Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop the Bullies!



Everywhere I turn, I see that October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which, I think, misses the point.

EVERY month should be National Bullying Prevention Month.  The bullies don't go away in November, or hide out and stop their torment in the spring.  This is a horrible problem, and it targets a population which we should be the most vigilant about protecting: our children.

I was the "brain" in school--smart & nerdy, but we moved too often (Dad was in the Air Force; I went to 13 different schools by the time I graduated high school) to even register much on the bullies' radar.  My son, however, is a different story.  He's smart, short, skinny, and he wore glasses when he was younger.  Almost textbook bullying material.  In school, "different" makes you a target, and he went through a tough period for a while.

Here's what he had to say about it:

"The worst part?  Nobody cared.  None of the other kids helped, or went to find a teacher, or did anything but watch, or walk away, or even laugh.  Everybody saw it and nobody cared.

The bullies had more sense than to attack kids in front of teachers, so it was hard to get the teachers or guidance counselor to believe me.  Most of the bullies were super-sweet in front of teachers--they were often the jocks or popular kids--so nobody wanted to believe me.

It made me really, really angry and really, really tired.  I felt hopeless, waking up knowing that it was going to happen again.

My advice: no matter how embarrassed you might feel, tell your parents about it. My parents kicked serious butt.  Make sure you have somebody on your side, and never, ever give up.  It can get better.  It WILL get better.  It doesn't matter how bad it seems, there's always a way to make it better.  Hang in there!" - Connor

Thanks for supporting our Authors Against Bullying blog tour.  There's a list of all the participating authors below; please check them out.  I'm offering a copy of Queen Bees and Wannabes to one of my commenters who is going through the tough teen years with a girl now, as I am.

To anybody who is facing bullying now, please never give up.  Get help, get advice, or get away. NEVER give up. My family sends you all of our love and hopes for a better tomorrow.
hugs,
Alyssa
PS A huge & enormous thanks to Mandy Roth for her brilliant work coordinating and doing the tech magic for this event, and to Yasmine Galenorn for her idea and coordination.

Sites that can help: (thanks to Mandy Roth for compiling)


Teens Against Bullying: Created by teens, for teens.(middle school and high school)
Kids Against Bullying: Site is interactive and set up to help kids understand if they are being bullied, if they are the bully they should stop, etc. Younger kids will appreciate this.
National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006 the site is full of useful information for getting kids involved in anti-bullying, helping kids who are being bullied and bringing awareness to the cause.
Stop Bullying.gov: Informative and has a “kids corner”.


PARTICIPATING AUTHORS:

7 comments:

  1. I agree. Bullying is a problem that needs to be faced every day. It's never easy being different.

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  2. Great post, Alyssa...your son's story made me want to cry and cheer. He trusted you and Navy Guy enough to tell you what was going on and you took action. Too many parents have the attitude that kids just have to tough it out - they need to learn to deal with their own issues. Bullocks! Some things, *kids* just aren't equipped to change and part of dealing with those issues is going to people who could or should be able to change them. Hugs! ~We can make a change.~

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  3. You all ROCK...this is important to a lot of us. Yes it effected our family. I went to school and others...it was not always easy but it was stopped!! Stand with your child...or stand in front of them. I went to the bullies parents and sadly they didn't care.

    Thanks for doing this today.

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  4. Great post, Alyssa!

    I was fortunate to have a friend to stick up for me. We met in Earth Science, and she helped keep the bulk of the bullies at bay.

    But before I felt them in force. I got into cutting. I didn't want to eat. I started wearing all black. I guess when I got depressed I got a little surly.

    I was different... my parents could not afford the latest jeans or latest clothes. I was sort of smart. I didn't take College prep but I got straight A's. I didn't listen to country music like the rest of the kids but got into bands like Skid Row, Alice cooper. etc.

    But yes, I encourage my boys to let me know if or when they are bullied. Though I had to find out through the hubby about my middle son being bullied. Mostly the kid wanted to beat him up. So my oldest son went to learn the kids name so we could take it up to the principal. However, he dealt with it without violence but being there.

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  5. Wonderful post. But I am sad that your son went through that, and what a trooper he is. No child should ever have to deal with that. And, those who chose the other way out, my heart goes out to their parents. I worried about my son when he was in school, as he was short, glasses and kinda puny. I always hoped that some of his baseball buddies would have his back. Now, I am fortunate that he is over 6', still on the slim side, but he is a Marine, who makes him mom super proud of him. I know he can pretty much take care of himself after what he went through in basic camp.
    May God continue to look after these kids who are bullied and that we continue to speak out and up for them.
    Thank you for your time.
    Ginger

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  6. I'm sorry your son had to go through that, but his comments are very inspiring and bring hope -- Good for you, Connor!

    I agree, this is an important topic beyond a assigned month. I think the month helps people focus their efforts, and I can only hope what we write will carry over and stick with people.

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  7. So true--our kids need to know now, more than ever, that they have people to turn to for help.

    Thank you for the post. Your son sounds like a great, smart kid. Those are wise words, Connor.

    <3,
    -J

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