Stand Up Sarah Leduc

It was the Winter of 7th grade and I did not have very many friends. My best friend had just moved away and I was still upset about it. I decided to sit somewhere new at lunch to see if I could make new friends. I still wasn’t comfortable so I kept to myself.

About a month after I started sitting there, I finally found out who Sally and Barbara really were. On a Monday, a boy named Joe decided to sit at our table. I sat at the corner and Sally and Barbara sat next to me. Joe decided to sit next to Barbara and made himself at home. Barbara and Harper looked at each other and made a face of disgust and Sally nodded. He then put his lunch down and went to go grab the last of his stuff. As soon as he was out of earshot, Barbara and Sally were saying how they do not want him there and that they were squished. Just as Joe came back to the table, Sally and Barbara started to make subtle hints about being squished. Joe did not get the hint. Sally got aggravated when he did not move so when Joe got up again, she pushed his stuff and moved over so that he could not sit. I stayed quiet because I was afraid that they would be upset with me and kick me out of the lunch table too. When he came back, he took it as a joke and moved his stuff back. He then squeezed into the spot forcing Barbara to move over once again. This only added to the furry and grudge against Joe that Sally and Barbara held. Over the next week, Sally, Barbara and the other kids that sat at the table started to talk behind his back and ceaselessly spreading rumors about him. They then made a new nickname that was not nice and called him that behind his back.

After about 2 weeks of the taunting and tormenting, Barbara and Sally made a group chat and invited other kids like Harper, at our lunch table to cyber bully him. Sally then asked me to be in the chat too. She was telling me, “Let’s give him what he deserves” and “He will pay for what he did.” I immediately said no. I thought to myself, “I am not a bully”. I knew I needed to speak up. It haunted me inside that Joe was suffering and I was upset that Harper, Sally, and Barbara thought it was okay to bully.

Harper sent me screenshots of them bullying Joe and telling him off. It made me upset that he was going through this so I told my mom. I walked in the door after walking home from the bus stop and threw my bag on my bed and gathered my thoughts. I asked her if we could talk and she came into my room. I told her about the tormenting and the name calling. She said that I should tell the guidance counselor and if nothing changed after that, she would text his parents. I showed her the screenshots and she was appalled. I layed on the couch and relaxed with my little brothers and tried to forget the situation for a little while. My “friends” were still pressuring me to bully but I still said no.The next day I did not sit at that lunch table and sat by myself. I was sad and had no one to talk to. My brother asked me who I was sitting with and I said no one so he sat with me and then I sat with him and his friends. I was much happier but I was sure that the bullying was still going on.

This is my house.

I went to the guidance counselor and told her what happened. I showed her the screenshots. She took it into her own hands, talked to the principal and the vice principal and then the mean kids got in trouble. I was happy that I stood up for Joe. Later that day, Joe came to me and thanked me. He knew it was me who stood up for him because my mom talked to his dad. We are now good friends and have no association with Barbara, Harper and Sally. We are both much happier and the bullying ended. We are both now sitting with people who are funny, nice and supportive.

Experiencing this made me realize that standing up for your beliefs and not following the crowd may be hard but there is a good outcome in the end by staying true to yourself. This has impacted my life greatly because it shows how some people's true colors are different than what you believed at first. Even though others may not like me anymore because I stood up for Joe, I did what I knew was right.

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