Derek Hough Was Bullied By Kids With Guns as a Kid

Derek Hough recently revealed that he turned to dancing as an outlet because he needed a safe place and something positive in his life. And now the reason for that has become perfectly understandable: to say he was bullied as child is the understatement of the year. Derek opened up about a time in his young life when he was positively tortured by other children. The bullying incidents in which he was a victim were so horrendous and extreme that there were actual guns involved.

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The Dancing With the Stars cutie accepted an award at the GLSEN Gala in California this weekend and used his opportunity at the podium to highlight the need for victims of bullying to open up and tell someone about what is going on. In his acceptance speech, the 29-year-old said, "They would tie my ankles up with a very rough rope and hang me in a tree upside down, spit on me and call me names, even hold a gun to my head. Coming from a family of hunters, I assumed the gun was real. I didn't tell anybody -- my parents or teachers or friends or sisters."

How absolutely horrific. The incredible fear and shame Derek must have felt as a young child is difficult to imagine. This is the first time I've heard of anyone being bullied with a gun and, as a mom, I must admit it scares me to death.

More from The Stir: 8 Ways to Teach Your Kid to Stand Up to Bullies

Derek urged anyone being bullied not to "suffer in silence" and to use "strength" and "courage" to get help. Derek is a great example of someone who ignored the message that he wasn't good enough and rose above it to pursue and achieve his goals and dreams. With hope, other young people will look up to him as a role model and realize they, too, deserve great things in their lives.

Are you surprised by the extreme way in which Derek was bullied as a kid?

 

Image via Valerie Macon/Getty Images

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