Stop The Bullying In Schools

Stop the bullying in schoolsTyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, what do they have in common?  They all committed suicide last week, to end the torment of being bullied and harassed in school.

  • Tyler Clementi (18): A brilliant violinist, in New Jersey, jumped off a bridge.
  • Billy Lucas (15): Hanged himself in Greensburg.
  • Asher Brown (13): Shot himself in the head in Houston.
  • Seth Walsh (13): Hanged himself in their own backyard at Tehachapi, CA.
  • Justin Aaberg (15) last July was found dead in his room, he hanged himself.

Is this what we became as a society, intolerant and ignorant? Where kids harass and bully other weaker kids just because they are different? And where do these kids get the sense that it is acceptable to bully others, and that it is acceptable to be prejudice, and discriminating? The answer is simple; they learn it from their parent or at school.

Bullying teen agers especially the gay teen agers or the ones that are still questioning their identity is becoming an epidemic.  Gay teen agers are called names like: Fag, queer, dyke, Lesbos and the worst part is that the teachers and the school don’t address these issues, or don’t know how to address these issues, sweeping them under the carpet will not make them disappear.

The poor teen agers, are tormented, feel isolated, unloved, hated, not accepted, ridiculed and mostly shamed for who they are.  They have no idea where to turn, how to look for help.  Most School administrations don’t have any designed system in place to address the gay issue in schools, teachers don’t know or are scared to face these issues, or feel documenting the bullying or harassing situations to the office is enough.

Some schools have anti-bullying programs mentioned on their curriculum, but it is just to be politically correct, and they don’t intervene to stop the bullying as in the case of Walsh where they were made aware of the torment, he was going through.

This is also a wake up for the parents; Parents should realize that they are the first gate of knowledge for their kids that absorb totally how they act, including their prejudice. In fact, children learn to discriminate in the same way they absorb a new language, learn to dress in a certain way, or to use a toy. Early child and family experiences shape children’s attitudes and behaviors.  Bullying is a product of the home.

Parents of teen gays, accept your children, love and support them, embrace them for who they are, you are their first line of defense and you might make all the difference in saving their lives.

The solution is within us, we can save unnecessary loss of young teens.  We need to make these teens know that there is hope, that there is help Dan Savage: It  gets  better project is a start, campaigns should be designated to let these teens know that there is nothing wrong in being gay, that being gay is not a choice, it is who they are; and they are loved for who they are; regardless of who they choose to be with.

Legislation laws have be scripted to protect these teen agers, school administrators should impose very strict rules regulations for zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, offer counseling to these teens, in safe environment with total privacy.  Teachers should get a thorough training on sexual orientation and harassment.

Other resources are:

  • SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) offers many resources on suicide prevention and depression information. Their phone: 952-946-7998.
  • Another suicide prevention information organization is Trevor Project. The organization offers resources specifically for the GLBT youth.

I do stand for the freedom of choice and the rights of everyone to live their lives the way they want it.  Who are we to judge anyone or judge that being gay is wrong or shameful? Hatred never bring any positive changes, it just generates more hatred.  Just think if it was your child that lost their lives how would you feel?

Please advocate for zero tolerance for prejudice and discrimination, let this be a wake up, let these tragedies be a candle light that illuminate our path to recovery and healing.  Let us stand up and speak up; it starts by each one of us saying no more bullying and no more discrimination. We need to make our voices heard- Enough loosing promising young lives!

Diversity starts at home,

Sahar Andrade
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.
http://www.saharconsulting.com

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5 thoughts on “Stop The Bullying In Schools

  1. An extremely important topic as on today and also to be attacked with all round efforts.Bullying has taken its ugly shape and ofcourse parents are also to be blamed.Bullying starts from home and ends in school.Same takes the shape of ragging in schools,colleges.It is a universal thing and should be nipped in the bud as other wise many innocent,tender children have their lives in danger.

    You will see almost daily in News papers,TV coverage about this ugly,dangerous habit of some fun loving children,who want to unnecessarily bully their juniors or their class mates.

    • Rama:
      I couldn’t agree more this is an issue that needs to be totally eradicated from our lives. Takes work and cooperation between homes/ parents and schools as well as government entities but it can be done
      Cheers,

  2. Sahar, your blog is right on. The only thing is, while I know it must be particularly horrible for young people in the gay/transgender community as they are viewed as “different”, bullying cuts across all lines. I should know, I was a victim for a long time from elementary to junior high, and more covertly (passive aggression from others, etc.) in high school. I know the topic is getting hot press now, as well it should especially with these tragic suicides. But I would like to ask, though we can’t turn back the clock, where was the awareness in the ’70’s and ’80’s back when I was in school? If there was any, it was swept under the rug. My point is that while I am happy that it is being shined a light on now, it is a darn shame that it didn’t happen sooner, not just regarding my case but others as well. And the sick thing is that I am sure many parents knew about it but didn’t do anything.

    This ties in with teaching tolerance, and you were a great help to me for my article on that.

    Chris

    • Chris:
      I totally agree bullying always existed and was never addressed, some parents are actually and sadly proud that their kids are the bullies and re-inforce their behavior as it is the Macho things to do. Some parents might have known about it but didn’t know how to deal with it or didn’t have the tools to deal with it. It also depends on the culture, where some feel it will go away, or even blame their kids as you must have done something bad, or apply the philosophy “If it is not broken, don’t fix it”
      Bullying is becoming more and more apparent and the unfortunate part some feel justified against the young gay teen agers. I blame more the schools, the teachers and the administrators they saw it happening, they witnessed its festering the school system and they just stood there and watched.
      A whole new approach should be taken, include parents and teachers in awareness classes, more interaction between the school and the house, persecute the parents of the bullies as well as the teachers that saw it and didn’t do anything, may be even have laws to enforce all that.
      I am very saddened by these young people deaths that I am actually very angry about it as it could have been avoided if people did the right thing on time
      Thank you Chris for your contribution- I am sure your article about teaching tolerance to the kids will help opening some eyes.
      Cheers,
      Sahar

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