Children should be able to live a life free from bullying and harassment and it is time that we all took a stand against this. ~Katherine Jenkins
October is national bullying awareness month and there are many areas that people working in the anti-bullying movement are talking about. But as someone that focuses on bullying recovery for both the victims and the bullies, I have long been thinking about the ultimate levels that some teens go to when bullying has taken them to the edge.
Studies and statistics show there are two places some teens go to when the damage of bullying to them has taken them to making the ultimate choice in their lives. Unfortunately, those two options they are making are suicide or bringing a weapon and possibly using it at a school. This is something I call the thin line that is crossed in the issue of bullying and one we must be aware of so we can reduce these issues.
In my new book, Crossing The Line, I am going to explore both of these issues in a fictional tale of the lives of those that are bullied and those that bully. I believe we must talk openly about these issues.
Statistics show that bullied students are 7-9 times more likely to consider suicide than their peers who aren’t bullied.
One study by Secured Thoughts shows that 87% of school shootings are motivated by a victim wanting to get back of those that hurt them.
Both of these are scary statistics, but ones that I believe we must be very aware of. The biggest problem is that we still don’t seem to know how to handle bullying issues at school. There are many ways that adults believe are the logical way to handle these childhood issues. Unfortunately, many adults forget how it feels to be a teen and what they are going through both emotionally and physiologically.
When I began my work in 2007 about bullying, one of the first things I did was write down the stories of what I remember about being bullied in the late 1970s. One would believe that we have learned so much about the issue since then. Unfortunately, that does not always seem to be the case.
In 2007, I shared a story about how, in the late 1970s, I had an incident where the adult thought that me and the bully shaking hands would resolve our issues. It was not only terrifying to be confronted this way as the bullying victim, but was very ineffective and actually caused more problems for me. Only a few years later, I would be taken to my edge with bullying that I did bring a weapon to school to protect myself.
I hoped that, by writing these stories, people would see that we must handle bullying differently. But then, in 2013, the movie “Bully” was released and this scene was in the movie.
Watching this, I was immediately transported back to my own youth story and cried for this poor bullying victim who was further victimized by the administrator and to feel as if he was to blame for the bullying happening to him. Watching this, could you understand how, the next move this victim might make is to bring a weapon to school or possibly think everyone is against him and take his own life?
This is the thin line that can be crossed. I understand and can fully empathize with the bullying victim in this video. We have to be serious in enacting change on these issues. Children are committing suicide daily and there is not much worse than a school shooting or school violence. It is time to take a new stand about working with bullying victims and bullying and working on recovering. I truly hope this article makes a difference for some. My book will be out in 2017 and I hope it will shed further light on the ultimate choices that bullying victims make in their lives that affect all our lives. Let’s take a stand now.