Many of you probably saw or heard the news yesterday about the high school shooting in Ohio. Five kids were shot--3 wounded and 2 dead. Wow, my heart hurts for everyone involved, including the shooter and his family. I can't help but to wonder what was going on in this boy's life to think that opening fire at a school would be something to resort to? There is still a lot to unfold as to exactly why this 15 year old kid did such a horrible thing, but bullying is involved.
Being a victim of bullying myself as a middle schooler I know how awful kids can be. I can remember dreading going to school because of the mean names kids called me and the horrible things they said about my family. I don't think about those times often, but doing so now brings back a lot of sad memories. Gosh, back then my self-esteem was so low and I was ashamed of who I was and of my family. I hated being Ashley Pride. Isn't it terrible how kids could make me feel and think so low about myself and family? I can remember my mom telling me to ignore them, and on one occasion going to school about it. The administration brushed it off as the boys having a crush on me. Yeah right, that was totally not the case. I got through it though, and because of experiencing it myself, I have a lot of compassion for kids who get picked on. Still though, resorting to physical violence is never a rational answer for bullying. That will never be justifiable.
As a teacher, I don't tolerate any type of bullying in my class. No way. That garbage doesn't fly with me. Some of you are probably asking yourself, "How much bullying can there really be in 2nd grade?" And you're right. There really isn't too much. But even in 2nd grade it still exists. We talk about bullying and what to do if it happens to you. My students also know we always follow the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. It sounds super cheesy, but it works! I think this needs to be instilled in kiddos at a young age and carried out through middle and high school. But I'm a realist, and I know this doesn't often happen.
I've been doing a lot of subbing in high school since I've been tracked out. I was helping out in the front office the other day and a mom came in with her daughter to talk about some things going on through Facebook. A principle was called, all involved parties were brought to the office, and it was handled. The secretary told me that they deal with bullying on Facebook a couple times a month. This made me so happy that I teach elementary and the kids aren't old enough to have Facebook. I wonder in Facebook was involved in yesterday's shooting?
Bullying is a BIG problem. Kids have committed suicide and have killed others because of it. But it doesn't stop at kids. It effects all of us. You can learn more about bullying here, here, and take a stand here. And please, pray for all those involved in the Ohio shooting.