May 20, 2015

Bully of a gay Junior High School Student apologizes 20 years later

ChadMichael Morrisette, age 34, of West Hollywood, California, was bullied as a teenager.

He grew up in a small town in Alaska and was constantly bullied for being gay. 

ChadMichael Morrisette (L); Louie Amundsen (R)
In fact, he was extremely bullied and could not walk to classes alone but had to be accompanied by friends or teachers.

The entire football team at his junior high school mocked him endlessly. There were times when he would walk down the hallway and groups of guys would follow him, intimidating him, calling him down and shoving him.

ChadMichael was bullied for being gay, for being small in stature and for just being alive.

He left school at age 15 and later moved from Alaska to West Hollywood and restarted his life. He now works as a brand consultant and visual designer.

Earlier in May of 2015, out of the blue, ChadMichael received a Facebook message from a former school mate, Louie Amundsen.

Louie stated: "Hey Chad. I was recently talking with my 10 year old daughter about
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, who
said "I am ground like a grain of
wheat", pray for all who are ground
down by bullying. 
bullies. She asked me if I ever bullied anyone and sadly I had to say "yes". What came to mind is how shitty and mean I was to you when we were in Jr. High. I want to apologize. If we lived in the same state I would apologize to your face. I don't even know if you remember, but I do and I am sorry.”

ChadMichael was emotional over this apologetic message and responded: “I'm quite moved by this. Thank you and I accept your apology. In 20 years you are the only person to apologize for being a bully to me when we were younger. I hope you can tell your daughter that you have also apologized for it, and that we are good. It's amazing what 20 years and children can do to us, no? Thank you again, and I hope you stand up to bulling anytime you see it. Have a great day!”

Louie Amundsen further stated: “You can’t change your past, but you do still own it. I can’t take back the names I called him, and the threats I made toward him, but I can apologize. It doesn’t excuse my behavior as a child in any way, but as an adult it’s the best I can do to try to make it up to him."

There is a lesson here for all of us.  Two mature men manned up and did the right thing.  One man apologized for his behaviour 20 years earlier and another man accepted the apology without rancour. 

Speak up against bullying wherever you see it. Let's teach our kids that human suffering is never cool and that knowing what is right doesn't mean much unless you do what is right. 

God help all who are tormented. Amen. 

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