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Bullying won't just go away

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OPINION: I'm still proud of the bookish, eccentric nerd that I was in high school. But it did mean that I got seven bells kicked out of me by bullies.

Being chubby, having a sweating problem and also a complete lack of understanding of how to shave my legs without severing a major artery, I was never going to be a popular kid. Then you add in being smart, feminist and insufferably opinionated, and I might as well have walked up to the tuck shop each day and ordered, "extra hot humiliation please".

Against a backdrop of continually being called fat, ugly and hairy, there were particularly memorable moments like wearing the wrong dress to a dance and thereafter being dubbed the school slut, being publicly ranked by the boys in class as unbelievably ugly and absolutely unshaggable, and the time when the girl (whose nascent dreams of school magazine editorship I thwarted) told everyone I was a lesbian who'd come on to her in the changing rooms.

I've been thinking about this a lot this week because today is Pink Shirt Day, national anti-bullying day, which is run in NZ by the Mental Health Foundation. It means I've spent most of the week talking to anyone and everyone about being bullied.

* Mark........

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