When I was in high school, the deputy principal used to say, at least once a month that everybody had the right to walk around the school without fear of physical, verbal or non-verbal abuse. Here is something he forgot to mention. If someone stands one metre from you and they step 50cms closer, by stepping 50cms away, you are retaking the distance between you. If you bet $10 on a horse and lose, you’ll get another $10 in your next pay packet, but if you have five minutes demanded of your time, you’ll never get those five minutes back.

The bullies I encountered needed to be told not only that I had the right to walk around the school without fear of being abused, but to be shamed into realising, “He is not seeking out your company. He is not seeking to have you emulate him. As far as he is concerned, you can do whatever you want but DON’T do it to his property or to his person.” You can write whatever you want on your schoolbag, but if HE wants to keep his clean and clear of that, well, that’s his right.

Furthermore, he might be in your class for some subjects, but all you have to do is have it that you sit on one side of the class and they sit on the other. That way, you don’t encroach on his time. And just because you may have been put into his class doesn’t mean to say that you have the right to his time at lunchtime. If YOU want to hang around with your friends, and he wants to sit by himself, you don’t have the right to demand his time! And hanging around him, kicking him, punching him, is not just threatening his physical state but thieving his time!

Passing someone you don’t like on the walkway is not theft of time, but crossing the walkway to harass somebody is threatening their time.

Time is something that once it is gone can never be gotten back.

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.