This week has been about telling bullying tales from all points of view – bullies and bullied. What we’ve come to understand is that bullying creates a circle of pain. It can turn victims into bullies and bullies into victims. What is clear is that bullying is no longer a playground rite of passage.
The video above shows a tribute earlier this month by Lady Gaga to the memory of Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14-year-old boy who took his own life after enduring years of bullying and abuse. Gaga was Jamey’s idol and was harassed for years, beginning in middle school. He suffered through bullying at school and then over the years it even expanded to online bullying. His story shows us the ultimate price we can pay as a society for not understanding why bullying happens. And by not putting what we know into practice, we lost a precious young life. The bullies that played a part in his death might be charged with a felony hate crime, but what about the other players in the story? What responsibility do the parents, teachers, friends, and community have in allowing something like this to happen? What role did we, as society, play in both Jamey’s and the bullies’ lives to let the situation get so out of hand?
Basically, the ultimate message that we want you to take away this week is that each and every one of us has to stop and think about our behavior and how it affects the whole story. All it takes is one person to wake up and pay attention in order to stop the circle from continuing. Will that be you?
Check out the Safe Start Center’s Bullying Prevention Page to continue to learn more.
Filed under: Bullying, Cultural Competence, Prevention, Public Awareness | Tagged: awareness, bullying, children, children exposed to violence, Lady Gaga, national bullying prevention awareness month, public awareness, Violence Prevention |