Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

Posts Tagged ‘High school

Ignoring It Doesn’t Make it Go Away

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I read story after story, comment after comment about how some teen was bullied, they report the incident to the proper authorities, only to have it treated as it’s a non-issue.  Too many suicides have resulted from this.

In one high-profile case recently, a spokesman from the local Sheriff’s department went on record as saying that despite media and online reports of the teen’s suicide being a result of bullying, their “investigation” concluded that “that was not the case”.  Yet, my own personal contact with someone very close to the family and the situation told me exactly the opposite.  And, of course, it was later made know that bullying was, indeed, at the root of the suicide.  This wasn’t the first instance.  In the trailer for the controversial, and very necessary, movie, “Bully”, a teacher foolishly goes on camera to say that she’d “ridden on that bus” where a young boy was allegedly bullied and the kids “…were as good as gold”.  Ultimately, this boy committed suicide because of the bullying.

Sometimes, in some cases of bullying against LGBT teens, the victim is blamed for the bullying!!  In the case of one high-profile LGBT teen suicide from a couple years ago, the parents were told that if their son didn’t act [gay], he wouldn’t get bullied.  How is THAT acceptable?  That’s not “not taking bullying seriously”, that’s turning a blind eye to what’s going on.  Worse, that’s essentially sanctioning the violence because this boy was simple being himself.  The sad end result was him taking matters into his own hands and ending his life.  

On my facebook blog page, read comment after comment from real-life people who were bullied, went to the authorities, and nothing was done about it.

I was bullied in school for being “different”,”odd”, and my school did nothing about it. Often, they ignored it cuz the kids who did bully me were kids of pta and parents who supported and gave alot of money to the school. My dad fought hard to get me help because other stuff was going on due to bullying, like my academics. I was not sent to a private charter school till I was a junior in high school, and that was due to case workers and an advocate, because i tried to commit suicide more then 3 times in less then 2 yrs. While being at that special school, they (the school) found out I have autism. Had the school I attended prior would have taken the time to listen to my father, I would of been put in the right classrooms and would have gotten the help I needed from day 1. Even when I was in 9th and 10th grade, people where horrible to me. I wonder, now that we are adults, how they would feel if they found out they bullied a girl with disabilities to the point of trying suicide.  I wonder how they would feel, especially if they had kids…bullying needs to stop on all levels.  I just wanted to share my story.

That’s one of the comments left recently on my facebook blog page.  This is but one example.  Unfortunately, there are more.

Problem with schools, I’m a senior in high school, and in all my years in middle school (6-8) I was bullied and fighting back each year leading me to get kicked off to a new school each year….kinda sucks how “they who purposely care” really don’t…..well until until you’re pushed too far.

“Until you’re pushed too far” is 10 steps too late.  Bullying needs to be taken seriously, on all levels:  not only against LGBT teens, but against anyone who’s perceived different, anyone who doesn’t “fit in”.  School officials, elected officials, adults in general!, all need to be re-educated.  And, part of that re-education process needs to be making them acutely aware that ignoring the bullying issue doesn’t make it away.

Making A Difference

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I had something else I was going to write about.  Actually, when I clicked on THIS story, I thought it was the story that I wanted to write about.  I’m glad I was wrong.

What really grabbed my attention about this story was that it’s right here in my backyard!!  I used work directly across the street from the school where he teaches.  Spent far too many Spring afternoons watching their baseball team dominate their opponents from my office window.

Chris Murray was touched by the story of a 17-year-old lesbian from his school.  Her story moved him to action!  Speaking in front of all of the school’s teachers and administrators, “Emily” went on to tell how it felt to be an lgbt student at their school.  How it felt to know that there were some teachers who clearly displayed that they just didn’t care what happened to the lgbt students.  How seeing their response, or lack thereof, to situations of harassment or worse was tantamount to telling the lgbt students that they didn’t matter.  Further, it felt as though they were sending the message to the ones harassing and bullying that their actions were ok.  I’m certain that it wasn’t unlike the plight of any student at any school in the country:  some administrators do NOTHING to intervene when they witness the harassment and bullying that the lgbt students must endure.  And, what we already know to be true, “Emily” was able to convey to those who cared, most notably Chris Murray.  In response, Mr. Murray took action.

Following the lead of GLSEN (the gay, lesbian, straight education network), Chris has introduced the Team Respect Challenge at his high school.  Further, he’s encourage other teachers and coaches to do the same.  Unfortunately, not all will follow his lead.  That’s to be expected.  That only serves to remind us that there’s still lots and lots of work that need to be done.  When we have adults in power positions who still turn a blind eye on the very volatile situation that is harassment and bullying of people who are perceived as different, you know there’s lots of work to be done.

There are more Chris Murray’s out there.  Slowly but surely, we’re finding them.  And, they’re making a contribution for the better.  Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about?

Ever Wonder What Makes Bullies Bully?

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We’ve reached the point, finally, where we all, for the most part, agree that there’s a serious problem in our society today with bullying, especially (though, not exclusively!) with our young people.  Great!  Now comes the real work.  How do you detect a bully when you see one?  How do you know if your own child is a bully?  You certainly can’t be with them 24/7 and almost certainly have no idea of every single thing they do at school or in public when you’re not around.  Well, good news!  There are characteristic that you can look for to help you detect and correct it.  Some of the incidences of bullying that we’re seeing today are nothing short of appalling.  Lives are being lost because of it.  Acknowledging, finally, that there is a serious problem is a great first step.  Now, let’s educate ourselves so we can start reversing the trend.

Ray of Hope: Students Fight Back Bullying!!!

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THIS IS THE KIND OF RESPONSE WE NEED TO SEE MORE OF!!  Fifteen year old Cole Peterson, openly bisexual, was attacked by two of his classmates because of his sexuality.  Here’s the twist:  300 students from his high school staged a sit-in in protest of his attack, in specific, and against bullying in general.  That is exactly the kind of response we need to see every single day in every single incident of bullying!  Bravo to you, Cole, and definitely BRAVO to you, the students who supported him!!!

Ever Wonder Where The Atmosphere of Hate Comes From?

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We live in a very complex world. Our society has become deeply divided and polarized. And, people have become all too comfortable with spewing hatred and intolerance all in the name of God. Case in point is that church, you know the one I’m talking about, that, in the name of God(so they believe), goes around to funerals and high schools with extremely toxic, hateful, and purely evil signs stating how much God hates fags, how fags should burn in hell, and worse. Here’s a deeper issue, and one that really merits looking into: these people have children, no doubt. So, what’s the lesson learned by the children? That it’s totally ok to hate as long as it’s done in the name of God. That intolerance is fine as long as God is in the mix. And, you wonder why there are hate-filled bullies in the schools? Well, wonder no more.  Here’s the eye-opener: one state just sanctioned bullying as long as….

Written by Ron Kemp

November 21, 2011 at 1:58 am