“That’s Just Messed Up”

By Jeremy Adam Smith | September 1, 2006 | 0 comments

Despite pressures and fears that often prevent them from acting, many children still do stand up to bullies. Let’s Get Real is a 35-minute documentary in which kids talk about bullying; many of them explain how they were bystanders but chose to help a bullying victim. One of those children is an eighth grader named Paola, whose testimony in the film is transcribed below.

“We were going to get our lunch. There was this guy who was overweight, and they were making fun of him. They called him a geek and a dork, and they told him that in his face. And I was right next to him.

“We didn’t want to say anything, but then we realized that it was kind of messed up that these guys were making fun of him. And I felt really bad. I’m like, ‘That’s just messed up. You shouldn’t be doing that. You don’t know him.’ [But] this was the first time I had actually stood up for a stranger, and I was like, Should I do it or shouldn’t I?

“And then… I said [to myself], ‘Just go in, because it’s not right.’ And the [bully] was like, ‘What are you going to do? You’re just a girl.’ “ And that really pissed me off. I was like, ‘You know what, just because you’re a guy doesn’t mean you’re stronger than me. No, don’t call him a geek or a dork because you don’t know him. And don’t be sexist, neither.’ And the guy was like, ‘Oh, I’m not being sexist or anything like that. Shut up, you ho.’ “And I was so mad. I was so like, ‘You know what, you better go tell that kid that you’re sorry because I’m going to go tell the principal. And it’s not cool of you to say that, because what if he starts to believe in that?’

“So he went to apologize to that kid and that kid felt good. I know he did. He’s like, ‘Thank you very much,’ and so I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure.’”

To order or find out more about Let’s Get Real, see www.womedia.org, or contact the film’s producers, Women’s Educational Media, at 415-641-4616.

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About The Author

Jeremy Adam Smith edits the GGSC’s online magazine, Greater Good. He is also the author or coeditor of four books, including The Daddy Shift, Are We Born Racist?, and The Compassionate Instinct. Before joining the GGSC, Jeremy was a 2010-11 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. You can follow him on Twitter!


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