Elizabeth Anne Anseth was Miss Montana USA in 2010 and went on to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Anseth challenges the notion that bullies target awkward, ugly kids. Elizabeth “Annie” Anseth, slim with cascading curls, tells how school bullies in Billings tormented her so much that she had to force herself to walk down the aisle at her high school graduation.
She has already crisscrossed the state delivering school talks on the topic. People erroneously assume only unattractive kids get picked on, Anseth said. “No one believes if you were in dance, you were a cheerleader, you were active in trading cards that you got bullied,” she said. Her harassment began in seventh grade at Will James Middle School with name calling and with girls passing notes. In eighth grade, when she refused to go out with a boy, the boy and his friends began to push her into lockers. He held her head under the drinking fountain multiple times.
In ninth grade, she chose to go to Billings Senior High rather than Billings West High to leave the bullying behind. But the boy, who had picked on her in middle school, also chose Senior High. During their freshman year, an incident turned the bullying into a sexual assault. “In fourth period, he grabbed my shirt, my undergarment,” she said. “He exposed my breasts to my peers. I didn’t know what to do. I was scared. I was still intimidated. “And, when it happened again in sixth period that was the last time I was going to put up with that behavior. I went through the day just frightened. People were whispering about me in the hallways.”
She told her parents. Eventually, they pressed charges and won. But the boy’s friends continued to taunt her. Her friends deserted her. She chose to do her schoolwork as an independent study for two months, until she found the courage to return to school. Although she had a restraining order against the main perpetrator, the order didn’t apply at school. He and his friends continued to mock and taunt her through her senior year. “My Friday nights were spent with my mom and dad watching Lifetime movies instead of going out with my friends,” she said.
When she was chosen as Miss Montana USA , she took up the anti-bullying crusade with the International STAND UP to Bullying Day movement. The campaign started in Canada, when a boy was picked on for wearing a pink shirt to school. The next day, two bystanders wore pink shirts to show their solidarity with the victim. In her own school experience, no one wanted to get involved.
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Posted By: N2all |
3/18/14 1:17 PM
Another girl in the class should have told the teacher right away when he pulled her shirt down. Females need to stick together when males do things like that.
Posted By: Uplifter |
3/24/14 11:31 AM
Beautiful girl and she will help the young girls get through the bullying if they hear a story of her triumph