“The Deep South (here in Northeast Georgia) is rife with a violent culture that plays itself out in a disrespectful culture all over our district, home, school, and work included. We needed to change the definition of “bullying” and identify the participants (bullies, victims, and bystanders.)” – Yvonne E. Richardson, Middle School Teacher
developed & written by Kendall F. Person
video short-documentary edited by Crystal Fairrington
visual design by You Will Rise Project – Rise Above Bullying
Young Robert Troy was still wearing his soccer cleats and found it difficult to maneuver the usual sharp turns, so he willed his legs to run even faster. The rains made the ground slick, and on more than one occasion, he stumbled, nearly losing his edge. Making a quick turnabout, on 1st Street, he hoped to make his getaway a lot sooner, because he was running out of breath. He jumped over ole Ms. Bernard’s chain link fence, nearly high jumped the backside, finding endurance he did not know was left.
Her pit bull was ready for him this time. He sprung into action, jumping up on all four legs. Growling, foaming at the mouth, and giving chase, determined to catch the intruder and chew him into bite sized bits. But Robert would have none of this. On this day, just like all others, since entering the game of cat and mouse, he was just too quick. He had run for his life so many times, he often wondered if there was a reason for him to live.
The pack of three bullies were hot in pursuit. As angry as the pit-bull, but more determined than any dog could be. Unless it were rabid, it could not feel what they felt. They hated that guy, more than anything else. But whenever they were asked why, only one word could either of them emit, “Because!”
Robert was an average teenage boy. He was decent at sports, but by no means did he excel. And while he had a certain boyish charm, he was far from Brad Pitt or Denzel. He held a small circle of friends, was attentive in his classes, lettered in two sports and was accepted to a local, four-year college, but Robert did not stand out. Not smart enough to be a geek, or impatient enough to be a dropout. There were no NCAA coaches scouting him, and no scholars asking for his advice.
While he never had a girlfriend, neither did he come out as being gay. He was the same color as his aggressors, and all of their parents prayed the same way. By all accounts, the mean boys should have left Robert alone. He was no threat and no bother, just a young man trying to live his life and grow into a man living on his own. As Robbie ran through the alley, calculating every step, every turn, he garnered he had outran his chasers, who were probably bent over, out of breath.
But while he did not know it, his celebration would be premature, for the stumbles had cost him dearly, and the bullies made up ground. They saw him hit first street, then watched him jump the fence. Fans of Animal Planet, especially the wild dogs, who hunted in packs with strategy, being more successful than all other carnivores.
So what they lacked in endurance, and were no match in human speed, by putting their heads together, they devised a coordinated plan. Each went a different direction, cutting off all exits for the unsuspecting mouse.
A mother’s intuition, regardless of what teenagers tend to believe, is rarely ill-conceived. They know when their babies are crying, long before the sound reaches the door. They sense where there is mischief, and can see right through the best spun story, even before her child gets to the end. Mother’s know when the darkness is hovering and even know when their child is in need of them.
Roberta Troy had found the perfect man. Tall, dark and handsome may have caused her to take a second look, but it was the way he treated her, like a flower, a bouquet of the sweetest roses, that her grandmother grew, along the banks of her backyard brook. She would give him two children, fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. Roberta would learn too late of the complications she would have. Robert arrived with brown eyes and a baby’s soft skin. But when the doctor held his sister, she made no sounds, having died days earlier within the comfort of her mother’s womb. So Robert grew up as an only child, a pitch-perfect image of his father. And While she grieved for her only daughter, she gave thanks for her son.
So when the alarm went off inside her head, her husband away on business and brothers too far away, she turned and looked in the mirror. Not knowing if she was being silly or too much of a mothering hen, but the twitch in her left eye, and the itch along her inner thigh, was all she needed to know. Her little man was in trouble. She grabbed hold of her keys, and the first solid thing she found. She dashed out the door, with a Louisville Slugger, temporarily standing in for Robbie’s dad.
The rains had gotten heavier, and Robert had pushed his young body as hard and fast as it would go. Believing he had lost them, and with only two blocks till home, he pulled back on his internal throttle, slowing the run down to a jog. Reaching the alley’s end, he had nearly forgotten what he was running for. He would not wait long for the reminder, which in an instant, became all too clear. The first coward, came at him from his blindside swinging a two by four. Making contact with his ribs, put Robert in a state of shock. The second of the trio, as Robert was falling forward, landed a strong right hook, just above the chin and below the left jaw. Bully three, still trying to catch his breath, felt like a big man, even beat on his chest. Words of a vile nature, flew from his mouth. Robert heard none of them, but he did feel the solid blow of a steel-towed army boot, before collapsing with one broken leg on the pavement of a city street.
“Changing our students is difficult when we have no handle on their homes or earlier development. This coming year beginning with the last day of post-planning, we have begun a process to revamp the behavioral expectations of our entire school, staff and students.” – Franklin County School District, Carnesville, Georgia USA
The young that survive bullying may grow into adults and become the bully themselves. Or the bullies of our youth may be the same bullies that taunt and tease, even though you are a full grown adult. Solving the riddle of ‘why are people mean’, has all but stomped the experts in every field. From students of the Bible, to psychologists, practicing at the top of their field. There are a few important traits, in which all do agree, that their is a need for power from the bullying, perhaps a streak of sadistic greed. Are they sociopathic? Could they simply be nuts? Do they suffer abuse, perhaps neglect at home? The answer may surprise, for it is all of the above. Bullies, unlike culprits of other serial crimes, derive with no set pathology, no sudden twitches, no strange curiosities, no foul smells emitting from their homes. Their homes may be intact, or broken, or some semblance of the two. They can be male or female, straight or gay. They may be Christians or atheists, Muslims or Jewish. Chinese or Japanese, South African, or American.
Perhaps of more importance, than being unable to identify a potential bully, is the seldom discussed factual knowledge, that many victims maintain their emotional (and physical) scars into adulthood. Rather your community chooses to follow Franklin County or You Will Rise, or perhaps some nations will follow Norway, who all but cleansed their borders of the meanness that lies within, becoming a part of the solution deserves a helping hand. Less we awaken another day, happy to see the sunrise, then tune in to our local or world broadcast, to learn of another suicide.
Rain coming in torrents, leaving puddles in its wake. Wind, howling like darkness is what it needs to feed its gust. Roberta turned the corner in her blood red suburban van. Even with the windshield wipers whirling, she could hardly see a thing. But she felt a pain across her back, than another down her leg.
Robert was a runner, not because he was a coward or a sissy, the names the bullies would daily shout. But his school had no tolerance toward violence, not caring who was the initiator of the fight. All involved would be suspended, a few repeat offenders, had even been thrown out. Robert, however average, wanted a future, and to at least try and fulfill his dreams. His shouting, angry aggressors, had been expelled the first of spring. So now they aimed their full fury, on a young man that should not have meant a thing. On the ground, covered in rain, blood flowed down, accompanied by a throbbing pain. But when he noticed the deep red Suburban, he only knew one thing, he be damned if they would hurt his mother, or be victimized while she screamed.
So he kicked with his good leg, summoning fury equal to his attackers. Landing his first blow, dead center in one of the bullies crouch. He was the weaker of the three, following the real bad boys like a puppy dog, it was no surprise to anyone, when he cuffed his groin and bowed out. Roberta remembered the girls who would tease her and always put her down. She was never good enough to talk too and was ostracized at a very young age, by a trio of mean girls, who had no reason to be mean. Roberta was a beautiful woman. Voluptuous in every way. An average academic, with average ambition to move up the corporate ladder, she was one hell of a devoted mother, and the wolves were after her child.
While she recovered from those years of being bullied, fortunate her parents had moved away, she would always feel regret, believing the mean girls, still held onto a piece of her self-respect. Arriving upon the scene, she saw the same bitter girls. She whirled the bat in one hand, and reached for her son with the other. Robert grabbed hold of his mother’s extended hand, stood on his good leg, and the two former victims, refused to be victimized any more. They matched the bullies blow for blow, until the yellow raced up the bullies back. The duo of mother and son, emerged with the upper hand, forcing a waving of the white flag…and satisfaction of seeing the bullies running scared.
Thank you for coming. We hope you enjoyed our first blog-post feature presentation. If you enjoyed the show, please share with friends and family. If you are enthusiastic about the blog, along with your continued and valued readership, you can support our efforts (my Niece and I) by visiting Amazon and purchasing a copy of An Angry World. If you do not have a Kindle, simply download a FREE Kindle Reader here.
Coming in June: the release of The Remembrance, an erotic thriller (a novel), along with Capturing Spring, a heartfelt drama (a novel) both in ebook format. We are working to provide paperback copies as well.
Developed & Written by Kendall F. Person
Video-short documentary by Crystalkay Fairrington