By Shaun Haines

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In middle school, I was assaulted. I was jumped in the hall. My neck cut with a sharp object. I bled.

My mother recalls that the school administration says that I retaliated successfully, defending myself against three young boys. This memory is blocked from my mind entirely.

These were the kind of kids living highly challenging and disadvantaged lives , bullies, they harassed me through till the 9th grade. I and other young boys they thought could be gay or weak. This is strange because they each exposed themselves to me over the course of the year. Their crude displays not reciprocated.

I can’t remember the fight but I do recall the conversation with the school’s Principal and my family. I was asked if I wanted to press changes. I was allowed to make the decision on my own. I decided to not press charges. From then on, I have always stood up for myself and for others.

Thankfully, it wasn’t to my throat that got slit and the weapon wasn’t serious enough to cause lasting damage. I still bare the scare today.

Shaun Haines

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