Sixth Grade Jodee essay example
In junior high some kids would call me names, but that was it. Verbal abuse is all that I had to deal with on occasion. This is nothing compared to the things that Jodee endured through her years of school. The story begins with Jodee's description of how she was victimized in a 4th grade Catholic grammar school; coming to the defense of deaf children that were being treated cruelly. She supplied the school officials with names and was labeled a "tattletale". No one would talk to her, recess was spent in anguish, and she would find garbage and spoiled food in her book bag.
As she progressed into 5th grade some of the social atmosphere began to shift in subtle but profound ways. Being accepted into a clique was all that mattered. Instead of being admired for class participation, as in earlier years she was laughed at and labeled as "teacher's pet". She said the rules were simple "shun or be shunned-if you weren't willing to go along with the crowd, you would become the reject". Sixth grade Jodee enrolled at a private academy and the first few months were without incident. Jodee reveled in having friends and tried to do everything right to stay in their good standing.
The trouble started when she called her mother to leave a party early. Jodee begged her mother not tell what was going on with the twelve year olds-but they were all caught in the act. Monday morning at school she found her favorite suede shoes floating in a toilet bowl of urine with a note attached-"Bitch, this is just the beginning". She was cruelly treated, spit at, beaten, and shunned on a daily basis. Her parents were sympathetic to her dilemma and finally forced her to see a psychiatrist. She was placed on medication that made her very sleepy.
The psychiatrist said that "kids will be kids and that possibly she was looking for attention from her parents". In eighth grade, a group of popular students followed her to the parking lot after school on a winter's afternoon, knocked her to the ground, and shoved fistfuls of snow down her throat, laughing as they watched her struggle to breathe. In another incident, two cheerleaders pinned her against the bathroom wall while another burned her hand with a lit cigarette, chanting "we " re going to kill you". She was also stoned for refusing to dissect a baby pig in biology class.
High school was full of rejection for Jodee. The students did not like her "goody" attitude. Jodee also endured a physical problem that caused her breast to grow at different rates. When the students found out about this, during gym class, it became another thing that they could tease and ridicule her about. Her senior year seemed to be better than many of the others.
The last day of school everyone in the senior class was signing each others yearbooks. It took her an hour to muster up the courage to ask Tyler to sign her yearbook. Jodee had a crush on him for years and when he told her "I'd be honored" she thought "I'm thrilled, what a wonderful way to end my senior year". She further states, "When he hands back my yearbook, there, in black indelible marker, scribbled in capital letters are the words: YOU " LL HAVE TO FUCK YOURSELF, WE HATE YOU BITCH. It's as if some has kicked me in the chest. The self-esteem I have worked so hard to protect all year turns to dust.
Clutching the yearbook with one hand, and covering my face with the other -- I run out, jump in my car, and drive away. That's the last time I ever see the inside of my high school again". What Jodee Blanco went through is not an isolated occurrence. It is the terrible reality of millions of students that is too often dismissed as kids being kids.
Jodee Blanco was one of the lucky ones. Lit from within by dignity that couldn't be extinguished and supported by the love of her family, she not only endured those dark school years, but came to understand that the qualities that made her a teen misfit would become the very reasons for her success as an adult. There are many things that can be done to help children and their families deal with these types of problems. I think that there should be counseling in school, provided to students of all ages. Someone that they can talk to and not have to worry about what they think. Teachers should be able to talk to these counselors too, if needed.
All abuse should be reported to the school principle, they should take action. If it doesn't help the situation, that student (or students) should be removed from the school. School is a place to learn, you can not learn much with someone calling you names or throwing things at you. Aside for counseling at school, I think that there should be a hotline that parents can call to report abuse to their child. Parents should be able to put a stop to the bullying in some way, talking to the other child's parents, talking to the principle, or even changing schools. The thing is that these options don't always work, as in Jodee's case.
The police should get involved if it gets as bad as it did for Jodee, she could have been seriously injured or killed. After reading this, I can not believe that things went this far for Jodee. She was misunderstood by adults and ignored by the school system. People should not live in fear of any other human being. When someone is physically, mentally, or verbally abused something should be done about it. Don't be afraid to tell someone about it.
If they do not listen, tell someone else. There are people out there that will help you.