This month I will be hosting a variety of people to help me educate, advise, and encourage people to not only be aware of the bullying that occurs around them but to hopefully find positive ways to discourage it. Bullying comes in an endless variety of forms born of limitless circumstances. We all need the village to stand up and be present.
Speaking of village, I am very excited to announce that the #1000Speak community will be joining me. If you haven’t heard of the #1000Speak initiative, you can read the article that inspired the initiative HERE. This month, on March 20th, a community of over 1000 bloggers will be posting under the topic of “Building from Bullying.” If you are a blogger who would like to join the initiative you can join their facebook group HERE . Or you can show your support on twitter by using the hashtag #1000speak.
When I decided I wanted to talk about bullying here, I specifically wanted to highlight cyber-bullying. It is truly a new beast on an already vicious, multiple-headed monster. Yesterday I came across this article, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/teenager-arrested-encouraging-friend-commit-suicide-n314736 about a young girl who had encouraged her boyfriend to commit suicide. This specific case really bothered me because she was an honor student who, in the public view, was a loving and caring person. I immediately found myself wanting to hear her parents point of view about the incident. Why? Did anyone suspect?
If you go to YouTube and search “bully” you will be inundated with videos being posted by people of all ages who are trying to be heard. Where are their parents, their friends, their village?
Don’t get me wrong, I know many parents who are continually engaging their children in dialog who are suddenly in shock to find their child was reaching out to someone else. Good parents who couldn’t figure out why their child didn’t feel comfortable enough to talk to them. Many times, children don’t want to disappoint a parent and sometimes they fear their parent wouldn’t understand. In other cases, a child has a secret they are worried will be exposed. I have been that kid, the one who doesn’t want to disappoint anyone… so I get it. This is where the village comes in.
Children need us, parents need us, the community needs us ALL to be village heroes.