'Froshing' is bullying and it is not acceptable
I was touched by Jennifer Hall’s report on ‘Froshing’ at Solstice Park, or more accurately punched in the stomach. On June 8, 2007, I was fifteen years old, and I was attacked by three students I didn’t know from Garfield High School. They grabbed me and tried to put me in the trunk of a car; all in the name of “froshing”. I remember that day clearer than anything.
As freshmen we are told that this is some rite of passage that we have to put up with the bullying to be part of a friend group, and we receive the message that if we say something the authorities won’t take us seriously. Ms. Hall is right, it is bullying. Many freshmen feel they can’t come forward. Many are tortured, and then two years later put new freshmen through the same pain they themselves were put through. This is disgusting. Why should we allow anyone to check their morals at the door during school spirit days? I was lucky enough to escape and to have real friends and a good family that supported me through the difficult time. Many freshmen aren’t that lucky.
As I ran down the street away from school, I called my mom in hysterics. What else do you do? I have never wanted my mommy more in my life. I ran to the office and talked to school administrators. Later I decided to press charges and talked to the cops. There were security cameras in the building I was in. The authorities never checked the tapes. I learned who two of the three assailants were, they didn’t care. They told me they would do nothing until I learned who the third assailant was.
As I read Ms. Hall’s article, it all came back. I couldn’t help but feel just as scared as I was that day. Just as helpless. I had no idea what they might do to me. I could have been beaten, sexually assaulted, and left somewhere with no way to get home. That possibility was as frightening, or more frightening, than having to fight off the assailants. No one should ever have to experience that kind of feeling and I am greatly disturbed by the fact that despite my efforts, students, parents, administrators and the Seattle Police Department still fail to respond to this issue. In that moment I would have done anything to protect myself. If I were a student who carried a gun, I would have used it, and that scares me. How can we, as a community, live with ourselves if we do nothing? Doing nothing IS to do something. It is to say that these assaults can continue. People are getting hurt. How can we, as a community, not stand up and protect our students? No type of bullying is acceptable, especially in the name of school spirit.