If I'd been an inch lower, he would have been blinded. I still remember my feeling of liberation — that something was finally being done about the problem. So it continued. And naturally I was the one the school was harder on, because they teach that sticking up for yourself in any way is bad. They teach us to allow ourselves to be manipulated and hurt.
But then, in my darkest hours, the days where I'd spend my time considering the best way to end everything, my love of taking things apart to see how they worked led me to discover programming, a system of logic and creativity. I discovered programming mostly by accident. I was curious about how lots of things worked, and was fascinated by the big black box in the corner of our dining room.
Olympia Boy, 6, Brutally Beaten After Standing Up to Bullies for His Friend
Programming was a beacon of hope in a world dominated by sadness. It granted me the freedom to create and destroy, to craft worlds that were mine to manipulate. It also led me to discover some of the greatest friends I could ever imagine. People who would listen to me when I was down, offer advice, and treat me like a human being. An equal. Through this, I had an outlet, a way to channel my sadness, and that offered moments of true happiness when I built something new.
I also developed a passion for making things that still comes through to this day. The joy of taking something from start through to completion, then seeing other people use them on a daily basis, is magical. Programming also allowed me to learn more, as it provided a practical application for the theories of maths and physics.
The art of debugging taught me how to think about problems logically, rationally, and to persevere. It also taught me about teamwork and collaboration, allowing me to work with others in school without wanting to explode in anger.
They still bullied me, but it gave me the resolve to block that out and continue with the task at hand. Its logical ways clicked with me, and I loved it. I did still have dark times and bullying for many more years. The days were long and unforgiving, evenings peaceful but fleeting, nights long but sleepless. Some days I still wanted to end it. But the knowledge that people were there for me — people who didn't just sympathise and tell me that others would grow up soon — stopped me from ever harming myself, from ever making that leap, even though I faced more bad treatment in secondary school.
I was beaten both physically and emotionally almost daily by those around me. I remember waking up every morning, physically shaking at the thought of rising and going to school. Some days I couldn't move with fear. I'd pull the duvet over my head to block out the world and hope that when I moved it, it would be Saturday. Other times I would pretend to be sick just to stay away from it all.
I was once chased around the school and fields by someone wielding a stick, because I didn't agree with them. Nothing came of it. Nothing ever came of it. Schools cannot deal with the violence and troubles that happen under their noses. How can they?
They have no punishments that really mean anything to the ones that receive them, and the parents of such students do little to reinforce the message. I recall that, on a particularly bad day, I ran out of an art class and kept running until I got home, because I couldn't bear to stay at the school any longer. I was scared and upset, I didn't know what to do. So I went home and worked on my own things, to give my mind a challenge, and to distract me from the pain.
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I was the one everyone teased — because they could. I even began to hate my own name, Daniel Leslie Tomlinson, because whenever anyone remembered the middle bit, I'd be laughed at until they tired of it again. They didn't care that I was named after my granddad; they found it humorous because the female version of the name sounds the same. I was affected academically, and over the years slipped from being a high-scoring student to barely scraping by. This was due to missed time, and the fact that when I did attend I felt so anxious that I ceased to function.
Don't get me wrong; I didn't fail. I let myself down by getting lower marks than I was capable of. In my later school years, however, there were a couple of truly amazing teachers who helped me to get through my time in school. Their lessons and openness provided me an outlet whenever I needed it, and for that I shall always be thankful. I am now When people hear about my school days, they often ask: "Is there anything you would change about your past? Because even though I suffered for so many years, it shaped the person I am today.
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A human being who stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. A human being who tries to improve the lives of others with everything I do, and who helps anyone that needs it. Although things at school stayed tough, programming gave me a life outside it.
Bullying and Cyberbullying
I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a passion and like-minded people if you are being bullied. Connecting with others taught me that it wasn't my fault, that I wasn't to blame, and that there was a better future ahead. Over the 10 years that I have been coding, I have met amazing people from all walks of life. I've worked on some of the coolest ideas that I've ever seen, won awards and travelled all around the country to meet people and attend or speak at conferences.
It has increased my confidence around people, and allowed me to make some amazing friends. Software development has also given me a new life in a new place, doing a job that I love — building applications that people will be delighted to use every day. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds, new experiences that are yet to come, and new people that I'll get to meet.
I also now have the opportunity to aid others who have bullying problems, and will help anyone who needs it. Bullying needs to stop, both in schools and out. It happens around us every day, and far too many people have the wrong attitude towards it. That must change. If you have been affected by any of the same issues as Daniel, contact beatbullying.
Topics Technology The Observer. Bullying Programming Computing Schools features.
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- Girl, 13, dies after being beaten up by bullies outside school.
Reuse this content. Most popular. This is disturbing on so many levels. The bus driver, at the very least, needs to be fired. This falls under the responsibility of school administrators. They're responsible for the safety of their students instead of everything becoming some kind of punitive police matter after the fact. That kid was terrified. What kind of man would send him out into that? Piece of shit bus driver. I find the behavior of the bus driver appalling.
Not only did he force the boy off the bus, but he also did nothing while the bully attacked the poor kid. In a way, the boy was bullied twice - verbally by the adult bus driver and physically by the other boy. Are you going to continue to follow the story and report? Defense Maven Home News Locust Grove, OK — Police are investigating a video that went viral of a boy who begged and cried for the bus driver to let him off at his house instead of the bus stop so he wouldn't get beaten by a bully waiting outside.