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“Red Head Randy” Actress, Jackee Minelli, Overcomes Years of Bullying

lannah

THE AMAZING JACKEE MINELLI

Here is a young lady who is inspiration personified.  Jackee Minelli is young but has been through a lot in her life.  Due to this, her self confidence has been incredibly low – until recently.  She has acted in the just released anti-bullying movie Red Head Randy (also starring Meredith O’Connor) and I understand that this, along with all the attached publicity, is helping Jackee in so many ways.  Long may it last.

Overcoming Bullying
by Jackee Minelli

The Start of My Nightmare

It first started in kindergarten, my Mom and Dad took care of mentally challenged and elderly people and  brought them to my school fundraiser.  One of the men drooled (a side-effect from his meds) and had a napkin like he always does. The kids at the school made fun of him, so I told my mom about it. The mom of one of the mean kids said, “These kind of people shouldn’t be brought to this kind of fundraiser.” My Mom turned around, looked at them, and said,  “They belong here more then you ungodly people do.” The kid became distant from that time on. Then it got worse each year as time went on.

I had to wear an eye patch that year because of a tracking problem and a lazy eye.  The kids would call me names like “pirate jack” or “one eyed jack”.  It made me feel really bad.  Then I had to wear glasses and they called me “four eyes pirate jack”.   I cried, wishing to be different and asked my mother, “Why am I made like this?”.  I didn’t want to go to school anymore.

First Through Fourth Grade

Because of the tracking problem, the teacher made me sit up front to get all my work done. The kids continued to call me names. I also had a reading problem that I needed help for. That warranted the name “stupid four eyed jack“. I felt  like I wasn’t good enough and didn’t fit in.

Then I gained weight…

Everyone received invitations to birthday parties right in front of me. I was the only kid that sometimes wouldn’t get one. They left me out as if I wasn’t even there.  I cried and did not want to go to school.  I couldn’t even concentrate on my work.

Second and third grade got worse.  I was tormented and teased  everyday. Daily tears poured.  I did have one friend who was heavy. They made fun of her also.  Her mother blamed me for it and didn’t want her to be friends with me. It wasn’t my fault.  They teased her because she was heavy and liked dragons.

Another year passed; fourth grade started.  I hoped things would be better.  My Mom talked to the ladies in the office again.  The teacher spoke to the class about the bullying. Instead of making it stop, the abuse continued and got even worse.  I would go in my room and cry but tell my mom everything was OK. I hated to come out. I isolated myself all the time. Mom wanted me to come out, but it was just so hard to pretend everything was fine.

Fifth Through Eighth Grade

I made the basketball team in fifth grade, thought I would make friends, but the kids continued to call me names. They wouldn’t even sit by me.  I sat by myself, waiting to play.  I was asked to be on the All Star basketball team because I was good at shooting 3 pointers. My success only angered the others.  Lunchtime was difficult as well.  They would get up and go to another table when I’d approach, leaving me there to sit alone.  I would hear my Mom cry and pray for God to help me to be happy and not feel so bad all the time.

My troubles followed me into sixth grade. The basketball team leader was supposed to call all the kids for practice and never called me.  Practice went from July through September.  When school started we wondered when basketball would start. The coach told us it started 2 months prior. The kids on the team had told the coach they didn’t call me because I had heart problems. The coach suspended the practice for the whole team. In the middle of the year my mother asked the gym and art teachers to watch out for kids picking on me.  Unfortunately, the office and the homeroom teachers only tried to cover it up.

One day in the hall, while I was waiting for my mom to come, the art teacher caught the kids with my book bag  and overheard them saying they were going to do something to me.  They stopped the games for a month and told them if it didn’t stop, they wouldn’t play at all or even graduate.  I stood in my room at night, crying and wishing I could be like others. I didn’t want to live that way anymore.

Seventh and eighth grade brought more pain. I would go to the bathroom all the time and try to leave school during vocabulary class because we had to read aloud. I didn’t read very well or know how to say some of the words like the other kids did. They would always make fun of me, laughing when it was my turn. I also worried about high school. I wondered where I would go and if I would have friends.   The panic attacks started. I worried if the bullies would go to the same school.

High School 

I prayed everyday and night it would be different in High School. God finally answered my prayers, when ninth grade rolled around!   – I made lots of new friends.  I even made two best friends.  We all used to hang out a lot together. However, tenth grade changed a lot.  Everyone got interested in doing drugs, drinking, going out.   I never wanted to do that stuff, so I stopped being friends with most of them.  I believe in God’s ways and I try to be a good person and not hurt or judge others.

I was in a life skills class when a boy behind me made fun of these kids that had mental problems.  I didn’t like it, so I told him off. He retaliated by trying to reach up my skirt.  I told the teacher but she only said stop. Then he did it again. I got up and walked out of the class. Everyone laughed.  The teacher told me to come back in or I would get into a lot of trouble.  My one best friend at the time and I walked out to go to the principal. As time went on,  they didn’t do anything more.

While at a restaurant with my friend, the bullies texted me, saying they were going to jump me. They also called my phone all night long. Nothing was done about any of it, so I switched schools.  I had one good friend at the new school.  We hung out all the time and everything felt good again.  I was happy, then I got my first boyfriend. I was so excited!  Things fell a part when I broke up with the boy.  He had everyone after me and everything got worse again. I left the school at the end of the year.

I went back to the previous school in eleventh grade.  They made me feel really uncomfortable like I didn’t belong there. I honestly didn’t want to be there. English class was the worst.  While in the front of the class, everyone talked about me and stared like I was some kind of monster. They called me names, whispering.  It hurt very badly, so I went to the guidance counselor to see if they could switch me back with one of my old friends that I was still close to.  They did, but it still happened again.

I couldn’t wait for everything to be over, so I went back and asked the counselor to put me at the VO Tech school. I met a lot of new friends there and it was great.  I felt like I belonged there till one day I walked into the cafe and saw my ex boyfriend. He sat there with the whole table, calling me very bad names.  I was called “fat, whore, ugly, gross, slut” – everything in the book.

Everywhere I turned the name-calling continued. They looked at me like I was that monster again. It hurt a lot, but I tried to stay positive and get on with school.  He was sent to rehab, after that everything was better again.  I had to be in a class with 10th graders because I missed a Science course.  They pushed me, hit me, took my stuff, stole my money and threatened me. I told the teacher. She never did anything about it.

In 12th grade I stopped going to my school because things got even worse. Everyone seemed to hate me, so I started cyber school and also still went to VO Tech .   The friends I had at VO Tech started doing bad things and talked about me. Then one girl came up to me and told me people were saying I was doing bad things with people I didn’t even know.  People said I was buying drugs off these two guys in school. I never touched a drug in my life, so it made me very mad. Even worse, the rumor was started by an old friend.

I had gained confidence, believing I wasn’t fat, then lost it once again when my physical appearance was criticized.  Most of the time I didn’t even want to be alive. I hated my life because it hurt so badly, but I stayed positive and tried to be strong.

Turning It Around

JACKEE 21Then I entered a modelling contest and won!  They also had me do a commercial.  It was fun, so my mom got me into acting and modelling. That’s when I met Phil and Raymond. They have helped me in so many ways, making me laugh and have fun with other kids. It felt so good to be a normal person. I realized other kids could like me and want to be around me.  I also met a very nice girl, Christy, who made me feel comfortable. 

My mom and I got to meet Mr Henry Winkler (the Fonz) from “Happy Days”, an old show.  My mom loved him – I jumped in and started talking to him and my mom’s mouth just dropped. She couldn’t stop talking about how good I did at conversation with a celebrity.  She was so proud of me. It was all from Phil and Raymond and the movie “Red Head Randy”. Acting in it has helped me in so many ways.  Then I got to meet Ian Somerhalder from “Vampire Diaries”, my favorite TV show. I wouldn’t have been able to speak to one of my greatest inspirations if it wasn’t for God, Phil and Raymond.

God will always be number one to me, though…and, of course, my mom, dad, and brothers. They all have been big supporters.  My brother, his girlfriend,my boyfriend,my mom & dad, and a worker started a fan club and made up tee-shirts to help raise money for the movie.  It has helped me in so many ways. I’m thankful and feel blessed that I did this project.  I hope it helps other kids see how they hurt each other and that it  stops the bullying so other kids don’t have to go through what I did.

Thank you.

Jackee

Story Source:  Jackee Minelli
Images:
Jackee
Cast of ‘Red Head Randy’ – including both Meredith O’Connor and Jackee Minelli

 

        

About Lannah Sawers-Diggins

I am a married Mum from Western Australia and while I do work part time for a dietitian, I am also a published author in my own right. Along with being a photographer and journalist – and lots of other things. I am passionate about life – while I am middle aged I do feel that I am ageing backwards – most of the time. Most of my life I have just been ‘coasting along’ – almost veging, I guess – up until a few years ago when I had an ‘epiphany’. I suddenly found myself being ‘forced’ to do something I have always wanted to do – but never known how to. Have books published. Seriously, how do you have books published? For many reasons I pursued this and some years later have two published titles to my name and currently working on four more. The research for three of them is something I am absolutely thriving on – can’t get enough. Yes, I have my hiccups but generally just look at them, think of another way, go around and on. Onward and upward. In a word I absolutely love writing – I am passionate about it. To the stage where I am probably really painful about it.

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