Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wake Up, America, Our Kids Are Dying...

A couple of nights ago I was awakened at 3:45 a.m. by a torrential rainstorm. After the intense thunder and lightening subsided, and still unable to get back to sleep, I turned on the television and began flipping through the channels. That mindless activity halted when my ears pricked up upon hearing an unfamiliar word: bullycide. Understanding instantly what the word meant — suicide as a result of bullying — I grabbed my eyeglasses so that I could watch the news report.

Later in the day, I spent a few hours researching the Internet for bullycide stories. Actually, when you Google "bullycide stories," the result reads "about 26,100 for bullycide stories." Eventually, I ended up on You Tube. I still get goosebumps thinking about the plethora of videos I discovered there. I’d like to bring two of the videos to your attention.

The first is a compelling news report by ABC’s Diane Sawyer. It begins with a scene from the old television show, Candid Camera, illustrating the evolution of behavior (the devolution, really) of two little girls towards one boy. The second is a music video tribute entitled Bullying In America. Watch this one alone first, then watch it again with your kids.

I’ve written on the topic of bullying a few times and under different buzzwords and terms: when eleven-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hung himself after enduring daily taunts at school about being gay (anti-gay bullying); and when the Megan Meier case first hit the news cycle (cyberbullying). I’ve even blogged about the adult extension of this abusive behavior (workplace bullying).

Well, I’m going to continue writing about bullying until this horrific problem wanes. It’s time we wake up to this insidious behavior that is killing our children.

Originally written for KidsTerrain. Reprinted with permission.

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