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Former Bully Uses Facebook To Apologize 20 Years Later
By: Jennifer Graber
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The journey through elementary, middle, and high school can be quite tumultuous. You are growing as a person and trying to find your way. You are trying to figure out who you are in a world that is pushing you to be something else. If, by chance, you fail to fit a mold, you can become the target of unrelenting teasing and taunting. If you are lucky enough to be confident or strong, you may also find yourself the target of someone whose insecurities manifest in an ugly way. There is a great deal of truth in the saying that bullies are ripe with insecurity and struggle.
 
Bullying is especially prolific in this day and age. Social media makes it all too easy to spread rumors and make fun of others. There is bravery in anonymity. As such, your news feed is often full of negative stories and posts about others. It can be discouraging to see the things that teens and school-age children are faced with online. What is even more disheartening is that you usually do not see remorse or apologies. Teens and kids are then sometimes left dealing with the damage of being bullied.

So, it is a happy occasion to learn that there are those that actually take the time to make amends — even if it takes 20 years. Chad Michael Morrisette grew up in a small town in Alaska. Morrisette stood out at the time because he was one of only two gay students at school. This made his life particularly difficult, and he spent his formative years being taunted, pushed, threatened, and humiliated by more than one student. Morrisette's sexuality made him an easy target for many of his classmates.

Morrisette left home at 15 years of age and never looked back; the bullying stopped as well, and he never really thought anything of it. Fast-forward 20 years to the present, where Morrisette is checking his Facebook. Imagine his surprise when he receives a message from a name he did not entirely recognize — Louie Amundson.

Amundson was writing to Morrisette on Facebook to apologize for his role in Morrisette’s teasing and taunting. The Facebook message was a mea culpa for Amundson’s “shitty and mean” behavior. Amundson also stated that he wished he could apologize for his wrongdoings face-to-face, and would do so if the two lived in the same state. Amundson wanted to reach out because he remembered, even if Morrisette did not. The inspiration for the Facebook message came from an unlikely place — Amundson’s daughter. Amundon’s daughter inquired as to whether or not he had ever bullied anyone before. It was a sad discussion because the truth was that he had been a bully.

Morrisette took a day or two to really process the Facebook message. He even cried a bit because he said he realized he was holding on to things. Once everything had set in, Morrisette responded to Amundson’s Facebook message. His response indicated that he accepted and appreciated the only apology he received from being bullied. Morrisette also hopes that this will be a learning experience for Amundson in such a way that he will began to stand up to any sort of bullying he might see.  

The Facebook exchange has gone viral, even generating some unexpected attention for the two men. But ultimately both would like to see this be a catalyst for positive change.

Facebook is not all funny memes and ignorant posts. The social site is not just about being a mean girl. Facebook can also be about being a good person who feels sorry for what they have done. It can be a platform for change and making amends. Apologies matter — now, 20 years down the road, face-to-face, or on social media. Props go out to him for using social media in a non-typical way.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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