Mar 16, 2012

Stand Against Bullying

Sheri Larsen invited a slew of us to collectively write about the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence (Australia*). Here's a great resource:

Were you bullied as a child?

Of course you were. We all were.

I was the target for many people. I was poor, gay, skinny, clumsy, had weird hair, and wore glasses by the beginning of 9th grade. I figured it was all okay though. My teachers did not seem to care. My gym teacher certainly didn't care that I was periodically pantsed on the soccer field. Or if he did, he never spoke up about it. 

I was okay with being bullied.

Here's the thing: bullying is not okay! We as adults have a responsibility to be aware of what is going on around us. With the advent of cyber-bullying, it is harder than ever for us to know what is happening to the kids around us.

It's easy for adults to talk to kids about sports and good grades, but do not forget the importance of bringing up bullying. You could prevent bullying from happening on both ends.

Check out posts from some writer friends:

* This post is just another way in which I live vicariously through the Australians.


  1. I was bullied--I was awkward, a bit depressed, and shy. I was not okay with being bullied, but didn't know what to do about it.

    It's not okay!

  2. I agree that parents need to instill higher moral values in their children. This is so important. Why aren't they all talking to their children about kindness towards others?
    Also, I do think teachers are more aware today about taking a stand when they see a student bullied. I hope every teacher does the right thing.
    I can't belive your gym teacher did nothing!
    It's not okay.

  3. I was never bullied in the chronic sense, but I was ostracized, beaten up a few times, and ridiculed for being different from time to time.

    Only we, as responsible adults, can do anything about this. It has to stop.

  4. I don't know if bullying has become worse over the years, or if the definition has morphed, but I know when I was writing my post for this, I was felt transported back to junior high when I was teased - and bullied - for having an acne problem. It's so important to teach kids today that it's okay to be different, and to stand up for themselves. Thank you for your post.

  5. Thank you for sharing, Jon. I cringed when I read that as a kid you were okay with being bullied. See, that's part of the problem, too. Those who are bullied don't see a way out, which totally sucks. But how can they if no one speaks up? I hope we as a society can support those who are bullied and empower them.

  6. I was teased in grade school. I think most kids are, which is really sad to think about. It's up to us parents to teach our kids right from wrong and to instill morals in them so they not only not become bullies but will stick up for kids that are being bullied.

  7. Hey Jon, first time visitor and great to meet you. Kudos to you and the rest for shout out against bullying. Glad to see so many people taking a stand against it. And love the Tigers and Red Wing logs on you blog as I hail from Michigan.

  8. You were so cute! I agree. It is never okay. And no one ever deserves it. It IS up to us as adults to empower kids and let them know they do not have to take it.

  9. Your school photos are so handsome, Jonathan! We're the same age and I remember those hairstyles for the boys. Not weird at all considering it was the trend! Lots of insecure people aren't bullies, but bullies are always insecure. It makes me feel sorry for them, but it certainly doesn't excuse it.

    Bullying must stop with adults first. Only then will kids learn to be kind, compassionate, and respectful.

    Thanks for sharing your story and bringing more awareness to this very serious issue.

  10. Laura's right. Until the adults stop, the kids will keep learning it.

    As a preschool teacher, I've had 3-year-old students that bully. Learned behavior, and we teachers only have so much time to try to stop it.

  11. We talk about bullying in our house. I can help my son learn not to act like one but I wish some other parents would care enough to do the same with their children too. Those are the children who probably need the parental time the most.

  12. Thanks for the comments, folks. Even more thanks for keeping the conversation going!