Textbook Death


“She’s rushing away from her school toward the bus stop on the corner. I can tell she wants to run, but I understand why she won’t. Running would draw unwanted attention. The hunted quickly learn that it’s better to blend in whenever possible…She has her face buried in a geometry textbook. It’s a useless shield. I’ve studied the same book, and I’m pretty sure it has killed far more people than it’s saved.

-Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance edited by Rhoda Belleza

From the introduction:

But bullying starts with adults. It starts with controlling parents who will do almost anything to maintain that control, and teachers who don’t tolerate kids finding their ways through natural developmental stages…Back before language we absorb through all our senses. If we grow up experiencing domestic violence, even if it isn’t aimed at us, we learn the ways of violence…It’s too easy to look for bullying kids and try to stop them from being bullies. That usually results in making them more devious. Let’s call it meanness. Let’s call it indecency. And let’s understand that it never starts with the kid.

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