"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim." -Elie Wiesel
I stopped watching all news programs a few years ago when I served on a jury in a capital murder trial. It was ordered by the judge and I found that I was happier without the daily dose of bad news hitting my ears and heart. So, I never started watching again. I figured that as long as I read a little of the news on my Internet home page and heard about anything really big from friends and family, I was just fine.
That is until this last Wednesday when I stopped in at the blog 37 days. I hadn't been able to catch up on many blogs over several days, so when I checked in on this one, I read back several days worth of postings. When I got to this one, I was slammed in the gut with sorrow for the children and their families and rage at the bullies and the people who stood by and did nothing to help these children. Please be sure you go read the blog posting I have linked above. I am not nearly as articulate as the author of 37 days and I feel that this is an extremely important subject. There are links to articles and stories about eight different children who have taken their lives as a result of bullying. The children range in age from 11 to 18 and each of them was bullied because of perceived sexual orientation. Each of them committed suicide because of the bullying. I had not heard of any of this before reading it on the blog. I was totally unaware that this was happening! I felt that I owed it to each of these young people to read the articles and stories about them. So, I did. I also signed the petition to the Secretary of Education (I ask you to follow your heart and do the same) asking for sexual orientation and gender identity in anti-bullying programs.
If you think that this does not touch your children or grandchildren,nieces and nephews, you are wrong. It doesn't matter what sexual orientation a child is. Every child deserves to be happy and safe in school and deserves to get a good education. They deserve to have adults protect them. A bully will pick on any child that is different. They will find the one that is quiet and artistic, that speaks with an accent, this is autistic, that is bookish and nerdy. They will find the child that wears braces or glasses or that is new to the school. They will find the child who has a hard time making friends, for whatever reason. Bullies are relentless. Bullies are bullies and they must be stopped. It is not "kids just being kids". Kids are dying because of this and it has to stop!
I have continued to check in on 37 days since finding that posting. On the 7th, she had a link to The Proper Care & Feeding of Your Homosexual. I read that too and I think you should also.
When I logged on to get to the blog today, going through my centurylink home page, there was an article on 4 teen suicides in one Ohio school! I read part of the article before feeling ill and wanting to scream. I got to the part where the mother of the most recent girl who had killed herself was talking about the kids who had bullied her. They had actually come to the funeral and laughed at the way the girl looked in the casket! What is wrong with these kids? What is wrong with the parents of these kids to have raised kids such as these? It makes me absolutely ill to think of them! What has happened to compassion and empathy? I'm so very concerned for our Country.
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people." -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I honestly don't know know what to do about this horribly huge problem. I do know that I am going to go back and make sure that I have read every single thing that is linked in the posts I've mentioned on the 37 days blog so that I can learn more. I'm going to check out Ellen's blog which I know is linked on on 37 days to learn even more. I'm going to be watching my local and national news coverage more. I'm going to speak up when I hear a joke that is homophobic, racist, sexist or in some other way hurtful. I'm going to write letters to the producers (authors and sponsors) when I see those types of jokes on TV or in film because I don't think they are OK any longer. Actually, I never thought they were OK, but I was one of the ones who just kept quiet. I'm ashamed that I did and I won't any longer. I'm going to step in if I see someone being bullied and I'm going to talk to my son and granddaughters about bullies also. I will raise my voice here on my blog. I will sign petitions. I will let me friends on facebook know how I feel. These are my first steps to help in this situation. What are you going to do?