Jenny was an average person. She had friends, played baseball, loved her cat, did her homework, at least most of the time, and sat at any lunch table she liked. She minded her own business and only gave her opinion when she was asked for it.
One day, when she was coming out of the locker room later than every one else, she saw Owen Jacobs being thrown against the lockers and menaced by four boys from her English class. Owen stood there and watched them tear up his notes, kick his books across the floor and spit on his shirt. He didn’t try to defend himself, he just stood there, looking down, trying to be invisible.
Jenny sighed, put her backpack on the floor and ran to his aid.
“You…know,” she said, as she punched and kicked the boys, “I…was…going…to…try…and…talk…”
She hit the floor, got up and jumped on James McAvoy’s back. “to…you guys but I thought…you might be too…stupid…to understand what I was…saying,” she said, as she was grabbed from behind. She threw her head back and heard a lovely crunching sound, followed by a scream. “I don’t believe in violence,” she grunted, “but you guys, well, Karma is a bitch.”
“He’s not even helping you,” yelled Allen, pointing at Owen. “Why are you fighting with us?”
“Because you’re mean and there are four of you,” she said, getting up and wiping the blood off her lip with her sleeve. “And one of him.”
“What’s it to you, anyway?” asked Kenny.
“Okay, wait a minute,” said Jenny, holding up her hands. “Didn’t anyone ever teach you to not walk away from something that’s obviously…WRONG!”
One of the guys shoved her hard and she flew into the lockers, the handle smashed into her back and she fell to the floor. “It’s none of your business,” said Allen.
Jenny grabbed him by the ankle and dug her nails into his calf as hard as she could.”
He yelled, fell, and kicked at her but she was already on her feet.
By now kids were gathering around them. Everyone knew the four boys were nasty and mean. When they saw Jenny, ripped up and bleeding but on her feet and swinging, they were shocked. One by one they dropped their belongings on the floor and went to stand beside her. One by one quickly added up to fifteen and that was fourteen too many for the bullies. They backed off, but not before Kenny pointed at Jenny and said, “You’re dead.”
“Bite me,” said Jenny, as she watched them walk away. “Chickens!” she yelled, flapping her arms. Then she turned to the others and said, “Thank you. I want to start an anti-bullying club, right now. We can set up our phones to alert everyone when one of us sees someone in trouble. Just message the location and all of us will to go to that spot immediately. Leave classrooms, get out of the pool, do whatever it takes, but get there as fast as you can because I’m sick of nothing ever being done to stop bullies.”
“You’re bleeding,” said Mike.
“I’m just saying. And I think you’re going to have a black eye.”
“It won’t be my first one.”
“I’m sure it won’t be,” he chuckled. “Sign me up. I’ll show every time.”
“Thanks,” she said, trying to stop her nosebleed.
“Here,” he said, handing her his t-shirt. “Compress.”
Jenny nodded and pressed the shirt to her nose and lip. It smelled like football.
Carol started a sign up sheet and kids were forming a loose line, so they could put down their names and phone numbers.
“The teachers and administration aren’t doing anything to stop them,” said Jenny, “So it’s up to us to protect our school and the kids who go here. If we don’t protect each other, this will never stop.” Everyone nodded and Kate handed Jenny an ice pack for her eye. “We need to work together, no matter what. We might have to walk some kids home and pick them up in the morning but we have to stop the bullies.”
“Jenny,” said Mike. “I think I’m crazy about you.”
Everyone laughed, as they started to disperse.
“I can’t stand by and let things like this continue,” she muttered.
“I agree,” he said. “I think the club will be a great success.”
“Do you know that those four have been taking the lunches and money from about twenty kids every day?”
“Um, Jenny,” said Owen, softly. “Th-thank you. I’m sorry I just stood there.”
“It’s okay Owen,” said Jenny, putting her bloody hand on his arm.
“Can I join the club?”
“Hey, you can be president,” she said. “I know what kind of grades you get,” she snickered.
“I don’t want to be afraid anymore,” said Owen, his voice trembling.
“I’m sorry it took so long to stop this.”
Owen nodded. “You were brave.”
“I wasn’t,” said Jenny. “I was mad. There’s a big difference.”
Kate walk toward Jenny and handed her a piece of torn paper. “First meeting is tomorrow after school at my house.”
“Thank you,” said Jenny.
“I’ll be there,” said Mike.
“Me too,” said Owen, shyly.
And that’s how the kids in Clover High School stopped the bullies. They worked together and fought back. Every time an alert went off they rushed to the aid of a student. They circled the bullies and immediately moved to stand between them and the person being attacked. Before long, the only kids not in the club were the bullies themselves.
Because sometimes adults don’t do what needs to be done to stop bad things from happening to kids. Sometimes the kids just have to stand up and defend themselves.