Bullied teen no longer feels alone
Sequoia Henry continues to push back against bullying
Photo by Mandi Hargrave
Sequoia Henry encourages other youth to stand up against bullying.
In the fifth and final part of the Forester’s series on bullying, Sequoia Henry talks about how life has changed since speaking out.
HUNTSVILLE – When Sequoia Henry came forward with his story of the torture he faced from being bullied, he was an emotionally beat-down young man feeling completely alone. But now, a month later, that feeling has nearly vanished with an outpouring of support from the community commending him for his bravery and thanking him for pushing back against bullying.
“I feel I’m pretty valuable now,” said Henry. “I feel like I’ve done something good and I need to continue it. There’s a reason to wake up in the morning.”
He’s also noticed a change among his peers.
“There’s more heroes now than bullies,” he said. “Before there were more bystanders than anything. Really how it went, there were more bystanders than bullies and more bullies than heroes. Heroes have stepped up, and by heroes I mean people that stand up against bullying.”
But it’s not all sunshine and happiness. Those responsible for bullying Henry haven’t relented and continue their tirade whether in person or online, calling him a liar and saying he hasn’t been bullied that badly. Perhaps they’ve forgotten about the pop bottles full of urine they’ve thrown at Henry.
“Bullying is bullying,” he said. “I’m just standing up for the ones that have been bullied badly and can’t do it for themselves.”
However, his words have gotten through to some of the bullies who have sent him apologies for their actions.
“There’s a lot of eye opening going on in the community,” he said. “I’m more comfortable with the fact that I have been through that (bullying) and that people are more open about it, so it feels like I’ve done a good thing.”
Henry is working on delivering workshops to the various schools in the community with a teacher and some students from Huntsville High School as part of a Speak Up forum.
His first presentation will be this Friday, Nov. 16, at Huntsville Public School. Henry’s been asked to speak about bullying at all the local public schools.
“There’s a lot more positive feedback, which is really good. We’re going for the positives,” he said.
Henry has also secured a gig as a radio host with a local Internet station where he’ll bring awareness to a variety of concerns teenagers are faced with, starting in December.
“People are coming to me about their stories about being bullied, asking for help from me, or just to have someone to stand there so they can cry on my shoulder,” he said.
Seeing the positive support that comes from speaking out against bullying, Henry wants other teens that are bullied to do the same.
“Stand up against it. Don’t let them do it,” he said. “Don’t give up on standing up for people who are being bullied.”
Henry thanks everyone who has come forward in support of his actions, whether through letters to the editor in the Forester, comments on Facebook or just stopping him in the halls at school or on the streets.
“I feel like I can go to people ‘cause more people know what happened and what is happening. More people are open to the subject,” he said.