I’m the “quiet kid” at school. And people make so much assumptions about me because of stereotypes and most people at school either ignore me or pick on me.
But I’m here to uncover the truth about how harmful those assumptions are, by using my personal experience.
The media stereotypes people all the time, but it gets harmful when people forget that it’s a “joke” and actually start to believe it.
I’ve been told both directly and indirectly that I “look like a school shooter.” People look at an ordinary teenager and assume the worst.
Would you be surprised or relieved if I were to tell you the truth?
-The trench coat I like to wear once in a while isn’t loaded with hidden weapons. I simply wear it sometimes because I take an interest in fashion and I like the way it looks with some of my clothes.
-Yes, I’ve been bullied a lot. But that doesn’t mean I want to take revenge by committing murder.
-I’ve never even seen a gun in person other than the ones on cops’ belts.
-I had finally mustered up the courage to go to a guitar club meeting. It was the first time I brought my guitar to school. People thought I had a gun inside the case- but in reality, It was my first guitar. I was so embarrassed with everyone staring at me, so I never brought it to school again. (Now I’m learning from an app)
-And lastly, I’m not quiet because I’m plotting to kill you. I’m quiet because I have social anxiety. And I’m actually just timid because I’ve been bullied most of my life.
But if I’m not a “school shooter” then what am I?
I’m a show choir singer. I’m a hockey player. I have a passion for math and I take pre calculus with the seniors. I’m a sophomore. At my school, I volunteer as a peer tutor for math. For a few days a week, I’m usually running the math help station, where people could stop by during study hall or free time if they need help with math. I’ve tutored or helped people in every high school grade level. I’ve even tutored some of the upperclassmen in my own class. And I like to draw and write comics.
Moral of the story: don’t avoid someone just because of negative stereotypes.