Re Killing of Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson Principal Brian Betts on April 15 in Washington, D.C.:
Shaw Middle School was the school I was run out of by bullying years ago. I guess generation after generation, they improve on their bullying methods.
I left because they hurt me so much. In 1964, I ran from the ninth grade in order to save what the bullies had left me with - shame, fear, low self-esteem, loneliness. They got such a kick out of killing my soul. I wasn't the only one they hurt this way.
Brian Betts, without knowing it, offended someone. To make a statement, they killed him. They get their kicks hurting people, and they have to let someone know they did it to raise their status in their group.
I'm sitting here trying to see what Betts did when that knock came to his door, a man who wanted to believe in good children, saving children, helping children. That night through his eyes, he saw what the devil looks like, he saw what mad, mean, fear and death feel like.
Listen, people, those who killed him want children to know.
Some children can be so evil, so hurtful and so uncaring. Yet no one wanted to hear why I quit school in the ninth grade, because so many people think those who are being bullied should be able to just get over it. It's not that simple for some.
I remember the fun, the joy it gave those who loved to bully others. That group that seemed to be so powerful, such leaders, so popular.
But how bullies perfect their "talent" is the problem. It still hurts me that I allowed them to run me out of Shaw Middle School.
In hindsight I wish I had handled it better, but I didn't. I was lost and felt no one wanted to know what I was going through. This is how they get the hold on us, because those who are supposed to protect us don't feel bullying is as bad as we say.
I'm strong today, but back then it was another situation. I had to get away from them and live life for me.
The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.