Who will walk out?
Jenna clasped her sweaty palmed hands together to keep them from shaking. She felt a bit nauseous. She thought she heard footsteps behind her. A sudden image of the principal grabbing her arm and leading her back into the school flashed through her mind. What would her parents say?
“Jenna look!” Whispered Mary urgently.
“I can’t!” Said Jenna.
“There is at least 50 people walking this way!” Said Mary.
“Alright Mr. Washburn!” Yelled Kevin.
Jenna turned around to see about a dozen people standing behind her and a bunch more streaming out of the back doors of the school. Mr. Washburn was in the midst of the group. “OMG!” Said Jenna.
More and more students were walking out. Jenna didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Katie put her arm around Jenna and said, “Look what you did, my friend.”
Someone grabbed Jenna’s hand. She turned to see Mira with a huge grin on her face.
“Great job, Jenna,” Mira said.
“Jenna, I think the whole school is joining us,” Katie said excitedly.
When the field was full of hundreds of students and a number of teachers, Mr. Washburn handed Jenna a megaphone! Jenna’s friends urged her to stand up on the bleachers.
Jenna climbed up on the bleachers, scared out of her mind. She saw the Principal walk out with some other teachers! Her mouth was dry. She gulped.
Mr. Washburn smiled and said, “You have their attention. Tell them what you want.”
‘At the moment, I want to go home,’ Jenna thought to herself. ‘You can do this.’
A shaky hand lifted up the megaphone to her mouth. “Thank you all for coming,” Jenna said. “I know some of you just wanted to get out of class for a while, but I hope you will listen.” She heard some laughter from the crowd.
“I was told that bullying is not a problem at our school. Raise your hand if you have ever been bullied since becoming a student here, or have seen someone else being bullied.” Jenna asked.
Just about every hand raised up toward the sky.
“Just as I thought. We all know there is bullying going on in our school,” said Jenna. “Why? Why do we let this go on? No one deserves to be bullied! No one here is any better than anyone else. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if you are popular, a book worm, a computer nerd, a sports nut, and so on. Why we have labels, I don’t know. We are all important. We all have different interests. You don’t have to like everyone, but you should be kind to everyone.”
Jenna told them all about the new B.U.L.L.Y club and blog she and her friends started and how they wanted to hold meetings at school to bring awareness and to help students who have to deal with being bullied every day. She looked directly toward the principal bravely as she explained that their school should listen to students and have zero tolerance for bullying. She told them that she felt if they could all work together they could put an end to bullying in their school.
“No one deserves to be bullied! We all deserve to walk safely through the halls of our school. We are here to learn and to hopefully make friends. So what do you say? Can we do it?” The crowd cheered and whistled. “Thank you,” Jenna said and then climbed back down the bleachers.
Freddy patted her on the back and Kevin fist-bumped with her. A group of girls from her tennis team started chanting “No more bullying! No more bullying!” Pretty soon the majority of the student body was chanting along. Jenna noticed the principal having a very animated discussion with some of the other teachers and Miss Mackey. He didn’t exactly seem angry though. Miss Atkins was speaking now. Jenna hoped the school counselor could talk some sense into him. She was trying to figure out what the principal was saying when a girl tapped on her shoulder. It was Laura from her science class.
“I loved what you said,” Laura said to Jenna. “My friends and I would like to join your club. Can we?”
Jenna said, “Yes! Of course. Anyone can join. Are these your friends?” Jenna gestured to the three girls by Laura.
“Yeah. This is Betsy, Maia, and Tammy. I have some other friends that want to join too, though,” Laura said pointing over to a group of kids she recognized from the school chess team. They were clapping, and chanting along, and were obviously lacking when it came to rhythm. Luckily good rhythm was not required in her club. Other kids came over to talk to her. The biggest surprise was Cameron.
“Hey,” Cameron said. “So, ah… when and where does this club thing happen?”
“Um, right now over my garage two Saturdays a month at 11:00 A.M. We are hoping we can meet at school soon. I live by you if you want to come over next Saturday. I live….”
“Yeah, thanks. I know where you live,” Cameron said and walked away.
“That was weird,” whispered Mary to Jenna. “He’s kinda scary.”
“I bet he’s fine,” Jenna said quietly.
After an hour Principal Miller had the megaphone. “Students! May I have your attention,” his voice boomed across the field. “I am willing to add bully awareness to our school…” The crowd cheered. Principal Miller held his hand up for silence. “I will be meeting with some of our staff and the founders of this B.U.L.L.Y. Club. However, right now I must ask you all to get back to class. You will ‘Quietly’ go back to the classroom you left and gather all your belongings. Then head to your 7th period class!”
As the student body headed back into the school Principal Miller and Miss Mackey motioned for Jenna to join them.
“I’m guessing you are the leader of all this?” Asked Principal Miller.
“Yes sir,” Jenna said nervously.
“I will be setting up a meeting this week. I would like you and your friends here,” Principal Miller gestured to Katie and Mary, who Jenna hadn’t realized were there with her. “To bring in some of your ideas as to how the meetings will be run, and what else you would like to see happen. Then we will go from there. Now get back to class.”
“Excuse me, Principal Miller?” Asked Mary
“Yes?” Principal Miller asked.
“Will… will you be suspending the whole school?” Mary asked.
“No, just you three,” Principal Miller replied.
The three girls stood there in shock.
“Just kidding,” Principal Miller said and then let out this big booming laugh like he had just said the funniest thing ever. “There will be no suspensions for this,” he said and chuckled some more.
As the girls were able to breathe again, they each forced a bit of a laugh.
Miss Mackey smiled at them. The three girls hurried to get their backpacks and get to their 7th period class. They high-fived and squealed happily. Jenna could not believe the walk out had worked! She had thought the only way to get that many students outside during school hours was to pull the fire alarm.
Jenna could barely focus in her last class. As school ended she still could not believe they had changed Principal Miller’s mind. Jenna got a lot of high-fives, thumbs up, and kind words. Even a few exclamations of, “Hey, you’re that girl from the walk out!”
Jenna headed toward the bus.
“Jenna! Jenna!” Katie was yelling. Jenna turned to see her friend holding up her tennis racquet. “Tennis!”
Jenna blushed, as she realized there was tennis practice today. She ran to catch up with Katie. “Thank you, I totally forgot.”
“Don’t tell me you’re too cool for tennis now,” teased Katie.
“Never!” Said Jenna.
On the way home Jenna’s Mom got quite an earful of what had transpired that day thanks to her daughter. Katie made it all sound a bit more dramatic than it was.
“Jenna, why didn’t you tell me about the walk out?” Asked her mother.
“I guess I was afraid you wouldn’t let me do it or something,” admitted Jenna.
“Well, I’m proud of you for standing up for what you believe in,” said her mother. “Next time I hope you will talk to me about any big plans you have.”
“Except if it’s a surprise party for you, Mom,” said Steven.
“Well, yes. There are certain things you need to keep secret…” Jenna’s Mom admitted.
“Can I start a walk out at my school?” Asked Steven.
“What for?” Asked Jenna.
“Um… Ice cream!” Said Steven.
“Oh brother,” said Jenna as the girls laughed.
“That is not a good reason for a walk out,” said Jenna’s mother.
“Unless the school has banned ice cream,” said Katie.
“They could do that?” Asked Steven, wide eyed.
“I don’t think they would,” said Jenna.
“Phew!” Said Steven.
That night Mary talked Katie and Jenna into going to the school dance with her. She wouldn’t admit it, but the girls were positive Mary only wanted to go because Kevin was going to be there. It was just a regular dance and they only needed to bring in a can or two of donated food to get in, so they agreed. Jenna was expecting to hang out with a few friends by the snack table and maybe brave a few dances as a group; however, just fifteen minutes into the school dance, so many kids came up to Jenna telling her they loved her ideas, and that she was so brave or cool. She met some kids that said they’ve been bullied and would like to join the B.U.L.L.Y. Club. One girl even confessed to being a bully. She just wanted to fit in with the ‘too cool for school’ group. She had heard about the B.U.L.L.Y. Blog and checked it out, and felt very sorry for being a bully after she read what the victims go through and feel. She is now a new B.U.L.L.Y. Club member.
All three girls were asked to dance at least five or six times each. Most of Mary’s dances were with Kevin of course. Jenna and Katie agreed they made a cute couple. Katie’s father picked them up after the dance and was surprised they had such a good time. The girls had only been to a couple of school dances and usually left complaining about how boring and silly they are.
“Well Dad, it looks like Jenna here has made us suddenly popular,” Katie said.
“Whoa, don’t say that,” said Jenna. “I don’t think we want to be popular. We loathe the popular, remember?”
“Being popular does not mean we have to act better than others, or be mean,” said Mary.
“Yeah, we can be a new and improved popular,” suggested Katie.
“Well, let’s just stay ourselves always and see what happens,” said Jenna.
“Sounds good,” agreed Mary.
“Nothing wrong with being popular, girls,” started Katie’s Dad. “Why when I was a young lad I was captain of the football team and boy did we have some great times....”
“Dad!” Said Katie acting embarrassed. “Please we don’t need to hear you relive your youth for the thousandth time!”
Monday morning came all too quickly. Principal Miller had set up a meeting with Jenna, Katie, Mary and Mr. Washburn for next week. In English class Mr. Washburn told the girl’s that Principal Miller wants help setting up a plan of action. Starting with educating students on bullying and what to do if you are bullied. Then they can discuss what day and times per month the club can meet.
The girls already had some great ideas. They were going to check on how much, if anything, it might cost to have a local policeman or policewoman to come speak about bullying at a school assembly. Jenna thought it would be a good idea to have all students that are really ready and willing to help end bullying to pledge to be a new, kind and helpful B.U.L.L.Y member. They will have to agree to all the rules and sign a document or maybe a mural in the front hall. She was sure they could all come up with more ideas at the B.U.L.L.Y. Club meeting Saturday.
Toward the end of class Mr. Washburn asked Jenna to run a folder down stairs to Miss Stein for him. Jenna happily ran the errand. As she started down the stairs she heard some noises below. She walked down further being very quiet.
“You think you are so cool because you’re in this B.U.L.L.Y. Club now?” Said a mean girl’s voice. Jenna was sure it had to be Tara. “Well they can’t help you now, can they farm girl?”
“She lives on a farm?” Laughed another.
“No, but she dresses like a farm girl, and she smells like one too,” said Tara.
“We should throw her into a pigpen. She will feel right at home,” said another voice.
“Let… me… goooo!” yelled a girl’s voice.
“Mira?” Called Jenna. She quickly covered her mouth realizing what she had just done.
“Who’s there?” Snapped Tara.
Jenna was about to try to change her voice to sound like a teacher but she was caught by one of the girls looking up the stairwell at her. “I see you! Jenna is it?”
Jenna reluctantly walked down the next set of stairs. “Let Mira go!” She demanded.
“Who’s going to make us? You?” Tara laughed.
“Miss Stein is expecting me,” said Jenna. “Mira is coming with me and you can all stay away from us.”
“Can we?” Said one of the girls.
“We appreciate the option, but we prefer to torture you both,” said Tara. “Your baloney club can’t help you Jenna.”
“Baloney club!” Laughed one of the girls. “Cause your club is a bunch of baloney!”
“Yeah, we all get it Eli. Girl’s!” Said Tara with an evil grin. “Get her!”

Keep Reading

Chapter 10

Officer Campanelli visits the school

Create an account

Create an account to get started. It’s free!

Sign up

or sign in with email below