As I am sure most of you have noticed, this site is generally dedicated to crafts, foods, budgeting, and other things that might interest parents. Today I wanted to share with you something that I think all parents should be on the lookout for, regardless of the age of their children. Bullying is a huge problem with today’s youth and all too often it gets overlooked as something all children grow out of. This isn’t always the case. Bullying can end in tragedy. Take the case of Tyler Lee Long for instance. Tyler was bullied relentlessly while at school as well as both on and offline. His mother went to the school board, the counselors, and nothing was ever done. Tyler told his parents that the children at school hit him, shoved his head into walls, spit into his food, and told him to go kill himself. Ultimately, Tyler did kill himself at the age of seventeen. His family now has to spend each and every day without their son. They have sued the school district for not getting involved, but that will not bring their son back. I believe that it’s time to raise awareness.
School is not the same as it was “back in the day.” I have been out of high school for eight years and I have heard from many people that it is still worse today than it was just eight years ago when I was in school. I never witnessed much physical abuse between the females in my school, just verbal and mental. The boys however fought all the time. There was one boy in school who was more violent than any of the others. I can recall vividly him throwing punches into another students face in the lunchroom when I was just a sophomore and again during both our junior and senior years. He would go to the office, be put on in school suspension, and that was the extent of his punishment. He was once made to apologize to the boy he punched, but apologies don’t mean much when they are forced and fake.
The film bully takes place not too far from my home town of Humboldt. Sioux City, Iowa is where this film takes place and when I thought about how close to home this film hit, I realized it would be wrong of me not to share it. Here I have a platform (my website) where I can reach a lot of people in a short amount of time. I can share this post with you from here, I can pin it, tweet it, Facebook, and throw it onto StumbleUpon as well. It’s up to you to take it from there. It’s up to you to decide if you are willing to take a real look at what happens in schools today. They are not safe. The school boards, administrators, teachers, and counselors do not always have the answers. These people are the ones that our children are supposed to be entrusted to, so what happens when they decide there is nothing to be done because this is just kids being kids? When do we decide that we as parents have had enough of the things happening to our children inside of the schools that are supposed to educate and protect them?
I believe with all of my heart and soul that the first step to making a difference, is to become educated. Educate yourselves on the things going on at your kids schools. Do kids think that it’s a bother when we are asking them about their day? Of course they do, they’re kids. But, if something is going on and you don’t ask, the effects could be devastating. If you do find out something is happening with your child at school and the district is not helping, do not ever hesitate to pull your child from that school. Please, never make your kids tough it out in a place where they are being beaten and bullied. There are other options.
If your child or his/her friends are being bullied, please be an advocate for them. These kids often times do not know where to turn, or are afraid that they will be ridiculed more for telling on the students who are bullying them. Get involved. Get the teachers involved. Involve the principal, the school board, the entire town if you have to. Stand before the city council and tell your story until people listen. Do whatever it takes. These are our children. These are our flesh and blood being beaten, bullied, tormented, spit on, and violently abused. These are the children that we hold and hug and love that somebody else might be hurting. We as parents can no longer be bystanders. It’s time for us to take action to protect our children.
Please, take your children to see the movie Bully. Watch it for yourself. Check out the website. Talk to your kids about being a bully, spotting a bully, or standing up to a bully. Teach them the difference between which ways are right and which are wrong. Teach them that it is never okay to tease someone for being different and if they see someone else doing it, to get a teacher involved. We need our children to know that It does get better.
Please check out this page for a list of anti-bullying websites.