Its’ October again. October is a lot of things- fall, Octoberfest, Pumpkin spice everything, Halloween, THE WALKING DEAD!! Oh yeah, its also Bullying Prevention Awareness Prevention month.
It’s the beginning of another month of me sharing stats of how many kids are bullied each year- week, month or day. It’s the month where people hear a little bit more about bullying than they do usually, and there is a lot of schools saying they are “Bully free zones” when in fact they are places that protect the bullies. There is a lot said about paying lip service to “stopping bullying” but the reality is that bullying causes the suicides of so many kids these day that all get a few seconds in the news then things go back to the way there were.
Kids like 9 year old Jackson Grubb, ONLY 9 YEARS OLD who killed himself after being bullied for year. Also:
Amanda Todd – Phoebe Prince – Audrie Pott – Emilie Olsen – Jaden Bell – Daniel Fitzpatrick Rebecca Sedwick – Jessica Laney – Rachel Emhke – Joel Moralez – Amanda Cummings – Isabella Scott – Jason Dozier – Kennis Cady – Jessica Logan -Jon Loflin Eric Mohat- Destiny Gleason – J.J. Anderson – Aileen Jiminian – Daniel Briggs
These are just a few- the very tip of the iceburg. It also very nearly contained another name:
Ally Del Monte
It’s only by the grace of God that my own daughters name is not on this list. I just so happened to walk in on my daughter as she attempted to end her life after being bullied and tormented until she thought the only way she could end her pain was to end her life. She’s much better now, but even now, 5 years later, she can still her the echoes of the bullies voices in her head.
I AM TIRED. I’m tired of reading about how many kids miss school due to bullying. I’m tired of reading anti-bullying policies of school who have them and don’t enforce them. I’m tired of BULLIES being protected. I’m tired of hearing again and again about parents who are FIGHTING for help for their bullied kids and getting nowhere. I AM TIRED OF READING ABOUT DEAD KIDS BECAUSE OF BULLYING.
National Bullying Awareness Prevention Month should be all year.
I know I’m supposed to be writing something positive about the strides we are making against bullying, but to be honest there are days that I doubt that we are. When I read of a 12 year old boy who went to his teachers again and again for help, and he didn’t get it, I hear in my head my daughter telling me how she asked a teacher for help, and that teacher said “If I don’t see it, I can’t do anything about it” and then proceeded to NOT LOOK. That boy died. Ally didn’t.
Another day I’m, going to try and be kind and proactive about bullying and I’m going to share good news but today, today I’m going to ask something very, very specific.
Please watch for bullying. And when you see it, don’t ignore it. Tell someone. Say something. Be brave and take a stand for common decency and teach your kids to be kind and that being nice matters more than being number one.
Talk about bullying, what it means, and how you and you family can help stop bullying. But don’t just talk about it October. Talk about it ALL THE OTHER months, too. It all starts by being a friend.
The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying. However, bullying is no longer a problem that is isolated to the playgrounds, hallways and lunch rooms of schools. Instead, advances in technology have now extended harassment to cell phones, social media websites and other online avenues that are contributing to an alarming number of cyberbullying cases leading to suicide.