I started writing this essay originally with a different view in mind. But when I went back to read it, it simply wasn’t what I wanted to say. My mother suggested I wait a few days and come back to it but I was itching too much to get this off my chest. I became restless and started surfing the web and went to my favorite authors website. Her name is SilverRaven Wolf (www.silverravenwolf.com) and read her article about when she was in Jr. High. That’s when I realized the difference, hers had emotion while mine was simply fact. So here’s my new version, and I hope you can all understand and realate…
First day of school, in a new school, at thirteen. I walk in self-consciously with my pentacle around my neck and new pair of sneakers on my feet. I look around the classroom nervously, noticing a few odd glances from some students. I shrug it off as just me being “the new kid.”
Few days pass, and I start to get the hang of things, even though I still can’t get that silly locker to open. That’s when it starts, the whispers in the back of the room, the way people would walk away when I approached, the fear in peoples eyes… I couldn’t figure out from what though. I did make best friends with one girl who really didn’t mind my opinions and we had (and still have) wonderful conversations.
After two weeks of dealing with this, I heard one of the cheerleaders behind me whisper loudly “look at the her… so full of herself… thinks she can come here with that disaster… wearing that star in the open like that…” Unfortunately I didn’t have any support, I couldn’t take it. The stress of being new, missing friends and family, and now this, I simply rose and ran. I never did figure out how but the Goddess must have led me to the room of on my favorite English teachers. She noticed me, asked someone to take over the class for her and came out in the hall.
I explained my situation and she said she would talk with the students. I asked what I should do if I was confronted and she said either come to her, or stand up for myself. Her courage became my courage, and somehow the next time it happened I was able to handle it. Until a few months later….
I went to the annual football game with my new best friend and some other friends I’d gotten to know. They knew about my beliefs and me but didn’t seem to mind. Matter of fact, they were interested. But all that aside, it was a slightly chilly night and absolutely beautiful with the stars in the sky. I prayed the weather would stay nice since I didn’t bring a coat.
On my way to the snack bar, I saw a few of the guys in class and cheerleaders who didn’t particularly like myself. I didn’t like the looks on their faces and was trying to find some other way to get there. I couldn’t so I started walking behind the bleachers to the other snack bar at the other end of the field. Halfway through I noticed them following me and I tried to move quicker. My best friend claims that she had looked down and noticed just as they started to surround me.
I was starting to panic, realizing no matter how well I could fight I didn’t stand a chance against several people, and the look in their eyes were sending fear through my body. One of the guys grabbed me by my neck and threw me against the chain link fence. Slowly I stood back up, with too much pride to do otherwise. I shook back my head and the guy grinned. “Going to be tough, huh witchy?” I just smiled slightly not answering. He punched me in the stomach but somehow I stayed standing and firm. I remember send prayers up to the Goddess not to let me out of her sight and for help to be on the way.
My best friend was most likely at the bottom of the bleachers by this time and finding the teacher that came by. Fortunately, one of my fellow students saw what was happening and him and his buddies came jogging over. He stated, “And just what is going on here?” The bully answered, “None of your business kid.” Somehow my fellow student delayed them long enough for my best friend to come with teachers and a police officer. Never once did I cry or relax till they were getting dragged off. I started sobbing after I had talked with the police officer and my best friend and several others gathered around me protectively. I’ve never felt that proud about anything. I could not believe how I had taken it and came out on top.
The story never made the news simply because they didn’t want another incident to occur to me. My teachers of course were informed and my friends never seemed to leave my side for the rest of the year. Also the teachers of my classes held an assembly of our team and explained about different religions. They had several kids, including myself, speak out about what it was like to be the minority and discriminating against.
Think this is the end of it? Nope, then I started high school. It was not as bad as middle school, because this time I had friends with me. My peers still seem to be a little unsure about my religions, but most don’t mind, they’re just curious. I’ve never had a situation like the one in middle school but now I know I can take it and keep going.
If you are wondering what to do to help educate your school, write up Frequently Asked Questions and answer them with your opinions. Also talk to your guidance councilors about what you can do to help. Suggest assemblies to talk about minorities, or a discussion group after school so you can talk about different philosophies and ideas.
Of course there are the everyday things you can do. If you hear someone saying a stereotype (i.e. All witches are evil and worship the devil), kindly correct them. If they don’t want to listen, don’t force them. You can’t force them to believe the truth, but you can state your stance on the subjects. I firmly believe it’s up to us to make the difference, us the young people, us who hold the future, it has to start with us. Prove we can rise to the occasion and show we are good, honest people with a real, legal, religion.
I must say this, as far as the Witch Wars go, they must not be carried on any longer. I did get into a disagreement with another Wiccan teen, but we worked through it without a public scene. Teens must realize that the normal stereotypes are worse at our age and we must not make them any worse. So please, let’s have peace between people.