April 10, 2012

Be The Change


Thanks to The Bully Project for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website to join the movement and learn more. 

Bullying is no joke. I think it's fair to say at some point all of us have been subject to it. Whether it was in grade school or high school or even online, bullying is mean and completely unacceptable no matter what the outlet.
I was never bullied in school, per se, but I do remember one thing, from 6th grade, that sticks out like a sore thumb. I was always an average sized kid, never went through the skinny, lanky stage and never really went through the "baby fat" stage either, I was just normal. But, I remember being in the cafeteria in 6th grade and someone {I think a boy} said I had chubby arms.  Rude much?!  Since that day I have always hated my arms. I don't do cap sleeve tops for that very reason and even when I look at my wedding photos I see chubby arms.  I hate that since the 6th grade I have felt bad about this part of my body all because some smart-assed boy said so.
And while I wasn't pushed into a locker, given a swirlie, or pushed to the ground I was verbally bullied and that's just as bad.  Sure I didn't come home with bruises, torn clothes, or wet hair but I did come home with a hurt heart.  Bruises fade and clothes can be mended but words never go away, they stay with you {& me} forever.  You can't unsay something.  
I remember recently watching Live! With Kelly and she talked about a project going on at her children's school where the teacher gave each kid a blank piece of perfectly white paper.  She told them to tear it, crumple it up, throw it on the ground, spit on it and then asked them to smooth it back out the way it was when it was given to them.  It was impossible.  That paper was forever damaged.
Once bullying has been done, you can't undo it.  You can't put someone back to the way they were before they were teased or pushed down or punched, that changes them forever.  
I watched the trailer for Bully this afternoon and all I can say is WOW!  If you haven't had the opportunity to see it yet please watch this.

Pretty moving, right?
I mean what kind of world are we living in that our children are afraid to go to school?  Or can't get a seat on the school bus without being tormented?  What kind of world let's an 11-year-old commit suicide because they were too afraid to take action against bullying?  Pretty sad and sick if you ask me.
I will be damned if I let Kendall grow up in a world where this kind of behavior is acceptable, where parents cries fall on deaf ears, where, "they're just kids" is an excuse for bullying.
I want her to know nothing but love.  The great thing about having a newborn/infant/toddler is your ability to protect them from this type of ugliness.  Right now, all Kendall knows is love and acceptance and I wish I could keep it that way.  But I am a realist and I know that one day she will go to school and she will be faced with the reality of the world, or will she?
Maybe by the time Kendall goes to school the parents of Tyler Long will be heard, loud and clear, and this will stop.  Maybe in 4 years there will be more severe repercussions for negative behavior.  Maybe.  In the meantime take your sons and daughters to see this movie, talk to them about bullying, encourage your schools to play this movie and BE THE CHANGE.
I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. Find showings in your area for The Bully Project and buy tickets here.
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6 comments:

  1. I hope that they show this movie in schools. Bullying is a terrible thing and really affects your whole life. Like you said you still remember that boy who said a mean thing to you. Sixth grade was a terrible year of bullying for me. That year I was in a new school and for a 12 year old I had a body most women would die for. The kids in my new class that year walked around for weeks with their butts and chests stuck out, because they thought that was what I was doing, but I wasn't. I still remember going home crying everyday for weeks, still remember each one of those kids doing it. I've really tried hard to teach my sons about bullying, even before it became the thing to talk about, be nice to other kids, don't call names..any names, see a new kid say hello, etc.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience and further publicizing this film. I agree with everything you said.

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  3. Great post, Shannon! We definitely need to be aware of bullies and how to prevent bullying in schools. I, too, hope this movie is shown in schools.

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  4. Thanks for sharing.
    I think everyone needs to see this.

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