To The Headmistress Who Let My Bullying Continue, I Finally Bleached The Hair They Hated

To The Headmistress Who Let My Bullying Continue, I Finally Bleached The Hair They Hated

If it wasn't "that bad," then why did I dye away my innocence after all these years?
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It has always stunned me that a teacher/principal, someone who is meant to be caring and loving towards children, can sit back and let torment continue. That an authority figure, who is meant to make school a safe environment, can allow an innocent child be the victim of cruelty and mistreatment.

I remember starting off the school year wanting nothing more than to learn for six hours a day, five days a week. But boy, you let that perfect image my innocent self-had get shut down very quickly, didn't you?

I still feel sick thinking of those awful children who made my life miserable, just because of my hair color.

Now, why on earth was 10-year-old Amber Armstrong a target you let receive verbal attacks?

Why did you let my tears drop when you should've offered me a tissue?

How could you look me in the eyes while making me feel as though I wasn't good enough for your intervention?

How in the world did you stand by and watch nine months of me, and my mother, continuously ask you to address this issue and not bat an eyelid? You eventually stopped letting my mum schedule time to discuss this with you because I'm guessing you were "over it."

You knew damn well I received comments such as "ginger piss" and "ugly, ginger ninja" at least multiple times a day. When I realized the only adult I knew who could help my struggle wouldn't even give me the time of day, I admitted defeat.

I came home and wanted to dye my red hair. This was the only control I had over the situation, to change the "flaw" that was the root of the issue. Just because YOU wouldn't intervene. YOU refused to see the problem, even though my mother had stared you in the eye and expressed the trouble I was having.

How DARE you let my mother watch me go through something she couldn't control, but you had the power to. How can anyone in the education system not feel empathy for a mother who is begging them for help?

You changed the perception I had of teachers and higher authority figures in the education system. You hurt the trust and confidence I once possessed in this section of my life. I tried not to show emotions or ask for help in class. I always had a voice in the back of my head explaining "they don't care about your well-being, put your hand down before you embarrass yourself."

I wanted to change something so gorgeous just because "there was nothing" you could do while constantly reassuring yourself, "it really isn't that bad."

You're probably wondering how in the world this still affects me today. Well, a year ago, I dyed my hair blonde because I still felt the "ugly" color defined me as "soulless" and reminded people of "orange piss." Your prayers have been answered, bullies from my year four, my hair is no longer the disgusting red you once remembered it as!

If it wasn’t “that bad,” then why did I bleach away the pain after all these years?

The beautiful red has stopped growing in and a dark, brown color has taken its place. All because I let those childish boys, and yourself, force me to believe I was the issue. That I had to put up with psychologically being attacked because something I couldn't control became my fault.

I hope when you talk to the next victimized child that stumbles into your office who "you can't help," think of me, the ten-year-old who could "handle it." Don't ignore this individual, don't add gasoline to their fire because you know damn well they deserve what you never gave me.

I guess after the conversation that went a little like “he didn't mean it, did you, Cain?" YOU decided my pain was "fixed," right?

If it was “fixed,” my hair would still be natural and you wouldn't be stuck reading this.

Sincerely,

"Ginger Piss"

Cover Image Credit: Alice Fowle

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

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Google Doc File Folders

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Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

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