The Bullied Student Who Persevered


Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

As we’re nearing the end of October, Bullying Prevention month also winds to a close. Sadly, incidents of bullying remain on the rise.

BLOG POST #166: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving middle school boys. (Helpful resources at the bottom)

Since the bullying, in this case, happened at the middle school level, here are some startling facts from the website about middle school bullying:

The most common types of bullying are verbal and social.

According to one large study, the following percentages of middle schools students had experienced these various types of bullying:

  • Name Calling (44.2 %)
  • Teasing (43.3 %)
  • Spreading rumors or lies (36.3%)
  • Pushing or shoving (32.4%)
  • Hitting, slapping, or kicking (29.2%)
  • Leaving out (28.5%)
  • Threatening (27.4%)
  • Stealing belongings (27.3%)
  • Sexual comments or gestures (23.7%)
  • E-mail or blogging (9.9%)

Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus.

According to one large study, the following percentages of middle schools students had experienced bullying in these various places at school:

  • Classroom (29.3%)
  • Hallway or lockers (29.0%)
  • Cafeteria (23.4%)
  • Gym or PE class (19.5%)
  • Bathroom (12.2%)
  • Playground or recess (6.2%)

When you’re 12-years-old and in middle school writing a letter to the school administration about the bullying you’re enduring it’s a brave thing to do.

That’s precisely what this bullying victim did; as did his friend who was also being bullied and their parents wrote letters as well.

“I would like to let you know that the bullying has increased,” he wrote to his guidance counselor. “I would like to figure out some coping mechanisms to deal with these situations, and I would just like to put this on file so if something happens again, we can show that there was past bullying situations.”

In one example of how schools fail to stop bullying, the bullied student shared an incidence when a bully told him he owed him a dollar. The victim went to his guidance counselor and told him, and asked, “What do I do?” The guidance counselor gave him a dollar and said, “Give it to him.”

The bully sucker punched the victim in his abdomen dropping him to his knees. Two days later, it became evident the blow to his gut had caused serious complications—a blood clot in the main artery that supplies blood to the spine.

Paralyzed from the waist down, he’ll spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

The attack occurred even though he repeatedly asked school administrators for help.

Six years after the incident, without admitting guilt—the school district agreed to a $4.2 million settlement with the boy and his family. The boy’s family also settled a claim against the boy who attacked their son.

The bullying victim with his positive outlook on life has gone on to graduate cum laude from a communications school. An adult now, he works as a reporter, co-hosts a podcast, and has interned at Reuters, NASA, and a local television station.

His outlook on life is;

“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit

when there are footprints on the moon.”

Here’s an additional resource for parents: Bullying Guide from

What are your thoughts about this case? Do you think the school was rightly penalized? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!



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