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When we think about school bullies, we'd prefer to think of those exaggerated, cartoonish types we see in movies and television shows. It's more comfortable to keep that reality at arm's length.

But despite our best efforts to turn our heads, bullying is a very real piece of every school environment there is. It has been for years, and it still is, albeit now through the amplified means of social media and the internet.


A recent group of Redditors took a moment to acknowledge those realities.

This thread, however, was not written by the victims. These were the bullies themselves, the perpetrators who discovered just how brutal they'd been back in their school days.

They, more than anybody, would prefer to find a definition of "bully" that doesn't apply to their past actions.

But alas, we must honor reality.

Super_monkey_box asked, ""People who used to be school bullies, why were you so mean and what made you realize you were mean?"

Some former bullies described how subtle the transition from bystander to bully was. For them, bullying was the result of peer pressure, and even took on a protective nature.

Great Jokes, or Cruelty?

"Thought I was funny. Liked making people laugh at others expense. I never thought about their feelings until I was much older."

"Now I tell my kids every day before school to be kind and every ones friend, and to stand up for people. I want them to be good humans."

-- terrytneedstopee

Climbing Up An Ugly Ladder 

"I was bullied a lot at school. At summer camp, there were one or two others who had it worse than me, and it felt good to finally not be on the bottom rung."

"Didn't take me too long to see what I was doing, and I started to feel bad."

-- Black-Thirteen

A Tinged Past 

"I assisted in bullying so I wouldn't be bullied too. It's one of my biggest regrets in life. Such weakness" -- Zeliv

"Yeah at least 3/4 of the bullies in a 'pack of bullies' are just doing it because they're glad they're not the victim and they just haven't realized that no one should have to be the victim." -- JeromesDream

Others acknowledged that their own abusive behavior mirrored what they encountered at home and their private, family lives.

This was a common dynamic.

Coming Clean 

"One of my many bullies messaged me on FB about 15 years later to apologize and said she did it because her older brothers were mean to her."

"A lot of bullies are abused at home."

-- scaly_friends_4me

Passing the Baton 

"I was a bully in like 3rd-4th grades. And it was absolutely because my home life was sh**, so I visited that sh** on others. But then I knocked over a Kindergartner, making his nose bleed really bad and he started crying."

"Nothing snaps you out of being an asshole faster than hearing a little kid sobbing for his mommy."

-- TimedRevolver

Surveying Cause and Effect 

"I used to bully people for attention and got so hated by people around me that I finally tried to figure out why I had no friends and then it hit me that I was rude and annoying to everyone around me."

"Both my parents are alcoholics so they just ignored me constantly and the teachers would only give me their attention when I was bad, I just deeply wanted the adults around me to care."

"I'm now 19 and I have been going out of my way to be as kind to everyone as possible and I have moved out of my sh*tty parents house so I'm now the happiest I have been in my life, I'm also studying to become an allied health care professional."

"But the thought that I have hurt so many people's feelings and made them feel bad will always haunt me and I hope those people are doing well in their lives."

-- shut-the-fu**-up123

Confrontation Can Be Helpful 

"My brothers bullied me at home and my parents did nothing about it. I started thinking that it was how you show you like someone."

"People didn't see it that way and straight up told me I was a bad person and they're afraid of me. That made me understand my behaviour."

-- BlacklightJ

Finally, a few people used the thread as a platform to share their own views on bullying in general. Some were professionals, some unfortunately had direct experience.

They discussed what leads to and comes out of these actions.

A Biased List 

"I work in child safety and interview a lot of current and former bullies. You're probably not going to get honest answers out of the worst bullies."

"The people on the fringes, the ones who were bad but not awful, are going to reply. They can often reflect on it - they were abused at home, bullied by others, or just angry at the world for other reasons."

"The genuine bullies, the super cruel girls or boys almost never recognize how bad their bullying was. Either they were so deeply traumatized by other stuff that was going on (more intense violence at home) that their memories just aren't there, or worse, they don't think they were bullies. They are still bullies."

-- TheWaystone

Stopping the Cycle 

"I never realized it until years later multiple people told me what an a**hole I was and how hard I made life for them. When I started to look back I realized it and feel terrible. Still think about them most days and wish I wasn't that way."

"I am actually good friends with a lot of them now and they still don't let it slide. I guess the best I can do is to really preach how wrong it is to my kids and how people will forever remember how you treat them, even if you are a kid."

-- HotPaleontologist127

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

"Reading this thread, it seems there are no 'real bullies' in the world, only 'not a bully but I bullied' bullies." -- MHeraclea

"Yeah lots of cop out answers. I might be biased since I was bullied horribly in elementary school, and middle school as well. Elementary school was mostly being bullied on the bus, middle school was more emotional/gossip oriented bullying." -- jupiter_sunstone


So whether you were the bully or the bullied, take this thread as a reminder that if you have a hunch, you're probably right. It helps no one to downplay what happened back when you were young.

But you can learn from it all even now.

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Typically, I would write an intro about my own experiences with the weird kids at school, but I WAS the weird kid in school. Not in a bad way, more like a “I had a John Waters phase” when I was 16 and everyone knew it. So like, cool-weird. At least I hope so.

Schools aren’t always so lucky to have the cool kinds of weird kids though. The spectrum of weird extends even further than that, and can sometimes end up very disasterous.

U/Imaginary_East5786 asked: What was the weirdest thing the weird kid did at school?

​Let’s start with the grossest of the gross. Because why not.

Was it worth it?

peeing ralph wiggum GIF Giphy

He heard that you'd automatically get suspended if you peed your pants at school. He wanted to find out if it was true, peed his pants, got suspended.

Memoryduel

Scientific method:

> Observation: 'I've heard that by peeing your pants you will be suspended'

> Hypothesis: If I pee my pants I will be suspended

> Experiment: I peed my pants and I got suspended

> Conclusion: If I pee my pants I get suspended

Glez_fdezdavila_

Uhhh what was the intention here?

He got mad that he didn't understand how to play a game at lunchtime so he started hitting and punching the nearest person to him, who happened to be me. When I shoved him away and asked him what the hell was he doing, he whipped his unit.out, charged at me and when I shoved him away from me again he started crying and ran away with his member still sticking out.

Kurtles12

​Next ones up are the lowkey (or even highkey) disturbing stories. These weird kids can get a little scary.

Boom theret.

At my middle school, someone decided to get a little attention with a good old fashioned bomb threat. Except they thought that a bomb threat meant literally writing "bomb threat" somewhere. Worse yet, they misspelled the f*ck out of it, and wrote "boom theret."

So we had to go on a brief, very awkward lockdown while the police checked the perimeter for booms.

Angusthedangus

I hope there was no overlap in the columns.

Serial Killer Halloween GIF by GIPHY CAM Giphy

She wrote a list of all the girls and boys she wanted to kiss and murder and then casually passed it out on the playground.

Fun-Acadia-8735

2 separate lists or just the 1?

OppositeYouth

Same list 2 columns lol.

Fun-Acadia-8735

Holy crap.

Had the weird kid in high school ask the teacher to use the bathroom. She said no and this dude legit stabbed his hand with a pencil. Went all the way through then asked if he could now...sh*t was wild.

This was Pearl High School in Mississippi. This was the school Luke Woodham shot and killed his girlfriend and her friend at the school. This kid stabbed himself with the pencil about 2 months after that happened. This was late 1997.

Roberted1982

​Most of the time, however, the weird kids are pretty d*mn funny.

Ok, but this takes a lot of skill.

Had a kid nicknamed "cheeseburger" in the grade ahead of me in high school. He got his nickname because when it was time for his class to go to lunch, he snuck into the roof and crawled his way into the cafeteria, dropped down and proceeded to steal all the cheeseburger put out for lunch. Unfortunately they caught him in the act and sent him to the principal's office.

A year later he was caught stealing a teacher's computer, and in the process of being arrested he bit the officers hand, getting him sent to juvi never to be heard of again.

Theonering1

Every school had the cat girl.

cat dragging GIF Giphy

The weird kid at my highschool tied a string around his pencil case and pulled out around the halls pretending it was a dog. He still lives in my hometown. I think unemployed.

Oh also weird girl in middle school acted like a cat. She would meow and hiss at people, lick the water fountain and rub her body on the teacher's legs. In 8th grade. I have no idea where she ended up.

SendmePMsofyourBMs

Mood.

Weird kid in elementary was a self proclaimed alien. Once, while waiting for the bus, she told me "On my planet we eat people like you" and proceeded to bite me. We later became friends in high school and she used to give me massages during lunch break in the quad. Just realized now she was likely tenderizing me.

Iheartrevolution

I was exactly this kind of weird.

He didn't say much, but if asked, he would go to the front of the class and perform Tip-Toe Through the Tulips with all of the emotion and volume of Tiny Tim, holding nothing back.

The last I heard, he became an energy trader, made a ton of money and married well.

10per

I can definitely relate to that last one. In middle school, my English teacher would let me go to the front of the class and perform monologues or songs from Broadway musicals. Weird, but that’s what happens when schools cut funding for the arts and the theatre kids have no outlet.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I say let your freak flag fly, man

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