Anish had many friends and they all walked as a big group whenever they went anywhere. They even had a name and were called ‘The Steppers’. They would sit together at lunch, and they would meet at the same point everyday whenever they were going anywhere. Whenever they went into town, they would take over the game arcade because there were so many of them. Some of the other children were scared of them because they often acted as bullies.
Although Anish spent most of his time with them, he was not like them at all. He did not like how they would bully the younger children and take away their money or food or toys. He did not want to speak out because he didn’t want to seem like he was going against the group.
One day the boys decided that they were going to steal from the local store. The shop had money and goodies that they all wanted so they met one day to organise how they would go about it. Anish was there, but he didn’t want to steal from anyone. He liked being in a group and doing things together like playing football where a big group made more sense. When they met he told them he did not want to go with them to rob the store. They all laughed at him and jeered him and called him a chicken. They also told him that if he didn’t go, he would no longer be a part of the group as majority has decided like that.
This made Anish very sad, but he had made up his mind. He would rather not be in a group if that was what the group was all about. He went back home and they set off to rob the store. The next day Anish heard that they were all caught at the store and their parents had to go get them from the police station because they were all so young. They had to perform fifty hours of community service as punishment, including cleaning the streets and public toilets.
Anish was now very glad that he had not gone with them. It seems the group had been broken up altogether after all.
Never be afraid to stand up for yourself, even if others will laugh at you. There is power in numbers, but majority does not always mean right.
By Kerry Ann Stewart
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