This is an essay my 13 y/o son had to write. Its not exactly what they asked for, but more than appropriate - Im not making him change it. I read this and my heart both swelled and broke - I was proud that he sees things clearly....more so than I thought he did or even could. The reasons that I am upset will be clearly evident after reading this. Please note that this is my child. If any one is so ignorant as to make crappy remarks regarding this or him, re-read the essay and avoid the damn fight....for insult my child and a fight you WILL have. Nuff said. (you can make disparaging remarks regarding me, I dont much care about that ...... but not this or my kid) How to avoid a fight This has been a sort of hard paper for me to write. Not because I do not know how to avoid a fight with other people, but because I do and even though I used those things when I was at Handley nothing really worked. I was beat up all the time. I was called names that I am not allowed to say and then accused of saying words that I did not say. I was hit with things that left bruises on my body and cuts too. I always liked school before and I was really excited about going to a public school for the first time and making new friends. The first thing that someone said to me when I said hi my name is Adam is this: you are white trash and we are going to sweep the white trash out of Handley. I always made good grades until Handley. Now I am not saying that I am the perfect kid because I know that I am not that at all! I make wrong choices and I do annoying things like any kid. But I do not think that I was judged fairly in this. I do know though that I have to write this paper and I can accept that and I am going to do the very best that I can. I really really hope that for once, you consider my best enough. Fighting is about the stupidest thing that people can do. What makes it ever stupider is when fighting is over things like race or clothes and stuff like that. I do not know why all people of different colors cannot get along. I think it starts with a kids parents though and then the parents teach the kids how to act and believe even if they do not think that is what they are doing. Here is an example: Like smoking....if a kid sees his parent smoking then a kid is probably going to end up smoking too. Most kids do not see how much they get from their parents in that way. The first thing to do to avoid a fight is to walk away. I was told this by my mom. I was taught this. I even tried this. But when I tried and walked away I was jumped and called names that I am probably not allowed to write here. Its not that I care what other people that do not like me think of me but maybe I do a little. I mean, I AM a kid and I think that is normal for kids to care what the other kids think. They did not like me from the start though so I really did not have anything to lose. So I walked away many times. It didnt work so I ended up getting my butt kicked anyway. Another thing to do to avoid a fight is to get a teacher or another adult who is in charge. This is not always the easiest thing to do. Especially when you are jumped without warning and you are on the bottom of 3 or 5 kids that are bigger than you. That is what happened to me and I got into as much trouble as the kids that did the jumping! The teacher does not always see it and even if you yell they cant hear you a lot of the time I guess. Besides if you yell help, you are beat harder and more. Now if it is a different situation then yes you can tell a teacher or other adult. I did this. Almost every time I was told to try to get along. The times when the teacher did come and talk to the other kids then those other kids just waited for me until there was a time when a teacher was not looking or was not around and beat me up anyway. I guess this is still a good rule but I think it would be a better one if it worked better. I know the teachers have a hard job teaching us kids. We can be annoying! And it is a harder job on those teachers to teach when a lot of fighting is going on. So it is not fair to the teachers to have to be like referees and not teachers. Maybe if the rules were made a little bit differently then it would actually work for the kids and the teachers too. Another way to avoid a fight is to talk. My mom always says that talk stands for: Try A Little Kindness Sometimes that works and sometimes it does not. I have found that being called a pansy or weakling is not as bad as some of the other stuff that can happen. I have found that out the hard way. Sure I would like other kids to think good of me and I would have liked to have friends at Handley but I wish now that I would have just given up and taken the names that they called me and dealt with it. That would have been easier. But I guess all kids want to be liked and have friends and I think that it hurts you no matter what your age when no one likes you and you get picked on for things that are not your fault to begin with. Some other ways to avoid fighting: When some one insults you ignore the comment and walk away. If a group of people are angry at you walk toward an officer or security or teacher. If some one challenges you, for example one thing that was said to me is this: If you ain't afraid fight me right now in the bathroom. Do not accept the challenge then tell a higher authority and ask them to take care of it Avoid big crowds / mobs of people. Do not cheer on other people in fights or taunt people. Follow all school board rules regardless of anything. Never ever pick on or bully other people. Do things that you find relaxing be your self but dont misbehave by trying to be some one else. This produces stress and builds up anger, depression and anxiety which causes you to lash out at the world and people around you. Never bring a weapons or lethal objects that would be very unwise. And even if you do not think its a dangerous thing still check with the school first because you still might get in trouble for it . Another thing to leave at home is toys, electronics or anything of value. If you do not have these things then you cannot have them stolen or have a fight about them. So a good rule would be to just leave all belongings at home were they are safe. Never show ANY attitude to any one. If you have a great attitude towards every body then you will have more friends and a better relationship. Do not ever brag to any one either because that is VERY annoying. Talking about things like politics and religion is never a good idea either. That makes people very defensive Talking gossip or talking trash are not wise things to do either. Do not ever pass on the he said she said tales. If you do that then you will be the one that everyone is mad at, Do not encourage people to fight saying that they are not tough if they do not fight. . Always try to stay safe because even if you did not start anything you are sure to be the one getting in trouble. I know because this happened to me. Talk to peer mediators when you have a problem with other kids. If they do not answer you or believe you or help you, then you should go to principal. If the principal ignores your petition go to an officer or a parent. If any of these people ignore you which they shouldnt but sometimes school officials will, then I guess the only answer is for you to ignore the problem and try to forget about it and hope you dont get your butt kicked by the other kids who started the problem. Do not let any other people tell you who you are or who you are not but do not be violent about it because it will build anger in everyone involved and you (or someone else) will lash out at the world and others. Always stay with your friends and never let them down unless they ask you something ridiculous or violent or that would get you in trouble. People who just use you are not your friends and you should stay away from them or you will just get used to it and you will not be able to know what your doing any more. Its better to never let yourself down. Stay non violent!!!!! Do not ever allow yourself to get violent because of being frustrated at the people who are bullying you. Always stay clean - drugs and people who do them are just bad news and really stupid too. Just stay cool and you will be fine. If a person does the exact opposite of all that I have written then they are sure to be in trouble. Not following these steps would be unwise and dangerous and have a lot of consequences that you do not want, because these steps are to help keep a person safe, and pretty much keep you out of trouble too.