Monday, March 4, 2013

Bullying has to stop!

Sorry we haven’t posted a blog in a while, but we’ve been pretty busy around here.  In fact, Lynn and I just returned from the 2013 National Conference on Bullying held in Orlando by the School Safety Advocacy Council and I’d like to share a few thoughts with you about our experience.  First, I find it incredibly sad that we actually need to have a national conference on bullying, but if you look at the statistics, as well as the prevalence and effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs in the United States, it is absolutely necessary.

Second, it was a great learning and networking opportunity and we did plenty of both.  We learned about great programs that are being implemented, we met wonderful people, including a fantastic group of high school students, who are making a difference and making sure their voices are heard loud and clear that bullying must stop, and we learned that we as an organization are doing great work.  But we also learned we can’t stop where we are; we have much work to do.

And we will continue our work and our partnerships with many of these great people.  We also met a young man, a college student from Nashville.  He is aspiring singer-songwriter, Braden Stover, and he sang an amazing song for the conference attendees, “We Were Just Too Scared,” that he wrote in 8th grade.  His message is true and sad on many levels because people are often just too scared to stand up against the bully or to speak up for the target of bullying and that has to change.  We believe his beautiful song and the incredible message it offers will help!

Overall it was a great event and it will help us improve our efforts in bullying prevention.  But before I end this post, I’d like to share a quick story I learned recently about a young girl who wasn’t scared.  A 10 year old girl, a fifth grade student at a local elementary school, one day after school witnessed an incident where another student had knocked a child off of his bike and a group of kids were laughing at him and this supposedly funny event.  Apparently no one else acted and before the adults that were nearby (they were there to ride their bikes home with their own children) even knew what had happened, this young girl got off her bike and went over and lifted the boy’s bike off of him and helped him up.  She also told the other kids to stop being mean.  I learned of this story when my neighbor, who was one of the adults that witnessed the event that day, told me about my daughter, Chloe’s, actions and how proud he was that she helped that boy and stood up to the others.  I asked her if she was scared and she said no, she was mad. 

I was and am a very proud mom and I think it’s time we all get a little mad about the treatment so many kids are enduring at the hands of others.  Maybe that will help us not be so scared!  If kids can act, I know adults can!  There are countless stories about kids standing up and doing something good to stop bullying, if you have a story, please share it in the comments section.  In fact, our next blog post is a special edition written by a young girl who was bullied and decided she was not going to be a victim, so stay tuned, she’s a special girl with a special story!


“Help end bullying”

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