THE VILLAGES — Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Nicholas Wood, 16, says he was consistently harassed by a group of kids in middle school.
What started out as little jokes and pranks turned into beatings and death threats.
“I grew up happy with my faith in Jesus,” Wood said. “But in sixth grade, these kids just started picking on me and made my life hell on earth.”
At first, the kids would poke fun at his glasses, how he spoke and his clothes. As a sixth grader, Wood excelled in math and was placed in an eighth-grade algebra class. He believes his peers resented him for it.
“It was just me and my thoughts,” Wood said about the summer after sixth grade. “As seventh grade approached, I was hoping the people had matured, but the first day back those same students continued where they left off.”
The attacks became physical. Wood said they began with a punch to the stomach and every day became gradually worse.
“I don’t even know how they came up with so many things to do to me,” Wood said. “They pulled knives on me and some even threatened rape. But the worse part was that no one did anything and just passed it off as horsing around.”
After his mother discovered bruises all over his body she tried contacting the school, but the bullies were relentless.
“I had stopped praying because I felt like God had deserted me,” Wood said. “I was extremely depressed and constantly thought of suicide. Then the pain would go away.”
Wood and his mother packed up and moved to Lake County where he began attending The Villages Charter School. However, he was…
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