A cold room

Stand up for what is right


Illustration by Victoria Van

Story by Monteunah Glasgow, staff writer

Learning to stand up for the right thing is not always easy, especially when it involves bullying. I learned this lesson in elementary school, because sometimes you would rather not be the person who says something.

Although most students in the school were well-mannered,  I was one of many people who would watch others pick on a girl who could not defend herself. Georgie* was disabled. She walked with a limp and did not have full use of her arms.  People would trip her and make fun of her. I remember watching her get bullied and I never said anything because I did not want the real bullies to turn on me. When I was younger, I did not understand what bullying meant so I kept quiet.

One day my principal called me to her office and accused me of bullying Georgie. I felt like I did nothing wrong and I thought I was doing good by not joining in with the others. I stayed after school for a whole week, serving time in detention for a crime I did not feel like I committed.

I soon realized why my principal gave me detention. She assigned me detention to teach me to always be nice to others because you never know what is going on with them. Although I was not directly bullying Georgie, I was just as guilty as the bullies themselves because I never said anything to a teacher because I did not want to be a snitch. As soon as that week of detention ended, I decided that I had to make a change in myself, even if everyone else continued to make fun of her.

Georgie’s birthday soon came around, and she invited me to her party. Hesitantly, I decided to attend. I was weary of the reactions from other kids, but it soon became the best decision I ever made. I saw how she lived and got to know her personally, and I discovered she was just like everyone else. She wanted friends and people around her who would be friendly and nice just like I did.

Georgie made me realize it does not matter how you look or how different you are. Everyone wants to be loved and wants to be respected. No one should be judged on how they look or the circumstances that life presents them. Watching others being ridiculed or make fun of is as insensitive as doing it yourself. Sometimes is better to stand alone and be an outsider than to be a follower like everyone else.

*Georgie is a fake name.