Out in the Open

A high school bully reflects on her violent behaviour

Suspended and then expelled from her junior high school at 13, Kerri Twigg was a violent teenager.
Kerri Twigg was a violent high school bully, but her aunt showed her that wasn't who she had to be. (Courtesy of Kerri Twigg)

When Manitoba's Kerri Twigg was in junior high, she was a bully. But it wasn't just playground shoves and teasing: Kerri was violent.

She once sent a girl to the doctor with bruises after kicking her with a steel-toed boots. Another time, she spat in a girl's face while she had strep throat.

"I was sitting with some of my friends in a field and we were just having lunch, and this guy started to walk across the field, and I saw him, and I was like, 'Let's get him!' and I don't know why that came over me," Kerri said.

After seven suspensions for violent and contrary behaviour, Kerri was expelled from the entire school district for breaking a girl's jaw on a sidewalk.

A few years after her parents divorce, Kerri moved away from her violent father and in with her aunt, placing her in a new school district. That gave Kerri the opportunity to make changes to her social circle, as well as to her violent behaviour.

"Whenever I came home late, or if I came home intoxicated, [my aunt] would wait up for me, and then she would just say 'I'm disappointed. I didn't expect that you would do this.' … She didn't see me as somebody who was violent or mean, she saw me as this really smart person who needed to work some things out," said Kerri.