I spoke this morning at Carroll Middle School in the Southlake-Carroll School District here in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. One of my main topics this morning was a message to bullies, to those being bullied, and to those who could do something about it. The video link at the end of this post is from a bullying report on HLN. The child being bullied appealed to school officials, and NOTHING was done. Inaction by authority figures closest to the student resulted in a more volitale situation. It makes me sick that so-called teachers and administrators would tell this child it was all in his head.
You know why I believe the child in the video? Because the same thing happened to me in 8th grade.
There was a fellow student in my class who made my life miserable. I hated going to school, and hated even seeing his face. One day, I came to the teacher of the class that the bully and I were in. I told her all of my hurt feelings that the bully had caused. I had never told anyone about my pain before. Her response, “it’s all in your head.” That night, I can remember lying in bed believing that if my appeal to an adult who was closest to the situation didn’t help, that I’d be better off not waking up in the morning. I had never felt more alone and worthless than that day.
There is a good epilogue to this story. The bully was invited to a church retreat when I was a Junior in high school. He approached me one morning to apologize, as he said in his own words, “Jesus is Lord of my life, now, and he would never have done the awful things to you that I did.” While the epilogue is good, the events that transpired in that 8th grade class could have been avoided. That teacher completely failed me and failed in her profession that day by dismissing my pain. She could have easily gotten an administrator involved, but she didn’t. (To be honest, she was a lousy educator, too, but that is a different story.)
I’m glad that the Dragons (students) of Carroll Middle School have the support that I didn’t have. I believe that the administration and teachers’ committment to a positive school enviornment would never allow what I went through to occur. Everyone near a child must understand…feelings are facts. If a child says he or she is the target of a bully, you MUST do something. Kids aren’t killing themselves simply from being bullied. They are killing themselves because they feel like no one cares, and nothing will ever be done to make the pain stop.
Check out this video from HLN of a father (and family) who tried to help, and what occurs when a school administration doesn’t do a thing about bullying. I applaud the efforts of the entire Southlake-Carroll School District, as I believe this would never occur the same way it did in this video below: