Public Insight Network

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Dauphin County resident Michael Fisher grew into more determined person as result of childhood bullying

Written by Colette Clarke, Interactive Producer | Feb 27, 2013 7:54 AM

As part of our Pushed Around project, a number of people in central Pennsylvania have been telling us about their personal experience with bullying. We've received a number of stories from victims of bullying, those who have witnessed bullying and parents of victims.

Over the length of the project, we'll be sharing some of the insight we receive through your stories, on our website and during our public forum.

One goal of the Pushed Around project is to give others a feel for the true impact bullying can have on someone's life. We can't share all of the stories we receive, as grateful as we are for each one, but we will continue to post more of your stories here throughout the project.

Dauphin County resident Michael Fisher, 43, shared the following story about the bullying he endured in school:

"When I was younger I used to live down in Maryland. My family moved to PA, and I went to a school right around the border. When I was down in Maryland, I never knew of bullying or racism. But when I moved to PA, I learned all about it first hand. I have heavy Native American in me, so I was a bit darker than everyone else at the time at the school I went to and the town I lived in. And since the school I was going to was a little bit ahead of the school I went to before, I had some issues with some classes.

I was singled out. I was not very athletic and more of a book worm. The school I was in was heavy on farm boys and jocks. And, to be honest, it was hard. I was singled out not only by the jocks in school every single day, but I couldn't go to the store without folks staring at me or security guards following me. To offend me, I was called 'retard' or hit or put down for not getting the concept in school, not only from the kids but the teachers also. Many times I heard natives are only good as drunks or thieves. Every day was another day of this.

Since I was adopted, the hope of finding safety at home was low. My father worked hard, and my mother was not much help. So I had to deal with it. And as hard as it was, it made me angry.

Out of it, I was determined to prove everyone wrong. So with every insult I worked harder. Yes, I made many mistakes with the mistake of lashing back. But once I figured out that what does not kill me only makes me stronger, I excelled. I went from the whipping boy to someone who went to college and graduated in the top of my classes. And yes, I still deal with small mindedness, even today. But looking where they are and where I went to, I use my self pride knowing, if I place my mind to something, there is very little I cannot do."

Do you have a story to tell about bullying? Whether you’ve been bullied, you’ve been a bully, you’ve been close to someone who has been bullied or you’ve witnessed bullying, we want to hear about it. Please help inform our project by sharing your personal insights.

Share your experiences with bullying now.

Learn more about witf's Public Insight Network here.

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