Chatterbox: Down to Earth



Bullying is a serious issue. As someone who has been bullied myself, I know how hard it can be, especially when you feel like there's no one you can talk to about it. Here is a safe space to share incidents (obviouly don't describe any violence ect in detail) and offer support. You can share anonymously if you want. I'll go first.

There was a girl who was mostly there for fifth grade and then left, although she started in fourth grade. She formed a group with me and my other friend. One of the things the group did was talk bad about another kid in our class. We had a group chat at one point and I sent a rude text message. I apologized 2 seconds afterward. She continued to bring it up months later as an excuse for her treating me badly.

I was the editor of our class newspaper and she was drawing a comic for it. She wasn't able to finish it by the deadline. I gave her two options: she could hand it over to me to let someone else finish the last few panels, or the comic could just not be featured. She gave it to me to finish right as she left for an appointment. 

I finished the comic for her because she gave it to me on such short notice, but I gave her full credit in the newspaper. When the class was reading it, she said very loudly in front of the teacher that the less good panels were drawn by Lexi. Then she told all the other girls that I had stolen the comic from her desk to finish it because I wanted credit for myself. She started a club and told me I couldn't be in it unless I did something, but she wouldn't tell me what. I told some other girls that I didn't like that they were excluding me from the club. I had figured out that it must of had something to do with the comic, but I didn't know what she had told them about me. I refered to the reason I was being excluded as a "little mistake." Of course, since she had lied to them, they starting shunning me for being so mean to her and disregarding it. I spent half of a class crying in the bathroom and another half we both spent talking to the principal. She told him her lie, and he believed her. She then said the thing I had to do to join the club was apologize, and the principal made me. It was one of the worst days of my life.

There were a lot more incidents with that girl, but they all rolled up together (plus a teacher who picked on me) to make fifth grade the worst year I ever had. I was almost glad when Covid cut it short because I was facing relentless bullying every day. 

submitted by Lexi!!!, age 13, In a galaxy far far away
(June 14, 2022 - 3:34 pm)

I'm not sure I can technically call this bullying, but I had something like that. It was at a camp, where if you did something kind to someone else, you got a raffle ticket (which, by the laws of proabability, increases your chances of getting the prize). One day we were turning a regular slide at a playground into a water slide by sliding water down it. I was helping with the sliding, and then one of the boys said to his friends, "Oh, he's just doing that to get a raffle ticket", which I was not, in fact I wasn't even thinking about the ticket. 


submitted by Golden Lion Tamarin
(June 14, 2022 - 4:39 pm)

Ugh. I hate it when people say things like that.

submitted by Lexi!!!, age 13, In a galaxy far far away
(June 14, 2022 - 6:20 pm)

Oh, Lexi, that's awful! I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. You were not the problem there, she was. You may have made a mistake with the text message, but at least you owned up to it. Someone like her, who lies, uses the fact that people are HUMAN and make MISTAKES sometimes to their advantage, and generally tries to hurt others will definitely not be successful--just watch her when she gets into the real world. 


I've never been servely bullied but once I was in Spanish class, and we were playing a game on our computers where you could see the results on the whiteboard. The first time, I won, and everyone was kind of shocked at how well I did, which was sorta cool. Then the second time I won again, and a kid actually went up to the board and crosssed my name next to the 1st Place section out, then wrote "1" next to the girl who got second and "2" next to the girl who got third. The third time I won again and my class was still being rude. My teacher was very upset by now and she said, "You should be like the little kids and clap for the person who won." She was trying to help but it didn't work because everyone just clapped for the girl who got second. Then I just started crying. The bell rang, and my teacher held me back to give me a pep talk, which was really sweet and encouraging actually. As I left, a few of my friends saw and they were really nice to me. But one boy that called me a tryhard the whole day. He still calls me names sometimes, but I don't really mind as much anymore because I just say "It takes one to know one" every time he calls me something, which he doesn't even understand.


Anyways, don't take what mean people are saying to heart. Eventually they'll pick up on the fact that life is hard enough without some snarky kids giving unsolicited commentary.  

submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(June 14, 2022 - 6:41 pm)

Ahhh I'm so sorry that happened to you Lexi! She sounds like a horrible person. 

Although I've never been the target of serious bullying, many people in my family have. My sister (who is in 6th grade) was being bullied (he was using very racial words as my sister and I are biracial and we don't look white) by this guy in her grade- until she threw a lunch box at him and told him to go away (he did).

My cousins, who are half Korean and half Chinese, live in a very white neighborhood, and were bullied a lot throughout their childhood. One of them even got a concussion from being shoved into a school bus!

Bullying is hard to talk about, but it's important to discuss so we can tell how to stop it from happening. I actually just watched a presentation in health class about bullying's effects and it can have a serious impact on one's mental health. Lexi, I hope that you don't ever have to see that girl again and you never are bullied again either *sending good vibes and hugs*

submitted by Silver Crystal, age Infinity, Milky Way
(June 15, 2022 - 6:45 am)

Yeah, bullying is so mean. 


There was another time, in Spanish class, where we played this Among Us game (not really among us, just something similar) where we had to guess the impostor. Everyone was suspicious of me because I was quiet. That wasn't the bad part. Later, they voted on me and it turned out that I was NOT the impostor, so the other kids, unknowingly my teammates, lost. But at the end of the game, someone (I don't know who) said "Well, at least I got to vote him out" as if they were happy I was being misjudged. I know it was only a game, but being insulted like that really felt bad. Fortunately, after I messaged my teacher about the incident after class, she said that she messaged the kid who did it and let him/her know that that was not okay behavior. But that still didn't change the fact that I was really hurt. Turns out, I was, like, one out of only two people in Spanish class who was focused on learning. The learning was what I enjoyed, not the social connections!  


CAPTCHA says "wtwer". Wetter? CAPTCHA, are you reviewing the weather for Australia? Because the sun is merciless here. 

submitted by Golden Lion Tamarin
(June 26, 2022 - 4:18 pm)

Tips to prevent bullying: 


When someone bullies you, think of a witty response or just say, "Yep, you are right". They're just trying to make you feel bad or angry, so show them it doesn't work! Examples of witty responses:


If someone bullies you about an accent, say in your accent, "sorry, I can't understand you with that American accent (or wherever you're in)". That'll just get them confused. 


Also, getting them confused is a very effective way of stopping bullying (or I think so). 

submitted by Golden Lion Tamarin
(June 26, 2022 - 4:23 pm)

Top top top top top top top

submitted by Golden Lion TOParin
(June 30, 2022 - 6:20 pm)

i'm so, so sorry that happened to you lexi! i've had a bunch of incidents like that, but i never knew it counted as bullying. people (teachers, peers) would always make it seem like it wasn't a big deal! when i was in 6th grade, there was this kid who would constantly tell me that i was dumb, or less intelligent than anyone else in said class. it escalated to the point where he wrote on sticky notes: small brain, big brain, (stupid stuff) and would give it to me and my friends, me getting "small brain" . i told my teacher for that period, and he goes:  

" you know he's kidding right?" 

" i don't care it's offensive."

" ok i'll talk to him"

the kid comes back from his lil' conversation and mumbles sorry. so he stopped for the mean time and has taken to calling me miss bossy. 

here's one of our recent conversations:

"hi miss bossy"

"i'm not bossy, i have good leadership skills.

"nope, bossy fits you."

"if bossy fits me, antagonizing fits you."

haha anyways i haven't seen him since. does this count as bullying?


submitted by jane doe, age 104, universe
(July 6, 2022 - 4:34 pm)

Yeah, I think that counts. I'm sorry that happened to you! That was a great comeback :D go you!

submitted by Periwinkle, age Pi, Somewhere in the stars
(July 6, 2022 - 5:26 pm)

thanks! to make it better, it was math class. 1 had an 106 in that class and he had a 23 :)

submitted by jane doe , age 105, earth
(July 12, 2022 - 12:20 pm)

I'd say I've been bullied quite a bit in the past. I had a very small class in middle school and still do now as a high schooler, so I've been forced to spend lots of time with some truly awful people. I've been harrassed so much for being a feminist I started crying. Multiple people have said extremely homophobic, racist, misogynistic etc things to me just for a reaction. A girl threatened to spray water on me in the locker room because I preferred to change where nobody saw me. I even once received a picture of a burning pride flag from a number with a different area code- it was a classmate and former toxic friend of mine trying to seem threatening.

For middle schoolers, I know it's not cool to tattle. But when you're constantly upset, or unable to focus in school or genuinely dreading seeing someone because you know they'll be awful to you? Go tell an adult. The good ones will improve the situation or at least try their best. If they don't listen to you or don't make an effort to stop it, that's on them. You deserve to be in a better situation and those with the power to make it better have the responsibility to do so.

You'll also hear lots of adivice on how to make bullies stop, and most of the time, it simply won't work. Ignore them, tell them to stop, be the bigger person and act kind, it just doesn't work that way. Honestly, the best advice I have? Annoy them back. If the best you can do with a bad situation is turn it into a semi-funny one, go ahead. 

submitted by Luna-Starr, age they/he, Existential Ponderment
(July 6, 2022 - 9:48 pm)