friend! I don’t think she intends to hurt my feelings, but she does. For
example, when everyone in our group has their hair done and I don’t, she laughs
at me. Then the rest of the girls in the group laugh at me. I lose confidence in
myself and feel ugly. When I got my hair done, for the first few days it looked nice
but as soon as it started to mess up she said stuff about it. I think she wanted to
help me, but she hurt my feelings. Sometimes I wish she would just compliment
me and that I am pretty the way I am.

I am writing this because being made fun of or criticized by people you want to
like you made me feel like a victim.

Christhel, age 15
CH was a nice person who was always involved in schoolwork, had a great
personality, love to dress nicely and smell good. But #759 thought CH’s parents
didn’t work hard enough or earn enough money for CH to look good and smell
fresh. #759 even said that CH misused hospital money to look good because she
has sickle cell anemia. That bothered CH a lot, to the point where CH fought with
#759 physically. After that fight, CH realized that #759 wasn’t worth hair loss or
sleepless nights. #759 should have been ignored from the beginning, as #759 is
the one with the emotional problems and wanted attention.

Wetney, age 16
My name is pronounced differently than the way it is spelled and sometimes I am
teased because of it. When I was in first grade, I didn’t want to follow a group of
girls who were mean to other people in our classroom. That was when they
started to bully me and make fun of my name, because I didn’t want to follow
them.

Looking back at those times I realized being bullied made me stronger. Now I
have high self-esteem and I don’t care what other people think of me. I know I
sometimes say mean things to people and play-play with friends without thinking
that I may be hurting their feelings. I realize that I am being a bully when I do that
and stop. I know what it feels like when other people bully me, and I don’t want
to make other people feel bad.

Beauty, age 16

I have been a bully and I have been a victim of bullying. It started when I
repeated third grade. This one girl always followed me to class, calling me dumb
girl, ugly and fat. I would run to the bathroom and cry. Girls would come in and
ask me if I was okay. Soon after, I started being mean to certain people. I didn’t
like this one girl and whenever I saw her I would trip her, kick her, make her fall,
push her, etc. Then one day, I stopped. I thought of the way I was made to feel
and realized that I was doing the same thing to her. Since then, I haven’t bullied
anyone and so far, nobody is bullying me.

Rachel, age 15
I remember when I was being bullied. At first I didn’t care, but over time the
bullying got to me. The first time I was bullied was in elementary school. A girl
talked bad about me. She’d come up to my face and say lots of rude things to
me. I would go home, lock myself in my room and cry until I had no more tears.
There were times I wanted to fight back but my father taught me that I should
never repay evil by doing evil. Instead, I should repay evil by doing good.

Long story short, this girl continued to bully me to the point where I became
suicidal. I went to my room and put a rope around my neck. Just when I was
about to hang myself I heard a soft voice saying, “I love you. You are loved by
me and your family.” After that I cried and thanked God for telling me that.
The girl eventually apologized to me. She said she was going through a lot at
home and was taking her anger out on me. I forgave her because I felt sad for
her.
I learned not to allow other people to tell me who I am or I am not. I don’t let
people say anything to me that is hurtful. When people tell me that I won’t be
successful I work harder and do better. I built a wall around negativity and I
respect myself. I am no longer being bullied.

Ingrid, age 15

Since the
beginning of
Kindergarten I
faced constant
difficulties with
other kids. They
would pick on
me for being the
only kid with
glasses and for
being
overweight. As
time went on, the
taunting got
worse and I
became suicidal
and made up lies
to avoid coming
to school.
Thankfully, at the
time I received
help from the
school.
Unfortunately,
not much
changed. I
always found
myself in
situations where
someone was verbally bullying me. I tried to ignore the bullies but I spent nights
crying myself to sleep and once I got to a certain age, I began to self-harm.
Taunt after taunt, the inside of me crumbled up more and more. One bully told
me to kill myself and I took it into consideration. Then one day it struck me as to
what it would be like to never see the people I loved again, or see what it would
be like for me in the future. That’s when I stopped harming myself and started to
write and sculpt and listen to music. Over all, bullying made me the quietest and
shyest person in the world.

Starr, age 16

Last year, walking to my last class of the semester, minding my own business, I
saw a group of male teenagers forming a circle. I went over to inspect what they
were doing and saw that they were pounding and beating a young boy who
was practically half their size. I watched in shock and horror but there was
nothing I could do as a female. I also didn’t want to be a snitch, so I left and
went to class. I felt terrible and couldn’t concentrate. All I could think of was the
look of terror on this young boy’s face. I felt really bad for not doing anything to
help and vowed that from that day forward, I would get involved to help
anyone who is being bullied, verbally or physically.

N. Edwards, age 14
I was a victim of bullying because I was small and they were big and we were in
the same class. The big bullies said things that hurt my feelings and made the
other kids in the class laugh at me.

I learned to avoid them when possible and ignore what they say when I can’t
get away from them. Being a victim of bullying is not a position anyone wants to
be in.

Ann, age 15

A specific group in school was like a band wagon that everyone wanted to be
part of, and the people in this group didn’t like this one particular girl. They called
her mean names and spread rumors and told lies about her. She started to skip
classes that this group of her peers was in and her grades started to slip. One day
she decided to go to class. When the bell rang to change classes the teacher
spotted a piece of metal on the ground and stopped everyone from leaving. My
teacher started to yell, “Who brought this razor to school? Who brought this razor
to school?” over and over. Everyone knew who brought it, but nobody said
anything, except this girl and she said so in front of the entire class. That
afternoon her life changed for the worse. As I walked through the hallway, I saw
her being pushed and called vulgar names by some of the teenagers in this
group. They even cursed her online. In the end, the girl switched schools.

Special, age 15
There was this guy in my freshman class named Jay. He was assigned to the seat
across the room from me. He would throw things at me and never got punished
by the teacher for doing it. He would sit there with a smirk on his face to rile me
up further. One day he got to class before me and sat in my seat, even though it
was assigned to me. He had that smirk on his face, just waiting for me to
complain. The teacher let him stay there and I had to move. The next day he
did one of the worst things ever done to me in my life. He came up to me and
nonchalantly took my pen off my desk. It was my only writing utensil I had that
day. I told the teacher and again he took Jay’s side and let him have my pen,
my ONLY pen. I was without a pen for the rest of the day and got an F in my
classes for not having a pen to write with. I was lectured by one of my other
teachers about coming to school unprepared and even got a call at home.
Even though I explained what happened to my mother and father, no one
believed me. After that, I knew I wanted nothing more than to never return to
that school and I got my wish. My mother’s co-worker (she was the school nurse),
convinced my mother to send me to North Miami Senior High the next year, and
I haven’t had a bullying problem since.

Alejandro, age 15
I had two instances where I was bullied, yet I was not able to tell anyone about
it. The first time, I was around seven and had no friends. My dad was never there
for me, my mom was very strict and always working, and nobody took me
seriously.
This particular summer
in camp, this boy
Thomas, tall, white,
blonde short hair, and
a weird way of
speaking, pushed me
around, punched me
and called me a fat
ass. I was obese as a
child and I am still
overweight. I was also
short and that made
me look … well, not
good. Thomas
chased me around
knowing I couldn’t
catch up to him. He called me a girl, slapped me, and called me other,
unprintable names. Even the counselors bullied me. They would take me out of
the “big kids” group and put me with the infants, saying I wasn’t good enough. I
had nothing to do, but somehow it felt like a safer place to be than with Thomas.
When school started again, I was bullied by another kid for the same reason. No
shirt fit me right, my stomach looked like an over inflated basketball and my
breasts looked like those of a pregnant woman. He called me fat, lonely (which I
was), nerd and a “nobody”. I felt like that, as well. This took place when I was in
second and third grade. I cried because of how much these words hurt and I
couldn’t do anything because my dad said, “If you ever misbehave, get into a
fight, act stupid and get suspended I will rip all your teeth out with my bare
hands and pull out your nails with pliers.” Because I couldn’t go to him for help, I
wasn’t able to do anything to stop the bully. This went on until my mother saw
me crying and asked me what happened. She went to my school and this kid
was suspended. Then, in sixth grade it started up again, but with someone else. A
boy would come up to me, slap me and ask me for all my money. This went on
for a week until I reached my breaking point. The last time he did it I grabbed his
shirt, looked him in the eye and with blood rushing through my veins told him the
next time he bullied me I would bash his head with a hammer, and threw him to
the ground. The tables turned and two days later he left the school. I didn’t bully
him, I just defended myself.

Jonathan R., age 14

I know a girl who was bullied and made fun of because of her unique voice. This
boy called her Chubaka which is a hairy animal that talks like a man. She was
tired of this nonsense and wanted to take action, but she was afraid. Every time
she felt up, this bully brought her down. Little did she know that he was having
problems himself and made fun of her so that he would feel better.

Samuel P.L., age 15
I was there, on both sides, actually. On one side, I couldn’t find a reason to live,
but on the other side I couldn’t find a reason not to slit their throats. The days
were short in Elementary School, but for me they were nothing such. “Why is that
skeleton in the third grade? He looks too small to be in this class.” “Why does he
look so weird?” These were some of the poisonous words that spewed out of the
mouths of the sassy girls and bigger boys. At first I shrugged their verbal bullying
off, but eventually I found myself putting more layers on and bigger jackets. To
this day I am haunted by those words and continue to wear jackets and
sweaters, ashamed by my small size.

Adriana, age 15
One day I walked into the girl’s room at school and witnessed my friend Kati
being bullied by 3 other girls. They were picking on her because she was
overweight. They called her names like Fat Albert and Ms. Piggy. They screamed
at her that she was going to die if she continued to eat. The girls tormented her
and laughed at how her pants were tight on her saying she was going to
suffocate in them. I stood there and watched her being humiliated, too afraid to
intervene because then they would pick on me.

Later that day when I went home, I kept thinking about the situation. I started to
feel disappointed in myself for not defending Kati. I know I have low self-esteem
and I didn’t want to become the next target for these girls. That was a year ago
and I since accepted that I didn’t do anything to stop Kati from being bullied.
Today when I see someone being bullied I step in and prevent the Bully from
continuing his or her abuse, because if I don’t get involved then I’m just as guilty
as the Bully.

LaShaun, age 14
I remember what it was like to be bullied. I was bullied from the 5th grade right
through the 8th grade. I was teased about my clothes, the people I hang around
with and many other things. Bullying is the worst experience I ever had. It lowered
my self-esteem and drove me into depression for years, as well as making me
angry with a big temper. I was bullied about my appearance. Boys used to call
me “Bum Cakes”. Everybody bullied me, even family members. Once a cousin
told me I look like a boy and this further added to my insecurities. When we
moved to a new town, and I went to a new school, I seemed to attract Bullies. I
would become angry and retaliate. A teacher intervened and with her help I
made it through the 8th grade.

Now that I’m in high school, I don’t experience bullying anymore. I feel a sense
of relief people here appreciate me, my work, and my beauty. My self-esteem is
almost sky high. No one focuses on my clothes, shoes etc. They focus on me the
person and how I carry myself.
Although I do get flashbacks, I don’t let the past dictate my present and future. I
forgave all those who bullied and teased me, and I’m moving on with my life to
be a better and successful person.

Luda, age 15
He was in his last year of primary school when schoolmates started calling him
queer and saying he sounded gay. He knew it was an insult, but didn’t really
know what it meant at the time.
When he came out at 14,
he started to get hassled on
Facebook. Although he
wrote nothing about his
sexuality, schoolmates
commented on his posts,
saying things like, “You
shouldn’t be on Facebook,
you faggot.” It began to
affect his schoolwork. He
didn’t want to put his hand
up or take part in group
work because schoolmates
would tease him about his
voice being “gay”.
Sometimes he reacted
badly and lashed out,
which got him into trouble.
PE was the worst. Once,
another student came to
him in his boxer shorts and
said, “Do you find this
attractive? Do you want
this? Do you want to suck
my d**k?” The PE teacher
stood there laughing. So, he
went to his head teacher and said, “If you don’t want me to take that bully to
court, then do something about it.” As far as he was concerned, it was sexual
abuse. But the bully was never punished, the teacher just told him not to do it
again. Rather than tackle the problem, the boy was told to change in the
disabled toilet.
At his lowest point, he contemplated suicide. There was just so much he could
take of people telling him he was disgusting and vile. What saved him was being
transferred to another school where he is accepted for who he is.

Dashna, age 15
One day at school, I was walking up the stairs making my way to 4th period and I
spotted a group of kids surrounding these 2 short little freshman boys. The group
of kids that surrounded these boys were seniors (males) and it appeared that
they were asking the young boys for money. I wanted to pull them apart, but
going up against seniors who are males was scary. I’m only 5 foot 3 and they
were about 6 foot 3 and towered over me. I continued to walk to class and saw
the big boys push and shove the little boys. The little boys were trying to escape
but couldn’t. They looked embarrassed that they failed.

There were too many big boys for me to break apart, and I had only 2 minutes
before the bell to my class would ring. I didn’t want to be late. Then I asked
myself what if that was me? What if these boys were walking to class and saw
me getting bullied and did nothing? How would I feel? Betrayed? Worthless?
I decided to break them apart and become a hero that day. I approached
them and said, “Come on guys. Stop.” And they stopped. “Let them go,” I said.
My brothers close friend just happened by and sensed something was off.
“What’s up?” he asked. I shook my head and he grabbed the 2 boys and
brought them inside the building and I went to my class.
It’s not right to bully anybody. No one wants to be victimized by somebody else
just because they think they can get away with it. Imagine yourself being
victimized by a bully. How would you like that?

Verlencia, age 15
Bullying is a very big problem in America. It causes suicide, deep scars in the
person’s heart and can sometimes make a person feel bad about themselves.
One day I was walking through the hall at school listening to my music when I
noticed 2 girls walking behind me. I decided to turn down my music to listen to
what they were whispering. One whispered to the other, “Verlencia swears that
she is the prettiest thing alive. I don’t like her!!” Okay! I put my music back up,
blasting to show what they said didn’t faze me, and to drown them out.

As I continued to strut away, I felt a strong jolt to my back. It came from one of
the girls behind me. I turned around and said, “What’s going on?” They
answered with insults. I knew I had to do something, so I threw all my stuff on the
floor and said, “Cat and dog. Let’s fight.” They both backed down. I was being
bullied and I fought back. I’ll do whatever it takes to make the bully stop. Being a
bully or being harassed by one is really no fun at all. I stand up to bullies.

Lary, age 14
A girl named Lucy used to bully a boy named Matthew by verbally abusing him.
In addition to Lucy, Matthew was also verbally abused by 2 other girls. They
would say the meanest things to him just to make him feel bad. One of the girls
would hit Matthew whenever she felt like it. Matthew would laugh and pretend it
was funny but I know deep down inside he didn’t like it. Sometimes Lucy’s words
were so hurtful that Matthew would stay quiet for a long period of time.
A teacher
observed the girls
bullying Matthew
and they were
punished and
made to suffer the
consequences.
And they
promised to never
bully Matthew or
anyone again.
Matthew was
finally relieved
and he was glad
that this episode
of bullying was
over.
I think these girls
bullied Matthew
because they
were hurting
themselves and
just wanted to do
it to someone else
to make
themselves feel
better. And
Matthew was an
easy target.

Cheyenne, age 16
When I was in third grade I
beat up a girl just because
I did not like how she
looked. I punched her,
slapped her and threw her
to the floor in class. I gave
her a nosebleed. I felt very
superior at the time. The
principal saw me and I got
into trouble, but I still never
felt bad about the
situation. I just felt bad
because I was caught.
We later moved to another
community and I went to a
new school. I missed my
old school so I went back
for a visit. I was in the girls’
room when in walked the
very same girl I had beaten
up. I smiled at her but she
looked at me with fear in
her eyes. I felt so ashamed.
I could not even look her in
the eye properly. I just stood there looking at her with the scar from the
nosebleed I gave her. I walked her back to her class. We were still being silent. I
simply said, “I’m sorry.” She nodded and I continued on.
Years after the incident above, I was a victim of bullying, In the 6th grade the
boys used to call me “Horsemouth”. True, my lips are quite big. Children from my
own and other classes adapted that name and it started to stress me out. My
self-esteem became low as I was ashamed of how I looked. In the 8th grade I
developed acne and a boy called me ugly. Sometimes I did not even want to
go to school. I felt no one wanted to see me. I went to a short seminar they had
at school about bullying. I learned that I was beautiful just the way I am. Even
though I was not physically bullied, I was mentally bullied which caused my selfesteem to be really low. I thought I now understood fully what bullying was, until
the 9th grade and I suddenly became a bully. Along with some other students, I
laughed at a boy because his shoes were old and torn. His mother didn’t have
money to buy him another pair. Now I feel bad because I envisioned myself in
that situation and how I would feel if I was made fun of. Having been both, a
victim and a bully, I realize neither side is better.

Nandine, age 16

I know someone who has been bullied physically. This person was bullied by a
group of girls who were very popular. The girl didn’t fit in by the way she looked
and dressed. The girls would push her and call her offensive names. She felt so
bad that she wanted to commit suicide because she couldn’t stand up for
herself. She complained to the school counselor what she was going through.
The young girl was disappointed in herself because she was letting people get to
her, beating her and telling her what to do.
One day she decided to stand up to those girls and they were shocked and
surprised because they didn’t think she would have the courage.
The point of my story is to let you know that sometimes young girls have problems
with other girls. They are bullied and sometimes think about or actually kill
themselves. The simple solution to the problem of bullying is to stand up for
yourself and in most cases the bully will walk away and never bother you again.

Lunadia, age 14

Making people feel bad about themselves is a way to release your pain. You
ever think of the effects that come within bullying? For example, in the 5th grade
my best friend was getting bullied almost every day. The bully was bullying her
verbally. Sometimes my friend would tell me she couldn’t take it anymore. She
wanted to commit suicide. At that moment I wanted to take action. It only takes
one person to make a difference. And I was that person. I was so scared even
though I had to stand up to him. That day I walked up to him and I said, “Why
are you always bullying my best friend?” He didn’t respond. I said, “Is it because
you’re having problems and you do not know how to deal with them so you are
picking on her?” He still didn’t answer. But tears came out of his eyes because he
knew I was speaking the truth and the truth hurts. That’s when he told me he was
having troubles at home. That’s when it clicked for me. Bullies only bully others
because of the pain they are going through but they never learn that it doesn’t
help. It just gets worse.

Marie, age 15
Bullying is the act of aggressiveness against one another. Others love watching
themselves torture others physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, verbally,
and/or other forms of bullying. Bullying is a common action among school
students today. I’ve witnessed many victims get bullied daily with no solutions.
These victim’s usually feel alone and powerless. It seems to them that their lives
are over and there is no chance of surviving. In 2013, a friend of mine was
bullying another student just for the fun of it. Although life is a journey and a
tough fight, not everyone is a fighter.
My friend
was very
cruel to an
innocent
girl who
ended up
cutting
herself.
I’ve
witnessed
that! And it
kills me
that I was
helpless to
do
anything.
Time
passed, I
still didn’t
have the
courage
to confront
my friend
for what
she was
doing to
that poor girl. I was afraid I would lose her as a friend. At the core, she was my
only friend. One day I couldn’t take it any longer and I ended up telling the
school Principal. My friendship now was over, but I was glad I could help the
poor girl who was cutting her arms.
My motto is, “Never be bullied into silence, never allow yourself to be a victim.
Accept no one’s definition of your life. Find it yourself.”

Kathiana, age 14
A while back I was being bullied by a lot of kids. They called me names and
constantly made fun of the fact that I wasn’t as fat as they were. They called me
skinny making me feel bad. I used to cry when they called me little mouse
because I was little and skinny. They made me hate myself. I had low self-esteem
and felt depressed. There were times when I wanted to kill myself.

This is not just in school. My mom and sister make fun of me all the time. They
don’t know how it makes me feel. I don’t like to go out because I feel like a
target for people to say things about my weight and height and make me feel
bad.
As I’m growing up, the abusive remarks are becoming less and less. Sometimes I
feel really good about myself and then someone will make a remark about my
size and I go right back to feeling bad.

Love Baby age 15

In middle school, kids made fun of my large forehead. They called me names
and put their hands on their own head and laughed. I moved and went to
another middle school. These kids also made fun of my hairline being far back. I
tried to act like everything was okay, but in 8th grade my hair was cut short into
an afro and even friends made fun of me. I tried not to care but being made fun
of hurt. There was a time when I wanted my life to end. Once, I was walking and
a group of girls called out, “here comes Hairline.” Another time, a group of kids
touched my forehead or slapped my head. I went home and thought about
why my life was so hard.
From then on I have worn a headband and no matter what, I don’t take it off. I
cover my forehead in a way that is stylish and people tell me the headband
looks pretty on me. And I started to make jokes about my forehead to make my
friends laugh.

Lael, age 15
I know a girl named Issy who comes from a low economic home with an abusive
stepfather and a hard-working mother who was barely home. Issy thought school
would be a better environment for her to relieve the stress, but it made matters
worse.
Isabel had low self-esteem and she was in search of someone to show her
attention and care for her. In school, there was a young boy named Max who
was her age, 17, and was known as the best quarterback in the school which
made him popular. Believe it or not, he bullied people to relieve stress because
he was in the same situation as Issy. On a typical sunny Friday Issy arrived to
school and accidentally bumped into a crowd who started calling her hurtful
names because of her appearance. Max who witnessed the bullying stepped in
to help her. She became astonished and thought to herself, “There he is. The
Quarterback! Standing up for me!” Little did she know what was coming next.
It turned out that Max was just trying to step in for her so Issy would fall for him
and at the end, he would eventually use her. She fell into the trap. All Max
wanted was a
“sexy picture”
and once he got
it he exposed her
on the Internet
on the school
blog.

She was very
upset and tried
suicide several
times. The good
side of this was
that her mother
realized that she
wasn’t showing
her daughter
enough attention
because of her
busy work hours.

Raymond, age 15
Bullying is a societal problem where one issue might attract multiple contributors.
Recently I felt like a bully not because I physically or socially taunted someone
but because I laughed and agreed to it when someone else got bullied. I feel as
if a bully can be the appropriate label for someone like me because to the
person that is being bullied the audience is a bully too.
One day in class a helpless boy wasn’t doing his work. He was listening to music
and playing games on his tablet. Another boy came up to him and said, “You
are my dog” and other demeaning things. This was so hilarious to me and I was
agreeing on some of the terrible statements that were made. I wondered how
the victim felt, even though I didn’t care. Now other kids have joined in harassing
this boy. Eventually I started feeling like a bully for contributing to this nonsense. I
plan to put an end to this by persuading the bully to stop but the bully is his own
person and makes his own decisions. The way I feel today is as long as this isn’t
happening to me I could care less. If I had been a victim of bullying, I might feel
slightly different because then I would have experienced the terrible feeling, but
I cannot make decisions for anyone else. Unfortunately, there are millions of
bullies. Bullying go on everywhere and for that I feel just as helpless as the victims
of this bullying society.

Erik, age 11

One day an 11 year old
boy named John was
walking down the school
hallway and all of a sudden
a bully named Chuck
stopped him. John was
shaking in fear as Chuck
said, “You’re not going
anywhere.” The second
John said, “Don’t hurt me,”
Chuck pushed him to the
wall. John was in pain and
before he could even
move, Chuck said, “Get
ready to be beaten!”
When Chuck turned
around for a moment, John
ran upstairs and the chase
was on. John ran for almost
half an hour trying to outrun
Chuck. John bumped into
a lot of people but didn’t
let anyone stop him. Chuck
didn’t give up. He had to
get his friends so that they could trap John. Luckily, John outran them to the
school bus. Another time things didn’t go as he expected. When John was
having an afternoon snack he heard pounding on the door. John looked outside
and saw that Chuck and his friends were blocking the door. John got so scared
he jumped out the window and ran to his mom’s job. But before he could even
reach the door, Chuck got him. Chuck and his friends beat him up. After that,
John called his mom. His mom called the ambulance. After two days in the
hospital, John finally came out but he was in a wheel chair. When he was home,
he called 911 and reported Chuck. Chuck ended up going to Juvenile Hall for 6
years. While John suffered bruises, a bloody nose and broken bones, he was
okay two years later. But when Chuck got out of JV, for safety reasons, John
transferred to another school.

Patrick Johnson, age13
I bullied a friend on my phone. I posted an embarrassing picture of my friend on
Instagram. It got 1.5 clicks by the next day. The pictures showed my friend falling
off his skate board and getting hurt.

The next day at school he came right into my face and tried to hit me, when it all
ended I beat him up. Now he knows not to touch me or mess with me. I felt the
need to bully him because when he’s with his friends they all join together and
would call me names. I wanted him to never mess with me again. What I learned
from this experience is that bullies are stoppable once you start fighting back.

Darryl G. III, age 13
I accompanied my mother on a visit to a friends’ house and had an opportunity
to play football with the local kids. When I scored a touchdown, this big bully
kicked me when I wasn’t looking. I had to go inside because I was physically
hurt. When I came outside to continue playing, this bully made a remark about
my mother. That was stepping over the line and eventually we were having a
physical fight which, by the, way I won. It felt so good, but as I got older fighting
and winning the fights wasn’t as important as it was then. I no longer care what
people say.

I was the victim of being
bullied. It happened
during physical
education. I was
threatened by a boy who
called me names and
cursed at me. For no
reason, he said he would
beat me. There was
nothing I did to stop it. I
didn’t feel any less or
more of myself. I simply
didn’t care. I wasn’t really
all that scared, and by
not reacting to him, he
stopped.

Henkel MacCrinkle Berry,
age 13

Harvy Pagon, age 12
When I saw a bully
be really mean to a
smaller kid I went up
to the bully and
asked him, “How
would you like
someone to treat
you like that?” He
just ignored me and
continued to bully
the other kid. A while
later I saw the victim
in the park. He was
crying and I asked
him why? “I’m tired
of always being
bullied and I don’t
want this anymore”. I
told him, “Hey look,
you got to stand up
for yourself.” After
that, he did and the bully backed off.

Patrick Star, age 14
My friend and I bullied a boy named Mobola. About a year ago, my friends and I
picked up Mobola by his hands and feet. One of my friends dropped his leg on
the stairs really hard as we were carrying him down, and Mobola got hurt. So
afterwards we let him down more gently because he was crying. It all started
when I invited
Mobola to play tag
with us. When we
started playing, I
accidentally ran
into him. I said
“sorry” but he
started to attack
me. That was when
my friends and I
picked him up. After
writing this story, I
see my mistake and
it makes me feel
sad that this
happened.

Drake Graham, age 13
A friend of mine got bullied a lot when he was in the 5th grade and 7th grade. He
would get mad and expected me to help him. But I didn’t. Now, thinking back, I
wish I could reverse time and be supportive and help him fight back. I think I
would now if he was being bullied.

Daniel St Jean, age 11
One day in my Physical
Ed locker room a boy
took a paper towel and
put it in an opening that
once held a lightbulb. I
asked him, “What if the
paper caught on fire?”
He got angry at me. He
put his hand on my
throat and threatened
me if I ever told
anybody. I was angry at
him, but I didn’t tell
anyone.

Felix Antonio, age 13

As a kid was carrying a stack of papers into the classroom, this bully walked up to
him, grabbed the papers and threw them on the ground. He then began calling
the little boy names, disrespecting him, kicking him and treating him in a way
that everyone who was looking on including myself was laughing. Most of the
bystanders were friends of the bully, so they told the Principal that he, the bully,
didn’t do anything. After that day, the little boy was home-schooled.

Instagram is Jaquan the Great, age 13

I set up a chat group online that included 2 of my friends who weren’t friends
with each other. They said mean things to each other like, “Your profile picture
shows your big forehead and your boobs are uneven and ugly like the rest of
your body. I imagine that your mom is ugly too.” I knew this would happen and I
was like a puppet master pulling their strings. It made me feel good and
powerful. I thought it was funny, but bad at the same time. Now I realize that it
was bad to have my friends say mean things to each other and be responsible
for hurting their feelings.

King Oz, age 12

I was a bystander of someone being bullied. People were making fun of him for
being Gay. The next day, the Gay boy showed me his arm. I saw that he had
cuts on his arm. When I asked him why he cut himself, he said “it was art”. My
friend Brendan and I feel very sad. We tried to get him to stop. He said he would
try but sometimes he gets angry and cuts himself again and again. Brendan and
I try to stop kids from bullying him all the time. When I see someone getting
bullied, I feel sad and want to protect them. I told the Gay boy to talk to an
adult he can trust and he now does.

Nate Kinny, age 13

I was bullied by someone I thought was a friend. He disrespected me after I gave
him my respect and kindness. I don’t know why he insulted me, but this is what
happened. I was tying knots and asked another friend to check what I did to see
if I was going to be part of an upcoming competition. This bully said, “SHUT THE
HECK UP!!!” I felt like he punched me in the stomach. So, under pressure and with
all that emotion, I said, “I was not talking to you at the first place,” instead of “in
the first place.” Everybody, except one person laughed at me and made fun of
me. I felt like nobody respected me and that I suck. My friend who didn’t laugh
… the one I asked to check my knot … stood up for me. He said that I didn’t
deserve for everyone to come down on me. He got everyone to apologize. I felt
better and know that I have a friend who has my back.

Jonathan, age 15

It was a bright sunny day. I was
sitting on the bus stop when the
two biggest bullies in town were
pushing around a little boy.
When I tried to stop them, the
big bully pushed me and I fell.
He told me to stay out of it and if
I told anyone, he would hunt me
down and hurt me. So I walked
away and went to the police
station. On condition that the
bully wouldn’t find out that I
reported him, I told the police
everything I knew. I also told the
principal of my school and
counselor. The counselor spoke
to the bully and he had to take
anger management classes and
learn to do good. Since then, he
stopped bullying little kids.

Darren, age 13

One day, I was in the
lobby of my building
playing Xbox game
and a bully made fun
of me and called me
names. I told him to
stay out of my business.
This kid thinks I’m dumb,
but I know what he says
behind people’s backs.
He thinks he’s perfect.
My life is bad, but I am
nice and a busy
person. In school, this
same kid called me a
nerd, a tech dude, a
gamer and a loser. But I
know what I am.
People think I feel pain
or fear when they
make fun of me, but I don’t care. I say to them, “Stay out of my bees wax.” It
means stay out of my business.

Jason, age 12

I am a student in middle school. One Sunday after church, I was a victim of a
bully over a slushie. The bully made fun of what I was eating and we got into a
fight. The lead usher from the church stopped the fight and the bully had to
apologize. I felt good because I won. But I felt bad because he lost. Now we’re
friends.

G.R., age 14

I was a new boy in school. When I got to my classroom, a group of kids started to
bully me. They called me Handy Mandy. I got mad and told them to stop. They
kept going and going, so I told the teacher. She said she couldn’t do anything
because she didn’t hear them. So I went to the group and told them that if they
didn’t stop calling me names I would go to the principal. The principal told them
to leave me alone but they didn’t. So I told them to meet me outside the school.
They did and we had a physical fight. I kicked one of the boys and he fell down.
One of the kids punched me and I fell down. I got up and punched the big guy
and he fell down. Finally we stopped fighting. We started to talk. I told them how
it feels to be bullied. We laughed. Now we’re friends.

T-MAN D., age 13

When I was in sixth grade
I was bullied. I hated the
way he treated me.
Every day this big kid
slammed me against
anything in the class, a
desk, a computer, or a
cabinet. He tripped me,
screamed in my ear, put
gum in my hair, and took
my book bag. I endured
this pain because when I
fought back he just said
he’d get me the next
day. And he did. He
locked me in the
classroom cabinet for
half the class. I asked my teacher for help, but there was nothing he could do.
The kid had detention, but that didn’t work. I tried to hide behind the cabinet
when I did homework, but nothing worked. I hoped his bullying would blow over.
Imagine, he was the coolest guy in the grade. He was popular and the biggest
jerk. My friends felt the same way about him that I did and they helped me get
by. Soon after I was transferred out of his class and never had to see him again.
And I am grateful that I had my friends.

Thank
you!
North Miami Senior High, Young Men’s
Preparatory Academy, and Alonzo & Tracey
Mourning Senior High for participating in
this project and for sharing your thoughts
about Bullying.
Produced by: Center for Folk and Community Art
A “Telling Stories Through Visuals” Project
cfcamurals@aol.com
(305) 534-8807
http://artmurals.org
http://snn.bz/category/alive/purple-passions/