When I was in the first grade, I hit a boy in the head with a SpongeBob umbrella and got a teacher into a shitload of trouble in the process.
Let me be clear about this: that boy was a bully. We used to ride the bus together and he would always go out of his way to make fun of EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING about me that he could think of.
Looking back, this entire thing is incredibly ridiculous, but when you’re seven and have less than a year living in the United States, things of this sort feel a lot worse than they actually are.
Anyways, that day, this boy had the nerve to slap me. We were about a minute away from school and he got up from his seat, went over to mine and slapped me. This was definitely shocking because it was the first time that he had resorted to using physical violence. I honestly don’t remember what went through my head at that point, but I do remember that he started laughing and that the group of boys he was with were laughing too. It’s always the laughter you remember when being bullied as a kid; you never forget it.
I didn’t cry, surprisingly enough. My head was filled with rage and I think I both did and didn’t process what had just happened. The bus came to a screeching halt and kids began getting off. I remember he pushed past me and ran towards the bus door, trying to get out first. He felt no remorse and if I hadn’t done anything that day, the pattern would have continued. Over and over and over and over again. Until what? Thank the Puppy Lord Jesus I’ll never know.
I grabbed my backpack and went after him. Just as he stepped off the bus, I raised my Spongebob umbrella high above my arms and whacked him across the head as hard as I motherfucking could. I heard a loud wailing sound and next thing I knew, my music teacher had grabbed me by the arm and was escorting me inside.
To this day, I still remember the look of fear and surprise in his eyes. He was so shocked and confused about what had just transpired that all he could do was cry. I think he was a little afraid at that point, because he didn’t want to look at me. Was it out of embarrassment? Did he know that I had hit him because he’d slapped me? I’ll never know. A teacher was comforting him and that’s the last I ever saw of him.
I remember my music teacher pushing kids out of the way to take me upstairs to her room. When we got there, she yelled at me for about two minutes and told me to wait while they called the principal. A few minutes later, a teacher’s assistant came and escorted me downstairs to the main office. She asked me why I had hit him and I told her that it was because he had slapped me.
The boy was in the nurse’s office and when they asked him what had happened he had the nerve to DENY EVERYTHING. I told the T.A. to talk to other kids on the bus and they confirmed my story. Everyone kept telling me that what I had done was bad and that I was going to get in trouble. They did the usual “I’m going to call your mom” bullshit and they got angry when I said, “Yes please. Call her so she can come.” I have never been afraid of people's threats or blackmail attempts and that isn't about to change anytime soon.
They took me upstairs again to this “behavioral counselor” who was the literal embodiment of Ms. Trunchbull; except this decrepit witch had short blonde hair and wore the ugliest make-up you could imagine. Her lipstick was constantly on her yellow teeth, she sweated like a pig and always wore the ugliest New Balance sneakers. On a side note, why are those awful things in style? Seriously, who thought they were a good idea to bring into the forefront of street fashion?
Anyways, when she came in, she stood with her arms on her waist and yelled down at me for about ten minutes. I still remember her disgusting spit hitting my face and shoulders. BLAH! Fast-forward to an hour later and my mom gets there and she’s angry. ANGRY AS FUCK. She’s furious and she wants ANSWERS; answers from me. The people at the main office had tried to talk to her but she wasn’t having it. After a few minutes, they took her upstairs and when she found me in a dark room crying she went INSANE. She took me to the staircase and asked me what happened. When I told her, she turned into a DRAGON and she literally began roasting everything and everyone in her immediate vicinity.
She asked the administration why I was the one in trouble and not the boy. The school tried to explain to her that I had been the one to physically assault him (clearly forgetting that I had hit him BECAUSE he’d slapped me first) and that I was in the wrong. When the lady said that, my mom turned into the Lord of Darkness himself and began yelling. By the time she was done, everyone in the office looked like the witches after Luke gave them the poison meant for kids in The Witches; bald, confused and unable to process what was happening.
My mother then asked to speak to the principal and to my teacher. Both of them tried to wiggle their way out of the situation and it wasn’t until my mom threatened to sue the school and complain to the district office that they started to change their tune. She even threatened to call the police to file a harassment report against the school and the boy and that’s when they really decided that they didn’t want to push it.
On several occasions, my mom had spoken with my teacher and administration about this boy. I had gone to every single meeting with her and told them that he was bullying me. Time and time again, they did nothing; so one day, my mother sat me down and told me that if he bullied me again, I had her full and unconditional support to get back at him. She said that I would not get into trouble and that if the school tried to pull anything they’d be sorry.
My teacher’s face when she said that? You can only imagine. She looked terrified because she knew that we were right. She had failed to do anything to protect me despite repeated attempts from my mother to get her to do something. Fucking teachers man, I swear.
I remember that the kid’s mom came in and tried to get -me- suspended, but by then it was too late. -HE- ended up with a two-day suspension and I got a written warning (I think, I might not have gotten anything officially added to my record) if anything. Turn out (surprise! surprise!) I wasn’t the only kid he was bullying. The teacher who had manhandled me (not my music teacher, the behavioral counselor) got into trouble too for her unprofessional attitude and the way she handled the situation.
She quit about six months after because other parents complained about her terrible attitude and disgusting behavior. One time, she grabbed a kid by the wrist and shook him so hard he ended up with bruises. I honestly hope she’s retired and not working with students any more. She was awful and I hope someone sued her ass at some point.
The boy’s bus route was changed and I never saw him again. A few years later my mother ran into his mom at the laundromat and we found out that her son was a gang member and had been in and out of juvie. I still think about what would’ve happened had I not stood up to him. To this day, I am very grateful that I did.
Originally Published: February 25, 2020