By: Guin Ragan and Haena Lee
He walks through our halls everyday. He is the man who yells at students for holding hands and expressing other forms of PDA at school. Drew Magwire is the Sociology teacher.
“Magwire made everyone feel noticed,” senior Eric Harmon said.
Many students are unaware that Magwire was bullied as a child.
The bullying started in elementary school. He had recently moved to the Shawnee area in 4th grade. Everyone from Merriam, Lake Quivira, Shawnee, and Lenexa knew each other, it was a pleasant and close community. He made one friend. That new friend had a special friend that didn’t like Magwire.
“I wouldn’t say he was jealous because little boys don’t get jealous, but he just didn’t like me,” Magwire said.
The bully tried to exclude him at everything the boys did. He would never pick him to be on his team in kickball every time they played.
“If it’s not in your face picking on, physical pushing then it’s kind of under the radar,” Magwire said.
Magwire would just brush it off and try his best to win for his kickball team.
“To stop bullying you should ignore the bully. They feed off of your reactions. If that doesn’t work get help or talk to a parent and make sure they do something about it,” child psychologist, Michael Ragan said.
After enduring a long time of this exclusion one day they were in the bully’s basement. The fourth grade boys were messing with the boxing equipment in the basement. That day Magwire just snapped. He could no longer handle the feeling of isolation. Magwire confronted him and they begun to argue. Suddenly the argument started to become physical. Punches were being thrown from both sides.
Their two fists were going full speed towards them and both fists collide. The boys were clenching their throbbing hands. At that moment they forgot the reason why they were fighting. Thereafter the had bullying ended.
“If you want the bullying to stop, just stand up for yourself and face him. It’ll stop. Two things might happen though. One it might get physical and you’ll have to use your fists. Or two, usually the bully backs down. Then that bully mentality will go away,” Magwire said.
“Most authorities won’t do anything or do the right thing when you tell them you are bullied, so you should try to deal with it yourself or with a friend. The bully can’t really do anything when you have a lot of people on your side,” Michael Ragan said.
For Magwire, the bullying started at an early age. Just like other little boys he would hang out with the big kids. They would always tease him since he was younger and smaller than them.
“In most cases, people bully because they want to show dominance over that people or persons. Also the bully could have been bullied and want to bully others because they have suffered,” Michael Ragan said.
One of the mothers of the children watched the boys play. She noticed that Magwire was being picked on by the older kids. She approached Magwire’s Mother and told her that she was concerned about him and thought that they were bullying him.
Aware of this news, Magwire’s mother confronted him about this issue. He would respond by denying that it is bullying. Boys pick on each other sometimes.
“My mother is a good Christian woman. She told me stand up for yourself. If someone slaps you (metaphorically) then you turn the other cheek,” Magwire said.
One day he just couldn’t turn his other cheek. Magwire accidentally threw a football and it hit a nerve in the older boy’s leg. That caused him to fall. The older boy was infuriated at Magwire and started to yell at him in his face. Unexpectedly, Magwire socked the much larger older boy in the eye. The older boy stumbled back and fled back home. The other kids stared at him with silence.
Soon the kids said, “I can’t believe you did that!”
Magwire felt bad for the older boy. He was disappointed at himself for resulting in violence.
“But it still felt good though,” Magwire said.
As a father Magwire was concerned whether his son, Daniel, would have problems at school with other children. Magwire asked his son if he was having any problems with classmates. It turns out that his son seemed to be bullied by a certain red-headed girl in class. She was bigger than him and always teased him. Daniel actually wanted to punch her.
“Well, I told him to avoid her whenever possible, and I reminded him that she was a girl, and it’s never O.K. to “slug” a girl, even if she were much bigger,’’ Daniel’s mother, Melissa Magwire said.
Melissa actually wanted to talk to her son’s bully. Magwire’s wife is involved with the school by bringing snacks. It was the perfect opportunity to ask the bully why she picked on their son.
“I told him she probably had a huge crush on him, so he should just try to talk with her and smooth things over,” Melissa said
The girl actually liked their son. She had a little crush on Daniel. When his wife asked Daniel if he could give her second chance. He didn’t want to, but for her he gave the bully a second chance and became friends with her.
“As typical with little girls, crushes on little boys usually run their course by the end of the week. She was still interested for a couple of weeks and then the romance faded little by little. They were friends before the crush, and remained friends after the crush,” Melissa said.