At home, my voice was louder than everyone’s voice. I could talk my way out of trouble. I knew what to say and when to speak. But at school, I was different. I was shy and timid. I got bullied, and I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t tell anyone.
Everything changed when Linda came to my school. She was the shortest girl in my class. She didn’t talk unless she had to. Soon enough, the bullies started. One afternoon, they caught her and started making fun of her. But she didn’t cry. She stood tall and looked each of them straight in the eye. She walked away with her head held high.
The bullies were shocked. It wasn’t what they expected. They didn’t know what to do. The way Linda carried herself gave me courage. I told myself if she could do it, so could I. When I got home, I practised in front of a mirror. I reminded myself to be brave.
At first, it seemed the bullies had forgotten about me. Then they surrounded me during break. They called me names and laughed. I took a deep breath to stay calm. I stuck my chest out and told myself not to believe what they said about me because that is not who I am. I told them that if they couldn’t talk to me respectfully, they shouldn’t bother talking to me at all. I made it clear that if they didn’t leave me alone, I’d report them to an adult.
After that, the bullies stopped bothering me. I became more confident. I started speaking up in school. I made friends with Linda. When I told her that she’d inspired me to be bold, she smiled like it was nothing.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a bad or hard situation. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Your voice is your greatest weapon. If you feel threatened or intimidated, tell a trusted adult immediately.
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