Friday, June 1, 2012

Bullying

This morning when I logged online I saw a story that broke my heart.

A 12 year old child committed suicide due to being bullied at school.

You can read this sad story
here.

I was bullied in elementary school for being different.

It wasn't my fault.

My parents are from Africa so I behaved differently from the other kids whose parents were American. I didn't swear. I pronounced words differently. I only wore skirts because I was not allowed to wear pants.

I am also dark skinned and boy did I get tormented for that. I was told many times, "Did your mom burn you in the oven/toaster?" and "You're black as night."

I was also very skinny so I was called, "Bones", "Channel 11" because of my skinny legs.

Due to the bullying, I am so careful about what I say to other people. I don't ever want to be seen as a bully. I am careful to always be kind because you never know what a person is going through. I never want to be that person who pushed someone over the edge.

I believe in honesty but I also believe in kindness. Honesty can be kind.

Luckily at home, my parents told us constantly how beautiful we were. How gorgeous our skin color was, how smart we were, etc.

I think it is important as parents to teach our kids morals, respect, kindness to others and compassion. I think many parents are falling short in this area and this is the reason why a child at 12 thinks they have to end their short life.

It saddens me to no end that this child believed that life wouldn't get better and didn't realize that this was only a short time in his life.

I think it is also important as parents to love on our children. Let them know how incredible they are. Let them know how much they bring into the world. Let them know that there is no one in the world like them.

I feel horrible for the parents of this child.

And sorry about doing this to you on a Friday morning.

I was going to do a random rambling post but then I read that and just felt led to discuss this today.

41 comments:

Samantha said...

You are the best- I love this post even though it makes me so sad that it even had to be written. Also... I can't believe that kids asked if you had been burnt in the toaster..? That is so messed up and clearly also related to parenting/lack of.

Anna said...

It is so sad to hear about how bully is so prevalent in schools and the horrible things it causes children to do or go through. My parents always told me that they loved me and luckily I knew that my short legs, pimples, and dirty blonde hair were just a phase and I was a child of God like everyone else.
-Anna
asweetsouthernmess.blogspot.com

tiff@thecoffeehouse said...

ugh, this breaks my heart. and reminds me once again how stupid people can be. we can be wonderful too, but sometimes just plain stupid. where is the parenting??

Jenny Strickland said...

Its so sad that we hear these type of stories more and more now.

There was a story recently here at a local school of a special needs student being bullied by his teachers. Yes his teachers. I'm sure he was bullied by his fellow students also but the story of his teachers made the news. It just breaks my heart!

Kids are so mean. I can't believe they asked if you mom burnt you in the oven.

If there could be one thing that I could change about the world... I would make it so there were no bullies!

PrettyPhysicist said...

It is SO SAD that kids have to tear each other down ... and people in general. Why can't we all be each other's biggest supporters? I am very careful about what I say, because the LAST thing I want to do is offend or hurt someone.

Nancy said...

This absolutely breaks my heart. No child should have to suffer.
I can't imagine what the parents are going through or how that 12 year old felt. This hits home since Logan will be 12 next week. I CANNOT imagine.

Heather (GurleeGirrl) said...

This story sickens me and saddens me. Having two young kids at home, I as a parent know it is my responsibility to make sure they understand that it is NEVER acceptable to bully (or tease, put down, etc.) another child at school or on the playground. It's also to have a good communication line with your child and be involved with their school (teacher) to make sure they are not on the receiving end. I talk to my kids about this topic all of the time. And I agree, we as parents, set the example at home. Showing your kids to treat people with respect certainly does rub off!

redwhitebride said...

this saddens me :( i'm with you about parents' support and planting the seed of kindness & respect for others (and confidence in self). i grew up in a village where everything was homogeneous, sort of, lack of diversity. not much bullying there, except for 2-3 rich kids. it's not until college that i encountered real diversity. sexual harassment is another story though...

Katie said...

this is so sad. as a teacher I see so many students who are so sweet and great friends and then others that are just mean. I think it is so important to teach about bullying, feelings, conflict resolution, etc. at school and a lot at home.

Jin said...

this is so sad. I was bullied and picked on too. Because of it I hated school and to this day I feel like I still have self-esteem issues. When I have kids I will def. do all I can to teach them to be nice sweet people.

Kirsten Wiemer said...

you are seriously such a great person. all through school i was made fun of for being super skinny as well, not what i couldn't give for that. funny how people make fun of these things for nothing they know about. i completely agree though. its so important to be kind and help lift people up rather than put them down. i really look up to you girl

k

Christine said...

So so so sad. And I'm so sorry to hear that people treated you so poorly as a child--kids {and adults for that matter} can be so mean sometimes. but how wonderful that you had such loving, wonderful parents who would build you up when the world was trying to tear you down.

You are such a beautiful person, inside and out.

Mrs. H said...

This is so horrible. I was bullied all throughout school cause I was so little (short and skinny). I still have women who make snide remarks because of my size. I truly think the parents of the bullies need to be held accountable as well as the kids. Such a sad situation but we keep hearing stories about this so the punishment needs to be harsher.

Carolyn said...

This is SO SAD!!! :( It makes me so sad to think of kids being bullied... and I'm sorry to hear that you were bullied! Parents should really work harder at teaching their kids to be respectful! Sounds like you had great parents!! :)

Married...with a Pup said...

Oh my this is so tragic and sad. I'm so sorry to hear about your personal bullying story...Its amazing how cruel little kids can be!! It sounds like you had a great family to help you pull through. You can tell their vales have been instilled in you! You are such a nice and beautiful person!!

LWLH said...

This is heartbreaking.
I got teased as a kid too but kids now a days have means to be even crueler (FB, online, etc). I'll be praying for that family.

Kay said...

Such a heart breaking story. It's really even more sad that it seems so common these days. Kids can be SO cruel and the parents of these bullies are often in denial about how their children behave. With stories like this I always hope that maybe 10 or more children will be saved from bullying. But who knows. My BIL committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied while he was in highschool. And although I never met him it still boils my blood when my DH tells me how they behaved at his funeral (they acted like they were such good friends with his brother when in reality they made his life at school so challenging). My thoughts go out to their family..

Heather said...

Bullying breaks my heart, and it's devastating how so many parents fail to teach their children to be respectful of others. Thanks for sharing this post.

YeamieWaffles said...

It really irritates me to read the story about that poor boy then the story of you being bullied too Faith, it's incredibly cruel of them and it just annoys me so much, kids don't think, they don't realise how much they're harming anyone until it's too late.

For kids to pick on you because of how you spoke or how you looked is incredibly ignorant and horrible, you're a great person Faith and that's all that matters, these stupid children really should judge a person on how they are as a human not on how they look or speak.

Nylse said...

good for you for speaking up; to a certain degree i was bullied - i was from a foreign country, spoke funny and was really thin - but somehow it never bothered.
yes parents need to love on their children (and mine did), but for me i guess i was born with a huge sense of self esteem - so to bad for you if you didnt like me.
I have a sibling who never seemed to recover from the bullying - so its not all on the parents. the world is sometimes a cruel and harsh place and we all need to be nicer to each other.

Papi's Girl said...

It's so sad. I was also bullied as a child. I try my best to raise my daughter being confident in herself. I tell her all the time how beautiful she is inside and out.

She has been bullied before and fortunuately felt comfortable enough to talk to me about it. She got through it and now stands up to bullies on her behalf and for other kids.

Sadly there are many parents who are not their childs advocate. They don't have open lines of communication. The children often feel lonely and vulerable and so they end their lives.

It is so so sad and all we can do is pray that this story will help save others kids lives and maybe open the eyes of some parents.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

i heard about that too...there is so much sadness in our world when it doesn't have to be! thanks for shining the light on the subject!

Life Happens said...

I saw that story this morning too and it broke my heart. So sad for the family.

I just wish kids could just be taught to be kind to everyone. And that they know that no matter how mean the world is, they are still loved at home.

AV5848 said...

Such a sad story.. Such a tragedy for those parents.. Who probably did everything they can for their little boy. And now they have to burry him because of some stupid kids. Sorry you had to be bullied as a girl Faith... After reading your post I wrote an email to my hubby telling him how scared I am to raise my little boy in this crazy world!

Whitney@Keeping Up with the Cyperts said...

It is definitely sad when a 12 year old wants to end their life. I work at a youth center for adolescents who have been abused and almost all of them have tried to self harm/commit suicide at one point in their short lives due to being bullied and abused by parents and family members. Ellen DeGeneres does alot of anti-bullying work and always ends her show with the words "Be kind to one another." If only everyone would follow those simple words!

Alida said...

What a tragedy...his life had hardly just begun. My heart goes out to his family.

Nellie said...

What a horribly sad story. I know exactly where you were, I too was bullied because of my skin tone and because I was so different from the norm. I also didn't swear...its so funny how important of a difference that is between children...I'm sorry that we went through this nonsense, but I believe that it makes you stronger. You have a great resolve in your determination not to be a bully, and you should be applauded for that!

Mrs. Married said...

Thank you for posting about this story. I studied cyber-bullying in college and it is so heartbreaking to know how children are treating each other. Thoughts and prayers to the family of the boy in the story...

toi said...

bullying is the worse thing ever. just like you i was bullied as long as i can remember... i am so sorry for the boy's family. OMG i am so sad for them.

lori said...

this absolutely breaks my heart. i agree about the lack of parenting... and teaching kids the impact they have on each other... i remember when i was in middle school a boy made fun of me saying my lip had more hair on it than his did... and to this day, i still remember how that made me feel. isn't it terrible how we can forget the compliments, but the mean words will stick with us forever?

Pegster said...

What a sad story. Bullying is truly a problem particularly in middle and high school. I swear things get way better by the time we get to College. Thanks for sharing your experience with this.

Sassi said...

awww, I love your header! it's so cute!
X

Brittany said...

SO heartbreaking. I hate hearing about things like this but it's also important to take a stand (as you did!) and let people know just how bad bullying can be.

Tiffany said...

Channel 11? Really? Where do kids think of this stuff? I was teased as well for my dark skin and b/c I spoke proper English.(Now that I'm older I absolutely LOVE my chocolate complexion!) But I think it all starts at home. Kids mimic what their parents do/say and that's where the real difference can be made. I will wring my child's neck if I EVER learned that he/she had the nerve to be bullying someone!

Ricardo Miñana said...

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Courtney B said...

Break my heart!! This poor family :( But your parents did it right! Sometimes I am reminded of just how important our roles of being parents is... now that I'm pregnant I am even more conscious of the kind of mom I want to be! And I will definitely teach my kids how hurtful and horrible bullying is. I just don't understand why kids have to be SO mean!

dreaming en francais said...

Oh man, this is SO sad.. and even sadder to know that things like this are happening so much in our world today. I definitely agree with you, it's important to spread love and kindness.. not only by being mindful ourselves but also by teaching children the same. Great post xo

http://dreamingenfrancais.blogspot.com/

Fabiola said...

aw I love this post...I am also against bullying and it needs to be stopped.
GREAT POST!

Tara said...

What a sad situation, there needs to be more awareness about the affects of bullying in today's society.

And so sad to hear that you were indeed bullied in school. One thing's for sure...you are beautiful!!!

Emmett Katherine said...

Such a heartfelt post. I can relate to being called name for being different for my schoolmates simply because my skin colour was different from theirs. It really sucked.

I hope you didn't let those comments get to you bc from reading your blog it's obvious you're beautiful inside & out.

Kimberly said...

This is such a hard topic. I am studying School Counseling/Mental Health Counseling for my graduate degree and this is a hot topic in schools now. The crazy thing about bullying is now with the rise of use of social media... the bullying is 24hrs a day. Many people believe that it ends when the school day does, but with FB, Twitter, ect, it is a 24hr thing. It is so sad.
But I agree with you 100%. One of the ways that this can be confronted starts in the home with the parents. AND then school officials need to implement stronger anti-bullying policies.