April 20, 1999

I will never forget the day I came home from work, turned the TV on, and saw my best friend in Chicago's high school under a massacre. Brenda was a tough inner city Chicago artist, but that day she was crying and I had never seen or heard her cry. She said her niece's best friend was murdered by one of the kids shooting all over the place, killing anyone at random, in a tragedy we have all come to know as "The Massacre at Columbine in Littleton, Colorado". She said she saw her niece screaming in terror to cross over to her house near the school. She was crying, I mean, it was unbelievable having the tragedies unfold in my own living room.

Then Brenda stop crying for a minute, and said something I will never forget as long as I live, because nobody else said it. she had grown up in the place, and knew what it was like. And she said, "But you know, those kids were really teased." as serious as a heart attack.

Today I read about a 14 year old who shot himself in front of some of the high school people because he couldn't take the bullying anymore, just to show them, this is real, look at this, this is my statement.

I was a freshman at North, one of the most outstanding high schools in the suburbs in the 1970's. I hated the place like hell, and could hardly bring myself to go school every morning. The way I got to know big city life was because my brother and his girlfriend lived in a very small, but very cool city apartment on West Belle Plain, near the Graceland Crematory. The let me out of my suburban cage for a few days, and I got to see how the other half lived. In fact, under therapeutic conditions, the city became, my "safe place".

Rick and his girlfriend were walking me back to the el, now the Red line, and we passed Lake View High School, and turned to my oldest brother, and said, can I come live with you and go to school here? His answer was fast: No.

And back to North I went.

Now there is nothing like reading about young 14 year old girls taking their lives these days over the same kind of crap I dealt with at North. Name calling. Gross remarks about my hair, skin, anything, the way I talked, anything. One kid picks it up, and passes it on to another

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: Columbine, Harassment

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • I was bullied for a year in high school, and it made my life awful. Not only did I suffer, but my grades suffered and I was really depressed. It helps to have people continually remind us of how bad these situations can be. Thanks!

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