You see, if a child does not wear a "My Little Pony" backpack/lunch box, then they will be bullied for something else. Bullying has nothing to do with a lunch box. If it was not a lunch box, then it would be for their weight, their height, their gender or their skin color.
Boys who are smaller than their male classmates must not bring lunch money to school. If bullies are aware that the boys are carrying cash, there will be a strong need to push the scrawny boys into lockers to demand the money.
Instead of the usual list of "rules" most schools enforce, Principal Bruce McLachlan abandoned the recess rubric as part of a successful university experiment. He had a hunch that all the rules and boundaries were backfiring.
They are watching us. They are watching us be cruel to each other. They are watching us speak poorly of our friends, and of ourselves. They are translating our anger into words like "stupid" and "loser," and they are lashing out at the people who are closest to them, because they are trying to figure out how this world works.
In the two weeks since 11-year-old Michael Morones attempted to take his own life by hanging, potentially leaving him severely brain damaged, his parents are trying to sort out what happened and where to go from here.
While I have seen families who let their kids run wild under the guise of "homeschooling," I think this is the exception. Most families that choose to homeschool do so committed to giving their kids the best education possible.
They looked in the mirror and liked what they saw. So who are we to tear them down? I'm all for championing the BEST dressed, but do we really need to select the worst?
For the first time in my life, I was the bully, and someone else was scared of me. My behavior was despicable, but I felt empowered.
The Contest, directed by Anthony Joseph Giunta, is one of the many, amazing films using the power of the screen to combat bullying.
Just last week, an 11-year old sixth grade student lamented to me that she was invited to sleepover at a friend's house, but all the friend did throughout the night was text with girls not invited over. It made the guest feel rejected, unwanted and disregarded.
For you, who I slurred, I am eternally grateful for my comeuppance, horrified by any pain I may have caused you, and deeply sorry for bullying and calling you a fag. Especially when you are the rubber and I am the glue, and everything I said bounced off you and stuck to me.
We seek out community, or we make parenting groups in the communities where we live. There's nothing fancy about it, even though it's really amazing when it works out that somewhere feels like home.
Meet with your child to find out his/her version of the situation. Try not to accuse your child. Instead, ask the child what happened that day and what parts of the story that you heard were true.
I'm really tired of listening to all of you ponder, plea, debate and complain. I'm tired of reading your comments on social media. I'm tired of the hand-wringing. The navel-gazing. The attempts at empathy. That's not enough. That won't protect your kids. Do something.
That's the secret that Morgan Frazier shares, in all of her music and in all of the time she spends with all of those young people; showing the bullies as much as the bullied that hurting people has absolutely nothing to do with being strong.
My next goal is to help others create healthy online habits, particularly among our youth who unfortunately may not fully understand the impact of their updates and sharing across the web.