Friday, September 30, 2011

Will it get better?

He who is present at a wrongdoing and does not lift a hand to prevent it is as guilty as the wrongdoers.
= Omaha

I thought this was an appropriate quote from my book of native proverbs, in the light of the seemingly never ending bullying going on in our schools and online.

The kids are learning this behavior from somewhere. Whether it's the parents, a mentor or other kids in school, this is not normal and we need to educate people of the long term results.

As adults, we can usually make it through a rough spot or two and know that it will get better. As children that are 13 or 14 years old, four years until graduation is beyond comprehension. Even a week can seem like an eternity. A week of torture can be all it takes for a youngster to decide to take his or her own life. It can be so hard to see that there is hope. We all need to be present in our daily interactions with them. You could be the person who saves someone's life. Just by being nice to them. By standing up to someone that is picking on someone else. It's a big, lonely world out there for some of these kids.

During my upcoming trip, we will be filming a "It get's better video" in memory of Jamey Rodemey and all the other kids that we have lost because of bullying over the last year. I am happy to participate in this project and I hope that it does help someone. But even more than that, I live by example every day. We can't let this continue. Laughing at other people just because they may seem a little different is unacceptable. I was that kid. And I hope that no one ever has to go through what I went through.

I have had to do a service for one such kid a few years ago. It was by far the hardest funeral that I have ever done. It rips your heart out to see the family suffering from the loss. It's very real. I still visit the grave of that young man some three years later. And I wonder if anyone learned anything from his death, or is it all still the same.


betty said...

I'm with you Stew, we got to stop the bullying; everyone has to be proactive about this; the schools have got to jump in and do more about it when reported, the kids have to report it and parents whose kids are bullying others need to really step in and take a stand to get their kids to stop that behavior. Events probably need to be brought to juvenile court more; that might wake up some kids if they have to be subjected to probation, work programs, scrunity, etc (I speak from experience with my son, not bullying but being involved in court systems). Thing is, if my kid was bullying I would want to know and I would be horrified but willing to do whatever needed to get done to have him stop that behavior. My special needs daughter was bullied quite a bit in younger grades of school, it does take a hit on the child and impacts all involved. Sad situations indeed!


Unknown said...

I have to wonder though, will making laws and forcing them to stop, really work?
Or will it make it worse?

Lead by example. That's the only way.

Anonymous said...

Jack said... I can't imagine the pain that young man suffered. And then the ignorant fools laughed at his sister as well as spouting off trash. These idiots need to be removed from society and taught to leave the "different" folks the hell alone. I agree they learn it somewhere and you can bet if they learn it from their friends, their friends are learning it at home.

Stephanie said...

I have to agree with you stew not sure new laws and regulations will help. I think even though schools and anti bullying have come a long way I still think it's over looked by a large majority of staff and admins.

It makes me wonder had this young man, had maybe just one more friend there to say "it's ok, I still love you"

MorningAJ said...

I hear you on this one. (I was a target at school too) but I have no idea how we're going to put it right. The world seems to value the unimportant things (like appearance) over the important (like consideration for others, compassion, helpfulness etc)
We make heroes out of footballers and second-rate actors, and condemn the intelligent and caring.

Something has to change.

Jim said...

So true Stew! We must be vigilant and confront the bully on the spot.

AJ-OAKS said...

Bullying, another sore subject with me. I bullied one girl in grade school ( then the guilt set in), then I in turn was bullied by another girl Hmmm, talk about karma!
Bullies need to pay for their actions. Bullies are cowards which is why they do what they do. Insecure to the bone. Confront the little bastards and most will back down asap. Adult bullies are the same way. Had one years ago until I had had enough, then I confronted the bully, said what needed to be said and lo and behold, it stopped! Won't repeat what I said.
Great post Stew. xoxo

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laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

i don't think laws would make a BULLY into a compassionate person. (i'm reading these posts backwards...and like i said in the next one...) i think a person is a bully because, as an adult, they are miserable people. i think that inside...they don't like themselves very much...although they don't know it! and as a BULLY kid...he probably gets bullied at home...OR ignored...and is taking out all his frustrations on others. anyway, just my thoughts on maybe part of the reason for all this behavior.

if someone has respect for others...understanding & compassion...then they wouldn't bully. i don't think...

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

i've been thinking of your 'bully' posts...and with all the 'bully' attention on tv lately. i wanted to come back and add a few words to what i said...
i think that in the workplace...bullying shouldn't be tolerated. i know i said in another comment that firing them wouldn't change them...but maybe if they find themselves out of work...over and over again...they MIGHT start to THINK about their actions.
as far as bully, they shouldn't be tolerated either...and if other kids step in and stick up for those that are being c an only help.
kid bullies have to be learning this behavior from somewhere...they're not born a bully...are they? are they bullied at home? do their parents bully other people?
i don't know. standing up to a bully wherever possible...i guess is the first step...