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Bullying Long-term harm

As a sophomore Tré moved to a new high school. She became friends with Stasha and Tanya who were juniors. Stasha and Tanya joined a group called the B-Girls and turned on Tré.

Soon all the B-Girls rejected Tré. They didn't just ignore her, they pretended to bump her desk so her books fell to the floor and called her names.

"I started to believe that I must be fat, or I must be stupid, or I must be ugly because they were going out their way to tell me that," Tré says.

The bullying continued for two years. Tré coped with support from a friend, Simone, and from her grandmother. Finally, Stasha and Tanya graduated and were out of her life.

Tré will never forget what happened.

"The affects of bullying can really last a long, long time," she says. "I don't like getting too close to people and it's like I expect people to let me down. I don't know that I'll ever completely get over it, but I'm a work in progress and I'm definitely getting stronger and stronger everyday."

Jeremiah was bullied more than forty years ago. When he was in middle school, a group of guys spread rumors that he was gay.

One day in the hallway, a guy kicked him hard and told Jeremiah, "This is how the rest of your years in this school are going to be."

From 6th grade to 9th, Jeremiah was bullied every day. Eventually, he found new, loyal friends.

Now Jeremiah's a respected CEO of a successful company. "My life's better than I ever thought possible," he says, "But I'll never forget what happened."

Songs that were popular during those years still bring back feelings of shame, and he turns off the radio off.

"They say sometimes kids who are bullied go on to bully others," Jeremiah says. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't have to keep myself in check. Sometimes I still want revenge. But I don't want to be someone who hurts people.

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Other Issues
Bullying   Power and the powerless
Bullying   One boy's experience
Bullying   One girl's experience
Mental health   Preventing suicide
Sexual health   Self-respect

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Products
The Power of Girls: Inside and Out - DVD
Girls tell how friends, parents, or other caregivers helped them handle bullying, eating disorders, early sexual activity, and deep loss.
Words Can Work: When Talking About Bullying - Booklet
Young people and parents tell how they handle and discuss bullying.
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