The Bullying Epidemic
I think that it is safe to say that bullying has become an epidemic. With more and more people coming forward as victims of bullying and with the tragic increase of bullying-related suicide, this problem is being highlighted throughout the nation.
I can't help but ask a question- is bullying worse today than it was back when I was in high school, or are we, as a society, raising our children without the confidence to combat the taunts and insults? It is probably a strong combination of the two.
I remember what school was like- being a plus-sized know-it-all with glasses from a lower middle class background, there were a lot of things that I could have been picked on about. I was lucky though, I have an older sister who wasn't as shy, scared or introverted as I was, so the taunts were kept to a minimum, but they still happened. I look back to the kids that didn't have an the advantages that I did and I regret every move I made to make their life more difficult- the bullied becoming the bully. I have found that no matter what your differences may be, not being what people consider normal is one of the most difficult situations that a human will experience. No matter how bad it got, I never would have thought to take my own life over it. My school was a small spot in a great big world and I knew it. And no matter how bad things got, I knew that the future held better things for me.
What a difference 10 years makes. Today, not only to kids have to deal with the terror at school, but they can't escape it at home either. In a time when cyber-bullying is rampant and almost every child has a cell phone- is there any escape?
Society paints all these pictures of what the norm should be- skinny is beautiful, buy the most high tech phone you can, drive the most luxurious car- and if you are not a size 6, talking on a phone that could fly an airplane, or riding in a car that has gold plated radio buttons, than you are a lesser human being.
Fortunately, bullying is now being talked about. From famous faces of victims like Demi Lovato to groups like STOMPOutBullying, and documentaries on highly respected news shows- the word is getting out. So, to the kids who face school with dread due to these issues, you are not alone. Tomorrow, is another day. Despite how bad things are right now, the future is still bright. You will not always be stuck in a small corner of the world. And if the days become so hard that you want to end things, talk to someone before you do something that you cannot undo. You are loved.
To the family of the 13 year old girl from Thorndike, there are no words to express my heartfelt sympathy for your family. You are in my thoughts.