Dianne sat next to me in second grade. Her last name started with a G but I can’t remember it. She never looked you in the eye, rarely brushed her hair, and always sat alone. She concealed her bitten fingernails under hand-me-down sleeves and poked a hole in the end for her thumbs to stick out. I think of her every time I buy an expensive jogging shirt with a convenient “thumb hole for added warmth”. I have always wanted to find her because I need to tell her something.
Dianne was bullied in school.
It was the early 1970s so the tormenting lacked the mercilessness that today’s cyber-bullying provides, but she seemed unhappy and alone.
Today, I listen to the news, a continuous loop of bullying stories ending in arrests, controversy, and heart breaking suicides. I am frightened for the future of my young son.