I just read a very disturbing, yet interesting article on Yahoo! News. It was about how in one school in northern Ohio, over a period of time, four kids committed suicide for being bullied and the school doing little if nothing to deal with this issue. I think at one time or another most of us have been bullied.
As a child, I was bullied. I remember in fourth or fifth grade, I was ridiculed because my teeth were horribly crooked and I was buck-toothed. I remember that the person that said the mean thing to me (which I honestly do not remember what exactly she said), was actually in the special education class. I am not sure what I did to her, but I remember the hatred she emitted at me. I felt so bad. It hurt to hear those words. I know that I didn't cry, but I tucked it away. I learned from it, and luckily, she forgot about me, or I stayed out of her way.
I also know what it's like to be passed over for something because I was not skinny enough or pretty enough. I had the talent, but yet it didn't seem to matter. That one my parents defended me on and I so appreciate that still, to this day.
Bullying is a real problem. It isn't just a grade school problem either. It is a problem that can affect anyone. Who deemed the social status? Who picks what is beautiful? I know both my kids have had some problems, but my husband and I have been right there. Sometimes people just spout off. Someone called my daughter something because she didn't have a movie time right. My husband wanted to go deal with that. Maybe he should have, but my daughter and I are more passive, and did not feel it was worth getting into anything with this angry person. My kids are outspoken when needed to be. Sometimes, getting them to open up about a situation is hard because they are embarrassed. But you have to. You have to talk to the kids and talk to the school if the problem becomes unbearable to the kids.
In the article, on child took Pepto every day because going to school made her sick. The mother now regrets that she made her go. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? But watching the situation and talking to teachers, counselors, principals and administrative personnel is a start. I know our school does a big bullying program, but is it enough? I guess we will see.
God doesn't specifically talk about bullying, but he does give us words to really live by.
9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
I know that I have no answers for anyone who is on either side of the bullying. I just know that it needs to stop! Just because someone is different, you don't have to be rude or mean to them. If you get to know them, you will probably even like them, and they will be open to you too. Prayer is a key element.
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
The Yahoo! article