This I Believe

Toni - Centreville, Virginia
Entered on May 30, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I am a junior in High School and I am 17 years old. I believe that the Michael W. Kennedy shooting has affected me in a tremendous way. I think that schools worry so much about kids being in AP classes and what school is number one that things like this are over looked. When the shooting happened I looked at people and things around me differently. I see kids on my bus mock people and make fun of them all of the time. I use to sit in the back of the bus and pretend like it wasn’t any of my business. I think that because I’m a student most people are not as surprised by this. However I do worry when I see teachers react the same way some students do. I was once told that school is a place to feel safe in and to have fun not a place to fear. But what happens when telling someone just leads to more fear? Nevertheless as I noticed things happen more it began to make me think. The next thing I knew the shooting happened, it made me stop and think about how it is just as much the fault of the person who sits and watches as the people who bully. Now when I see people making fun of people on the bus or in the halls I stand up for them. Not only does it make me feel like a better person but also it’s amazing to see the look on a persons face when someone else stands up for them. No one deserves to be picked on or teased just as much as no one has the right to decide who is ugly and who is not. When I see someone that I can help or stand up for I do, I believe that if Michael Kennedy’s issues were noticed earlier that this could have been prevented and I hope that my standing up for people can help them and make them realize that there are people who care.