A blog hop started at The King and Eye has bloggers adding links to their very first blog posts. So here is the link to mine, https://dswalkerauthor.com/2010/09/05/bullying-is-a-very-real-issue-especially-if-you-have-aspergers-syndrome/. You can click the Blog Gems to the right of my blog to view others.
Just remember it is my first post and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started blogging. Therefore, the first blog was short and cautious. It’s hard to believe it was only three months ago.
Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about the law itself; however, I do think that the laws currently on the books in most states need to be enforced by the schools and local governments. This legislation is currently before congress. There have been posts about it all over the Internet the last three weeks. Some even imply that if it passes freedom of speech will be a risk. I have not been able to find the exact wording of the legislation, so I cannot comment on whether this is truly the case. I will say that I honestly do not believe that our ancestors envisioned our current world when the original Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791. FYI, even then there were people who were not protected, i.e. slaves, women, those who did not own property. Therefore, I am not sure that using freedom of speech as an argument to avoid protecting a group of people is valid.
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My understanding of this legislation is that it applies to places of higher education; therefore, it will not protect high school students or anyone in middle school. I do believe if our current laws are enforced most states already provide laws to protect our children. I would have thought these same laws would protect college students in state funded schools, but I may be wrong. I also refer you back to my previous post, Accountability for Protecting Our Children, which I wrote on October 22, 2010 for more about protecting our children.
I would love to know what you think about this legislation or any other legislation that may be pending in your home state. Do we need more laws or do we just need to enforce the current laws? Is being mean protected under freedom of speech laws? I do not believe it is. If it is, should it be?
I have been trying to stay out of this one, but I think I am meant to write this, as it keeps “popping” back into my mind, so here goes. I think I understand both sides which I’ll explain. That is why I was really trying to stay out of it. I still am not going to give you a definite answer as to what you need to do. However, this week this debate caused two groups of otherwise intelligent, caring, autism advocates, to behave like two children in the sandbox fighting over a toy. One side resorted to an inappropriate posting of a picture on Facebook that further lead to more angry postings on both sides and some very inappropriate threatening posts. Thank God these were eventually removed. I am all about bully prevention and using technology appropriately, so I just cannot be quiet on this one. Otherwise, I would be the guilty bystander who does not speak up when they see bullying.
Let me start by explaining why I think I see the two sides clearly. First, I will explain why vaccines are important to me aside from the fact that I am a R.N. and my husband is a M.D. My oldest brother died when he was only thirteen months old of what was probably pneumococcal pneumonia. This deeply affected my mother and in some ways she never recovered. It was the second premature death of a loved one for her, as her father died when she was only sixteen of tuberculosis. Both of these diagnoses now have vaccines to help prevent them although the tuberculosis vaccine is not without side effects, so it is rarely given in the United States. My mother’s outlook on life might have been different if the vaccines had been available for my grandfather and older brother.
Now, I will explain why I understand the other side. I have personally taken two different prescription medications that have been pulled from the market, and I took both of them from the time they were newly on the market until they were removed from the market. Both might have put me at an increased risk for a stroke. Members of both sides of my family have died from strokes, so I am now a lot more cautious about taking medication that is new to the market. However, medication can and does save lives just like vaccines can and do save lives, so I do take medications when needed and I take my flu shot every year.
I believe in informed decisions and patient choices, but I also know that for vaccines to really be effective everyone needs to be vaccinated. However, I heard Jenny McCarthy talk on one of the morning shows a few months ago and I got the impression that she is not anti-vaccine. She is merely asking that the FDA really verify their safety and that vaccines for babies and young children be spaced out more. I can understand this especially given what I know of her son’s story.
So, why is there bullying going on and why do we need a public service announcement at the movie theaters when this information has already been all over the news media and the internet? I really don’t get it, but I do get that bullying others only makes them angry and hurts your cause. It seems to me that we should all be on the same side. As parents, we also need to set good examples for our children.
When my children were younger we read a story book about the Aloha Bear which taught that aloha means hello, goodbye, and love. People also use it to mean peace, compassion, and mercy. Yet, even in Hawaii, we have a bullying problem that isn’t going away. Those who have been reading my blog know this affected my family directly a few years ago.
Hawaii is one of the few states without legislation specifically aimed at bullying, yet the problem is no longer being ignored. The harassment law was amended last year to allow for prosecution of technology related bullying. State leaders are working on ways to curb the bullying. The news media has also been giving it more attention this year. See the following for more information: Cyber bullying affects 1 in 2 Hawaii teens – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL Home.
It is time to educate the parents as to their responsibility. For more information about this see my accountability post: Accountability for Protecting Our Children | dswalkerauthor.
A parent’s primary job is to teach their child right from wrong and to protect them from harm. Protect your child no matter what anyone at the school or anywhere else tells you. Protect them by legal means please! Work with me to change the system.
Unfortunately, you will probably also have to help your child learn to forgive so they can completely heal. Becoming the bully is not an option. Becoming an advocate is. It is truly time to change the school climate to one of tolerance and acceptance of differences. I hope some of you will be brave enough to publicly agree with me by commenting here.
Addendum: Hawaii’s anti-bullying law became effective in 2011. However, it excludes over 150 private schools. You can find more posts about bullying by clicking on more supportive schools from the menu or entering bullying in the search area.