After giving things a little thought, I have decided to put the next group of bullies together. Obviously, the title of the post gives away what grade they were in at the very least. (Mark was in seventh grade at this time.) The thing about these eighth graders is that they bullied Mark both collectively and individually, so Mark didn’t stand a chance.
Why did the eighth graders bully Mark? The main reason was because he quit the (American) football team. In “He Was Weird,” Mark goes out for an makes the local football team. However, it is clear that he is in no way the best player on the team. He is so below the ability of the rest of his teammates, that the assistant coach informs him that the only reason he made the team was because he was a seventh grader. He also tells him that he won’t be getting into any games unless he improves, even if the team is winning 100-0! After a few games, it appears the prophecy is going to be true so Mark figures “what’s the point?” and quits the team. However, most of his former teammates, especially the eighth graders on the team, take exception to his departure.
At first, everyone demands to know why he quit the team and any reason Mark gives is immediately rejected. This goes on for a couple of weeks until the first physical incident when Mark tries out for the basketball team. While participating in a drill, the eighth graders trip him and shove him around. Worse, the coach seems to do nothing about it. After that it seems to be open season on him.
While I will go into individual bullying when I profile each eighth grader, the collective bullying still goes on too. The worst case is after the incident where Mark has his shorts pulled down by a substitute teacher. His grandfather and mother press charges against the teacher but the eighth graders beat him up in the playground with threats of doing worse should the teacher go to jail. He receives more gang bullying when he is falsely accused of taking legal action against the school when the school paper brands him gay and the editor, another eighth grader, is fired from his post. This time, not only does Mark receive the ritual punches and kicks, he has the further humiliation of it being filmed and posted onto social media. It is little wonder he snaps and names many of these as his intended targets.
While I will save individual slayings and wounding of eighth graders when I go through each individually, I can safely say that Mark gets most of them in his rampage. A good number are killed and several more are wounded, although one boy escapes because he is away at the time.
Let me say that I did go out for football and did quit the team and as a result, had a lot of hassle from the eighth graders. They did the things mentioned when I tried out for basketball but I can say that the branding and indecent assault were all part of my creativity. Still, there were several incidents when they would come and punch or push me around and bully me in general. Do I forgive them? Some would say that as a group, they were following the mob and maybe so. However, individually, they are accountable for their own doings and if any of them want to individually apologize, then my forgiveness will be forthcoming.
Next post: Mark Wolfe
To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437940478&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird