Robert suggested a series on bullying and agreed to be my first guest. I am calling on parents who have children who have been victims of bullying or who have been a bully, as well has those who have been victims of bullying themselves to share stories of how the bullying affected them. Be as general as you like if somethings are too uncomfortable to share.
An aside: I recently updated the look and added pages to my blog. Please let me know what you think?
Final Request: Many of you know my daughter has been sharing her stories about how bullying affected her. Please stop by and comment on her post, It Still Hurts and please comment on others’ stories, starting with Robert’s as I post them as well. I will give you more details when I actually start the series. I will probably try to have a post either every couple of weeks or once a month depending on how many respond. I realize many of you feel that you cannot handle reading these stories and I understand, but I also think it is important to support those who have been on the receiving end of bullying and I hope you agree. They deserve our support! That is why I decided to change my stance and openly support my daughter. I am very proud of her.
My daughter’s blog is now private so I have removed the link to her blog. Please respect her privacy.
I am watching Cyberbully, but I cannot help but wonder if it will cause harm instead of helping. I hope not, but other movies and shows actually contributed to the bullying problem. I know from talking to other parents that too many are clueless as to what their children do online. We have friends who have no clue about Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites.
There are parents like Lindsey’s father in the movie who also believe their child has the “right” to harass others online. It really upsets me that this character is an attorney. An attorney should know that harassment is against the law in all fifty states even the ones without specific bullying laws. Hawaii is one of the states without a bullying law, but our harassment law does offer some protection against cyberbullying. The principal’s excuse that the school has no responsibility does not hold true in most states anymore either especially when the child is being openly harassed at school in relation to the Internet posting.
I hope others watched until the end at least! They finally show the power of bystanders at the end of the movie. I wish they has focused on this throughout the movie. I hope this is the message that sticks!
Did you watch? What did you think?
The University of Utah held a conference on bullying this week at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center for Community Caring. You can read about it here. You might believe they addressed just school bullying. That is not so. Susan Swearer, a keynote speaker, noted, “This is not just a kid issue, it is not an adult issue. It is a community issue.” I concur with this completely.
Society, as a whole needs to change; adults need to set better examples. Values need to be adjusted and positive behavior needs to be rewarded. All too frequently this is not the case. We see it everywhere. Our politicians give us the most public display of bullying in the United States every election with all of the mudslinging.
I do have one concern with something Swearer said that I think might cause her words to have less power. She noted that the victims of bullying who commit suicide, “have a vulnerability” and she referred to bullying as “the tipping point.” I have a problem with this one. She seems to be giving the bullies an out for their mean behavior.
Swearer also made another good point that I have been trying to make; we need to stop vilifying the bully and realize that regular people are bullies too. We need to correct the bully’s behavior not become the bully. What do you think?
I actually wrote a tribute to my mother in February which you can read here if you missed it. She died over six years ago and I still miss her. I can only imagine how much those who lose their parents at a young age miss them. What about those who bury their children?
Today, I also pay tribute to Phoebe Prince’s mom who faced those who tormented her child in court this week and who will spend her second mother’s day without getting to hear her beautiful daughter say Happy Mother’s Day. Despite what must have been a very painful week for her she praised Ashley Longe, one of those who bullied her daughter, for meeting with her privately before the hearing and for showing true remorse. You can watch the video of her confronting the bullies here.
I also pay tribute to all of the other mothers who have lost their precious children to suicide following bullying in our schools. I pray other children, parents and school administrators are paying attention and that changes are made in our schools and in our society so this stops before others die. God bless the families for whom this is too late and God bless all of our children!