In Need of an Optimist

So I was going to post a video on bullying (as spurred on by my fellow classmates on Monday) but as I began to watch the videos on youtube I was disturbed… to say the least.

 

Bullying is something that is hard for me to understand because I haven’t had a lot of experience with it in the past. Girls were mean to me in high school but I wouldn’t consider what they said or did to be bullying. I personally was part of gossip in school and definitely talked behind other people’s backs, but I never really saw the consequences of it. I guess you could say I am naïve to the world of bullying.

 

When I was looking for a video to post, almost every single one ended with a kid committing suicide and then was followed by a statistic on how the majority of adolescent suicides are caused by bullying. These statistics scared me! In my mind, I’ve always known bullying is a HUGE issue and in no way I am saying it doesn’t exist simply because I didn’t experience it, but I always thought that suicide had so many other causes, not specifically bullying. These statistics confused me because I don’t know if they are saying that kids have committed suicide solely because of bullying or that they committed suicide because they were being bullied AND they had a rough home life, a history of depression, a traumatic childhood experience, etc.

 

As a future teacher, this scares me to death (no pun intended). There are so many things that will be on my plate from a professional standpoint and then on top of it all, I will need to be on the look out for bullying. Not only do I need to be on the look out for it, I need to be able to stop it, or in best-case scenarios, prevent it! There are so many “bully prevention guides” out there that I am sure I will be able to get a few strategies under my belt, but it still frightens me. I never want to be the teacher that has a kid in her class that commits suicide. It would feel like a failed job.

 

What I would like to hear are some positive stories about bullying. It would be awesome if you all could share times in your life when someone stood up for you, a teacher intervened and positively impacted your life, or even when your parents did something about a bully situation. I know bullying has been around since the beginning of time and will continue to be around forever, but I still believe in hope.

 

Bullying videos on youtube and bullying prevention advertisements that use fear, depression, and disturbing images to ‘scare’ people into not bullying is great and I am sure that it is effective in many ways. But let’s hear and share some stories of how people who stood AGAINST bullying saved a life.

 

I know we can do something to help stop bullying and I’d rather imitate a hero than be scared into caring.

 

Bring on the optimists! 

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