Protecting Our Precious Angels

Angelo, Fiera Antiquaria Arezzo

The topic of bullying has always been important to me. I’ve seen the pain and anguish caused by bullying my whole life. Fortunately for me, I grew tall early in life so I avoided the torture of being the victim of most bullies but I still witnessed too many friends get picked on for years. I did get involved in many fights with bullies because I tried to help my friends.

Anyway, bullying seems to be getting worse these days thanks to social networks like facebook and twitter where bullies spread vicious rumors and embarrassing photos and videos with a massive audience. These ugly personal attacks spread like wildfire now. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of young people are driven to suicide sooner than ever because of the viral nature of these taughts and attacks. Here’s a clip of talk show host Ellen Degeneres addressing a recent news item involving a teenage boy who killed himself when a video was made of him with another boy and shared with many others.

 

No one is helping these kids. Ok, that might be untrue. There are many of us out there trying to help our kids but obviously not near enough of us. All parents, teachers, schools, coaches, and all adults involved with taking care of our children need to work together to help all children no matter what age. This means from pre-K to grade school and even all the way to college.

Here’s another sad news item that broke my heart and also infuriated me. 4 bullied teens from same Ohio school driven to suicide! This isn’t an isolated incident that has only impacted this school or even that community. This is an across the board  epidemic that continues to grow out of control. We need to get more involved with our own kids first and foremost. If they aren’t being bullied or abused in a relationship, then we must find out if they are the bullies or the abusers. Yes, it is a scary thought to think our own child could be the bad guy but every bully and abuser is someone’s child. If our children are neither, then they might be a witness to these attacks and they must step forward to be a part of the solution. If they don’t, then they will continue to be a part of the problem. Silence is the same as aiding and abating, thus making them an accomplice to these vicious actions. Our silence and inaction makes us accessories as well.

Call to Action

What can we do? I know we work or we’re swamped with endless activities with the house and activities for the kids, but we must get more involved. We must communicate even more not only with our kids but also their teachers and their coaches and other parents. We need to keep one another informed of any warning signs so we can do something when there’s still time to help.

Free Tools

It’s ironic that the same technology and networks that have made bullying worse can also help fight it. There are websites and applications that can help us and our kids find answers and help when they’re faced with a bully or abusive partner. One of them is from MTV called “A Thin Line” which is located at: http://www.athinline.org.  They also have a free iPhone app.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin

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  • Dan

    Thanks for sharing this. I hope our daughter is part of a world free of bullying. Dan Savage writes the column Savage Love and started this project in response to bullying: http://makeitbetterproject.org/. I encourage you to check it out!