Let’s be honest, who actually liked going to school? Having to ask to use the restroom, eating school lunches, and let’s not forget dealing with school bullies. These now adults share the time they decided to confront their bullies. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“Simple story, his name was Troy. It was fifth grade, and we had been best friends for all about a few months. Out of nowhere, he just stopped being my friend altogether. I was beyond confused, and I would continuously ask him why he didn’t want to be friends anymore, but to no avail.
He would call me names every day and knock my books out of my hands along with other demeaning things. Finally, I had had enough. I went to my parents, told them everything, and received a peaceful response from my mother, and an assertive response from my father.
‘Just go to the principal’s office and fill them in, just like you have us. They’ll surely take care of it,’ my mom said.
My dad’s approach was a little less conservative.
‘Listen,’ he said. ‘Don’t ever take nothing from anyone you didn’t give it to.’
Those words will forever be ingrained in my head.
‘If he’s continuously giving you nonsense, just give him a hit in the head. He’ll stop bothering you right quick,’ he said.
So, faced with my options, I headed to school the next day. Sure enough, Troy gave me grief for what he later found out to be the last time that day.
He was walking out of class, while I was walking in.
I confronted him in the doorway and said, ‘Listen, Troy, what’s your problem? Why don’t you like me anymore?’
He knocked my books out of my hand. To which I knocked his out of his hand. Then he pushed me and I hit the ground and slid across the floor, almost hitting my head on the leg of a desk.
Everything became a blur.
I arose, wound back my left hand (I’m a lefty), and threw the hardest punch I didn’t even know I could throw. Mike Tyson style.
He stood up, in tears, and started running towards the nurse’s office. I stood up and walked ever so gallantly to the principal’s office parading in my newfound glory.
We were both suspended in-house for a week and I didn’t mind one bit.
The next day he came to school with what looked to be the Rocky Mountains on his forehead. I unintentionally left knuckle marks on his face, and that solved my bullying issue once and for all. He never made fun of me again.”
“I grew up poor. I took my lunch to school because I didn’t have money for school lunches. When I made it to high school, some of the older high school bullies found it ‘cool’ to pop my school locker open and eat my lunch. This got to be all too regular.
So I baked a large batch of chocolate chip cookies with extra chocolate chips, and two boxes of Exlax. These were locked securely in my school locker so no one would accidentally dose themself with an extreme dose of laxative.
Yes, the cookies disappeared. So did five people for three days. I never lost a lunch again. Yes, this may have been a bad thing to do, but it worked!”
The School Reunion
“When I went to a school reunion six years ago, when we were 45, I saw a couple of my school bullies from when we were 10 years old. We had had a reunion as well when we were 23 and I did not bring it up than how they had made my life miserable. Then suddenly W. was standing next to me. I hardly recognized him. A calm gentleman. I remembered how he had waited for me after school several times to pick on me.
One day I was so sick of it that I threw his glasses on the ground and ran. Later when I was home upstairs, there was somebody at the door. It was W’s mum and she told my mum about the glasses. My mother disliked his mum a lot.
Once she told me how she felt sorry for W. to have a mum like her and that his home life was not great.
I heard my mum calmly say that if I did something to his glasses I must have had a reason for it and then she slammed the door in her face. She did not even ask me what had happened.
And there was W. at the school reunion asking me how I had experienced my time there. I smiled at him and said it had been horrible for a while because of bullies. He looked at me and his expression changed.
‘It was me?’ he said.
‘Well, you were not the only one or the worst but yes, it was you as well.’ I said.
He then apologised. Not in private but in front of a group of old classmates standing there who overheard our conversation. He was not the worst but I had been afraid of him because he got physical. The worst were two mean girls. They did not hurt me physically but they hurt me with words day after day for several years and also were waiting up for me after school. I sometimes changed my route but they often found me. I seldom told anyone about the bullying.
One of the girls looked as mean as she always had been and I hardly spoke to her, but the other one was very nice. We talked for a while. I did not bring up the bullying and how I hated her back then. We befriended each other on social media.
After a couple of years, she posted about her daughter being bullied at high school and how we all should protect children from bullying. I replied with only a crying smile. She immediately realized what I meant and replied how she would not have done back then what she did if she had only known what she knew now.
I then said I was glad I noticed at the reunion how she had changed and I was very glad she turned out to be the sweet loving woman she is nowadays. She was touched and thanked me for that.”
Growth Spurt Over The Summer
“We moved around a lot when I was growing up. A lot. By the time I started high school, I had been in 24 schools already, which is one of the reasons my grandparents fought to get temporary custody of me so I could attend just one high school for four years.
Because we moved so often, I was always the outsider. If you’re an outsider in grade school, living in a collection of small towns in the midwest, you’re a target.
On top of that, between first grade and fourth grade, I was a skinny, tiny kid. I’m 6′6″ now, but back then, I was always the smallest kid in the class.
Fourth grade was the worst. I was bullied and picked on. Practically every day, I’d come home with fresh bruises.
Back in those days, the typical response was something like, ‘Well, you know, kids will be kids. What are you gonna do?’
So very little was done to stop it, and the few times teachers on the playground did try to intercede, it only made things worse, because as soon as we were out of sight of the teachers, I’d get pummeled because the bullies got caught.
Sam was the worst.
I don’t even know Sam’s last name. I probably did, way back in the day, but it’s now lost in the fog of too-distant memory.
Over the summer between fourth and fifth grade, I hit my growth spurt. Suffered leg cramps almost every night. I remember my mom walking up and down the hallway of our little house with me in the middle of the night and rubbing insane amounts of icy hot on my legs.
I grew more than a foot over that summer and worked on a farm, mostly slinging bales of hay. It was a struggle at first, but over time, the combination of the rampant growth and the addition of layers of muscle made it easier. I didn’t really notice the change until school started back.
On day one, just after lunch on the playground, Sam approached me, but something was weird. He seemed little. Tiny, really. I was kinda taken aback. Why had I been afraid of this little mouse?
Sam apparently did not get the memo that things had changed. He informed me that over the summer, he had ‘learned karate,’ and bragged he was going to show all his friends what he had learned. He came forward and tried to kick me. I caught his foot and pushed.
He toppled over and landed on his butt, with his friends laughing at him. This ticked him off.
He got back up and charged me. I put my palm in his face and kept him at bay. When he threatened to wiggle away and come at me, I swept his leg and he went down on his butt again. Now his friends were really laughing.
He got up again and rushed me. I grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and one thigh (well, mostly the material of his jeans on his thigh), and carried him over to the dumpster behind the cafeteria. He wasn’t really much heavier than a bale of hay, so when I got to the little dumpster, I tossed him into it. I didn’t know the cafeteria ladies had already dumped out the leftover spaghetti. Didn’t learn that fact until Sam stood up covered in it and bawled his eyes out.
Now everyone was laughing, including the teachers who knew the history between him and me.
I didn’t get in trouble, and Sam never so much as crossed my path again. Not that I was there for much longer anyway. Two months into school starting back, we moved again.
From there, there were still problems with bullies, but one thing was certain. They never came at me one on one. It was always a ‘pack’ kind of thing.”
The Arrest Part One
“In junior high/high school I was 5′7″ and around 130 pounds. I was picked on by the jocks because I was smaller in stature. One guy, in particular, was a complete prick to anyone who was not a part of his inner circle. Let’s call him, ‘Terry.’
Terry was a star wrestler, and football player, who loved to fight. He was constantly being suspended or getting detention and did not care. The guy was a menace. He would slap you on the back of the head, trip you, knock books out of your hand, and dare you to say or do something. Some tried and got their butts kicked. He made life miserable for many of us.
After I graduated high school, I enlisted in the US Army. I went to Fort Benning, Georgia. After my enlistment, I started college and majored in Criminal Justice – Forensics. A few years later I joined the police department and eventually became a C.S.I.
On a side note, my police department is one of the busiest in the country (per capita). It is always in the top 10 for violent crime.
While on duty, a call went out about a suspect fleeing on foot, after being seen in one of the ‘Section 8’ areas. Otherwise known as government housing – The Projects. He was a known dealer and had several outstanding warrants on him. Patrol officers eventually cornered him under a house. He refused to come out, so the officers called for a K9 unit. I was monitoring the radio traffic, and when I heard that the suspect was Terry, I headed to the scene.
I pulled up, and walked over to the scene supervisor and told him I knew the suspect from high school. I asked if I could try and persuade Terry to come out before the dog was sent in. He said yes, so I went to the house, kneeled down beside the foundation, and started speaking to Terry.
I told him who I was and he remembered me. After a couple of minutes of going back and forth, he agreed to come out if I was the only one that would put my hands on him, and place him under arrest. I assured him no one else would touch him. He crawled out, looked up, and saw no less than 12 officers ready to beat on him. There was massive fear in his eyes. The officers present had several patrol weapons, a couple of Tasers, and the K9 dog was barking. However, the only one who touched him was me. I helped him up off the ground, put the cuffs on him, and led him to a patrol vehicle. No one else laid a hand on him.
As I was placing him in the back of the patrol vehicle, he said, ‘Thank you.’
He looked up at me and apologized for how he treated me in high school. He said he was fully expecting me to beat him, and when I didn’t, it surprised him.
All I told him was, ‘The choices we make in life define our character.’
That arrest gave me closure. I recently found out what happened to Terry.”
The Arrest Part Two
“Terry served just over six years in prison for those warrants.
He got out back in February of 2019 and has since tried to clean up his life. He opened a small barber shop and does volunteer work at a local youth center for troubled teens. He uses his life experiences and bad choices to try and help young people keep from making those same mistakes. How do I know all of this?
I am a patrol sergeant (supervisor) now, and we got a call to his barber shop on a burglar alarm. Though it was a false alarm due to some bad weather, we still did our due diligence and checked it out. Apparently, he has some type of phone app alert or something, because he showed up.
When he saw me, he broke down in tears. I am not going to lie, that show of emotion started tugging on my heartstrings. When he finally regained his composure, he came over and shook my hand.
He had so much sincerity in his voice when he said, ‘Chris. Sorry, Sergeant Finch, you changed my life and I can’t thank you enough!’
We sat in his shop and talked for a good half hour. He said that solitary moment when I told him ‘The choices we make in life define our character,’ stayed with him the entire time he was in prison.
He made up his mind at that moment how when he got out of prison, he was going to make it his life’s mission to make a positive influence on the young people of his community. That’s why he does volunteer work and tries to keep young people in school and out of trouble.
I had to leave at that point, but I gave him another handshake and even ‘bro-hugged’ him for the changes he made in his life. I gave him my card in case he ever needed anything from me or the PD.
As I was stepping out of the front door I heard him ask, ‘Can you ever forgive me for high school?’
It took every ounce of fiber in my being to not start crying like a little baby.
I had to pause for a second and choke back some tears in order to say to him, ‘I forgave you the moment I helped you up off the ground when you crawled out from under that house.'”
“His name was ‘AJ.’ He was in my P.E. (Physical Education) class in seventh grade.
AJ was a pretty big dude, and really an all-around terrible kid. He was in the ‘bump’ class, as we called it. I’m not sure where the name came from. It was a special ed class for kids with behavior issues or learning disabilities.
I’m not sure how many kids from that class actually had learning issues, but the vast majority of them definitely had behavior issues. They were always a bit of a mystery, as they were confined to a portable classroom in the back of the school while all the other kids were in normal classrooms in the main buildings. For a while, the dean’s office was also back there, but I’m not sure if that was related.
We always sat in four single file lines before the start of class on the basketball court. AJ was in the line to my right. The teacher always took his time getting class started, so that’s when AJ would get started on me. He’d call me names, throw random things my way, and generally make my life miserable.
I was a pretty timid kid and rarely fought back. I guess AJ picked up on that.
Now, a little background: All through my childhood, I played sports of all kinds in peewee leagues. Several seasons in soccer, football, and baseball. Even after school, I’d go to the YMCA for daycare and play there; pickup basketball, kickball, dodgeball, you name it. It was the only time in my life I’ve seen defined abs. I was in excellent shape.
AJ wasn’t. He did as little physical activity as possible and was quite overweight. He’d do whatever he could to get out of exercise, and the PE teacher would always get on to him about it.
I was probably in better shape than 95 percent of the school and shouldn’t have let anyone pick on me, but that just wasn’t my personality as a kid.
After several weeks of torture at the hands of AJ, I started to hate PE.
AJ had never actually physically hurt me in any way until one day. He had a broken pencil and threw it at me. The butt end hit me right in the center of my forehead, and it hurt. He, and the entire class, started laughing. I wasn’t laughing, and my pride was hurt. I snapped.
So I got up out of my place in line on the basketball court, ran over to AJ, who was still seated, and with momentum kicked him as hard as I could in the center of his back.
I was fuming, and as AJ got up he was nursing his back. I was ready to fight.
Then he just said, ‘Man, why you kick me in my back?’
A few moments later, the teacher came out of the locker room and I was busted. I was definitely getting suspended. He surely saw the whole thing.
‘All right, everyone, have a seat!’ He said.
And then he took attendance.
I never had any issues with AJ again.”
“There was a kid in my fourth grade who had been picking on me for about two years. It was a small school, and unless a new kid moved into the neighborhood, every year we had the same kids in class.
I was bullied and ridiculed by this kid, and finally, I had enough. I had tried to befriend him, I even lowered myself to laugh when he made fun of me. I hated myself after doing that. He had friends, I did not. Such was the life of my introverted self.
I talked about this to the one person who I knew would listen and offer me advice, my grandfather.
When I talked about it to him he would always ask me, ‘How do you feel about this?’
And every time I would feel angry and humiliated, but also frightened.
He told me one day my anger would overcome my fear, and I would know how to respond. He was partly right. On the day I responded I was still afraid, but I didn’t want to be angry at myself anymore.
So when the taunting on the playground began yet again, I shoved my tormenter as hard as I could. His audience was shocked, but they kept chanting his name and encouraging him to beat me up. However, a playground monitor broke us up and took us to the principal’s office.
I got it pretty well, but I did not cry. And I did not hate myself anymore. And though the bullying did not stop completely, it never reached the level it had before.
When my parents told my grandfather about my trouble at school, he put his arm around me and smiled. He told me I would remember this, and he was right. It happened in 1964.
Fast forward to 2004, and my old tormentor approached me while I was working a police detail at an outdoor concert. I had not seen him since I moved from the old neighborhood in 1966.
He made it sound like we were friends from the old neighborhood, asked about how long I had been with the police department, etc. My answers were short and to the point. I reminded him what a pain in the butt he had been when I was little.
He detected the wall between us, but amazingly still asked for my phone number in case he needed help someday. He took out his cell phone, ready to enter my phone number into it. I remembered all that had happened to me those many years ago.
I told him my number is 9-1-1 and walked away.
Maybe I could have been bigger about it, but I’m not sorry.”
“While I was studying for my second degree, I was working at a rather large pub in Northbridge, Perth that had a restaurant on the second floor. Anyway, I was working in the bar area of the restaurant one night, and one childhood bully, whom we will call ‘SC,’ turned up with his girlfriend.
We chatted politely before they were seated for dinner.
However, once they came up to pay the bill, SC went to the bathroom and his girlfriend asked me, ‘So, what was he like at school?’
Internally, the devil jumped out of his lounge chair and yelled loudly, ‘Let’s mess things ups,’ so I politely told the young lady that SC had bullied me through much of high school. I even gave her examples.
She thanked me for the information and they left together.
The next week, SC was back, but this time, alone. He was angry that I had said what I had said to his girlfriend. I later found out she was now an ex-girlfriend and at the time, she was a teacher.
I pointed out to him I had said nothing that wasn’t true and that I stood by what I said. He got angrier and was eventually thrown out by security.
The moral of the story: you never know when something you did is going to bite you in the arse again!”
A Famous Guy’s Reputation
“I had a chance to confront a childhood bully about twenty years ago, but it didn’t go as expected.
All throughout my ‘tweens’ and teen years, I, and several other kids on my street were bullied by a slightly older kid named ‘Jason.’ Despite his small size—or because of it—Jason was the biggest bully any of us had ever run across. He terrorized us, pushed us, sometimes karate kicked us to the ground, and was just a giant prick in general. Everyone was afraid of him, and everyone hated him.
Jason was a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do by the time he was twelve. He was incredibly skilled, super fast, and used his martial arts knowledge for evil. Even though he was only about 5′3″ at the time, he was intimidating to everyone.
About fifteen years later, when I was working a horrible job at a gas station, I saw him pull up in his rich kid car and come inside. In my head, I was going over things I would say to him and tried my best to build the confidence to say them. I knew he could still kick my butt but I didn’t care. I wasn’t afraid of him anymore.
Much to my surprise, he recognized me and smiled when he came to the counter. He must have known from the look on my face that I was recalling all of the terror he had put me through. He kind of chuckled and said something I wasn’t expecting.
He said, ‘Hey man, I’m really sorry for the way I treated you guys back then. I was a prick and I totally know that now. The problems were mine, and I fully admit to them.’
I was speechless but accepted his apology. Then we had a nice conversation for about ten minutes. We talked about everything we had done since those days. He was envious of my Army stories, and we showed pictures of our kids. He was really pleasant and had obviously undergone a major personality change.
Over the course of the next decade or so, I saw him again here and there. Every time, he was larger and more muscular, his face was more and more scared, and he was friendlier and friendlier.
I would later find out that he was actually an MMA/UFC fighter with several championship belts under his belt. That fighter’s name?
As of about two weeks ago, a current friend of Mr. Reinhardt got a little butthurt about me telling this story, claiming it was false and that bullying goes against Jason’s training.
It certainly does go against the training he received later on, which is what likely changed his attitude from a bully to a great person. Maybe things were going on in his life at the time. Who knows? The point of my relating this story was to illustrate how people can change.
If this story offended you in any way, I don’t give a flying hoot. It’s the truth, and I stand by the whole thing; every bit of it. Get over yourself.”