Bullying and What We HAVE To Do

October 4, 2010 13 Comments TAGS: Kids, Stress, Uncategorized

I am certain most of you have heard of the recent teenage suicides over the past month. A horrific number. In Houston , Texas an eighth-grade 13 year old boy shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was consistent harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

In New York a Rutgers University freshman killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge . Tyler Clementi, 18 was humiliated when a roommate secretly recorded him making out with another male student and live-streamed the video to the Internet.

Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old student from Tehachapi , CA hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, after nine days on life support he died. Family members confirmed that he was being bullied because he was gay.

Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old freshman at Greensburg High School in Indiana , hanged himself after enduring bullying torment from his peers — just a few weeks into the school year. His mother found her son, hanging, in their barn. On Billy’s Facebook web memorial, he’s remembered with comments like, “Everyone made fun of him.” At least one former student says he made administrators aware of his own LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) bullying, and they did nothing.

In Ohio , two students continuously picked on an 11-year old male cheerleader, Tyler Wilson. Verbal abuse finally escalated to their beating Tyler and breaking his arm.

Just two days ago, another gay teen committed suicide. Raymond Chase, 19, a sophomore in a culinary arts school hanged himself in his dorm room. Raymond was from Monticello , NY (http://gltnewsnow.com).

We can say we have an epidemic on our hands.

Many of you have asked me about my stance on this matter. While we need to make help available everywhere in our schools and communities, and to teach our children tolerance, I think as parents, it’s our responsibility to take it one step further.

Take a look…

If your child is the victim of bullying, here are a few websites as resources:

http://www.angelsanddoves.com/

http://www.endbullyingnow.com/

http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html

How do you propose we help our children stand up to bullying? I’d love to know how you are dealing with this issue with your children and in your communities. One thing is for certain– suicide is never the answer.

xoxEDxox

    13 Comments

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    2. […] was the reason behind the personality change in my son. The fact that it all stemmed from him being bullied was overwhelming for me. I haven’t cried that much in a long […]

    3. […] the cyber space is laden with cyber crimes especially against children and teens, such as cyber bullying, child pornography and pedophiles stalking kids online. As a parent, you are naturally worried and […]

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    5. Coreen Trost says:

      So sad and tragic!! It could have easily been my youngest son only a few years ago. He has asperger syndrome (autism) and struggled with social skills. The previous school (my hometown) allowed bullying, saying that it was just boys and that it was ‘normal’. I had doctors, case workers, etc. go to the school and talk to the administrators and special education teachers, but they did nothing to stop it. Horrible for many, many students.

      The school we moved to 5 years ago, does Not allow bullying or any type of harrasement, esp. to their special ed students. Very protective. Although, there were still ‘sneeky’ bullys, it was much more controled and tolerable. Those bullys though had parents with the same attitude as the school administration back home. I feel that those kids/young adults will continue to be bullys in life and probably raise bullys too when they have children. Sad!!

      Great and needed post!!
      ~ Coreen

    6. Bullying and What We HAVE To Do…

      I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    7. Alissa says:

      I hold these bullies accountable for the lives of all those teens lost. They should go to PRISON! They are the people guilty here.

    8. Erica,

      I found your post interesting. As someone who has been fighting this epidemic for years, I’m sorry to say that the recent bullying tragedies you list are not new or unusual. Last Spring, I blogged about “another day, another bullying suicide” which is how it seemed things were going as I prepared daily for my outreach to the media.

      While it’s good that we teach our kids to stand up against bullying the problem is much deeper than that. We don’t do very much to teach them how to PREVENT the problem in the first place. The natural character traits of empathy, compassion and respect that keep kids (and adults, too) from treating each other this way are deteriorating and there isn’t one simple “bandaid” that’s going to stop bullying in schools. It takes a full-press effort on the part of the schools, the parents, the community to reinforce positive social skills and character, not try to squelch bullying by putting in place stronger policies and legislation.

      There are real solutions out there, though, and we have to insist that they become a priority. For more info, please feel free to visit http://socialsmarts.wordpress.com/category/bullying-and-school-violence/

      – Corinne Gregory
      The ‘Civil’ Warrior

    9. Anonymous says:

      Devastating and sickening.

    10. RR says:

      I agree with you. These stories are too many. There is too much teen suicide and too much cyberbullying going on especially with all these social media outlets today. We need to make sure we are constantly talking to our kids to make sure they aren’t suffering alone. So yes I agree its up to us parents to protect our children and help give them the tools. But I know from experience bullying can be a very tough nut to crack. My son was bullied a lot through elementary and it was an experience I don’t wish on my worst enemy. We can’t fight their battles but we can be there for them and be a safe place for them to talk.

    11. Nancy Reese says:

      This is the most horrific thing to read. I can’t even fathom the desperation these teens felt. I agree with you though. Self esteem will always come with you. Bullies will exist everywhere so there is little control there. The control we have is how we respond to the bullying. We have to teach our children and give them the tools to defend themselves.

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