Bullies v. Terrorists

I’m reading Bullyville by Francine Prose aloud to my homeroom right now. During the worst year of his life, Bart must deal with his grief for his father, killed in the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on 9-11. He also has to deal with being bullied at his new school, Baileywell Prep. At one point in the story, Bart compares the motives of his own personal bully with those of the terrorists who took his dad’s life.   They are certainly different in terms of the scale of damage they cause, but do you agree with Bart that  they are the same at heart?

Thinking about Bart’s connection reminded me of a poem a wrote a couple of years ago.  One day I pulled up behind a truck and read this bumpe sticker on the back:  Kill them all, Let Allah sort them out.  I I was quite disturbed by the hate expressed and wrote this poem in response:

Hate Brings

Hate brings them together
and drives the world apart.

A terrorist blows himself to bits,
hoping to die in glory
while killing all the infidels.
It doesn’t matter who
the infidel is—
mother, father, sister, brother—
all must die
when hate brings you together
and drives the world apart.

Across the world
a bumper sticker calls for revenge—
Kill them all—Let Allah sort them out.
No, don’t kill them all
lest you not see that hate
has made you blind
to the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
hate has left behind.

No, don’t kill them all
because hate brings you together
and drives the world apart.

If you have written something (or want to write something) that expresses your thoughts about bullying, check out the contest at the No Name Calling Week website. The deadline is not until February 28.   Check out the rules for middle school and download the entry form.  As always, I will be your editor.

2 Comments on Bullies v. Terrorists

  1. JMireles
    January 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm (5 years ago)

    Well spoken. I am a verteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most of the people I dealt with in Iraq were Muslims. Most of them were decent people. I refuse to allow anyone to be mistreated for any reason. I should also point out, my oldest daughter is bullied at school. I’m working to fix that. I remember what it was like because I was bullied when I was a kid.

    • Mrs. McGriff
      January 4, 2012 at 7:16 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you for serving in Iraq. When I read the book Bullyville aloud to my homeroom class last year, the connection between bullying and terrorism really hit home with them. I hope that you and your daughter and her school are able to stop the bullying she experiences. No one should have to live through that.


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