by Bryn | October 1, 2013
When I was in the 5th grade at brick-and-mortar, we had 3 special needs kids in our class. Their names were Thyeshia (I think that's how you spell it), Reid, and Shatavia. I loved Shatavia. She made me laugh and I made her laugh. And, at the most random moments, we would just burst out laughing. I would help her with her locker combination and show her how to open the locker. But when I found out she was being bullied, I just couldn't believe it. She was so sweet and wonderful, why would anyone want to hurt her in any way, verbally or physically? She was talking to me one day and I almost forced her to tell me who was bullying her. She finally told me that it was some of the girls in my class. I felt terrible even though I wasn't the one bullying her. I also knew how she was being bullied. The girls that were bullying her had also been bullying me. They thought I was weird because I hung out with the special needs kids, and I had told her, "What's this all about? They are still human beings like you and me, they just have special things about them that make them the best and brightest when they achieve something and then smile. You can call me weird, crazy, stupid, whatever. But you and I know that they are amazing and special in their own way. And even if you can't see that, I can. I'm going to help them be the best they can be and encourage them like they were family." That got her to hush really quick. She rolled her eyes and walked away, but I knew I had gotten to her. Maybe she would think twice next time she tries to insult me or one of my friends. But no. I went up to her and told her she was being a bully. I told her what she was doing wasn't right and that the next time she said something mean to someone else and I heard about it, I would tell the teacher. I expected to have to tell the teacher within 5 minutes but I didn't. She had learned her lesson and I had learned mine. My lesson: Stand up for what you believe in. My Difference: I gained lots of friends, I felt stronger emotionally, and I knew I had done the right thing.