How Can We Bring Change?
I’ve been doing a lot of talking, and listening, to people, young and old, about the issue of bullying and teen suicide. Many are wondering “what can we do to stop this?” Some, especially the younger ones, are saying “I just don’t think it’s ever going to change.” Sadly, a lot of the younger ones recognize that there are a lot of people saying a lot of good things, but there’s no ACTION being taken. There are steps that we can take RIGHT NOW to start changing the atmosphere of bullying and, by extension, teen and gay-teen suicide.
Of course, the young people need to be educated. They need to be taught that everyone is equal and a human being, that no one deserves to be taken advantage of, looked down upon, or certainly victimized. But, it’s far deeper than just educating the young. Educate THE ADULTS! At in that age bracket, the young is only mimicking behaviors they’ve been taught or have seen. Also, in many cases, it mirrors the home atmosphere. So, the bottom line is that it HAS to start at home. But, it doesn’t stop there. In the schools, teachers and administrators need to be much better trained to 1.) recognize it; and, 2.) intervene immediately. The punishments in school should be swift and severe. This is a winnable war. Everyone just needs to do their part.
On facebook, there’s a wonderful group of young people with a page, “Students Speak Up”. It’s an anti-bullying page, and they’ve set up a “posse” for people who wants to get deeper involved. I highly encourage everyone who’s serious about bringing change to our society to check them out and join the “posse”. They also have a web page separate of their facebook page: http://www.studentsspeakup.org/
There’s other organizations. “Stand Together” is a group started by Sirdeaner Walker, mother of an 11 year old suicide victim. I signed up for that one today the moment I learned about it. There’s not much on the website, itself, for you to engage in. However, by signing up, you’re adding one more name to a petition that Sirdeaner is hand-delivering to Congress to force them to pay attention and make changes. That’s vital. With four states having very little on their books to protect kids from bullying; with one State trying (and, failing!) to push through legislature that would condone bullying if it was done for religious or moral reasons; and, with one State having a Presidential candidate who happens to have a gay teen suicide epidemic in the district she currently represents (her policies on gays having EVERYTHING to do with it), Congress is a very good place to go with this.
Elton John said: “if there’s a God in Heaven, what’s He waiting for? If he can’t hear the children, then He must see the war. But, it seems to me that He leads His lambs, to the slaughterhouse, and not the Promised Land.”(“If There’s A God in Heaven, Blue Moves, 1976) I believe there’s a God in Heaven. I also believe, however, that He helps those who helps themselves. We’ve gotta take this issue by the horn and wrestle it into submission. It’s a winnable war.
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