Bullying: What Can You Do?
Bullying in America used to be a rite of passage for kids of all ages, something that everyone went through, and survived, coming out none the worse in the end. I remember going through it. It wasn't easy, and I had to endure quite a bit of it because of what I looked like, even as a seemingly regular kid. But I survived, nonetheless, and came out better for it, more empathetic, and more sensitive to the needs of those around me who may not have been able to find their voice. After all, it took me about 30 years to find my voice on the subject. But now, I've found it, and I'm '[sounding] my 'barbaric yawp' from the rooftops of public schools around the country!
As a poet by nature, a Christian, and a single mom of a relentlessly bullied 6-year-old who suffers from ADHD, I am passionate about this more than I've ever been passionate about anything else in my life. I want children to know about bullying, what it looks like and how it affects kids who are not only victims, but also, kids who are bullies. I want to give bullying victims a voice and bullies a shot at redemption. I want to give the average kid a leg up in the social hierarchy, and I want to turn the social hierarchy upside-down. I don't want it to be cool to pick on kids anymore. I don't want it to be something they can brag to thier friends about. I want to make bullying the elephant in the room doing a circus act and make it something that if their friends saw them do they would be thoroughly ashamed. I want to change the ideaology that bullying is a 'rite of passage', because while it very well may be that 'all kids go through it', not all kids come out on the other side 'none the worse'; some kids don't even come through it at all.
I also want to point out that in some cases, teachers play a part in bullying, too. While they have the best intentions at heart, to foster our little future presidents' and doctors' minds and lay a foundation for learning that...
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