To state that our youth of today have much worse to deal with than my generation & the one before is the understatement of the century, in my opinion. As I peruse various media outlets it is quite disturbing to note the amount of press being given to the heart-wrenching epidemic of bullying…in all its forms.
Case in point from a recent Yahoo! article: “As reported by Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC, a pep rally at Perry (Ohio) High in which senior boys dressed as pudgy cheerleaders for rival Massillon was deemed to be in extremely poor taste because of one accessory the faux cheerleaders carried with them: A baby doll.” This group of young men was making light of school cheerleaders who have given birth. Yes, this was a case of bullying against young teenage girls who become pregnant while in high school.
While this was a rare public demonstration of bullying disguised as an attempt to fire up the home team against a rival, it most often occurs in closer parameters and usually without witnesses willing to come forth to corroborate the events. If you or someone you know is being bullied take the matter to your parents, school counselor or any other adult in authority. This is so important as statistics tell us that individuals who are bullied and do not receive intervention can end up perpetuating the violent cycle by becoming a bully themselves.
Bullying comes is many forms such as physical, emotional, cyber-bullying to name a few. One form that brings a heighten degree of concern is bully-cide which describes suicide attempts as a result of bullying. Sadly, suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death among children under the age of 14.
What can you do?
Learn the signs and symptoms of bullying; Watch for your peers who spend much of their time alone or in isolation; Speak encouraging and affirming statements to your friends often (and if needed to yourself as well) as persons with low self-esteem are easy targets for bullies; and PRAY both for the victims of bullying and for the bully.