Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bullying in Schools, Again

"Saying it's a trigger for bullying is like saying 
a short skirt is a trigger for rape. 
It's flawed logic, it doesn't make any sense." 
Noreen Bruce

You may have heard about Grayson Bruce, the 9 year old boy who was being bullied because of his Rainbow Dash backpack. Did you pay attention to the story? For me, it was one post in my facebook feed and there weren't many comments. Why not? Because stories of kids being bullied at school have become common place. The problem with that is that once something becomes common, the usual, run-of-the-mill, we stop paying attention. 

Some people heard about Grayson’s experience and dismissed it along the lines of “that’s normal kid behavior, he needs to toughen up” or “he was asking for it.” Most of us agreed that the school handled the situation poorly, but with a passing nod of our heads we quickly returned to scrolling through our facebook feeds or tumblr pages.

We cannot let Grayson’s story pass by as a blip on our radar. We need to pay attention and keep the conversation going. We need to raise awareness and continue to work toward a society where children feel safe and people of all ages are compassionate in their interactions. 

Do you remember hearing about Michael Morones

January 23rd, 11 year old Michael Morones attempted suicide because he was being bullied due to being a fan of My Little Ponies. When the story broke, almost 2 months ago, it received a lot of attention. Yesterday his tracheotomy was removed, he’s breathing on his own, but he will require medical care for the rest of his life. 

How many of us were outraged when we first heard Michael’s story? How many of us have given any thought to him in the last couple of months? 

I am not suggesting we make these boys the poster children for bullying. I’m guessing that while their families can use support, they also need privacy so that they can take care of their children, recover, and make the best possible choices about meeting their children’s needs in the future. We do, however, need to stay focused on the issues. We need to think about the causes of bullying and not just treat the symptoms. 

Lamentably, we live in a world where some people still think that a girl wearing a short skirt is asking to be raped and a boy openly being a fan of a children’s television show is asking to be bullied. We need to speak up, making it clear that blaming the victim is an inappropriate response and punishing the perpetrator is not an adequate solution. Change needs to happen on a larger scale; our society needs a paradigm shift.

My previous post “Bullying Begins at Home” also addresses this subject.

I have written more on the topic of schools, bullying, and suicides over at With The Family.  

Does your Child want to Stay Home from School?” 

Schools, Suicides and Stockholm Syndrome.

Show your support for Grayson and Michael by liking and following their facebook pages: Support for Grayson  and  Support and Love for Michael Morones.

Learn more about the Michael Morones foundation HERE

Come join the conversation at Raising Allies facebook page. 

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