Once a Bully, Always a Bully

Posted on July 8, 2013


bullyThis story is from Scott, a teacher in Connecticut, as told to Raz.

A couple weeks ago, I went on a date with a coworker. We met up at a bar and chatted about nothing for a while, just like any first date. Eventually, we got onto the topic of work—the first thing so far that we had in common.

After she called my students psychopaths and hers retards (she works with intellectually disabled kids), I started getting the feeling that maybe, just maybe, we were going to disagree on some things. Not only do I work with emotionally disturbed children, but I also have a son who’s autistic. He’s the center of my life and the sweetest kid ever.

So, I started explaining how it can be hard for kids who have no self-esteem to have positive interactions because they usually think everything’s going to go badly. When kids are really angry and aggressive, it’s actually more sad than it is anything else. I told her I worked with one student who would take off his hoody inside the closet because he didn’t want any kids to see his fat belly, and how sad I found it that someone so young feels that level of rejection about himself.

In response, she said this: “Well, I was always athletic and skinny and popular in school. I picked on the fat kids, and I picked on the dorks. They should really all be used to it. It’s the pecking order of life.”

I was in shock. “I was picked on in school,” I said. “Other kids called me Screech because I looked like the kid on ‘Saved By The Bell.’”

“I would have picked on you too, then. You really shouldn’t find that too surprising. You were a dork.”

“But these kids’ lives are generally shit,” I said. “You have to realize that’s a big factor in why they act the way they do.”

“I don’t really care why they act that way,” she said. “They’re fucking psychos. That’s all I really need to know.”

Things wrapped up shortly after that, and we haven’t spoken since. It amazed me that anyone—especially anyone who works with kids—could be that genuinely awful.



Posted in: His Stories