Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bullying in America

Bullies make me sick. I'm thankful that some states are finally passing anti-bullying laws. It was bad when I was in school, and I can imagine that it has only gotten worse. Children often don't share everything with parents, making it difficult for parents to help their children cope with being bullied. Things get easier as children grow up and graduate, but some children don't even make it to graduation before dropping out or even committing suicide. And even after the actual bullying ends, the pain isn't always gone.
I had a hard time with bullying, and I watched some kids get bullied worse than I. Knowing how difficult it was for me, I couldn't help but to befriend the underdogs when I was in school. It's important to know that someone likes and accepts you, and even more important as a child. And I'll admit that I was guilty of mild bullying on a couple occasions. I was rightfully guilty afterward and still today. As a mother I worry about putting my child through that. The best weapon against bullies is confidence, but children have a rough time maintaining self esteem when someone is constantly trying break you down. Help, counseling, coaching, and support needs to be available for the victims. It should be readily available, openly offered by schools and churches, and kept anonymous to prevent further embarrassment. Strict or even harsh discipline for the assailants is equally necessary. I would love to start an organization that offers a community center to help victims of bullying. A safe place where victims can receive help and counseling, along with an avenue for anonymously reporting cases of bullying. The center could also organize team building activities and give victims the opportunity to be accepted and interact with others and build healthy friendships. Just meeting others with similar stories and others that have experienced bullying as children but have overcome it as adults could do wonders for helping victims through the rough times. The center could also offer classes and workshops for parents to learn how to spot signals that their child is being bullied or bullying other children and how to deal with each situation. Just a thought. I don't know that I have the time or resources to accomplish any such thing, but I would certainly love to. Perhaps I should start researching. Fundraising is always an option, but what if enough money for startup isn't raised? I'd need some of my own money to put toward the startup, and I certainly have none at this time.

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