The abuse was so horrendous he was nearly unrecognizable. People gathered to watch as this man was mocked, spat upon and beat up. Battered and bruised, his skin ripped, blood and sweat dripped from his body, yet no one interceded. No-one stepped in to help this man, the man we know as Jesus. The people watched, perhaps in horror, shock, fear, or even delight. As difficult as it is to fathom, there were observers and participants who took great pleasure in beating, mocking, and torturing him. No-one helped, just as no-one is helping your child who is being abused and bullied. Chances are, outside the school environment many are unaware. Your child comes home moody and isolates, you decide it is simply a phase and it will pass. Be careful with dismissing mood disturbances as just a phase. Sometimes they go much deeper.
Ten year old Jasmine was repeatedly picked on about her clothes and shoes. One day she decided enough is enough and hanged herself. No-one helped Jasmine. No-one helped Eden, April, Chris, or Jared, and help came too late for Matthew, a 21 year ol college student who was beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead. Matthew was found and brought to the hospital. He later succumbed to his injuries.
These are but a handful of examples. One out of every four children is bullied. Can you imagine being bullied to the extent of suicide? Oh how we continue to let these kids down when they believe the only viable option to stopping their pain is to end their life.
Imagine the angst when needing to change classes numerous times throughout the course of the day. Hoping against, but knowing the reality; someone will come up on them quickly, knocking books from their hands, or trip them. The child-your child- quickens their step to get to class as thoughts scream from within “quick -get by the bathroom without being pushed in!” Being trapped in the bathroom with a bully could be far worse than walking down a crowded hallway while their peers hurl insults. The child-your child-fights back tears, knowing there is no where to escape inside the walls of this school. The name calling and laughter rings through their ears as if coming through a microphone that has been plugged into an amplifier, exploding through the intercom system. At the same time the spotlight shines brightly on this vulnerable child-your child-illuminating their weary, wounded spirit. Young spirits that are meant to soar are being diminished because others have deemed them unworthy. Unworthy because they are too tall, too short, too thin or too fat. Unworthy because they are not wearing the trendiest clothes or shoes. Unworthy because they are too gay, too religious, or too shy. Unworthy because they wear braces or glasses. The child-your child-has been deemed unworthy simply because the bully needed to feel better about him or herself. What better way to do that than beat another down, physically and emotionally.
When you read this, do you think, “my God, this poor child” or “these poor kids,” and then go about your day secretly grateful the nightmare is not yours to live? Do you sit with your children and talk to them about the impact of bullying? Do you ask them if they are being bullied? Do they know someone who is? Do you encourage them to come to you in hopes of finding a solution or does your silence teach them to look the other way?
The children cannot be responsible for leading this fight. It must begin with the adults. Please get involved and talk to your children.
Below are some links that can help you through this if you are being bullied or guide you if you want to get involved. Let’s remember a little kindness can save a life.
© 2013 Deb Correia