Tuesday, August 20, 2019:

Hi, my name is John P. DeVito and 28 years ago, I was bullied. And I will never forget it. And I’m not alone. No one forgets being bullied. Ever. Whether it happened yesterday, last week, six months ago, 5 years ago or 60 years ago, people don’t forget.

3.2 million students are bullied every year. 3.2 million students. And why are they bullied? Because they are weaker? Look different? Are “weird?” Whatever the reason is, the reason is wrong. And I’m here to tell you why. If you’re a bully, you just don’t get it. You’re probably thinking, this kid is smaller than me, so I can push him around or make fun of him, it doesn’t matter. But here is where you are wrong. It does matter. Because what you don’t realize is, people who are bullied don’t forget. For example, let’s say the captain of the football team is a bully. Captain of football team and throws 25 touchdowns his senior year. It’s very impressive. You think that’s what you’ll be remembered for. But it doesn’t work that way. People who are bullied don’t think that way. Whenever they hear your name, they think of one thing. That guy was the biggest asshole in high school. I hate him. Hate is what they have for you. And it never leaves.

My bully story is nothing compared to really bad bully stories. I wasn’t beat up. I wasn’t called names. And my bully only bothered me twice in the tenth grade. But the effects lasted all throughout high school. It affected me mentally. Not just my bully but all the bullies in the school. I just wanted to avoid them. And that’s how people who are bullied think. Which sucks. Because it ruins their joyous high school experience. I didn’t participate in after school activities. I was a soccer star who didn’t play soccer in high school. My bully was on the football team. Which meant we would have shared the same locker room every day after school for three months of the year. No thank you.

My bully bothered me twice and probably thinks nothing of it to this day. I lived in fear for three years of high school wondering if he would bother me again if I saw him in the hallway. I avoided him like the someone avoids someone who has a stomach virus. But I wasn’t alone. My peers were bullied too. Some by him and some by others. And they had similar stories. And some stories that were just plain horrible. And it didn’t happen a couple of times to them, it happened every day. This bullying bullshit has to stop. It’s not funny. And it’s a massive problem in this world. Today, people aren’t just bullied in school, they are bullied online. All over social media.

I hope Pixie’s Parchment Paper helps build awareness on the subject. Some people who are bullied may forgive and some may not, but one thing is for sure, people who have been bullied never forget it. Ever.