Reblogged with permission from Youth Radio
Originally Posted by Youth Radio Editor on April 16, 2012 at 02:02pm

photo: trix0r/ BY-NC-SA

I’m Colton Gillum. I’m in the eighth grade.

I have blonde hair. I’m a blue eyed boy. I’m fairly tall. I’m 5’6”, maybe 5’5”. And I’ve been bullied.

Through middle school, I’ve learned you basically have to know who to mess with and who not to mess with. And to know that, you basically have to look around and see who is doing what. If someone is picking on a kid, you know ‘Oh, that guy’s a bully.’ Don’t mess with him.

What I’ve learned is how to maneuver between bullies. Every time someone bullies me in a hallway and they are coming after me, I just basically swivel through the crowd so they can’t see me anymore.

I was getting bullied one time in the seventh grade and this kid was running after me. So I went in a classroom and just hid there for like five minutes and the teacher gave me a pass to class.

I guess how I’m here today is the support from the program Changing Lives and my mother always telling me, “Just don’t go after him. He’s not important in your life. If he picks on you — not important. You just keep on going.”

I feel like people need to know what’s happening in middle schools. You get bullied and you don’t really tell anyone until the eighth grade. And you really can’t do anything about it. I want people to know that you have to tell someone what’s going on.

Make a friend before becoming a bully.

Colton Gillum, troupe member of the Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble. Photo by Theatre Action Project.

Join Theater Action Project for a conversation about bullying. Visit us at: http://theatreactionproject.org/Bully.html