Not In Our School promotes taking action for change to address bullying. Here is one woman who used her own bullying story to motivate others by writing two books for children that take a stand against bullying and promote kindness clubs similar to our Not In Our School clubs. Learn how to start a NIOS club on your campus here.
—Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director
By Amy Madge
When I was 11 years old and in the fifth grade, I just didn’t fit in. I was the tallest in my class, had curly hair and worst of all, I had repeated second grade. That made me one of the oldest kids in my class.
The other kids knew I had repeated a year, and I was constantly tormented because of that. No matter how hard I tried, I could not fit in. I found myself faking illness so I would not have to go to school. I was afraid to tell my folks for fear it would make it worse.
To make things even worse, I had a teacher tell me I was ugly in front of the whole class! As an adult woman today, I can tell you what clothes I was wearing that day and what I was doing at that exact moment.
From the moment she said, ”Do something with your hair, it is horrible,” my world crumbled. I couldn’t wait to get home, go to my room and cry.
I tried everything to straighten my hair, even begged my older sister to iron it. My mother kept asking me about my sudden need for straight hair, but I was scared to tell her. Finally toward the end of the school year, I told her.
She took me down to the school to meet with the principal. The principal was great, but told me there was little he could do since I did not come forward sooner.
As an adult now, I have turned my experience into a positive one, if you can call it that. With the encouragement of my late mother I have written and had published two anti-bullying children’s books.
I am a firm believer that if we start educating children at a young age, we can together, wipe out bullying.
Amy Madge grew up in Massachusetts. She now resides in Maine. She enjoys family, friends, writing, photography and time on the beach. She has written two children's books on kindness and ending bullying, Eggy the Egg and the L.B.N. Club and The Adventures of Kwun-Gee and Uba Dooba Boy.