Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bullying... whose fault is it anyway??

My mom and I were talking about bullying, sex, teenagers etc.... Being a kid these days is difficult- I'm sure it was when I was young too, but I just had that "everyone is my friend" attitude. You know what I'm talking about.. the type of attitude where I'm here and available to be your friend but if not, that's okay too. I feel its the best way to be- putting yourself out there but not enough to get your feelings hurt.

Lately the media has bombarded our households with tear-jerking stories about suicide and attempts at suicide due to bullying. Many celebrities have started anti-bullying campaigns; in attempt to putting a stop to prejudices against gay and lesbian students and bullying in general. I couldn't agree more, but it stems deeper than that. These are severe cases we are witnessing, but don't you agree with me when I say bullying is everywhere, not just with openly gay students?

My mom constantly asks Grant (who is straight), "Are those guys mean to you on your team Grant, just tell me?".. Of course Grant always ignores the questions and assures us they aren't; but how are we supposed to know? Here he is, a sophomore, approximately 125 pounds and starting on Varsity football over many other OLDER players... Granted, they never throw him the ball, sometimes I wonder if they forget he is there. Regardless, he's there and maintains his calm demeaner day in and day out. He's the type of kid that if he were to be bullied, nobody would be aware of it. I will say with 100% confidence, I don't think he is bullied... but I'm sure many others like him are. Why do we bully? Who do we pin point? What is our motive? Whether it is because of sexuality, gender, race, or athletics.. it is happening at an enormous rate.

I believe in order to contribute to an initiative of anti- bullying-- Parents have to step in! This is YOUR responsibility, YOU are accountable for your children. How can we point the finger at others? Our children from a very young age adapt to their surrounding environment; what they are exposed to at home with their family, music lyrics played while they are present, language used in front of them and/or directed at them as well as religions beliefs or lack there of-- the future is in the hands of their parent.

What ethics are we instilling in our kids these days? Have we forgotten how to act? It is a disgrace to see various videos of parents cheering their teen on while fighting another teen on the playground. It sickens me to think we are so ignorant in this country. Why are we allowing our teenagers to host parties with alcohol present- have we not enough tragedies in this world already? We need to get back to the basics of raising our kids with proper morals, ethics and beliefs. In other words, we cannot stop bullying in this country until parents take some responsibility for their actions and make positive changes in their lives.

In the same respect, teenagers are old enough to know what is right and wrong. A 'slap on the wrist' won't phase most of them anyway- so what is the answer? I would love to know how you feel about this?

Maybe you are the underdog on the football team, the only openly gay student in your school, one of three black students in your class... how do you cope? What are your ideas? My prayers are with you-- you are NOT different, there is no normal these days. In a time where our country is SO fragile.. troops overseas, Chrisitianity is consider a joke and the hot topic on Good Morning America is Lindsay Lohan going to rehab again.. I apologize that such important issues such as bulling have been overlooked. You do not deserve this, nobody does!

This issue is something that is weighing heavy on my heart... I encourcage all of our parents to read this and use it in your everyday life. Be the bigger person! I challenge our media and celebrity figures to show control, act in a way that is positive for our teens who are idolizing you each and everyday. Sex tapes are NOT the answer, cussing on television shows NO class, acting like rich high class snobs DOES NOT help us, the middle class out. Bring yourself down and see the real issues-- your lives are blasted all over our television screens, think before you act. As a mother, sister and woman... I'm begging.

Until next time.. xO.


  1. Phenomenal outlook Abbs. I appreciate you sparking the deeper meaning and looking to parent's to be accountable.

    Nicely written my love.


  2. I agree with your statement. I venture, however, to go a step further.

    Although I feel for those who are bullied and abhor those who choose to inflict the physical and emotional harm on their victims, the ultimate truth still remains: a choice is always made.

    Parents choose to be uninvolved with their children; children choose to bully a lesser person; the victim chooses to deal with the bullying in their own fashion and form; authority figures choose to either act or ignore on social cues that might shed light whether or not bullying is occurring...the list goes on and on.

    However, my concern with recent cases where suicides are occurring is the initial reaction to place sole blame and criminal liability on the bully(s). I believe that choices made lead to results...and a bully never chooses for his victim to kill himself or herself. It's a sad fact that a suicide usually occurs when the person feels as if there is no other recourse. Ultimately, however, the victim chooses that action. If the choice to end a bullying victim's life is NOT the victim's choice, it's called by the simple term that it is: murder.

    However, pushing blame on the bully alone means the other parties who SHOULD have done something - parents, teachers, friends - are side-stepping their respective responsibilities. I'm not marginalizing the emotional pain and grief that family and friends feel over the loss of the child; however, let's not kid ourselves here. We ALL have a part to play in this drama; we all have a CHOICE to make. For the sake of ALL our kids, bullies and victims alike, a failure to act to eradicate the disease of bullying is as heinous as bullying itself. Therefore, we ALL have choices to make...let's start making the right ones.

  3. Don't know if you remember me, but came across your blog through facebook -- we were in Safari together way back when, haha. Well written post! Love it! I work at a children's residential home and I deal with teenage issues everyday! Thank you for sharing :)


  4. Hey Abs, good one. You might know that my dad was military and we moved a lot during the 60s til we finally settled down in BR. I loved the constant moving BECAUSE of bullying. Here's how it works: once a kid becomes a bullying target it STAYS that way. Kids will continue to pile on and it goes on ad nauseum with no way to end it, thus the suicide angle. In my case however, I KNEW we'd move again in a few months; at which point I could start over again and perhaps change something about me that might prevent being a targe again. Otherwise, who knows, maybe I too would have considered the "good bye cruel world" solution, or maybe I would have even found a way to way "to get rid of" my tormentors (which is why kids can't have guns!). So, in a phrase, "Kids suck!"
    The only REAL solution to bullying is to teach kids to be heroes; to instill in them the desire to stop bullying when they see it happening to other kids. Early in my senior year I came to this determination one day. I had already decided that I would join the marines and was preparing myself physically and mentally for it. I used to ride the school bus from Beyer Rd for the short two miles around the block to the high school and until that day I always just minded my own business when the big kids picked on the little ones. On this day though, something snapped. One of the big Jacobs boys was in the back of the bus and snapping the children sitting in front of him with a rubber band. I looked back saw that he was tormenting smaller kids again and did something I'd never done before; I stood up taking a knee while holding the seat back. I stared right at him: "Stop that, NOW! He was a year or two behind me, but he was much bigger than me. I decided I didn't care about any of that. He wasn't going to hurt anyone else unless he hurt me first. In other words, he was going to have to go throug me first. I saw him considering his options and then I saw him fold; it was all on his face. He stopped. I saw the face of the bus driver in her rear view mirror; she grinned at me and nodded approvingly.
    The point is that if we rallied around those being bullied against the bullies it would stop right then and there. We ARE a self correcting society, but that seems to only apply to adults. We need to teach children how to defend the weak, no matter when and where they see the weak being taunted, picked on, teased or beat up. It takes courage, but its the ONLY way to fix the problem, a problem by the way, that has ALWAYS existed. Because like I said, "kids SUCK!"
    By the way, from that day on, no matter where I saw it taking place I ALWAYS stepped up and stopped bullies whenever I saw it happening, even until now, because I HATE them!

  5. THank you all for the comments-- I can see every angle of this! I appreciate all of your opinions! I hope that by writing and discussing topics such as these; it will have the 'snowball' effect and others will discuss it as well! Our society needs to stick together and make changes as a whole!

    Thanks again, stay tuned.. more topics to come xO.