For me, many years after the bullying had stopped, anorexia became a new way to get smaller, quieter, less intimidating, non-existent, so that my life would be less risky -- or, at least, less painful.
Our schools can foster a culture of bullying, or a culture of respect. Fostering a culture of respect doesn't happen accidentally; it takes determined and consistent effort.
Bullying ends when we step forward and hold our social circles responsible for their words and actions and how those affect people around us. It also ends when we stop being passive about this awful social behavior, step up and unite. To love, peace and happy confident children!
The ugly truth is that bullying has gone too far and we all need to step up and do our part to make a difference. But the good news is, with a little effort, we can all look around and do something to help.
It's pretty simple. Yet, somehow, we forget. We eat too much, sleep too little, wake up on the wrong side of life, are running late, annoyed by fate ...
We all know how this script is supposed to go: Gay kid gets teased and bullied. Gay kid feels demeaned and ashamed. Gay kid maybe gets beaten up. Gay kid runs off to lick his wounds and feel horrible about himself. Gay kid feels alone. But not this time. This time the gay kid, my gay kid, fought back. And the bully ran away.
I think about my childhood bullies sometimes. And because I (like most of you) am naturally curious, I accepted all of their Facebook friend requests. Becoming reacquainted with them forces me to wonder about what happens when bullies become teachers.
It's called the bully mentality that we have mentioned before. Bullies are those who want to dominate others without regard to reason or even common sense. And they appear periodically when prevailing cultures or societies lack strong leadership--positive leadership, that is.
In 2015, on the cusp of our presidential election year, courage can take us to being above party politics, putting employee good above profit to shareholders, demonstrating caring and responsibility to our neighbors, being true to our word, valuing life, and exhibiting love.
Not long ago, one quote jumped out at me, "I just wish the administration would at least acknowledge our existence." That student's statement reminded me that transgender students are still "separate but equal" at universities across the nation.
When I walk though the halls, I look at my phone. I scroll though Facebook, I text my parents, I watch TED talks. I get to class; I sit down, look at my watch. I tell myself that there are only X amount of hours left in the day and that I'll be safe soon.
I believe with utter confidence that, in the majority of circumstances, a kid that feels good emotionally will behave well. I've used this idea as a compass with my children, taking note of the direction of their moods and actions; when I feel out of control as a mother, my children act like they're living without the comfort of sturdy boundaries -- because, in those moments, they are
I see you at 17 -- feathered hair, parachute pants, asymmetrical smile. You have just graduated from high school. Despite your outward ebullience, I see that, beneath the jocular façade, you are so very sad. Of this you are (mostly) unaware.
The cause behind this lack of change is the reality that too many people are talking about bullying, but not enough are doing anything about it.
Whether at school or in public spaces, many LGBT youth don't feel safe and continue to face disgraceful levels of discrimination (and some don't feel safe at home, either). But when they enter the workforce, disadvantages persist.
The Dignity Act is a different kind of anti-bullying law.