M2 and I have a lot of meaningful discussions, which is something I really enjoy about our relationship. I haven’t found myself able to do this with any other parent, and M2 and I talk pretty freely with each other. A lot of meaningful discussions we have happen to be about the public school systems in Anne Arundel County, where she happens to work. Her words are a fight that I carry with me whenever the subject of schools are brought up, along with my own experiences in the system.

Recently, we were discussing how fights can no longer be physically broken up by teachers. Somehow, that lead to bullying and how some girl was suspended for pushing her best friend gently. Neither of them reported it because it was in good fun, but a nearby teacher saw and the girl got in trouble. When I asked why, M2 responded with, “We have all these new bullying rules in place.”

The next question I asked was the next thought I had. “Where were those rules when I was in high school?”

“It’s because of all the school shootings.”

I was appalled. So it takes guns to finally get the school system/government to take a stance against bullying? What about all the suicides and the almost suicides that happen all over the country? No, it takes violence to get their attention.

That hurt. I was bullied from grade 2 up until I graduated high school. Countless teachers, bus drivers, and guidance counselors knew, and yet, nothing was ever really done. It got so bad in 8th grade that my friend would go hide in the bathrooms and cry during our lunch breaks because we were sexually harassed that badly. And when I told the guidance counselor about it, her response was “Don’t sit there then.”

“So you’re saying that if I had come to school with a gun, then people would’ve listened to me?”

M2 nodded reluctantly.


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