Local STEM School Reforms Anti-Bullying Policy to Focus on Nerd Perpetrators

Written by: Varsha Varkhedi

“They make fun of me because I can’t prove Fermat’s Last Theorem,” said Toyle.
Photo by Jay Noonan

In an attempt to curb bullying tendencies, an elite STEM high school has made strides to phase out outdated anti-bullying programs and replace them with updated policies.

Nancy Turnbull, Principal of North Hill High School and pioneer of the new “Anti-Anti-Bullying Program,” gave a recent statement explaining what direction they plan on going. “Our school has had the same annual program where we tackle common bullying tendencies, the bystander effect, and how to properly deal with physical confrontation. However, as complaints of bullying have only escalated, we realized that the tactics we were using were completely outdated. Most of our knowledge had come exclusively from John Hughes movies, and it turns out our big issue was actually with empowered nerds that have gotten way too confident in themselves. As our school made pushes towards becoming more STEM-focused, we funded more AP classes and electronics clubs and cut funding to PE and sports. Unfortunately, this started giving some kids the idea that nerdy stuff was cool, and it completely turned the social hierarchy upside down.”

The “newfound confidence” of “the nerds” hascaused concern for many students with more traditional high school endeavors. Lacrosse player and self-proclaimed bully Nick Toyle expresses his frustration with the social shift: “Yeah, I’m pretty pissed with this new attitude coming from the losers. I had an expectation for high school that I’d be the king because I am the captain of the football team, but I get no respect from anyone. When I try to make fun of anyone, they look at me like I’m stupid. They constantly make fun of my interests, intimidate me, and make me feel like I don’t belong. It makes me feel small and worthless. No one should feel that way — except for nerds.”

When asked to expand on why he feels like this “new breed of dweebs” are not being accommodating of him, Toyle gave a few examples: “For starters, I haven’t eaten in a couple of weeks. Every time I ask for their lunch money, they just laugh at me. And I was a shoo-in for athlete of the year, and it went to some random skinny-ass kid who solved some stupid equations super fast. What a slap in the face to a true jock. I came into school during homecoming week expecting there to be murals of my face everywhere. But nothing. I got a “good luck at the game” from a few people, and that was it. I just feel like I don’t belong. I can’t wait till high school is over, and I’m out in the real world where my strengths will be appreciated.”

Henry Park, valedictorian and captain of the quiz bowl team, offered a different viewpoint of Toyle’s attitude: “I don’t get what the big issue is. Nerds are finally being left alone. Let’s just enjoy it. Nick seems nice, he just doesn’t really fit in with others. Like, he tried to make fun of me for watching anime, which was weird, because, like, who doesn’t watch anime? Look, it’s not like I’m actively going after Toyle. I started my own company in Junior year, and when he threatened me for my lunch money, I had to laugh. If he needs a job, he can just ask.” Park also gave a statement about winning athlete of the year, saying, “Yeah, that was pretty cool. I’ve taken the quiz bowl team to nationals three years in a row. We exercise our minds, so it’s technically not against the rules for me to win. No one’s gonna risk CTE and join football. I can’t remember the last time they’ve won.”

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