By Sofia Jones
I went to an elite all girls private school filled with aggressive and exclusive girl groups. From 6th-10th grade, I was isolated and picked on; I endured name calling, food being thrown at me, and horrible chanting. Those years pushed me into a shell and made me feel alienated. It pushed me away, and into d.tech, searching for a new environment.
When I asked people if they had ever experienced bullying outside of d.tech, I got a resounding “Yes.” It astonished me how common bullying has become. Their experiences were similar to mine. Emotional bullying was a large theme. Here are some choice quotes from my interviews with d.tech students:
“People thought that I was gay”
“They called me a dumba** if I got the question wrong.”
“I was teased daily for being short and Jewish”
“I was chanted out of gym class ‘The party don’t start till she walks out.’ I ran out crying.”
“They would also post pictures that had me in it on their private Instagram that had 150+ followers. The captions would say something telling me to go back to the mental hospital, ‘fake b**ch’, etc”
These stories seemed like they were from the movies – so unrealistic. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that this had happened to all these people. Several of these students came to d.tech, partially because they’d been bullied. When I asked about the environment in d.tech I was told:
“I like d.tech so much. I’ve never been bullied here. I really couldn’t imagine that happening. I think the smallness of the school helps.”
“They’re a little rocky at the beginning, but they turn out really well in the end because everyone is coming from different places. I think that makes it easy to approach people. Everyone starts off a little vulnerable, and I think that’s a good thing, because you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You don’t really know anyone until you talk to them/get to know them,”
Of course there is room for improvement, but we have come a long way from where we began. We are the island of misfit toys, the freaks and the weirdos. We gather here because we are not afraid of our true colors. We are not afraid of acceptance.