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.
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”.