So many young lives have been cut short, because some felt the sick need to bully others, to feel superior not because they were great but because they put others down so they can shine !
SICK, SICK, SICK!
Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, and recently an 8 year old boy from Cincinnati "Gabe Taye" what do they have in common? They all committed suicide, including an 8 year old boy, yes an 8 year old boy - to end the torment of being bullied and harassed in school. I remember at 8 years old all what I new was playing with my dolls.
Tyler Clementi (18): A brilliant violinist, in New Jersey, jumped off a bridge.
Billy Lucas (15): Hanged himself in Greensburg.
Asher Brown (13): Shot himself in the head in Houston.
Seth Walsh (13): Hanged himself in their own backyard at Tehachapi, CA.
Justin Aaberg (15) last July was found dead in his room, he hanged himself.
The 8 year old boy from Cincinnati (Gabe Taye): hanged himself from his bunk bed.
Could we even start thinking what this little boy must have felt while his last breath was leaving his frail body? Can we even start to imagine what can push a little boy to feel so desperate that he sees no way out except taking his own life?
I still shiver the minute I hear about his story though heard it few times before, I felt the same about the other names mentioned above, and these names are barely scratching the surface of how many children. teen agers take their own life so they do not have to take the abuse, the bullying and the torture anymore
Is this what we are becoming as a society, intolerant, indifferent and ignorant?
SHAME ON US
Some kids harass and bully other weaker kids just because they are different? Where do these kids get the sense that it is acceptable to bully others, and that it is acceptable to be prejudice, and discriminating? The answer is simple; they learn it from their parent or at school.
Bullying children, and teen agers especially the children and teen agers of color, with disabilities, gay s or the ones that are still questioning their identity, or even those that are deemed different - is becoming an epidemic. They are called demeaning names. The worst part is that the teachers and the school don’t address these issues, ignore it, don’t know how to address these issues, or just do not care sweeping them under the rug thinking they will go away
The poor children and teen agers, are tormented, feel isolated, unloved, hated, not accepted, ridiculed and mostly shamed for who they are. They have no idea where to turn, how to look for help. Most School administrations don’t have any designed system in place to address the bullying issue in schools, teachers don’t know or are scared to face these issues, or feel that documenting the bullying or harassing situations to the office is enough.
Some schools have anti-bullying programs mentioned on their curriculum, but it is just to be politically correct, it is printed in fine prints on their schools policies or website, they don’t intervene to stop the bullying as in the case of Walsh and Taye where they were made aware of the torment, they was going through. There is even a video of Taye being slammed to a wall and being unconscious for 7 minutes and half and all what they could do is to call the mother advising her that her son fainted that she needs to take him to the hospital to get him check. May be telling the mother might have saved his life if she became aware of the bullying
This is also a wake up for the parents; Parents should realize that they are the first gate of knowledge for their kids that absorb totally how they act, including their prejudice. In fact, children learn to discriminate in the same way they absorb a new language, learn to dress in a certain way, or to use a toy. Early child and family experiences shape children’s attitudes and behaviors. Bullying is a product of the home.
Parents of children deemed different, accept your children, love and support them, embrace them for who they are, you are their first line of defense and you might make all the difference in saving their lives.
Parents should be vigilant to observe their children, their attitude, their moods, they are their protectors, be attentive to the presence of bruises, or if your child all of a suf=deen becomes withdrawn and to him or herself
The solution is within us, we can save unnecessary life loss of children and young teens. We need to make these teens know that there is hope, that there is help. We yes "us" need to start campaigns and efforts to raise not only awareness but exposure of bullying and school administrators that choose to be spectators and do not do anything about bullying
We should let these children know that there is nothing wrong with them, to raise their self-confidence, by making them feel loved and appreciate for who they are not whoever anyone wants them to be
,Legislation laws have be scripted to protect these teen agers, school administrators should impose very strict rules regulations for zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, offer counseling to these children and teens, offer safe environment with total privacy. Teachers should get a thorough training on bullying, sexual orientation and harassment.
Other resources are:
SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) offers many resources on suicide prevention and depression information. Their phone: 952-946-7998.
Another suicide prevention information organization is Trevor Project. The organization offers resources specifically for the GLBT youth.
I do stand for the freedom of choice and the rights of everyone to live their lives the way they want it. Who are we to judge anyone that is different to be wrong or shameful? Hatred never bring any positive changes, it just generates more hatred. Just think if it was your child that lost their life how would you feel?
Please advocate for zero tolerance for bullying, prejudice, harassment, and discrimination, let this be a wake up, let these tragedies be a candle light that illuminate our path to recovery and healing.
The solution and prevention are within each one of us. Let us stand up and speak up; we can not ignore this any longer if we do "Shame on us"
It starts by each one of us saying no more bullying and no more discrimination. We need to make our voices heard-
Enough losing promising young lives!
Diversity starts at home,
What do you think? Let me hear what you have to say with respect-
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Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Consultant- Certified Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC
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