Recently, many schools in my area (presumably all of them) celebrated “pink shirt day”. For those of you who don’t know what pink shirt day is, I’m going to quote directly from the newsletter my kid brough home…
Pink shirt day was started in Nova Scotia when high school students organized a protest to wear pink to show support for a male student who was bullied at their school for wearing a pink shirt. On February 25th, [school] staff and students were encouraged to wear pink to symbolize that as a school we will not tolerate bullying. An assembly was held to raise awareness around dealing with bullying at school, on the internet and in the community. Students and staff made personal pledges about ways to stop bullying and support inclusion. Classrooms also decorated their classroom doors to show their support for the cause.
If you want to visit the official pink shirt website, go here:
Back when I was in grade seven, I was very heavily bullied. Classrooms were fucking zoos full of misbehaving children. Most of the teachers had no clue how to handle the chaos, and many of them had surrendered control of the classroom and decided to teach amongst the havoc, likely in hopes that the few students who were there to learn would actually get something out of it. Me being one such student didn’t get much out of it, although the teachers had given me good grades either based on my good behaviour, or perhaps because they felt bad for me.
This was the daily routine… I’d get to school and approach my locker to get my books. Two to three other students would come up behind me, kick me in the legs, kick me in the ass, or slam my head into the locker. During the first class while the teacher’s back was turned, students would wipe their dirty shoes on my clothing. When the teacher would leave class for a few minutes, I’d get bashed in the back of the head with textbooks. Classmates would take turns, walking by me smacking me in the back of the head while uttering the phrase “sitting there all dumb”. Between classes, I would again be greeted with more kicking and bashing at my locker while changing books for my next class.
There were maybe one or two classes during my day where the teacher would actually retain control. Those classes were my breaks from the daily torment and I would dread the moment when the class was over because I’d return back to the chaotic environments where the teacher would do nothing. We had classes that were called “Talented & Gifted” which were some sort of “bonus” classes where we were supposed to do an interesting or fun activity. Instead, the teacher would let the class do whatever the hell it wanted while he just sat there doing nothing. Again I’d be greeted by the parade of students walking by beating me in the head with textbooks, their fists, or stealing my belongings. I repeatedly ended up with gum in my hair, and at one point had classmates holding me down while trying to blind me with the filmstrip projector.
Gym class was bad too. I became the target of getting slammed in the head with basketballs, soccer balls, as well as getting whacked in the legs with hockey sticks.
After enduring all of this day after day, I had developed full-blown PTSD. Not only was I getting beat up at school on a daily basis, I was getting beat up at home by an abusive parent.
The only real break I had from all this abuse was when Christmas break came around. It was an entire two weeks off from being kicked, punched, and whatever else, but of course this was only temporary relief.
My PTSD became so bad that I would start shaking uncontrollably while standing at my locker. It eventually evolved to the point where the shaking would begin while even THINKING about going to school. To this day, I still suffer from PTSD when there’s a round object flying through the air or someone makes a quick, jerky movement with their arms or hands.
So why didn’t I tell someone or do something about it? Two reasons. First, if I got my classmates in trouble, I would get the shit kicked out of me even worse at my locker. Second, I was raised in a very strict religious upbringing where I was taught to do as Jesus did and turn the other cheek. I was also taught to pray to God when I was facing times of trouble. I turned every cheek I had, prayed constantly throughout each day, and I ended up with PTSD.
The intense bullying that I experienced would certainly make me an ideal spokesman for pink shirt day. It should make me thankful that efforts are being made for today’s youth, to never have to go through the torture that I endured. I should support pink shirt day and buy one for my son, letting everyone know that the both of us support this fantastic anti-bullying campaign.
But I don’t support it. In fact, I’m AGAINST it. You’d think I’d be the LAST person against it.
I don’t exactly fault the main ringleaders who were leading the rest of my class to bully me. I can’t bring myself to forgive them, but I’m not going to fault them for what they did to me. The animal kingdom (including humans) are full of examples of alpha leaders who embody the natural order of having the strong survive. The weak ones will end up being picked apart and have their genes eliminated from existence if they don’t make the effort to strengthen themselves and improve their situation. Given the situation I was in, I should have been weeded out of existence.
The main fault that I had was my parents. Being brought up in a highly-controlled religious environment gave me absolutely no skills on how to handle the real world. The religion I was raised in actually made the effort to block out as much of the real world as possible, short of having their own schools. In the opinion of this religious organization, public schools existed for the sole purpose of finding new recruits. They train their members from a very young age to recruit new members.
My mother had not trained me to deal with the real world. She also didn’t have the natural, caring, nuturing persona that a young child needs. Instead she used violence when her children did not please her. My father was a bit better, but he spent most of his time being drunk. He attempted to encourage me to defend myself, but when his back was turned, my mother would quickly demonize my father’s words and beat the shit out of me if I seemed deserving.
So I’ve boiled down the lack of confidence and inability to assert myself while I was a child to bad parenting. Parents need to instill their children with the confidence and the tools necessary to compete in the real world. When you get into the workforce, there is no pink shirt day. If you cannot assert yourself when you’re younger, you’ll sure as hell be getting walked on as an adult.
It’s taken years for me to overcome the many problems I had while I was young. My PTSD rarely comes to the surface, and I’ve worked on myself to become extremely confident with everything I engage in. I have a healthy opinion of myself, I can stand up for myself, and I’m now enjoying the benefits of the extensive self-improvement I’ve done. People have a high level of respect for me these days, and enjoy having me in their company.
Pink shirt day puts band-aids on a child’s deeper problems; low self-esteem, bad self-image, lack of assertiveness, and a lack of independence. Pink shirt day also crosses over into another department of society today; Getting men to wear the color pink. I will be touching on this subject in the near future.
So despite being bullied to the point of psychological disorder, I’m against campaigns to eliminate bullying. It may be fucked up from the viewpoint of others, but when you look at bullying from nature’s point of view, it makes sense to keep it in our society. Strong mammals move ahead and pass down their genes while the weak go off and die. It’s what keeps our species alive, existing, and resistant to extinction. Unfortunately, we’ve been hard at work destroying the human race by encouraging world peace, gender equality, and homosexual reproduction. Although I likely won’t live long enough to see the results from the tainting of our species, I genuinely hope that those in the medical field and the rest of society eventually see how we’re destroying our chances of survival on this planet.