Nineteen Minutes – by Jodi Picoult (2007)

Nineteen Minutes

Peter and Josie had been close friends since they were in diapers. They understood each other perfectly. Peter was a small, sensitive boy who didn’t really fit in with the other boys, as he was bookish instead of athletic. From the day he entered school as a kindergartner, he was a target for bullies. As long as Peter had his friend Josie – his only friend – he was able to bear the taunting of the other kids. But by middle school, Josie had abandoned the friendship to become one of the cool kids. By high school, she was the steady girlfriend of the most aggressive bully.

At first, Peter reported the bullies. But the school’s attitude was that boys will be boys, and kids will always play pranks on each other. Telling someone actually made the situation worse, and Peter soon learned to just take the abuse and keep his mouth shut. But a simmering pot can only go so long before boiling over. There came a day when Peter carried guns to school and went on a shooting rampage. The story goes back and forth from present-day to different points of his childhood and adolescence.

Fortunately, this story was fictional. But for many kids, this is a scenario they encounter all the time. Why do some people feel the need to torment someone that they deem to be inferior? Why do others just pretend not to see the abuse? And why do so many adults continue to hold the opinion that teasing and bullying are just a natural part of childhood? There is nothing okay about it, and it can permanently damage the people that it is directed at. We’re all God’s children, and no one has the right to treat others as garbage.

Author: alwaysreading1

I'm just a person with an intense love for reading!

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