My Christmas Wish: Sweeter People and More Joy and Understanding 2

Sweet Christmas TreeI purposefully avoided posting this past week.  My meeting with the new administrator of the former school was disappointing although I was proud of how I handled myself. I wonder if he can say the same.

I lost hope in ever getting through to anyone at the school because this man is known for implementing an empathy program at his former school yet, I did not feel any compassion from him. Aloha was certainly missing from this meeting.

Still, I know there are good people in this world and my children are safe.  They are both amazing and kind despite the world and despite the former school’s attitude about doing the right thing. I am not going to pursue trying to talk sense into the senseless anymore. I have more important things to do with my time than waste it on those who seem unable to be compassionate. My family needs me to drop it, so this is my last post about my daughter’s school experience. She is happy again and is working towards her goals and that is all that really matters to me. I am grateful that we have supportive people in our lives and both of my children have good friends.

The news out of Connecticut last Friday shocked my very core and deeply saddened me. The news media continues to promote stigma instead of the need for more support and understanding, and the list goes on and on.

I pray for a kinder world for all children. I send prayers to the families in Newtown. I send out prayers that someday the rest of the world will understand that supporting children and their families should be the norm regardless of whether the child has a physical illness, a developmental delay, a neurological difference, a mental diagnosis, a physical difference, or any other difference. We support victims of senseless violence and of disease and we should, but we should also support everyone else.

I wonder what if:

  • What if Adam and his mother had support when he was younger?
  • What if assault weapons were illegal?
  • What if children saw beyond the packaging and they saw his heart when he was younger?

Would things have turned out differently last Friday? We have no way of knowing for sure. Yet, I can imagine a different outcome. I can imagine a kinder, more understanding world where everyone really is safe.

I hope I am not alone. I hope you can imagine it too. Help to change your corner of the world to a more supportive place for all. Help the Adams of the world before it is too late. Everyone deserves more kindness in this world.

RIP Senator Daniel K. Inouye 4

©dswalkerauthor.com

©dswalkerauthor.com

Yesterday at 12:01 HST, 5:01 EST the world lost a man of honor and integrity. Senator Daniel Inouye was more than just a senator from Hawaii. He was third in line to the United States presidency. He was a true national hero not just because he lost his arm fighting for our country after Pearl Harbor, during a time when America did not trust anyone of Japanese ancestry. He lived aloha and he taught the world the meaning of the term. He was my hero because he championed civil rights for all.

He recently cosponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act, S. 555. He sent me a letter when I wrote to him through an on-line petition about the bill back in May noting, “our nation’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths and requires protection from the law.”Senator_Inouye_Letter

He understood the need for disability rights too although I doubt that he ever saw himself as disabled.

Mahalo Senator for all you did to help make the world a better place.

Is Aloha State in Denial Regarding High Teenage Suicide Rate and Bullying? 2

Da’Nile is more than a river in Egypt! It is a common saying although I added the Hawaiian lingo Da’ for the. Despite support from many around the country, the movie, Bully is only showing in one small theater on Oahu and the media coverage here is appalling. This is despite the fact that a 2008 study showed that Hawaii ranks high in teen suicides and PBS Hawaii noted in 2010 that Hawaii teenagers attempted suicide at more than twice the national average.

The seemly lack of response to Bully and to the victims of bullying by some in our country is disturbing, but it is especially so in Hawaii. Does the media assume that when the DOE released their anti-bullying program in October that this magically solved the problem? I cannot place my finger on the cause. It could be the fact that too many see that the movie does not give solutions to the problem and many have problems with this.

I did too until I realized how much information the Bully Project put together on their site to help solve the problem. I am not linking you directly because the site uses index flash and takes a while to load. It it better for you to go to the site directly. Go to http://thebullyproject.com/ and click Get Tools & Resources to find a wealth of information for parents, students, educators, and advocates that includes guides to help teachers and others use the movie as a starting point for teaching students kindness and empathy. There is much more information too about setting up school programs to address the problem.

Apathetic behavior and failure of those in charge of our schools to accept accountability is a big part of the bullying problem in my humble opinion. It is the thing that still angers me when I think of what my daughter went through. It is a greater danger than anything else. It is only when teenagers feel all hope is lost that they turn to suicide, and it is the apathetic attitudes of the adults in our schools that lead them down this path.

I cannot get my daughter’s former school to apologize to her anymore than I can get others to understand this. Still there is hope. Thankfully there are others who are making a difference. The Dalai Lama visited one local school during his recent visit and honored them for playing a part in making the world a better place. Read about it: Aloha, Dalai Lama – MidWeek.

I have so much more to say about the movie, Bully, but you’ll have to wait until May fourth when you can read about it at Special-Ism.com. I urge each of you to see the movie and visit the site.

“Bully” 3

I was first in line to see it this morning. Initially, it looked like I would be the only one there, but thankfully a few more showed up.

Kindness Matters - Photo of My Car Magnet ©DelightfullyDifferentLife

Kindness Matters! It’s just one of the take away messages of the movie, Bully. It is the message that the kids need to get and that some are getting as they join in the cause to help prevent bullying and to support the victims.

There are more important messages for the adults!

  • Blaming the victim for not telling you is not acceptable especially if you gave them empty promises of protection in the past while they continued to be tormented.
  • Scolding them for not forgiving their tormentor is not helpful either.
  • Apathetic attitudes regarding the severity of the problem are not helpful.
  • Excusing meanness that does not result in bloody noses or broken bones is also inexcusable.

We see teachers, parents, principals, vice principals, law enforcement, and bus drivers letting kids down again and again. One child takes matters into her own hands and threatens her tormentors with a real gun. FYI one boy had threatened to sexually assault this teenager, so it is not like she had not been threatened. I do not condone taking a gun to school, but I do understand why she did it, and I found the sheriff to be offensive when he said that she had no cause for this action because she had not been physically assaulted. He thinks she should be locked up for a hundred years despite the fact that the gun wasn’t fired, and she had never been in trouble previously. You’ll find out her fate if you watch the movie.

I will be writing a longer review for Special-Ism for publication on the fourth of May, so I am not going to say more about the movie itself right now. I merely hope schools will encourage their staff and students to see the movie.