I never went to traditional public school. I went to a Charter school, where it was pretty much the same group of kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, mixed-grade classes. And due to some level shuffling, we also had a lot of the same teachers from third grade onwards.
Advantage: the older kids didn't rule anything.
Disadvantage: the older kids didn't rule anything.
In fourth grade (he was in third), we had one nightmare classmate who tried to put his hand down the back of a girl's shirt, but the girls (and some of the guys, too) collectively shunned him for a while, which made him behave after that. We never really forgot, though, and even when we were in eighth and he in seventh, he had only two friends.
Actually, until fifth grade or so my best friend at school was the most popular girl in school and something like a rival of the Girl Gang, our only exclusive clique. My friend was my protector from just about all the nasties, because no one wanted to chance losing her favor. She switched to her town school system after fifth grade and we lost track of each other. Another friend who no one really wanted to mess with (she could probably have broken anyone at school in half) sort-of took over protecting me from the worst of the mess for the next year. And then, in seventh and eighth grades, the trouble struck.
I was a victim of political correctness, the "we can't punish them, they're black and they'll cry racism!" syndrome. (Not said in exactly those words, of course.)
So for seventh grade, it was D, for eighth grade, it was Freddie. They are brothers and still idiots, and Freddie is now best friends with a former friend of mine. She was a nice girl, too...
In seventh grade, D would do things like trap me at the end of the hallway and make risque comments, come up behind me, and pretend to ask me out. I would retaliate hotly, usually with a hardcover book. (I didn't often allow it to hit in seventh grade, and he knew that and didn't care.) He also once called my house and asked for me. At least, we think it was him, because he refused to give his name when asked for it. The first time I told the teachers, I got a response along the lines of "what do you want us to do about it". When my mother went, she got responses along the lines of "yeah, we know it's a problem, but he's black and we can't punish him". From my pod teacher and the level coordinator. If we'd gotten to the principal that year, something might have happened, but she left at the end of the year and was replaced...
And I got stuck with Freddie, who was a year younger than I. I seldom actually complained about him, although he would sometimes kick my heels from behind in line, make comments, and occasionally touch me. I'd learned, by that point, that complaining didn't do any good. And there was also my arch-nemesis J, and I'm not sure why no one ever punished her for harassing me, since she did get suspended for a day when she brought caffeine pills to school when she was in fifth grade. (I was in sixth.)
My poor sister is now stuck not only with Freddie and the others his age (who I could and did protect her from when I was still at that school- that trusty hardcover book again. Never stopped them from harassing me, but I guess they figured she wasn't worth the fight later.), but with a guy her age who the teachers got the bright idea to pair with her and her best friend on a science project. This kid touches them, pinches their rears, and kicks them. The teacher does nothing. My parents and the friend's parents complain to the school. Still the teachers do nothing. I suggested she orchestrate a shunning of him, since she's popular enough to do that, but they're already doing that and he doesn't care, and they have to talk with him to work with him. At least she's only got one more year after this one.
Strangely enough, I had much less trouble than could be expected with my dorm. There was this nice, influential, beloved senior who befriended me last year... and this year I hang out with the freshmen. They're all a very nice bunch and they don't try to mess with me.