LETTER TO THE EDITOR: I have not forgotten

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.


The Boulder, Colo., shooter was bullied in high school, this in no way excuses what he did, but as someone who was bullied to an extreme level in high school, I need to say this.

I have not forgotten. I still live with the trauma that was inflicted from those years and earlier years. I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. I would never respond to the taunts because the backlash was directed against me from both the student and administration levels.

After an entire school year of near-daily bullying, I would snap near the end of term and I spent as many days at the end of the year suspended as I did in class.

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People would say I snapped then, but this is not true, I reached the end of tolerance for taking it, moreover, the effects of bullying are like boiling water in a covered pot, the pressure builds. The Boulder shooter was bullied in high school and they described him as "snapping" without provocation, which negates what he and other bullying victims suffer when they are still in that same environment.


The shooter was wrong to take out his suffering on the people of Boulder and my heart is pained at the losses. I still, over 20 years after high school, remember my bullies, I have not forgiven them.

Being bullied made me nervous with crowds, it made me look for exits, places where I can limit anyone from coming at me and keep a wall to my back. Being bullied broke my humanity. The shooter was wrong, but someone broke his humanity long before he took up an assault rifle.

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