I’ve heard from a handful of readers who have really responded to the issue of bullying as portrayed in Don’t You Forget About Me. It seems the scars never really do go away. As for myself, I don’t think I could’ve written the book myself if I hadn’t long since put my experiences as a victim of bullying into perspective, thereby forgiving those who’d hurt me. A vengeance novel is far less satisfying to the reader, because it’s frankly about the writer and not about the shared human experience. Anyway, I didn’t think I had any more work to do regarding that area of my past. I got healing, ultimate joy, compassion and a book out of it. What more did I need?
Apparently, as a mom, I needed this article, which I stumbled across in the feed of a Facebook friend. In all our efforts to curb childhood bullying, how did we never notice that kids who aren’t bored don’t bully?
The playground at my grade school was an empty parking lot. There wasn’t even any play material or play structure of any kind on it. We were allowed to bring jump ropes and footballs, which is great if you can jump rope or play football. If you can’t do either of those well, then, you are, forgive the phrase SOL. There was a green area with trees on the property, but we would’ve had to walk through a graveyard to get there, and that was certainly off limits. In other words, that place was a petri dish for the culturing of bullies. It’s not even like it was the other kids’ fault.
So. What was your experience with childhood bullying? I’m especially interested in hearing from you if you think you were the bully (though, statistically speaking, bullies don’t usually know they’re bullying–after reading that article, I imagine they probably just remember it as playing). Do you think boredom on the part of the bully had anything to do with it? Would an environment like the one described in the article have helped or hurt?