When I was in school, I used to get tormented by the local thugs. I call them thugs because that is how they behaved. Like young, despicable, miscreants. It also happened on my own block, but not to the degree it did in school.
As I read stories about kids losing it and stabbing, shooting up their tormenters at schools, etc. I remember how close I came to this myself back in those days.
There was a period in high school where I got fed up with the torment. One day I decided that if any of these guys messed with me, I was going to chop them up with a meat cleaver. So, I took my mom’s kitchen butcher knife and put it inside my Dodge High School back pack. I put a razor blade in my mouth, and a Rambo knife inside my pants. If they messed with me on this day, I was going to jack them up!
I’m not a religious guy, but I can’t help but think that a higher force protected me – from myself on those days that I went to school with a bladed arsenal. My edged weapon of choice for the main bully was the meat cleaver. This dude was gonna get jacked up real bad.
I remember packing it up, and saying to myself, “If they mess with me today, I’m going to teach them a life lesson.” On those days, they bypassed me, they legit left me alone. Like I said, a higher power may have been looking out for me.
I feel terrible for the kids who deal with this stuff today. I find it utterly ridiculous that people act surprised, or unaware as to what happens in our Bronx schools. We can’t go to the bathroom, some of us can’t go to lunch, even walking to and from the bus or train is a dangerous endeavor. Inside the classroom is a bit safer, but not entirely. Teachers tend to mind their business out of fear of losing their jobs, and in some cases they fear getting shot and killed. It’s real out there.
I will say this for the parents out there, while this is happening to us, we are stubborn and angry. Don’t expect that we will come to you, mom or dad for help. We feel that we have to deal with it ourselves, otherwise we really are weak.
As parents, we have to be vigilant, observe, and ask them about these things. Tell them that there is nothing wrong with speaking to us about it, let them know that you have their back. Understand that they may and probably will resist, but simply asking, this may prevent a tragedy like the recent Bronx school stabbing. Take it from a guy who was there, and came very close to being one of those kids to lose it back in the 80s and 90s.
Growing Up Bronx
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