It's an all too familiar of a scene when you walk into our schools today. Someone somewhere is being bullied. In light of the recent school shooting at Marshall County High School, I felt compelled to address what so many fail to acknowledge.
Bullying in our schools.
This particular shooting hit way to close to home for me. I have a sister-n-law who works at this school, nieces who attended, and friends who have family directly affected by this tragedy. It's personal.
Bullying is a prominent problem that a lot of people either close their minds to or ignore it thinking it will go away.
Statistics show that 1 out of every 5 students is being bullied in some fashion. Out of all those, only 43% report the issue to adults. Students who are bullied are at a greater risk for sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression. They are also twice as likely to experience headaches and stomachaches.
For those of you who think that bullying is just words that we can ignore, please realize that back when we were children, things were very different. Yes, we made fun of each other, if it got bad we would take care of it with our fists and that was the end of it. Now...ALL the rules have changed. We have social media, we have cell phones. When I was a child, I went home and the bullying stopped. Kids now do not have that luxury. Bullies post pictures, send threatening texts and emails, mock, badger and push. So to say for these kids just to "deal" is putting a nail right in their coffin.
Bullying is brushed under the rug so often by those who "didn't see it, so it didn't happen" or "my kid would NEVER", let me express myself boldly...IT HAPPENS and it HAS been my kid.
We need, now more than ever, to be advocates for our children, our friend's children and the strangers down the street. When we do see something, not to ignore it but to take action on it. Our children are suffering and people just turn a blind eye. We allow this behavior by not teaching our children it's not ok to act like this, it's not ok to treat others like they don't matter.
If your child tells you that they are getting bullied, listen to them. Go to the school, contact the parents, be your child's advocate. Stop telling them to "man up" and listen to what they are telling you. If we start listening we could potentially stop that next suicide or school shooting.
Now I want you to know that I am not blaming all this on parents. But I do feel that we are our children's greatest teachers. We need to communicate with them. Be nosy and find out what's going on. If they are having issues, be there for them. We may be the only ones who are! Find resources. There are many ways to combat the issue and I feel that it starts at home. We can be the solution or we can contribute to the problem by ignoring it. Which side will you choose?
Here is a great resource for you and your family on the subject of bullying that has been helpful to our family and our community.
Here, you can take a pledge to make a difference and join the movement to end bullying. There are also Bully Project
You can join your local bully project or start your own project. You can find all the tools and resources you need to talk to your children. Be that difference!
Just remember that WE are that change and we can teach our children that it is NOT ok to bully. Your words reflect who you are, so let's all make a good impression on one another! Let our voices be those of praise and not downgrades, lift each other up and stop knocking each other down.
~ The screams surround me like a plague, devouring me in its misery. I can't get it to subside, these thoughts in my head. Is it true what they say? Am I really not good enough? Should I really be dead?
The pain of my existence has tarnished those around me. No one sees me, no one cares. The words cut deeper into my scars, so deep I cannot feel it any longer.
The screams more than ever taunt me, "You're worthless", " You're nothing", " You should DIE", mocking me until the end.
As I lay here bleeding, the screams subside and there is nothing left. No pain, no love, no emotion at all.
You fools, I am now gone, you got what you want. So when is enough, this taunting you cause. Let this lesson ring as loudly in your heads as your screams in mine. The bitter words devoured me and now I am gone. ~