Bullying has come into the media a lot this year from Real Housewife of New York Kelly Bensimon’s fight against adult bullies to stories like Jessi Slaughter, who harassed and was harassed online. And now we’ve learned of four recent suicides by gay or “possibly” gay students after suffering at the hands of their peers. Sticks and stones don’t just break bones anymore, words do and they’re getting a body count.
Twenty five percent of kids are bullied on a weekly basis and parents are fighting back. Kirk Smalley, father of 11-year-old suicide victim Ty, is making it his mission to fight bullying and protect other children from this growing problem. He’s not the only one.
During a recent town meeting the grandfather of Seth Walsh, a middle schooler who was taunted because of his sexuality to the point of hanging himself, stated, “Several people had their own bullying stories to tell. They weren’t just parents of gay or homosexual children; one girl dresses a little different from normal teenagers, but she’s straight.”
This morning on Today, Matt Lauer interviewed James Willie Jones, who went ballistic on the school bus after his sixth grade daughter with cerebral palsy was bullied. He threatened the students and was arrested. This is obviously not the right reaction, but the man was clearly out of his mind with love for his daughter and trying to protect her. He is now using the experience as a platform to speak out about bullying.
Please watch this and have your Kleenex handy.
Parents, do what you can to teach your kids about bullying; what to do if they are being bullied and why it is wrong to bully others. Talk to your children a lot, talk to their school board, talk to other parents.