Students, communities can help stop bullying in schools

To the Editor:

Over 13 years I have felt most emotions that you can think of. But, it wasn’t until May 14, 2017 that I felt truly heartbroken. That day was when I found out what had happened to Hannah Bazemore. Although that experience was hard, I learned what bullying really was and that I could help those experiencing it.

Almost four years ago, I was standing on the CSDA field waiting for my first cheerleading practice to start; I felt so alone. Little did I know many girls felt the same way, one of which was named Hannah. We became such close friends in such a short period of time, I thought to myself “man this friendship is gonna last forever.” That friendship probably would have lasted forever if bullying was not a factor. How is it that someone as sweet and kind as her could be punished so permanently? Once she died everything happened so quickly, at first I could not and did not want to believe it. It was only soon after, on that very Thursday that it hit me. I walked into the wake expecting I could make it through, I was so wrong. As soon as I saw her lying there in her cheer uniform, the same one that I wear to games and competitions, the first of many tears trickled down my face. Then it got worse, I continued on to watch her memorial video. I looked up and there I was on Hannah’s back smiling like crazy, the both of us happier than ever. I remembered that moment like it was yesterday. I remembered that whole season… the coach, the practices, the games and the competitions, but most of all the friendship me and Hannah had. The tears continued to come for hours after, why did it have to happen to her?

After weeks of mourning I finally realized something, Hollis Brookline had never been so close. So many people comforted me everyday, I never had really thought that HB was actually one community. Even though everyone was so there for me, one thought kept haunting me. How could it be that everyone came together, but yet some of them were still bullies. I couldn’t stand that thought. I decided that I can’t let that thought get to me, so I will no longer just know that bullying is not okay, now I will let others know the truth about bullying. I will not be a bystander anymore, now I will stand up for others and myself. After this experience I will never be the same. I will continue to spread the word about bullying, and I’m starting with you. I won’t tolerate it, neither should you.

As I continue to live my life without Hannah, I will be different than I was before. I want to inspire others by telling my story. I want people to do what is right and help people that are being bullied. Next time you experience bullying what will you do about it?

Lilli Sullivan,

grade seven student at Hollis Brookline Middle School