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Topic: Bullies (08/09/04)
TITLE: Bigger Than Bullies
By Jean Boulmay
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7th grade was not what Billy had expected. Mr. and Mrs. Turner had decided to purchase a home on the other side of town, which meant Billy and his little sister, Susan, would be attending new schools. Susan was only in the 2nd grade, so it was no biggie for her, but Billy would be leaving friends he had known since kindergarten. This was the 3rd week of school, and Billy didn’t feel like he was going to fit in with this new group of kids. To top it all off, there was……….Kyle! “Why does he have to pick on me,” Billy thought to himself as he tried to choke down some pancakes. He just hated it when Kyle called him “carrot top”, or even worse; “here comes the kid with the orange hair.” Billy felt conspicuous enough in the new school, without the extra attention. “I’ll just have to deal with it, he thought, After all, I am in 7th grade, not Susan’s age anymore.”
Billy managed a few more bites of breakfast, then picked up the faded green baseball cap, and slapped it over his bright red hair. “See ya later,” he told him mom, as he slung his brand new backpack over his right shoulder. At least the backpack wouldn’t stand out; he had purposely chosen a drab brown bag to hold his books.
Susan rode the bus to her new school, but Billy walked the three blocks to his school. Since he was in no hurry to get to school, Billy began the walk at a very leisurely pace. He found himself almost stopped a couple of times, not because of the dread of arriving at school, but because he was thinking about something his Sunday school teacher had told him. She said “God made us in his likeness,” he said softly to himself. She also said that “God likes me just the way I am, he continued, so, why do I care what Kyle says.”
The more Billy thought about his Sunday school teacher’s words, the more he thought that God must like red hair. Not everyone had red hair, so that made him kinda special. Just as he was feeling pretty good about life in general, he saw a group of kids mulling around the front of the school. “Hi Carrot Top”, he heard a voice ring out. Before he had time to think, he heard the sound of his own voice say “hi Kyle”. As he walked through the open door, he glanced in Kyle’s direction, and was surprised to see a deflated look on his face. Usually Billy would have turned red and stammered, but he had been so busy thinking about how much God must like red hair, that the simple response had just happened.
When Billy walked home from school that afternoon, he was still thinking about God accepting him just the way he was. His thoughts shifted, and he realized he was beginning to feel different about this new place. The kids weren’t really so bad, he kinda liked talking to Marty. Marty was in several of his classes, and was always making people laugh, even teachers. Kyle might not ever like him, but it didn’t matter so much now, he was beginning to make new friends. Besides, Marty didn’t seem to mind when people teased him about his unruly hair. He had a sprig of dark brown hair on the top of his head that stood straight up.
Billy went to bed that night thinking about all that had happened that day. Kyle hadn’t changed, but Billy had! He didn’t know just what he might have to deal with when it came to Kyle, but Billy knew he was not alone. He was making new friends, he had a supportive family, and best of all, he knew God loved him. While dealing with a problem of her own, he remembered his mother saying “If God is for me, who can be against me?” “Gonna put that in long-term memory”, he thought as he drifted off to sleep.