Bullying

I went to Kearny High School in San Diego. Things at home were tough for me because of my angry mom. At school I took Honors English from a kind, fun and loving woman. She was a breath of fresh air to me. I really enjoyed her class

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A few times I helped her take off her coat and hung it up. It was plain for all my classmates to see I really liked her .As the consequence of that I was widely disliked with many of my fellow schoolmates. I got the nickname K.A.wood. KA stood for Kiss Ass.

One day I was at gym class playing basketball. It was on an asphalt court with a high chain link fence around the courts. One of the school toughs named Gene was on the opposing team. After we had been playing for awhile Gene came after me to hit me.I did not want to fight because if anyone got into a fight on campus he was automatically expelled for three days. I thought that would look really bad if an expulsion appeared on my school record as I applied for college in the next few months. That was an especially true   because a scholarship would really help me because we were so poor.

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Gene swung at me. I just backed up and dodged the blow. He came after me again and I did the same thing. He was pretty clumsy so it was not hard to do. After he swung at me and I dodged a few times I was almost up against the  high chain link fence. I kept glancing at the coach watching us.  I expected he would step in and stop the fight.

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When I had no more room I hit Gene with a straight punch. That punch was made more powerful because I knew how to get my whole strength and the weight of my body into the blow.  It stopped him in his tracks and he quickly backed off.  The coach of the class then finally stepped in and  stopped the fight.The coach sent us both to the Vice Principal’s office. I was shocked that he did that. It was very obvious to me that I had done everything I could do avoid a fight. I finally swung because I wasn’t going to let Gene  endlessly swing on me.

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The Vice Principal was a good man. At one time he had been the Golden Glove welterweight champion in for the City of Chicago. He brought me into his office. Gene was left in the outer office. I explained the situation to the Vice Principal including my frustration with the non-action of the coach.We  talked for 15 or 20 minutes. Finally he said “I am not sure I am doing you a favor but I am not going to expel you”. Then he said “If anyone wants to fight defend yourself with everything you have”.

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Gene was later expelled. For that reason all of Gene’s friends in the school thug gang took it upon themselves to catch me after after school to beat me up.  For that reason I ended up missing 71 days of school my senior year.

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When I wanted to go back to school my Mom gave me a note that I was ill. No one from the school ever protested that I was missing too much school and my Mom never asked why I always wanted to stay home. When I did go to school I had to wait around the campus for several hours so I would not be caught by the gang.

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One day about that time I was at a drug store with my protective big brother David. Several gang members saw me there. I did not say anything to David but he sized up the situation neatly. When we were walking out of the store he walked with me right through the thugs and looked then in the eye. The thugs got his message and backed off.


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