I sat at my desk in the first week of second grade at a new school. I was 6 years old and surrounded by 7- and 8 year-olds because my birthday just made the cut-off date for that grade.
I sat at my desk, listening to Miss Williams, whose voice sounds more like the adults in Charlie Brown’s world to my memory. Whah whah whah whah. Whah whah whah. Etc.
Suddenly, I was punched in the back. It was Alice, a heavy-set girl with disheveled clothing and two plats protruding asymmetrically from her head.
Alice said she just punched me for fun, at first. That first day the punches came at random times with no provocation, infrequently at first, and then it escalated. Within days the punches came every time Miss Williams turned her back to the class, which was often.
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Lisa Sharon Harper is the Director of Mobilizing at Sojourners. Essay courtesy of Sojourners.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.