Monday, December 3, 2012

Bullying

Bullying hurts.
I was watching the news this weekend only to find out a middle school
boy named David shot himself in front of peers at Bennion Jr. High on Friday.
My heart started to ache for this 14 year old and his loved ones he left behind.
He didn't voice his pain to his parents, they were clueless and shocked.
I believe bullying is 100% preventable.
It only takes ONE, just ONE to take a stand or tell a teacher or tell a parent.

If only someone was aware of this boys pain, something could have been done.
Just one friend by his side at lunch time so he had someone to talk to.
Or perhaps a classmate to report the teasing to administration but ask to remain anonymous.
Isn't just incredible? The influence we have on one another.
Every day we are given a choice, bring someone up or bring someone down.
Words hurt, I don't think we realize how big of an impact just one word can have on an individual.

Bullying is near and dear to my heart.
Growing up I was the victim.
I was the girl that often got made fun of.
I had just moved to a new school and I was struggling to make friends.
I got teased for wearing glasses.
I got teased because my hair wasn't as pretty as the other girls.
I got teased because I wouldn't say bad words no matter how hard they tried to convince me.

However, I was BLESSED!
I was blessed because I did end up making a best friend, Tiffany!
She stood up for me and she stood by my side.
I was blessed because I felt comfortable enough to come to my mom and tell her 
what was heavy on my heart.
I was blessed because eventually I found courage within my heart to stand up for myself
while doing the best that I could to not put the bully down.
But the biggest blessing of all, was experiencing how badly it hurts to be teased,
it has made it easier to remember how badly words can hurt others.
It has also given me passion and motivation to help those around me
develop higher self-esteem and to teach my 'Power of One' movement.
I pray for an opportunity to take this movement to all schools around me.

While I don't know the what exactly was on the heart of David or his loved ones at the time,
I do know this boy was important.
His life was valuable to so many people on this earth
and Heavenly Father loves him very very much.

I just can't stop thinking about this situation.
How my heart would ache if I was this boy's classmate and I hadn't said anything.
How my heart would ache if I was the boy's parents and I felt completely hopeless
because I didn't know the burden my son was carrying.
How my heart would ache if I was the principle and I wanted so dearly for these students
to treat each other with respect.
How my heart would ache if I was the bully and I wanted to take back absolutely everything 
I did to cause pain to another kid who was probably facing the same struggles as me.

This situation reminded me of the time I got to be apart of an amazing assembly.
It was a blessing to get to speak to a whole Junior High student body about 
how bullying really does have an impact.
But paying it forward to one another at school can create positive change
and can save lives!

Here is a small clip of the assembly:


My goal is to see how many assemblies I can get going in Utah before the school year is over.
A change needs to be made.
Bullying needs to be put to a STOP!

If you know someone at your school who is being bullied, here is a list of what you can do:

1. Stand up for the victim - this takes courage! Lots of it. But once the bully knows that there is more than it isn't just him and the victim any more, they bully is a lot more likely to be intimated and step down.
The bully will also be shocked and embarrassed once stood up to.

2. Don't join in on the bullying - Always refuse and walk away if the bully tries to get you to join in. Even if it is a good bribe to get you to do it, you will later regret it.

3. Stop the rumors - You have complete control of stopping rumors by simply not passing them on. When you hear someone else spreading the rumor, jump in and set the facts straight if you do know the story.

4. Tell an adult - The bullying can be put to an end much faster if an adult is aware of the situation. No matter how small the situation may look from the outside (for instance just a little teasing) it may hurt A LOT MORE on the inside. So tell a parent, a teacher, the principle, a counselor or any adult you see.
If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe about your comments, ask to remain anonymous and to keep your comments private. Have a friend go with you to make it easier.

5. Offer help - Once the bully is gone, make sure the victim is okay.Try to be a friend and see if he/she feels like talking about it. Encourage the victim to talk to an adult about the situation and try to instill courage in the victim to stand up for herself/himself next time.

Also, here is a great RESOURCE for Bullying and what you can do about it!


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