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This I Believe: Joking Around Can Be Hurtful


It was in fifth grade, I was sitting in class. The bell rang and it was time for recess. As we all ran out of the classroom and to the blacktop, a couple of friends and I ran to the corner of the blacktop to play a game of Four Square.

We normally always played Four Square during recess. It gave us a chance to cut loose and just play around during the stressful life of being a fifth grader.

The game was heating up when Briyonna (a fellow classmate) hit the ball that hit another student in the face. Naturally the entire fifth grade population on the black top started to burst out with tears of laughter due to the immense pain Briyonna’s hit caused the boy. As the teachers came running to assist the injured student laying on the ground crying, I laughed a little bit harder and soon everyone’s attention was on me.

The ear piercing shriek of my laughter was apparently embarrassing enough for the entire team playing the game and everyone who was nearby to laugh. “Aaliyah why do you laugh like a duck?” they all teased.

I stood there in pure shock and embarrassment as the students all laughed and teased me for my laugh. They all swarmed around me, creating a circle of mean words and laughter. I remember one student called out, “It was worse than a dying hyena!” All of their comments and laughter just blended into a loud mumble.

Soon I began to sweat and cry all at once. I broke down in the middle of the circle and turned my head towards the ground. The teachers turn their attention from the little boy crying with blood dripping from his nose, to the little girl in the middle of this large crowd screaming and crying.

After the teachers broke up the group of students I stayed on the ground until one of the teachers picked me up and carried me to the nurse along with the little boy. While we were both in the nurses office one of us had to tell the nurse why we were in there. After about 2 minuets of us looking at each other back and forth, I started to cry again.

I don’t know what it was about my laugh that was so funny, but since that day I tried to change my laugh, because my laugh was the center of their laughter that day. I now normally fake a laugh. It now takes a lot for someone to get the real laugh out out me, but it is still there. And that is why I believe that joking around can be hurtful.

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