Ooo, shoes

Friday, July 22, 2011

Listen and Speak Up

As you go through school (elementary, middle, high) in the United States, you will see, or experience for yourself, a type of bullying.

I, from personal experience, have been on the bullying end more times than I can count, from the time I was 8, all the way through high school. And I still hear about it in college, even though I am no longer the one being bullied.

Why am I writing about this sensitive subject?

A boy that I knew from the time he moved to my school, all the way through to the time I graduated, was just sentenced to prison because he shot at a kid who had been picking on him relentlessly for years now, then tried to turn the gun on himself, feeling that that was the best way to escape the bullying. I also know a girl who just went through a terrible ordeal that involved her being beaten up for being different, and her family is currently going through stuff dealing with that. This beautiful girl is just about 18 (if not 18) years old.

I am not naming names, only because this will just bring up a huge fight.

What I am trying to get at is this-
Bullying is not just something that occurs inside the schools, and online (as we all know, cyber bullying has taken a surge in the last few years). Bullying is something that is learned by the children from their parents. Some of us know better, and will treat others as we want to be treated (anyone read the bible?). Others will take a page out of their parents book, and pass judgment on those who are not "normal," or are different from them, and will pick on those people.

After everything that I myself have been through, and then hearing about stuff that is happening even more through out the schools across the nation, I regret not having spoken up about the problems that I had gone through.

Ever had someone start a rumor about you being dead? Picked on you for a medical condition that you couldn't control?

I have been through it, and have friends who have been through it. None of us should ever have to go through something like that. It hurts us growing up, and it causes many problems in many places of our society (eating disorders [not just the loss of weight, but the gaining of weight] are a good example of an issue that pops up).

So before you start pointing fingers, making fun of people, and talking behind someone's back with the intentions of it being heard by them, think about this:

How would you feel if you were the one being picked on?

And parents, speak to your children. There may be issues that they don't want to bring up. If you ask them, they may be more willing to tell you what's going on at school if you tell them that you are there to listen to them.

Private has it right. Talk to your friends.
Friends, talk to your other friends. You know that they are more comfortable talking to you then their parents at most times. If you have noticed a change in their behavior as of lately, there might just be something that is causing them to not be their usual selves.

Again, I wish I had spoken up when I was in school. Though it probably wouldn't have done much, it would have gotten out there sooner.

I know, bullying has been around for decades. But, like I said, bullying is learned from the generation before, and is sent down by those parents who do not tell their children that it is not right to judge those who are different.

Be nice. Do the right thing. Just because that person may LOOK and ACT weird, remember that you may LOOK and ACT weird to someone else.

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