Supposed to be a sacred place,
Supposed to be a safe space,
Every student requires an equal opportunity,
A choice of their own
Between success and failure.
What if someone imposes upon that?
That opportunity of a lifetime to learn and grow
And follow your dreams?
It comes down to one word: bullying.
What does this mean?
When that kid in the back of the room throws a wad of paper
At the kid in the front with the glasses and zits and bedhead, busily taking notes
The kid who wants to learn, wants to succed,
But instead has to try his very hardest just to survive.
The clique of girls whispering into their compacts
About the girl across the room with dark hair covering her face,
The girl who is forced to wear long sleeves even in the summer
To hide the scars that are there to keep her alive, to let her feel and release the pain,
That girl who would rather die than have to suffer another day in class.
A fifth grader being teased for his cool new matching backpack and lunchbox,
A lunchbox that finds its way out the window,
Bent and broken on the pavement,
And a little boy will swallow his tears for lunch.
Any teasing, rumors, gossip, threats, pushes, shoves, abuse.
Physical, verbal, typed, texted, Tweeted, posted.
A TEACHER REMAINING SILENT
As classmates bug and tease each other,
Or when a group singles out one person;
But it's all a joke of course!
Boys will be boys, girls will be girls;
It's high school, that's how it is.
Will not be prevented, resolved, or stopped if no one stands up,
If no one is responsible,
If no one is brave enough to do something about it.
Kids are scared, afraid for their lives, afraid of being the new target.
Who will save them? Who will be the brave one, the responsible one?
Teachers are who we look to.
We want to help and sometimes we can, but we have to think of our own lives, our own safety,
We can't punish the bullies, we have no authority, we will be destroyed.
But teachers, a voice of knowledge and authority,
You can save us, you can stop them
You can help us win this war.
It's your duty, if only based on moral values.
We are helpless and hopeless and suffering
AND LIVES ARE BEING TAKEN, DESTROYED, RUINED.
We want to stand up to the bullies but we need strong leaders.
Take up that cross,
The burden will be worth it,
When school is once again a sacred and safe fountain of knowledge,
That all can participate in freely,
Without wondering if they can survive the day,
Or if they should just kill themselves instead of dealing with the shame,
Or going without a lunch and having to explain why they lost their lunchbox again.
School has become a source of pain, suffering, humiliation,
When it really is about education, learning, growing.
You are the leaders and we put our trust in you,
We have faith in you.
Don't let us down; don't let the bullies take us down.