Thomas Gommal Learns about Bullying
: Attention is Paid by Shirley McLain
By lunchtime, Thomas felt intimidated by Paul because of his continual staring. When class dismissed, Thomas made sure he stayed in a group of kids as they left the classroom. When he got close to the Principal's office, he turned left into the office.
“Mrs. Chambers, may I make a phone call home?” Thomas asked.
“Certainly, Thomas. You can sit there at the empty desk to make your call.”
Thomas sat down and dialed the number for home. Emily picked up the phone after the second ring. “What’s wrong, Thomas?"
“There is nothing wrong but, can you come after me when school is out?”
“Sure, I can. I'll be there at 3:15,” Emily said.
“Bye, darlin’. See you soon."
Thomas hung up the phone and thanked Mrs. Chambers. He walked out in the hall making sure he didn’t see Paul lurking around and headed to the cafeteria to eat his lunch. Thomas looked around for Andy to see where he was sitting since this was the first day Andy had returned to school after having chicken pox. After he got his tray, he sat down at the table with his best friend. Thomas was catching Andy up on what happened at school while he was absent when he heard Paul’s voice behind him.
“Hey four-eyes, remember what I said. Your dead meat and I can’t wait to get my hands on you.”
Thomas turned toward Paul. “Leave me alone, Paul. I'm not playing your game anymore.” Thomas raised his hand and called out, “Mr. Edwards, would you please come here?”
“You are a stinking coward!" Paul said as he walked away.
Mr. Edwards went to the table. "What do you need, Thomas?”
Thomas looked at Mr. Edwards, “I’m having a problem with bullying here in the cafeteria, and I’m not the only one.”
“Who is bullying you?” Mr. Edwards asked.
“It’s Paul Cusher. He told me I was dead meat and it’s not the first time. Andy heard and saw Paul shoving me.”
Mr. Edwards looked across the table, “Is that true, Andy?”
“Yes, Sir, he and his gang, always harass other kids and us,” Andy replied.
“Finish your lunch, boys and I will take care of this for you,” Mr. Edward said.
“Wow,” Andy said, as they headed out of the cafeteria. “You’re not messing around anymore. What’s with calling Crusher, Paul?”
Thomas looked at Andy and asked, “Don’t you remember anything you're told? His nickname is bad. It makes people afraid, so I’m not using it. You shouldn’t use it either, Andy.”
“I won’t anymore; that is if I can remember." Both the boys laughed and went into their next class.
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