How many kids need to die before we admit bullying is a thing?

Okay so bullying sucks! And for something to suck it needs to exist right? So why are so many people still acting like it’s not a thing? As if people are just over reacting and that only sticks and stones break bones.

Well these words that never hurt you are hurting kids. The sticks and stones are becoming knives and guns and even blades, pills and rope. Kids are murdering their bullies and killing themselves. So why are we still saying, “kids need to toughen up” and “cowboys don’t cry” and something about “back in my day” Dude, back in your day we didn’t need to put a down payment on an avo so it’s safe to say your day is long gone.

Okay so can we just start by saying I AM NOT VICTIM BLAMING HERE! I’m never in my whole entire life going to say that any child’s death at the hand of another is deserved. I’m not a monster and I’m not stupid. What I’m wanting to say is; “we can’t keep acting like bullying is not a thing”.

I woke up to a front page picture of a young boy. A fourteen-year-old boy from my old high school, who was stabbed. Stabbed to death. My heart breaks for his family. How do you even come back from this? Being that I live in a small town, I had seen memorial messages for him over the last two days and each message broke my heart. He is so loved, his death is so unnecessary. Basically he was part of a cricket game that ended in taunting. A particular boy was being teased (an 18 year old). He has a history of violence (I don’t know anything about that, the story says he has epilepsy but I’m going to assume there are other issues at play here) anyway this boy couldn’t take the taunting and teasing, he went home , fetched a knife and killed this boy (Full Story Here) – It is said that he was later found in a bush saying over and over that he had not meant to do it. Senseless. Two lives ruined in the blink of an eye. What am I saying? I mean many, many lives ruined. The lives of both boys, their families, the friends who witnessed this, the community.

So what does this have to do with bullying. Well, see this boy (the one who stabbed the other) could not take (what some on the Facebook comments are calling) “school yard banter”. People are wired differently and while A might be able to take being teased, B might not be able to. B might act out violently or even end up taking their own life.

We need to protect our kids. My (newly turned) five-year-old was telling me that so and so should not get an invite to his party because so and so is mean to the other kids, he bullies them and no one will have fun if so and so is there. It broke my heart as I have no idea what to do and say. See so and so is also just a 4/5 year old and being excluded can’t be nice for him, but him treating other kids badly isn’t nice either. I have zero answers here. We need to look at both sides of the coin whether we like it or not, the bullies and the bullied.

At the end of the day I’m just saying, can we not act like bullying is not serious. I saw on FB how these college guys had (on more than one occasion) taunted another guy (the one who posted) by using racial slurs towards his friends and homophobic ones to him. That was shocking enough, but what was even more shocking was the commentors telling the guy who posted, that; “it’s just words, man up, you’re going to destroy the bullies lives.”

What are we teaching our kids here? That you can be a shitty person and if people are shitty to you, you need to suck it up and man up. I’ve sucked it up and manned up a lot in my life.

I’ve moved on from being teased relentlessly at school, from getting text messages and threats from guys at college and from just being treated k@k. A few therapy bills and a few venting blog posts and I’m doing okay BUT a lot of our kids are not doing okay.

We need to stop telling them that their feelings don’t matter. It’s this cowboys don’t cry attitude that has kids reaching for guns and pills instead of for their parents shoulders.

I don’t want to just shout out “stop bullying” and I don’t want to troll Facebook telling people to stop commenting nonsense (I do want to , I shouldn’t though). I want to make a difference. So if you know of any initiatives I can share about, books I can read and recommend and talks I should be having with my kid and my nieces/nephews… Please comment below, this needs to stop!

6 thoughts on “How many kids need to die before we admit bullying is a thing?

  1. Lesley-Ann Potgieter says:

    Something I try to encourage in my classroom is that walking away is not cowardly. It’s braver and smarter. However, it’s MUCH easier said than done. Even as adults, we can be pushed and pushed until we can’t take no more and we snap… Kids don’t know how to deal with their emotions, so thank you for taking the time to vent and want to educate your kids

  2. Candice says:

    What I find so scary is that bullying from a very young age is so prevalent. 3 of the 4 kids close to me that went to grade 1 this year have already been victims of relentless bullying. Schools have anti-bullying campaigns, but they don’t seem to be addressing individual cases. The scary thing is, where is it all going to end?!

  3. Donna says:

    Thank you for this post. Bullying is such a serious thing. We just need to take time like you did and us reading to realise it.

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