I’m known as The Nerd

Dear Suzie,
Well, i’ll start from the beginning. I am 12 years old and I am in a boarding environment. The problem is that I am in to things that the other guys aren’t. This gives them cause to name-call and exclude me constantly. I am known as It, The nerd, Retard, The special man, and other horrible names. it gets too much. What do I do?

Nerd today, Bill Gates tomorrow. Don’t let it get to you and don’t compromise yourself because you should be yourself, whatever anyone else thinks, says or does. You might like to download and hang on your wall the Rules according to Charles Sykes, of which Rule No. 11 is; “Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.”

But you should also stop struggling with this on your own. Name calling is bullying, just as much as is being beaten up. Schools are under very strict guidelines to deal with and stop bullying whether it’s by hitting, shoving, or other physical actions or name calling, exclusion or other forms of emotional abuse. Speak to your parents and speak to a teacher.
Kidscape can offer help with bullying. You can access info online and suggest your school get in touch for advice on setting up a range of measures to tackle these problems if they haven’t already done so. Or go to Bullying Online or the NSPCC

But above all, recognise that it’s not about you being who you are. Which is why you shouldn’t give in and try to be different because the chances are doing so won’t make any difference anyway. Bullies bully because of who or what they are – usually, people who have problems of their own they’re trying to offload on you. Whoever is leading this may well have been bullied themselves, either in the past at school or in the present at home. They’re trying to get back the feeling of control they lost when being mistreated. Or, they really can’t see that a joke has got well out of hand. Sometimes just refusing to be upset, and challenging them by pointing out how cruel and stupid it is, can do the trick. And if your challenging them doesn’t help it’s the job of your teachers to stop it…or risk you suing them for vast amounts of money sometime in the future! Good luck!

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