School and My Bully Experience

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Summary

Have You Or Someone You Know Ever Been Bullied? If “YES”, School and My Bully Experience, is the perfect read. “School and My Bully Experience”, a new book about combating bullying by author Frank Joseph Minichetti, blends delightful and entertaining stories with helpful tips for middle schoolers and young adults. In this tale 13-year-old Joseph Minnow, a good natured and timid boy, is picked on by two mean-spirited classmates Butch Barotti and Xavier Steele, alias Xman. He also has an unexpected bully—his eight-grade teacher, the dreaded Sister Superior, who has earned herself the nickname, “TNT.” Discover why! Just when Joseph thinks he’s escaped being bullied by graduating eighth grade, he faces new challenges in high school and a new wave of bullies. See why one bully has a happy ending, while another does not. Joseph experiences many firsts in high school, his first fight, (which has a surprise ending that leaves his friends and classmates in disbelief), his first dance, first class trip, first job, first girl/boy party, and more importantly to a young boy his first girlfriend and first kiss. “School and My Bully Experience” strikes the right balance of acknowledging bullying as a serious subject in the book’s good-humored stories. The quirky characteristics of the people that are part of Joseph’s journey will resonate with young readers going through a similar e

Genre:
Children / Other
Author:
frankminichetti
Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Sample

My First Bull Experience

In school, we were all afraid of this one boy. His name was BUTCH BAROTTI. Butch was the biggest boy in the eighth grade. He looked like he could play middle linebacker for the New York Giants. His father made him get a buzz cut (except for a few sprigs of hair standing straight up on the top of his head). He also wore a gold earring. He looked like a Marine in basic training. Butch had a mean disposition and he seemed angry all the time.

Butch took great pleasure in intimidating people and making you feel uncomfortable. At home, even his dog did not escape his bully antics. He would offer his dog food, but never let him eat it. He would grab the dog by the neck and choke it. He would constantly antagonize his dog. The dog was not the only

animal he tortured. What he did to his cat was even worse. He would grab the cat and throw it into the toilet bowl and attempt to flush it down the toilet. Fortunately, the cat was too big to actually get sucked down into the toilet. Butch wasn’t satisfied with only one flush; he would flush the toilet multiple times before letting the cat out. When Butch opened the lid, the cat would bolt out like a flash of lightning. Afterwards, when the cat saw Butch walking around the house, it would always run in the opposite direction. This should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of person he was. This type of behavior screams out “I’m a Bully!”

Butch Barotti

Before class, I was speaking with one of my friends (Theo) about Butch. Theo said, “Butch is not dipping with both oars.” I stared at Theo with a puzzled look on my face.

Theo said, “You know, the lights are on, but nobody’s home.”

It suddenly hit me,” Oh, you mean he’s a little crazy.”

Theo nodded. “Yes.”

Now that you know more about Butch, let’s get back to the classroom. For some reason, some boys would make fun of this one girl, Tracy Hall. She was super quiet and was kind of a loner. She was very smart, studied hard and never got into any trouble. Unfortunately, Tracy did not have any friends. At lunch, she would mostly sit by herself.

Apparently, Butch Barotti did not like her and always made fun of her. There was really no good reason for Butch not to like her, but it seems that if you’re a bully you do not need a reason.

Later I would learn that Butch always tried to justify his actions by making up some story as to why he would pick on someone; or should I say, “bully” someone. In Tracy’s case, the only thing Butch could pick on was Tracy’s frizzy hair. It was not really frizzy, Butch just made it up. So, Butch always teased her about her hair, which made Tracy very uncomfortable and really hurt her feelings.

One day after school, a group of boys followed Tracy home.

Tracy’s house was in the same direction as my house. Unfortunately for me, that day I walked home with the other boys. It was winter and there was snow on the ground. Butch and a few of the guys started to call Tracy names and began throwing snowballs at her. Tracy ran home crying. We saw Tracy’s mother open the door to let her in.

The next day at school, Butch, myself and the other guys were called into Sister Superior’s (head nun) office. We were all afraid because we thought Sister found out what happened with Tracy. Sister always seemed to find out when we did something wrong. Apparently, Tracy told her mother we were calling her names and throwing snowballs. Tracy’s mother called the school and told Sister Superior what happened. Panic stricken, immediately I told Sister I didn’t call Tracy names or throw any snowballs; however, it made no difference, since it seemed I was guilty by association.

Sister Superior was livid. She started screaming about our bad behavior. The color of her face morphed into a deep reddish hue, even the tips of her ears turned red. Her eyes looked like oversized ping pong balls that were about to pop out of her head, as if someone was choking her to death. She said we were disrespectful, mean-spirited and on and on she went. She yelled at us for what seemed like hours. By the time she was done, you would have thought we committed first-degree murder. When the yelling finally stopped, only one word stuck in my mind. Sister Superior called us “BULLIES.” I distinctly remember that word BULLY; something sounded so ominous about that word. I know I encountered other instances of bullying in my earlier grades, but this is the first time I’d been associated with bullies or heard the word directed at me.

Of course, there was punishment. Sister made all the boys involved turn our desks around and face the back of the classroom. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then had to write the entire religion book cover to cover. Sister wasn’t done, there was more. She contacted our parents and told them what had happened.

Later when I got home, I explained to my parents that I didn’t call Tracy names or throw snowballs, but somehow that didn’t matter. My father said, “Your mother and I agree with Sister. You were with the other boys and you must suffer the consequences.”

So, I received my second punishment. I could not watch television for a week.

Things quieted down for a while. I guess we were all scared about what had happened with Tracy.

About a month later, Butch was at it again. This time he started to bully people for money. His plan was to target kids walking to and from school. He would sneak up behind you trying to catch you off guard. He then started screaming at you. After scaring you half to death, he would get right in your face and demand money,

twenty-five cents to be exact. He said he needed the money to buy candy. I know

twenty-five cents seems like very little money today, but in 1965, you could buy a

lot of candy with it. Butch would continue to bully people this way. Nobody said

a word to Sister or his or her parents because we were all afraid that Butch would find out and try to hurt us.

Next, something happened that amazed and shocked me.

For the very first time, I witnessed a girl bully another girl.

It involved Katie Smith. Katie was one of the prettiest girls in school. Although she was pretty, she wasn’t conceited and was very quiet and shy. Some of the girls in class were jealous of Katie because of her good looks.

I remember that out of all the girls in class, Beth Johnson would bully Katie the most. Since there was nothing obviously wrong or different about Katie, Beth would spread lies and rumors about her. Beth told the other girls in her circle of friends that Katie’s father lost his job and that Katie was very poor and didn’t have enough money to buy lunch. Beth also said the only reason Katie is smart is that her uncle is a teacher and tutors Katie every day after school, so that’s the only reason she gets good grades. Beth kept saying this over and over, “The only reason Katie

does well in school is because she has a tutor.”

Oh, I just remembered. Since Beth talked so much, Beth’s father would often say to Beth’s girlfriends, “You know girls, Beth’s tongue was born two weeks before she was born. The girls just laughed. Anyway, back to the story.

Beth’s verbal abuse against Katie went on for weeks and weeks. Finally, one day Beth and her friends saw Katie walking home from school. Beth ran up to Katie and began teasing her again. This time she started to call her names, cruel and vicious names, names that were so bad I can’t even repeat them. Then, the unthinkable happened. Katie, this sweet, quiet, nice girl turned into a ruthless, scary fighting machine.

To the amazement of Beth’s friends, Katie was like the Tasmanian devil from the old Bugs Bunny cartoon; she was spinning, hitting, huffing and puffing. Beth’s girlfriends watched in utter shock. They couldn’t believe their eyes. For a moment they couldn’t breathe, their bodies were petrified with fear. Who would have ever thought this calm and gentle girl could react like this? Katie acted like a wild animal. This took Beth by complete surprise. Beth’s girlfriends then witnessed something they never ever expected to see. Beth, this seemingly invincible, bossy, all-powerful, afraid of nothing girl, started to cry. Beth had no idea what hit her; she had no defense against Katie. She did the only thing she could do—run away and run away fast.

After that day, Beth never again spoke to Katie. However, all of Beth’s friends who never spoke to Katie before began to talk to her. Another remarkable thing happened; Beth’s girlfriends were no longer in awe of Beth. Instead of spending all their time with Beth, one by one they were spending very little time with her. They all seemed to realize maybe Beth didn’t know everything and her opinion, especially

about people, is greatly flawed. They all began to think more on their own and found themselves less influenced by what Beth said or did. It seemed that Beth’s girlfriends learned a valuable lesson; unfortunately, the same could not be said for some of my other classmates, especially Butch and his gang of friends, which you will soon find out.

One day in school, Sister Superior made the following announcement:

“Children, I have great news. Today is a special day.”

This really got us all very excited. What could Sister be talking about? There we were, sitting in class at the edge of our seats anticipating her next words. She then said excitedly, “Today you will all receive an eighth grade class ring.” Sister did not stop there. Sister being Sister went on to educate us on the significance of the class ring. She said, “The class ring is very important. The ring is to commemorate your graduation from middle school. The ring makes a statement for all who look at it, that through hard work and determination you can achieve anything; in this case, graduation from eight grade. It signifies you are ready to move on to higher education where you can continue to achieve great things.”

We were all thinking, “Wow, does this little ring really mean all those things?” Sister continued and explained the history behind the class ring. She said, “The tradition of wearing class rings began in the year 1835, at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This is the school where students learn to be soldiers. The students at West Point were the first to wear a class ring. Many soldiers died in battle wearing their class ring. The soldier’s ring is similar to the class ring you will receive. Just like at West Point, our school ring exemplifies our school pride and unity among students.”

After school, I heard Butch talking with his friends about the ring. His voice dropping to a whisper said, “This ring is really cool and it makes us really cool. All the other kids in school will now look up to us more than ever. So guys, to be certain we have their respect, we must get the 7th grade boys to kiss our rings.” For some reason the guys in his little gang thought this was a great idea, so they began to plan

exactly how they were going to force the 7th graders to kiss their rings. Butch being Butch concocted a devilish plan. Each day Butch and his buddies would follow a different 7th grade boy walking home after school. When he or a group of his friends caught up with the boy, they would gang tackle him to the ground. Once on the ground they would not let him get up until he kissed their rings. Butch’s friends thought this was a brilliant idea.

The next day after school, Butch and his henchmen followed Jimmy Cahill home. Jimmy soon realized that Butch and his friends were chasing after him, so he started to run. Finally, Butch caught up with Jimmy and tackled him to the ground. Butch held Jimmy down until the other guys arrived. One guy held his arms while the other guy held his feet. Next, they forced Jimmy to kiss Butch’s ring. The boys switched places, holding down Jimmy until he kissed each boy’s ring. Finally, they let Jimmy up; he started crying and ran home. When Jimmy got home his mother saw he was very upset and asked him what happened. Jimmy was too ashamed to tell his mother what really happened and made up some other story. His mother believed him and Jimmy went to his room.

Butch and his gang of friends continued to do this to other boys. Finally, one boy told his mother and she called the school. When Sister found out, she was overcome with rage and disappointment. She punished the boys, hoping it would stop them from bullying people in the future. You might think by now Butch learned his lesson. As it turned out, Butch and his friends not only didn’t learn their lesson, they were just getting started with bullying people.

There was this one girl in school, Allison, who would get sick to her stomach when she felt pressured or when someone got her extremely upset. One day she

forgot to bring her homework to school. When Sister Superior found out, she asked

Allison why she didn’t have her homework?

Allison drew a deep sharp breath and replied, “I just forgot it.” This seemed like a perfectly good answer to me, but apparently not good enough for Sister. Sister, as usual, overreacted and started yelling at her, saying she was irresponsible and being irresponsible can lead to other bad habits. Sister’s voice got louder and louder as her verbal barrage continued. Finally, Allison couldn’t take it anymore. Overcome with emotion, her entire body began to quiver and shake; SUDDENLY, she started to vomit. She threw up all over her desk, clothes and the floor. The smell was awful; it was like tuna fish when you first open the can or when your mom makes egg salad. Whew!

Sister told Allison to go to the girl’s bathroom to clean up. She asked another girl to go help her.

Sister contacted the janitor, who cleaned up the mess. The janitor sprayed the area with a cleaning solution that smelled like mint, but unfortunately the smell made you nauseous.

After seeing what happened, Butch developed a hideous thought: It would be fun to make Allison throw up again. As fate would have it, Butch discovered Allison was getting new glasses after school. Butch thought he could upset Allison by

making fun of her glasses. Allison was now vulnerable and Butch was ready to seize the opportunity.

The next day, Allison came to school with her new glasses. All the students were lined up outside of school waiting for the bell to ring. Butch was ready to pounce into action. When Butch saw Allison, he began to bully her. The first thing he said was, “Hey, four eyes.” He didn’t stop there. He said her glasses made her look ugly. He continued to bully her. He said her glasses were way to big for her face and made her head look big.

Butch’s comments really hurt Allison’s feelings and she started to get teary-eyed. (Butch seemed to have a special talent to know how to deeply upset people). Butch was relentless with his verbal abuse and he continued to abuse her all day. He made fun of Allison at lunch, in the playground, hallways and even in the classroom when Sister wasn’t looking.

Finally, while on the playground, Allison couldn’t take it anymore. Her throat began to stiffen, like you feel when you are about to cry. She started to gag and felt woozy and nauseous like she was seasick, same as the time she got sick on her uncle’s boat. Powerless to stop herself, she began to vomit violently. She looked like a volcano erupting, but instead of lava, she began spewing vomit everywhere. It was disgusting. Allison wanted to crawl under a rock; she was so ashamed.

Sister Superior contacted Allison’s parents. Her mother came to school and picked her up.

The next day, Allison told her mother she didn’t feel well. She said she did not want to go to school. Her mother said it was okay to stay home and rest. The next day Allison told her mother she felt better, but was afraid to go to school. Her mother asked her why.

Allison said she was being bullied by one of her classmates. Her mother asked, “Who is the person bullying you.”

Immediately Allison said, “I can’t tell you. I don’t want to be a tattletale.”

Her mother said, “In this case, no one will accuse you of being a tattletale, because you are being bullied. We must put a stop to this or it will continue. Furthermore, by speaking up you may prevent someone else from being bullied.”

Allison understood what her mother was saying, but still refused to tell her the bully’s name. She was just too afraid of retaliation. She returned to school the next day, hoping that Butch would stop bullying her.

Regrettably, Butch continued to bully Allison for a long time. Allison just put up with it, said nothing and was often very sad, upset and sick to her stomach.

Eventually Butch moved on to bully someone else; however, not before causing Allison much pain and suffering.

It’s a shame Allison couldn’t find the courage to speak up. I know it’s difficult, especially for me, but it’s something we must all strive to do—say something.

One Saturday, a few of my friends came to my house to trade comic books. My friends and I loved to read comics and occasionally we would trade with each other. We enjoyed reading superhero comics. Our favorites were ---

v Superman

v Batman

v The Flash

v Green Lantern

v Spiderman

v Legion of Super Heroes

v Hawkman

v Jimmy Olsen

v Dr. Strange

v Justice League of America

v Wonder Woman

We were all in my room looking at comics when my mom peeked her head in and said, “Joseph, you have another friend who wants to trade comics.”

I was thinking, all my friends who trade comics are already here. Then, Butch, who was standing behind my mother, entered the room. I looked in horror as Butch came into my room. I closed my eyes for a moment; I thought I was having a bad dream. I was so infuriated that I clenched my fists with such extreme force I could hear my knuckles crack. I didn’t want him to stay, but I didn’t know how to get rid of him, so he joined us. This would turn out to be a big mistake.

We all noticed something different about Butch that day. He seemed to be friendlier, more polite. I said, “Butch, I didn’t know you liked to read comic books.”

“Oh, yeah,” Butch said. “I love to read comics. I brought some with me to trade.” We all looked at each other in disbelief. Is this really happening? Butch, the biggest bully in the school acting like a normal kid. He actually likes comics the same as we do.

The rest of the day went well. We had comics spread out all over my room. We all traded some comics, except for Butch. Curiously, Butch said he did not find any comics he wanted. We were surprised because there were a lot of comics from which to choose. Anyway, it was getting late and everyone went home.

That night, I noticed some of my comics were missing. When I told my mom, she said they must be somewhere in my room and I must have misplaced them. I began scouring the place. I looked everywhere. I knew exactly how many comic books I had and where I kept them. After completing my search, I was sure some were missing.

On Monday, while in class, I noticed Zack had two of the comics I was missing. I asked him where he got them. He said with a grin, “I bought them from Butch.” I then realized Butch stole my comic books. I thought, no wonder Butch was so nice at my house. He had an ulterior motive.

Butch was acting friendly and nice because he wanted to catch us off guard so he could steal comic books. He acted like one of those porch pirates. You know, the people that steal packages a deliveryman leaves on your porch or doorstep. How low can a person get? I was so mad that Butch actually stole from me. This was a new low, even for someone like Butch. I became even more angry with myself for being so trusting, allowing him to take advantage of me. It’s a terrible feeling when you realize someone took advantage of you.

I told my mother what happened. She asked if I was absolutely certain Butch stole my comics. I replied assuredly, “Yes, Mom. I’m absolutely certain.”

My mom believed me because she knew how careful I was with my comics and that I could be trusted.

My mother called Butch’s mom and told her what happened. Initially, Butch told his mother he didn’t steal the comics. However, later she noticed Butch had extra money lying on his desk. When she confronted Butch, he admitted he stole the comics.

Butch’s mom was very upset that Butch would do such a thing and forced him to buy new comics to replace the ones he stole. Later, Butch and his mom came over my house and she made him apologize. He handed me the comics and said he was sorry. His mom told us she was sorry for her son’s bad behavior and said Butch would be punished. Later that night, I heard my mom talking to my dad, explaining what had happened. Mom said, “I know Butch’s parents and they are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. How could their son be so bad? It doesn’t make any sense.”

I thought it might not make any sense, but it is what it is.

Butch was not only a bully, but a thief as well. Apparently, in some cases, being a bully can lead to criminal activity.

Well, we were back in class again. One of my friends from school was Laura, one of the nicest girls in school. She was very friendly and everyone liked her. Although you wouldn’t know it when first meeting her, Laura was the nervous type. Scratch that, she was the extremely nervous type. The littlest thing made her jittery. Laura’s personality was similar to that of Allison. Anxiety and a case of the jitters are bad traits for anyone who is a student in a class taught by Sister Superior.

Moreover, there was one thing that made Laura sad. She was self-conscious about her skin, as she had a very bad complexion.

One day in class, each of us had to stand up and read a chapter from our English book. Sister would ask questions to determine what we could remember. It was a part of reading and comprehension. When Laura finished her turn of reading, Sister began to ask her questions. Laura answered the first question. However, she struggled to answer the second. The third question, she didn’t know the answer to and started to get nervous. Sister continued to rapidly fire off questions. The more questions Laura couldn’t answer, the more distraught she became. Her teeth began to chatter uncontrollably, making a sound similar to one of those novelty wind-up chattering teeth. Her body began to rattle and shake from side to side, like a washing machine that went off-kilter. She had trouble catching her breath. Sister noticed Laura was getting extremely flustered. Instead of feeling sorry for her, Sister said with a stern and aggravated voice, “Laura, I see you are getting nervous and struggling to answer the questions, but this exercise is for your own good. You must get over your nervousness. You cannot go through life acting this way.”

By this time, the entire class felt sorry for Laura and we all began to grow increasingly uncomfortable as we watched her struggle to answer questions. Sister was relentless and as she furiously continued to fire off one question after another, Laura became more and more nervous, until finally, she could no longer respond. For a moment she stood motionless, as if time stood still.

Then, something terrible happened.

Laura started to pee uncontrollably. It sprayed all over her desk, clothes and the floor.

It looked like a small tsunami suddenly appeared.

We all looked on in horror as we witnessed what had happened. Laura burst into tears; she was an emotional mess. Sister Superior, showing little remorse, asked some of the other girls to take her to the bathroom. In the meantime, Sister called Laura’s parents, who picked her up and took her home. Sister called the janitor, who came quickly to clean up. He sprayed the area with that green liquid, like the one used when Allison threw up. Again, the liquid smelled like fermented mint. The stench was nauseating.

Butch and his friends realized that when Laura became extremely nervous, the results could be catastrophic. In their cruel way of thinking, they began to formulate ideas of how to upset her similar to the way they antagonized Allison. It didn’t take long to come up with a devious plot. Butch remembered Laura being extremely sensitive about her complexion. She had terrible acne covering much of her face and neck. Butch and his friends knew just what to do. They would all make fun of her bad skin. Butch carefully coordinated a cruel plan of attack. When the opportunity presented itself, Butch and his bully friends would all tease her unmercifully.

One day during lunch, Butch and his friends began to make fun of Laura. When the lunch monitors were not looking, they would call her names, terrible

names, names that would embarrass her. They called her pizza face, crater face, pimple face, acne head, guacamole face and on and on. The comments were cuttingly insensitive and cruel. Butch and his friends would make fun of her every chance they could. They bullied her for weeks on end. Finally, one day in the hallway, Butch forced her against the wall, stepped up close to her face and repeatedly called her every cruel name he could think of. He then said, “Laura, you are even uglier close up. Your face is so ugly no one wants to be your friend. You’re going to be lonely all your life. You make me sick just looking at you.”

This was the final straw. Laura could not take such verbal abuse any longer. All of a sudden, she began to pee all over the floor. It just happened. She couldn’t control herself. It sounded like Niagara Falls on a rainy day. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that loud, but you get my point. Butch, seeing what happened, immediately began laughing and ran into the classroom.

Laura continued to stand, stiff against the wall, frozen with shame. It looked like she was glued to the wall. As time passed, it seemed like someone would have to peel her off the wall like old scotch tape. After a while, one of the teachers saw her, knew something was wrong and brought her to the office. The janitor was summoned to clean the floor; with, you guessed it, that horrible smelling green liquid. The school contacted her parents and her mom brought a change of clothes to school.

Back in class, Butch bragged to his friends that he got Laura so upset she peed on the floor. When Sister Superior realized Butch was responsible for upsetting Laura, she yelled angrily, “What you did was shameful and disgraceful.”

Sister hollered louder than usual. She again punished Butch. He had to serve another two-day school suspension. Sister made him apologize to Laura, which he did only because he was forced to do so.

One of the smartest students in school was Preston White. One of the laziest students was Cosmo Rendone. Cosmo told everyone who would listen that he hated to do homework.

Before school started, while waiting for the first bell to ring, Cosmo came up to me and said, “Joseph, I really hate doing homework. It’s boring and it takes me away from reading comic books and watching TV.”

I said, “I don’t like to do homework either, but it’s just something we have to do. My mom told me there are things in life we don’t like to do, but we have to do them because it’s the right thing to do.”

Cosmo had this bewildered look on his face, like what kind of nonsense are you telling me. Cosmo appeared to be annoyed by my comment and walked away shaking his head.

Cosmo thought about his dilemma for a while and finally came up with the solution. Regrettably, it was a bad solution. He decided he would force someone to give him their homework so he could copy it.

We were on the playground when Cosmo approached Preston. Cosmo said, “Hey, Preston, I need to copy your homework.”

Without hesitation, Preston replied emphatically, “No. Absolutely not.” Preston’s refusal angered Cosmo and he became extremely agitated. He now began to threaten Preston. He said with an angry tone, “Preston, I tried to ask you nicely, but now you give me no choice. If you don’t let me copy your homework, I’m going to beat you to a pulp. To show you I mean business, let me give you a sample of what to expect.”

Cosmo then pushed Preston up against the fence. He pushed him so hard, the force of his body against the fence really hurt Preston. As Cosmo released Preston from his grip, he said with a menacing stare, “The next time I won’t be so gentle. You will see blood, your blood. So listen up, because this is what is going to happen. You are going to meet me in the playground every morning fifteen minutes before school starts.” Preston understood what Cosmo meant and walked away.

When Preston got home from school, he told his mom from now on he wants to go to school earlier than usual. His mom asked why. Preston said, “I’m going to meet my friends. We play football and basketball for a few minutes before school starts. The activity relaxes us for the long school day ahead.”

Preston’s mom said with a concerned voice, “Okay, but remember, this means you must get up at least fifteen minutes earlier.” At that moment, Preston realized

something. This was the first time he lied to his mother. Apparently, this is another bad by-product of being bullied; it sometimes leads to lying to your parents and others.

That Monday morning Preston got up early and went to school. When he arrived, he saw Cosmo waiting for him.

Reluctantly, Preston gave Cosmo his homework for Monday’s class and Cosmo copied it.

Once in the classroom, Cosmo gave the homework to Sister Superior. Sister had no idea it was really Preston’s work and not Cosmo’s.

This routine went on for weeks and was working perfectly until one day Cosmo made a crucial mistake.

It was Friday and Cosmo arrived with only five minutes left until the bell rings. Frantically, he began to copy Preston’s homework. He was under so much pressure due to time constraints, he inadvertently wrote Preston’s name at the top of the page. Realizing what he had done, Cosmo quickly erased Preston’s name and wrote his own name. When walking into school, Cosmo thought, “Thank God I erased Preston’s name and replaced it with my name. Otherwise, I would be in big

trouble.” When Cosmo arrived in class he handed his homework to Sister as usual.

After school, Sister began to review each student’s homework. When she looked at Cosmo’s homework she noticed the faint remains of someone else’s name. After careful examination, Sister determined the name was Preston White. When Sister would notice something that looked suspicious, she’d leap into action. In this case, her actions were like a bloodhound that uses only a faint scent to track down their prey. Remember, nothing gets past Sister Superior; she notices everything.

Next, Sister compared Cosmo’s homework against Preston’s. Discovering they both made the exact same mistakes, she quickly realized that Cosmo copied Preston’s homework. Rage and disappointment simultaneously raced through her body and soul. Copying someone else’s homework is cheating and cheating was one of Sister’s deadly sins. Officially, there are seven deadly sins; however, Sister had her own list.

The next day in class, Sister spoke to both Preston and Cosmo and they confessed. It didn’t take Sister long t~~~~~My First Bully Experience~~~~~

In school, we were all afraid of this one boy. His name was BUTCH BAROTTI. Butch was the biggest boy in the eighth grade. He looked like he could play middle linebacker for the New York Giants. His father made him get a buzz cut (except for a few sprigs of hair standing straight up on the top of his head). He also wore a gold earring. He looked like a Marine in basic training. Butch had a mean disposition and he seemed angry all the time.

Butch took great pleasure in intimidating people and making you feel uncomfortable. At home, even his dog did not escape his bully antics. He would offer his dog food, but never let him eat it. He would grab the dog by the neck and choke it. He would constantly antagonize his dog. The dog was not the only

animal he tortured. What he did to his cat was even worse. He would grab the cat and throw it into the toilet bowl and attempt to flush it down the toilet. Fortunately, the cat was too big to actually get sucked down into the toilet. Butch wasn’t satisfied with only one flush; he would flush the toilet multiple times before letting the cat out. When Butch opened the lid, the cat would bolt out like a flash of lightning. Afterwards, when the cat saw Butch walking around the house, it would always run in the opposite direction. This should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of person he was. This type of behavior screams out “I’m a Bully!”

Butch Barotti

Before class, I was speaking with one of my friends (Theo) about Butch. Theo said, “Butch is not dipping with both oars.” I stared at Theo with a puzzled look on my face.

Theo said, “You know, the lights are on, but nobody’s home.”

It suddenly hit me,” Oh, you mean he’s a little crazy.”

Theo nodded. “Yes.”

Now that you know more about Butch, let’s get back to the classroom. For some reason, some boys would make fun of this one girl, Tracy Hall. She was super quiet and was kind of a loner. She was very smart, studied hard and never got into any trouble. Unfortunately, Tracy did not have any friends. At lunch, she would mostly sit by herself.

Apparently, Butch Barotti did not like her and always made fun of her. There was really no good reason for Butch not to like her, but it seems that if you’re a bully you do not need a reason.

Later I would learn that Butch always tried to justify his actions by making up some story as to why he would pick on someone; or should I say, “bully” someone. In Tracy’s case, the only thing Butch could pick on was Tracy’s frizzy hair. It was not really frizzy, Butch just made it up. So, Butch always teased her about her hair, which made Tracy very uncomfortable and really hurt her feelings.

One day after school, a group of boys followed Tracy home.

Tracy’s house was in the same direction as my house. Unfortunately for me, that day I walked home with the other boys. It was winter and there was snow on the ground. Butch and a few of the guys started to call Tracy names and began throwing snowballs at her. Tracy ran home crying. We saw Tracy’s mother open the door to let her in.

The next day at school, Butch, myself and the other guys were called into Sister Superior’s (head nun) office. We were all afraid because we thought Sister found out what happened with Tracy. Sister always seemed to find out when we did something wrong. Apparently, Tracy told her mother we were calling her names and throwing snowballs. Tracy’s mother called the school and told Sister Superior what happened. Panic stricken, immediately I told Sister I didn’t call Tracy names or throw any snowballs; however, it made no difference, since it seemed I was guilty by association.

Sister Superior was livid. She started screaming about our bad behavior. The color of her face morphed into a deep reddish hue, even the tips of her ears turned red. Her eyes looked like oversized ping pong balls that were about to pop out of her head, as if someone was choking her to death. She said we were disrespectful, mean-spirited and on and on she went. She yelled at us for what seemed like hours. By the time she was done, you would have thought we committed first-degree murder. When the yelling finally stopped, only one word stuck in my mind. Sister Superior called us “BULLIES.” I distinctly remember that word BULLY; something sounded so ominous about that word. I know I encountered other instances of bullying in my earlier grades, but this is the first time I’d been associated with bullies or heard the word directed at me.

Of course, there was punishment. Sister made all the boys involved turn our desks around and face the back of the classroom. If that wasn’t bad enough, we then had to write the entire religion book cover to cover. Sister wasn’t done, there was more. She contacted our parents and told them what had happened.

Later when I got home, I explained to my parents that I didn’t call Tracy names or throw snowballs, but somehow that didn’t matter. My father said, “Your mother and I agree with Sister. You were with the other boys and you must suffer the consequences.”

So, I received my second punishment. I could not watch television for a week.

Things quieted down for a while. I guess we were all scared about what had happened with Tracy.

About a month later, Butch was at it again. This time he started to bully people for money. His plan was to target kids walking to and from school. He would sneak up behind you trying to catch you off guard. He then started screaming at you. After scaring you half to death, he would get right in your face and demand money,

twenty-five cents to be exact. He said he needed the money to buy candy. I know

twenty-five cents seems like very little money today, but in 1965, you could buy a

lot of candy with it. Butch would continue to bully people this way. Nobody said

a word to Sister or his or her parents because we were all afraid that Butch would find out and try to hurt us.

Next, something happened that amazed and shocked me.

For the very first time, I witnessed a girl bully another girl.

It involved Katie Smith. Katie was one of the prettiest girls in school. Although she was pretty, she wasn’t conceited and was very quiet and shy. Some of the girls in class were jealous of Katie because of her good looks.

I remember that out of all the girls in class, Beth Johnson would bully Katie the most. Since there was nothing obviously wrong or different about Katie, Beth would spread lies and rumors about her. Beth told the other girls in her circle of friends that Katie’s father lost his job and that Katie was very poor and didn’t have enough money to buy lunch. Beth also said the only reason Katie is smart is that her uncle is a teacher and tutors Katie every day after school, so that’s the only reason she gets good grades. Beth kept saying this over and over, “The only reason Katie

does well in school is because she has a tutor.”

Oh, I just remembered. Since Beth talked so much, Beth’s father would often say to Beth’s girlfriends, “You know girls, Beth’s tongue was born two weeks before she was born. The girls just laughed. Anyway, back to the story.

Beth’s verbal abuse against Katie went on for weeks and weeks. Finally, one day Beth and her friends saw Katie walking home from school. Beth ran up to Katie and began teasing her again. This time she started to call her names, cruel and vicious names, names that were so bad I can’t even repeat them. Then, the unthinkable happened. Katie, this sweet, quiet, nice girl turned into a ruthless, scary fighting machine.

To the amazement of Beth’s friends, Katie was like the Tasmanian devil from the old Bugs Bunny cartoon; she was spinning, hitting, huffing and puffing. Beth’s girlfriends watched in utter shock. They couldn’t believe their eyes. For a moment they couldn’t breathe, their bodies were petrified with fear. Who would have ever thought this calm and gentle girl could react like this? Katie acted like a wild animal. This took Beth by complete surprise. Beth’s girlfriends then witnessed something they never ever expected to see. Beth, this seemingly invincible, bossy, all-powerful, afraid of nothing girl, started to cry. Beth had no idea what hit her; she had no defense against Katie. She did the only thing she could do—run away and run away fast.

After that day, Beth never again spoke to Katie. However, all of Beth’s friends who never spoke to Katie before began to talk to her. Another remarkable thing happened; Beth’s girlfriends were no longer in awe of Beth. Instead of spending all their time with Beth, one by one they were spending very little time with her. They all seemed to realize maybe Beth didn’t know everything and her opinion, especially

about people, is greatly flawed. They all began to think more on their own and found themselves less influenced by what Beth said or did. It seemed that Beth’s girlfriends learned a valuable lesson; unfortunately, the same could not be said for some of my other classmates, especially Butch and his gang of friends, which you will soon find out.

One day in school, Sister Superior made the following announcement:

“Children, I have great news. Today is a special day.”

This really got us all very excited. What could Sister be talking about? There we were, sitting in class at the edge of our seats anticipating her next words. She then said excitedly, “Today you will all receive an eighth grade class ring.” Sister did not stop there. Sister being Sister went on to educate us on the significance of the class ring. She said, “The class ring is very important. The ring is to commemorate your graduation from middle school. The ring makes a statement for all who look at it, that through hard work and determination you can achieve anything; in this case, graduation from eight grade. It signifies you are ready to move on to higher education where you can continue to achieve great things.”

We were all thinking, “Wow, does this little ring really mean all those things?” Sister continued and explained the history behind the class ring. She said, “The tradition of wearing class rings began in the year 1835, at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This is the school where students learn to be soldiers. The students at West Point were the first to wear a class ring. Many soldiers died in battle wearing their class ring. The soldier’s ring is similar to the class ring you will receive. Just like at West Point, our school ring exemplifies our school pride and unity among students.”

After school, I heard Butch talking with his friends about the ring. His voice dropping to a whisper said, “This ring is really cool and it makes us really cool. All the other kids in school will now look up to us more than ever. So guys, to be certain we have their respect, we must get the 7th grade boys to kiss our rings.” For some reason the guys in his little gang thought this was a great idea, so they began to plan

exactly how they were going to force the 7th graders to kiss their rings. Butch being Butch concocted a devilish plan. Each day Butch and his buddies would follow a different 7th grade boy walking home after school. When he or a group of his friends caught up with the boy, they would gang tackle him to the ground. Once on the ground they would not let him get up until he kissed their rings. Butch’s friends thought this was a brilliant idea.

The next day after school, Butch and his henchmen followed Jimmy Cahill home. Jimmy soon realized that Butch and his friends were chasing after him, so he started to run. Finally, Butch caught up with Jimmy and tackled him to the ground. Butch held Jimmy down until the other guys arrived. One guy held his arms while the other guy held his feet. Next, they forced Jimmy to kiss Butch’s ring. The boys switched places, holding down Jimmy until he kissed each boy’s ring. Finally, they let Jimmy up; he started crying and ran home. When Jimmy got home his mother saw he was very upset and asked him what happened. Jimmy was too ashamed to tell his mother what really happened and made up some other story. His mother believed him and Jimmy went to his room.

Butch and his gang of friends continued to do this to other boys. Finally, one boy told his mother and she called the school. When Sister found out, she was overcome with rage and disappointment. She punished the boys, hoping it would stop them from bullying people in the future. You might think by now Butch learned his lesson. As it turned out, Butch and his friends not only didn’t learn their lesson, they were just getting started with bullying people.

There was this one girl in school, Allison, who would get sick to her stomach when she felt pressured or when someone got her extremely upset. One day she

forgot to bring her homework to school. When Sister Superior found out, she asked

Allison why she didn’t have her homework?

Allison drew a deep sharp breath and replied, “I just forgot it.” This seemed like a perfectly good answer to me, but apparently not good enough for Sister. Sister, as usual, overreacted and started yelling at her, saying she was irresponsible and being irresponsible can lead to other bad habits. Sister’s voice got louder and louder as her verbal barrage continued. Finally, Allison couldn’t take it anymore. Overcome with emotion, her entire body began to quiver and shake; SUDDENLY, she started to vomit. She threw up all over her desk, clothes and the floor. The smell was awful; it was like tuna fish when you first open the can or when your mom makes egg salad. Whew!

Sister told Allison to go to the girl’s bathroom to clean up. She asked another girl to go help her.

Sister contacted the janitor, who cleaned up the mess. The janitor sprayed the area with a cleaning solution that smelled like mint, but unfortunately the smell made you nauseous.

After seeing what happened, Butch developed a hideous thought: It would be fun to make Allison throw up again. As fate would have it, Butch discovered Allison was getting new glasses after school. Butch thought he could upset Allison by

making fun of her glasses. Allison was now vulnerable and Butch was ready to seize the opportunity.

The next day, Allison came to school with her new glasses. All the students were lined up outside of school waiting for the bell to ring. Butch was ready to pounce into action. When Butch saw Allison, he began to bully her. The first thing he said was, “Hey, four eyes.” He didn’t stop there. He said her glasses made her look ugly. He continued to bully her. He said her glasses were way to big for her face and made her head look big.

Butch’s comments really hurt Allison’s feelings and she started to get teary-eyed. (Butch seemed to have a special talent to know how to deeply upset people). Butch was relentless with his verbal abuse and he continued to abuse her all day. He made fun of Allison at lunch, in the playground, hallways and even in the classroom when Sister wasn’t looking.

Finally, while on the playground, Allison couldn’t take it anymore. Her throat began to stiffen, like you feel when you are about to cry. She started to gag and felt woozy and nauseous like she was seasick, same as the time she got sick on her uncle’s boat. Powerless to stop herself, she began to vomit violently. She looked like a volcano erupting, but instead of lava, she began spewing vomit everywhere. It was disgusting. Allison wanted to crawl under a rock; she was so ashamed.

Sister Superior contacted Allison’s parents. Her mother came to school and picked her up.

The next day, Allison told her mother she didn’t feel well. She said she did not want to go to school. Her mother said it was okay to stay home and rest. The next day Allison told her mother she felt better, but was afraid to go to school. Her mother asked her why.

Allison said she was being bullied by one of her classmates. Her mother asked, “Who is the person bullying you.”

Immediately Allison said, “I can’t tell you. I don’t want to be a tattletale.”

Her mother said, “In this case, no one will accuse you of being a tattletale, because you are being bullied. We must put a stop to this or it will continue. Furthermore, by speaking up you may prevent someone else from being bullied.”

Allison understood what her mother was saying, but still refused to tell her the bully’s name. She was just too afraid of retaliation. She returned to school the next day, hoping that Butch would stop bullying her.

Regrettably, Butch continued to bully Allison for a long time. Allison just put up with it, said nothing and was often very sad, upset and sick to her stomach.

Eventually Butch moved on to bully someone else; however, not before causing Allison much pain and suffering.

It’s a shame Allison couldn’t find the courage to speak up. I know it’s difficult, especially for me, but it’s something we must all strive to do—say something.

One Saturday, a few of my friends came to my house to trade comic books. My friends and I loved to read comics and occasionally we would trade with each other. We enjoyed reading superhero comics. Our favorites were ---

v Superman

v Batman

v The Flash

v Green Lantern

v Spiderman

v Legion of Super Heroes

v Hawkman

v Jimmy Olsen

v Dr. Strange

v Justice League of America

v Wonder Woman

We were all in my room looking at comics when my mom peeked her head in and said, “Joseph, you have another friend who wants to trade comics.”

I was thinking, all my friends who trade comics are already here. Then, Butch, who was standing behind my mother, entered the room. I looked in horror as Butch came into my room. I closed my eyes for a moment; I thought I was having a bad dream. I was so infuriated that I clenched my fists with such extreme force I could hear my knuckles crack. I didn’t want him to stay, but I didn’t know how to get rid of him, so he joined us. This would turn out to be a big mistake.

We all noticed something different about Butch that day. He seemed to be friendlier, more polite. I said, “Butch, I didn’t know you liked to read comic books.”

“Oh, yeah,” Butch said. “I love to read comics. I brought some with me to trade.” We all looked at each other in disbelief. Is this really happening? Butch, the biggest bully in the school acting like a normal kid. He actually likes comics the same as we do.

The rest of the day went well. We had comics spread out all over my room. We all traded some comics, except for Butch. Curiously, Butch said he did not find any comics he wanted. We were surprised because there were a lot of comics from which to choose. Anyway, it was getting late and everyone went home.

That night, I noticed some of my comics were missing. When I told my mom, she said they must be somewhere in my room and I must have misplaced them. I began scouring the place. I looked everywhere. I knew exactly how many comic books I had and where I kept them. After completing my search, I was sure some were missing.

On Monday, while in class, I noticed Zack had two of the comics I was missing. I asked him where he got them. He said with a grin, “I bought them from Butch.” I then realized Butch stole my comic books. I thought, no wonder Butch was so nice at my house. He had an ulterior motive.

Butch was acting friendly and nice because he wanted to catch us off guard so he could steal comic books. He acted like one of those porch pirates. You know, the people that steal packages a deliveryman leaves on your porch or doorstep. How low can a person get? I was so mad that Butch actually stole from me. This was a new low, even for someone like Butch. I became even more angry with myself for being so trusting, allowing him to take advantage of me. It’s a terrible feeling when you realize someone took advantage of you.

I told my mother what happened. She asked if I was absolutely certain Butch stole my comics. I replied assuredly, “Yes, Mom. I’m absolutely certain.”

My mom believed me because she knew how careful I was with my comics and that I could be trusted.

My mother called Butch’s mom and told her what happened. Initially, Butch told his mother he didn’t steal the comics. However, later she noticed Butch had extra money lying on his desk. When she confronted Butch, he admitted he stole the comics.

Butch’s mom was very upset that Butch would do such a thing and forced him to buy new comics to replace the ones he stole. Later, Butch and his mom came over my house and she made him apologize. He handed me the comics and said he was sorry. His mom told us she was sorry for her son’s bad behavior and said Butch would be punished. Later that night, I heard my mom talking to my dad, explaining what had happened. Mom said, “I know Butch’s parents and they are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. How could their son be so bad? It doesn’t make any sense.”

I thought it might not make any sense, but it is what it is.

Butch was not only a bully, but a thief as well. Apparently, in some cases, being a bully can lead to criminal activity.

Well, we were back in class again. One of my friends from school was Laura, one of the nicest girls in school. She was very friendly and everyone liked her. Although you wouldn’t know it when first meeting her, Laura was the nervous type. Scratch that, she was the extremely nervous type. The littlest thing made her jittery. Laura’s personality was similar to that of Allison. Anxiety and a case of the jitters are bad traits for anyone who is a student in a class taught by Sister Superior.

Moreover, there was one thing that made Laura sad. She was self-conscious about her skin, as she had a very bad complexion.

One day in class, each of us had to stand up and read a chapter from our English book. Sister would ask questions to determine what we could remember. It was a part of reading and comprehension. When Laura finished her turn of reading, Sister began to ask her questions. Laura answered the first question. However, she struggled to answer the second. The third question, she didn’t know the answer to and started to get nervous. Sister continued to rapidly fire off questions. The more questions Laura couldn’t answer, the more distraught she became. Her teeth began to chatter uncontrollably, making a sound similar to one of those novelty wind-up chattering teeth. Her body began to rattle and shake from side to side, like a washing machine that went off-kilter. She had trouble catching her breath. Sister noticed Laura was getting extremely flustered. Instead of feeling sorry for her, Sister said with a stern and aggravated voice, “Laura, I see you are getting nervous and struggling to answer the questions, but this exercise is for your own good. You must get over your nervousness. You cannot go through life acting this way.”

By this time, the entire class felt sorry for Laura and we all began to grow increasingly uncomfortable as we watched her struggle to answer questions. Sister was relentless and as she furiously continued to fire off one question after another, Laura became more and more nervous, until finally, she could no longer respond. For a moment she stood motionless, as if time stood still.

Then, something terrible happened.

Laura started to pee uncontrollably. It sprayed all over her desk, clothes and the floor.

It looked like a small tsunami suddenly appeared.

We all looked on in horror as we witnessed what had happened. Laura burst into tears; she was an emotional mess. Sister Superior, showing little remorse, asked some of the other girls to take her to the bathroom. In the meantime, Sister called Laura’s parents, who picked her up and took her home. Sister called the janitor, who came quickly to clean up. He sprayed the area with that green liquid, like the one used when Allison threw up. Again, the liquid smelled like fermented mint. The stench was nauseating.

Butch and his friends realized that when Laura became extremely nervous, the results could be catastrophic. In their cruel way of thinking, they began to formulate ideas of how to upset her similar to the way they antagonized Allison. It didn’t take long to come up with a devious plot. Butch remembered Laura being extremely sensitive about her complexion. She had terrible acne covering much of her face and neck. Butch and his friends knew just what to do. They would all make fun of her bad skin. Butch carefully coordinated a cruel plan of attack. When the opportunity presented itself, Butch and his bully friends would all tease her unmercifully.

One day during lunch, Butch and his friends began to make fun of Laura. When the lunch monitors were not looking, they would call her names, terrible

names, names that would embarrass her. They called her pizza face, crater face, pimple face, acne head, guacamole face and on and on. The comments were cuttingly insensitive and cruel. Butch and his friends would make fun of her every chance they could. They bullied her for weeks on end. Finally, one day in the hallway, Butch forced her against the wall, stepped up close to her face and repeatedly called her every cruel name he could think of. He then said, “Laura, you are even uglier close up. Your face is so ugly no one wants to be your friend. You’re going to be lonely all your life. You make me sick just looking at you.”

This was the final straw. Laura could not take such verbal abuse any longer. All of a sudden, she began to pee all over the floor. It just happened. She couldn’t control herself. It sounded like Niagara Falls on a rainy day. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that loud, but you get my point. Butch, seeing what happened, immediately began laughing and ran into the classroom.

Laura continued to stand, stiff against the wall, frozen with shame. It looked like she was glued to the wall. As time passed, it seemed like someone would have to peel her off the wall like old scotch tape. After a while, one of the teachers saw her, knew something was wrong and brought her to the office. The janitor was summoned to clean the floor; with, you guessed it, that horrible smelling green liquid. The school contacted her parents and her mom brought a change of clothes to school.

Back in class, Butch bragged to his friends that he got Laura so upset she peed on the floor. When Sister Superior realized Butch was responsible for upsetting Laura, she yelled angrily, “What you did was shameful and disgraceful.”

Sister hollered louder than usual. She again punished Butch. He had to serve another two-day school suspension. Sister made him apologize to Laura, which he did only because he was forced to do so.

One of the smartest students in school was Preston White. One of the laziest students was Cosmo Rendone. Cosmo told everyone who would listen that he hated to do homework.

Before school started, while waiting for the first bell to ring, Cosmo came up to me and said, “Joseph, I really hate doing homework. It’s boring and it takes me away from reading comic books and watching TV.”

I said, “I don’t like to do homework either, but it’s just something we have to do. My mom told me there are things in life we don’t like to do, but we have to do them because it’s the right thing to do.”

Cosmo had this bewildered look on his face, like what kind of nonsense are you telling me. Cosmo appeared to be annoyed by my comment and walked away shaking his head.

Cosmo thought about his dilemma for a while and finally came up with the solution. Regrettably, it was a bad solution. He decided he would force someone to give him their homework so he could copy it.

We were on the playground when Cosmo approached Preston. Cosmo said, “Hey, Preston, I need to copy your homework.”

Without hesitation, Preston replied emphatically, “No. Absolutely not.” Preston’s refusal angered Cosmo and he became extremely agitated. He now began to threaten Preston. He said with an angry tone, “Preston, I tried to ask you nicely, but now you give me no choice. If you don’t let me copy your homework, I’m going to beat you to a pulp. To show you I mean business, let me give you a sample of what to expect.”

Cosmo then pushed Preston up against the fence. He pushed him so hard, the force of his body against the fence really hurt Preston. As Cosmo released Preston from his grip, he said with a menacing stare, “The next time I won’t be so gentle. You will see blood, your blood. So listen up, because this is what is going to happen. You are going to meet me in the playground every morning fifteen minutes before school starts.” Preston understood what Cosmo meant and walked away.

When Preston got home from school, he told his mom from now on he wants to go to school earlier than usual. His mom asked why. Preston said, “I’m going to meet my friends. We play football and basketball for a few minutes before school starts. The activity relaxes us for the long school day ahead.”

Preston’s mom said with a concerned voice, “Okay, but remember, this means you must get up at least fifteen minutes earlier.” At that moment, Preston realized

something. This was the first time he lied to his mother. Apparently, this is another bad by-product of being bullied; it sometimes leads to lying to your parents and others.

That Monday morning Preston got up early and went to school. When he arrived, he saw Cosmo waiting for him.

Reluctantly, Preston gave Cosmo his homework for Monday’s class and Cosmo copied it.

Once in the classroom, Cosmo gave the homework to Sister Superior. Sister had no idea it was really Preston’s work and not Cosmo’s.

This routine went on for weeks and was working perfectly until one day Cosmo made a crucial mistake.

It was Friday and Cosmo arrived with only five minutes left until the bell rings. Frantically, he began to copy Preston’s homework. He was under so much pressure due to time constraints, he inadvertently wrote Preston’s name at the top of the page. Realizing what he had done, Cosmo quickly erased Preston’s name and wrote his own name. When walking into school, Cosmo thought, “Thank God I erased Preston’s name and replaced it with my name. Otherwise, I would be in big

trouble.” When Cosmo arrived in class he handed his homework to Sister as usual.

After school, Sister began to review each student’s homework. When she looked at Cosmo’s homework she noticed the faint remains of someone else’s name. After careful examination, Sister determined the name was Preston White. When Sister would notice something that looked suspicious, she’d leap into action. In this case, her actions were like a bloodhound that uses only a faint scent to track down their prey. Remember, nothing gets past Sister Superior; she notices everything.

Next, Sister compared Cosmo’s homework against Preston’s. Discovering they both made the exact same mistakes, she quickly realized that Cosmo copied Preston’s homework. Rage and disappointment simultaneously raced through her body and soul. Copying someone else’s homework is cheating and cheating was one of Sister’s deadly sins. Officially, there are seven deadly sins; however, Sister had her own list.

The next day in class, Sister spoke to both Preston and Cosmo and they confessed. It didn’t take Sister long to discover the truth. She used interrogation tactics that would make any police detective proud.

For punishment, Preston received a one-day detention for failing to tell anyone about Cosmo’s bully behavior and Cosmo received a more serious sentence, a three-day detention for cheating and for bullying Preston.

o discover the truth. She used interrogation tactics that would make any police detective proud.

For punishment, Preston received a one-day detention for failing to tell anyone about Cosmo’s bully behavior and Cosmo received a more serious sentence, a three-day detention for cheating and for bullying Preston.

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