I stayed home today to ice my neck and try to get some much needed rest due to my thyroid raising havoc on this old body of mine. While I waited for my coffee to brew I read a few blogs and came across this post at Bernthis.com and also seen this video about bullying. I cried.
Most of the time when I visit Jessica’s blog I laugh because she is hysterical but thankfully she took a break from being funny in order to share her personal story with her readers.
This is a topic that I am especially sensitive about. It is a topic that gets me worked up and brings me to tears.
Just ask any of the 7 people that call me Mom or Mommy and they will tell you that I have zero tolerance for bullying in any shape or form. I even go as far as saying that if you stand by and watch silently while someone else is being bullied then you are just as guilty as the bully.
My children know that if they were to bully or stood silently by and watched that they have my wrath to fear.
The main reason for my feelings is that I grew up with a brother that is mentally challenged because of having meningitis as a young child. So even though he may look “normal” he is challenged in the way of learning. Don’t get me wrong he is very smart in many ways, just not down on paper or in tests. He is 2 years older than me and my parents put him through school with me so that I could look out for him.
In the early years, he went to special education classes with other kids that had challenges. This was great but on the playground and lunchroom he was bullied, teased and called names.
Then in high school, they came up with this great idea of mainstreaming the special ed kids in with the regular kids. Do you have any idea of the pure hell this opened up for my brother and the kids like him?
They took his money. They took his books away. They pushed him and hit him and called him retard and other demeaning names. They ripped his clothes. They stole his jackets. If he had a snack they took it. They took his food at lunch time. They tried to get him to fight. And sometimes he did. Of course he was the one that got into trouble. They taunted him until he swore. Of course he was the one that got into trouble.
This was the case for my brother and all the kids like him.
As hard as I tried to be there 24/7 for him…to protect him, I couldn’t. If he got hurt, had something stolen from him or got in trouble for defending himself, and I wasn’t there to help him, I felt guilty.
People that I thought were my friends stood by and watched him be bullied. They did nothing.
The thing is neither did the teachers or administration.
No matter how many fights I got in over defending him and these other innocent victims, the school turned a blind eye to it.
It wasn’t just the special ed kids getting bullied. It was the over weight, the kids that wore glasses or had braces, the kids that didn’t wear the best clothes or have nice things, the kids smaller in size, the shy kids, anyone that was different or anyone that the bullies seen fit to pick on.
All of them victims of bullies.
Bullies that got away with their nasty behavior. And schools who turned a blind eye because these bullies were jocks, did well academically or come from prominent families in their communities.
This was all over 30 years ago and sadly it hasn’t changed all that much.
Except now we have kids with cell phones and computers so we can add cyber bullying and texting to the bullies arsenal.
When will we as a country wake the hell up to the crisis of bullying?
Putting signs up around the school saying “Zero tolerance for bullying” and teaching it to students is NOT enough. It has to be backed up. There has to be severe consequences for any type of bullying. The victims need to have their voices heard and believed. Parents of bullies need to be aware and do something about their child.
When will enough be enough?
I could tell you about my nephew who was attacked in his school gymnasium during the lunch hour. He was kicked until he was unconscious. These boys were charged with a crime but in the end all that happened to them was a little slap on the hands by the judge. The parents in a uproar because their precious boys who were the town jocks, did well in school and came from prominent families, were in trouble and wouldn’t get to play in their sports events. Insanity.
A bully is a bully even if he or she comes from an upstanding family or is the top player on the team or one of the smartest kids in the class.
I could tell you of other stories with equal insanity to them.
My daughter did a project in high school about anti bullying and I was blown away by the statistics of young people that commit suicide over being bullied. She worked hard to educate the people of our community and yet much of it fell on deaf ears.
This brings me back to the start of my post and why I find it so important to drill this into my children. All children.
I have read numerous posts just this week about children being bullied and the affects it had on them.
We must break the silence.
Thankfully people like Ellen are speaking out and exposing this ugly crime.
Like Ellen say’s this is a crisis in our country. We need to stop this insanity. Bullies need to be stopped NOW. No one deserves to be teased, taunted or made fun of. No one deserves to be pushed around, punched or kicked. No one deserves to have their life made miserable by bullies.
Growing up and going to school is hard enough.
Lets break the silence people. It’s time to stop the bullies. It’s time to talk to our kids about not being the bully or silently standing by. It’s time to listen to the victims. Let’s hear their cries & stop these senseless acts of crime from happening.
The time is NOW!
That’s my rant for the day…I’m off to rest awhile and hoping to stop by your places later…see ya later alligators!
Until next time, love & hugs, Lori