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Miss Texas Shares Her Memories of School Bully with Borchardt Students (September, 2005)

Miss TexasBorchardt Elementary students were dazzled by the rhinestone tiara but they listened carefully as Morgan Matlock, Miss Texas 2005, talked to them Thursday morning about how negativity, bullying and gossip can hurt a person and cause problems that last for years.

Matlock, 24, of Lamesa, Texas, shared with the students that when she was in fifth grade she entered the school talent contest. She decided to sing a country-western song and she practiced long and hard to do her best. When she was leaving the stage, a boy looked at her and told her how badly she had done and claimed he had had to put his fingers in his ears.

“I wanted to cry and I did cry when I got home,” she said, adding that even though her family told her she sang wonderfully, all she could remember were the hurtful words of one little boy. His words on that day stayed with her for a long time and kept her from trying out for solos in the school choir and from trying out for parts in school plays – something she wanted very much to do.

Matlock invited two volunteers to come up and take part in a demonstration. She had the students squeeze all the tooth paste out of a tube. After she praised the students for doing it, she asked them to put the tooth paste back inside. As the students offered several unsuccessful suggestions about returning the toothpaste to the tube, Matlock explained that hurtful words and gossip can’t really be put back in once they are out of our mouths.

She cautioned students to think about how they would feel before they say things that would hurt someone. She also urged students who are being bullied to seek out a teacher for help.

Matlock is doing a year of service as Miss Texas. She will then attend Texas Tech University where she is majoring in psychology. She is working through the Texas Cares for Children Program. Her platform is Putting an End to Verbal Abuse.