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Former Bully Sends Powerful Apology To Classmate 20 Years Later

05/19/2015 12:13 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2015

An apology that one man received from an old classmate reminds us all that it's never too late to right your wrongs.

ChadMichael Morrisette, now 34, grew up in a small town in Alaska and, starting in the sixth grade, was bullied for being gay, he told Today.com.

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ChadMichael Morrisette.

"There were times I'd walk down the hallway and groups of guys would follow me, threaten me, humiliate me, push me," Morrisette, who now works as a brand consultant and visual designer in West Hollywood, California, told the outlet.

But earlier this month, about 20 years after the bullying occurred, Morrisette received a message from Louis Amundson, one of those bullies. This time, it was far from cruel.

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The apology message.

"I was recently talking with the my 10-year-old daughter about bullies. She asked me if I ever bullied anyone and sadly I had to say 'yes.' What came to mind is how ... mean I was to you when we were in Jr. High," the message read. "I want to apologize ... I don't even know if you remember, but I do and I am sorry."

The apology had a huge effect on Morrisette.

“It unlocked something in me I didn’t realize I’d been holding onto," the visual designer told Yahoo. "I cried a little bit. It was so moving.”

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Morrisette's response.

Morrisette replied, thanking his former bully for the redeeming act and accepting his apology.

"I'm quite moved by this," he wrote. "In 20 years you are the only person to apologize for being a bully to me when we were younger. I hope you can proudly tell your daughter that you have also apologized for it, and that we are good."

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More of Morrisette and Amundson's conversation.

Amundson was relieved by the forgiveness he received and says that though it took a while for him to go forward with it, it was worth it.

“You can’t change your past, but you do still own it,” he told Yahoo. “I can’t take back the names I called him, and the threats I made toward him, but I can apologize. It doesn’t excuse my behavior as a child in any way, but as an adult it’s the best I can do to try to make it up to him."

Also on HuffPost:

"Bodies Aren't Ugly. Bullying Is"
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