Stop bullying, become aware

Most of you know that I have three amazing kids.  They are my world.  

My oldest son, Aidan is 13.  He's an eighth-grader.  He's a bit shy until you get to know him, but once you do, he's got a quick wit that will keep you on your toes and a sense of humor that will have you rolling.  He loves music and baseball.

My sweet middle child, Isabella Grace will be 10 years old in just a few weeks.  She's in the fourth grade.  She loves Taylor Swift and Adele, cartwheels around the house and leaves sweet notes for me to find hidden in secret places.

My youngest son, Owen, is 6 and a half and in the first grade.  He is all boy!  He builds forts, climbs trees, and gets dirty.  He loves to swim and when he can't swim, you can find him in the bathtub floating boats and playing in bubbles. He loves Legos and fast cars.

All three of my sweet kids, in varying degrees, have had experiences with being bullied.  It hurts my heart to know that other kids can't see what amazing unique individuals each one of my kids are.

This year, over 13 million American children will be bullied. Bullying has been on the rise, year after year.  Statistics continue to go up, children continue to be hurt, and lives are forever changed because of bullying.  The growth of technology brings with it cyber-bullying.  Bullying is coming at kids from every direction.  

Sometimes it's even hard to admit that it's our own kids who speak the unkind words, or direct their anger at another child.  According to The Bully Proof Classroom "bullies aren't born, but are created over time when certain behavioral dynamics are allowed to evolve."  According to their statistics, 2/3 of students who are targets become bullies.

I believe the best way to create a change is through awareness.  We need to be aware of the problem that bullying is.  It's not just some playground heckling, this is serious business that is placing feelings of worthlessness in our children and pushing our kids to contemplate or even follow through with suicide.  

These children are America's future and we as a society,  need to take ownership of this issue.  Which is why I am excited to introduce to you Bully.  

Bully is a documentary following five kids and their families over the course of a school year.  The film includes the stories of two families who have lost their children to suicide, and provides an inside look at a mother learning the fate of her 14 year old daughter who is incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus.  Bully provides a rare inside look into the school district, the school buses, classrooms, cafeterias and even in the principals office, all with the hope of providing insight into the often cruel world of children as teachers, administrators and parents struggle to find the answers.

Bullying is such an important issue facing our children.  Please take some time to educate yourself, read the statistics, watch the film, and find out what you can do to protect the children in your life.  We need to empower the next generation to make a change and to stand up to bullying.  As we tell our kids "be a hero, be a friend."  


Camille said...

Great Post Rachel! And a topic so important to be talking about. As a school counselor I worked in a variety of school districts from upper class to impoverished in multiple states and bullying existed across the board. Now as a parent of two small girls it is my biggest fear as my oldest gets ready to head off to kindergarten next year. How do I raise children, particularly girls, who are confident in who God has created them to be so that they remain steadfast through the turbulant school age years? Needless to say I pray a lot. However, it is more than that. We, as a society-as parents, must be the change agent because it truly starts at home. Bullies are bullied. Schools, unfortunately can only offer so much. The change must begin at home on a much more basic level. Parents MUST be educated how to instill confidence (and I believe humility too) in their own children. Further, they must strive to shed their own insecurities. As you can see, I have a lot to say on the topic. Thank you for getting me thinking about it again today. What a fantastic platform you have to share important information.

Christine said...

This is a great post! Your kids are AMAZING!! And very lucky to have a mom who's going to do something about it!! said...

Thank you so much for writing this post, so important and I just love that picture of your sweethearts. I had no idea when I wrote about bullying late last year we'd be confronted with it a couple weeks ago ourselves via our oldest (I was actually bullied by the mom, but that's another story). So tough and so so critical to talk about!!

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