Posts Tagged Bullying

Beating the Bullies

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is estimated that each school day, over 160,000 children stay home because of bullying.
Since many of us have experienced some form of bullying we know that the power of the bully is diminished when there are no followers.

Each day, when your child leaves for school remember to give them a hug to let them know they are loved. In a more subtle way, encourage their own personal power, and as you discuss the kind of a day they had over dinner, listen carefully to what they say and know when to step in when they need you.

Here is a high school student’s college admissions essay that I had to share:

“If I held the thermometer tightly in my hands, I could raise the temperature just enough so that I could stay home from school without my parents being concerned enough to take me to the doctor. This worked in the past, whenever I felt the need to fake an illness to get a break from being teased at school.

I had resigned myself to the fact that the teasing had to be my fault. Perhaps I should have raised my hand less when I had the right answer. Perhaps I should have laughed at the joke, even if I didn’t think it was funny. It was about fitting in. Although it was fairly constant, the teasing was subtle, too subtle to report without making me sound like a wimp.

One day everything changed. It happened as the 5th grade lined up for library. John was short by 3rd grade standards. He wore very thick glasses, and was not able to stand up straight due to some sort of spine curvature. This made him a prime target for the bullies. The teasing inflicted on John was much worse than anything I had experienced. But on that particular day, some of our classmates started knocking on his front and back to laugh at the sound that resulted from the plastic plates he wore under his shirt. It was more than I could take.

I don’t know where it came from, but I became almost ‘Hulk-like’ with anger. To this day, I honestly can’t say if I stood up for John because of the cruel punishment he was getting, or if I was finally dealing with the fact that neither of us, or anyone else for that matter, deserved to be treated that way. I stood in the middle of the cool kids, only a bit taller than John, and let them have it. My voice was loud and cracking, and my cheeks were flushed, but I somehow found the words that had been buried inside me for the entire year. ‘Do you like being mean? How would you feel if you were in his place?’ I was so afraid it would slip that I was really referring to the way they treated me, but fortunately I didn’t. When I finished, one kid made a joke, but the rest were quiet and looked down. The crowd dispersed as the teacher came around, but she never did understand the minor commotion.

We are now in our senior year in high school, yet John and I have never spoken of that day. Sometimes he will give me a little smile as we pass each other in the hall. Perhaps it’s my imagination but I have to believe he stood just a bit taller from that day on. I know I did.”

Tina Nocera
Parental Wisdom

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Have We Really Evolved?

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Parents Say Online Bullies Caused Daughter’s Suicide

When your children are little, and when they fall and hurt themselves it’s easy to kiss the hurt and apply a band-aid.

But as they get older, the world can be cold and cruel, and situations that can’t be fixed with a band-aid and kiss.

The story in recent news is incredible and makes me wonder if we’ve really evolved at all. Parents posing as a teen age boy befriend a 14-year-old girl online. The girl’s parents took all the right precautions regarding Internet safety, but after ‘Josh’ befriended their daughter, he began to say cruel and hurtful things.

The intention of the parents pretending to be Josh was to see if the girl said anything bad about their daughter. That in itself is unreal. But the story gets worse because the teenage girl was on medication for ADD and depression, and hung herself because of the cruelty.

When it was realized that this was a hoax, the girl’s parents confronted the neighborhood family that created Josh and after losing their tempers did some damage to their property, and called the police.

The law cannot do anything to the family that created this hoax, while there is a family that no longer has their little girl. She had a name – it was Megan Miers.

Please remember her name because Megan’s parents are working on legislation to change the law so this doesn’t happen to someone else’s child. When they need support, I’m sure they can count on every parent that wants to protect their children.

My heart goes out to this family, along with my support.

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