Have you ever been bullied or were you the bully? I have. This topic is something I have probably never spoke about. Through elementary school there was a particular girl who was in quite a few classes with me over the years who bullied me. I entered this school in 2nd grade. I was placed in 2nd grade instead of 1st grade, so I was the youngest. In 3rd grade year we ended up in the same class. Her main purpose was to make sure that nobody liked me. That’s how I felt anyway. I can’t even tell you why she didn’t like me. I still don’t know to this day. Funny thing, I’m living 10 hours away from my hometown and she lives in the same town as me now. I remember one year, 4th grade if I’m not mistaken, she had a birthday party and purposely invited every single girl except for me. I think these girls even called me during the sleep over, prank calls to my house phone. In 5th and 6th grade we weren’t in the same class, but she always continued to do things and try to rally her troops against me. She even tried to get my best friend to turn on me. Anyone who spoke to me she befriended with the intentions of ruining our friendship. We graduated elementary school and went to middle school and of course the bullying continued. In 7th grade one day I had to stay late after school. When I left to walk home there were about 15- 30 pp outside of the school waiting to beat me up. I still don’t know why. Honestly, I was scared and hadn’t been in too many fights. I was able though to call her bluff and talk my way out of the situation. I told all the bystanders that I didn’t have any issues with them. The issue was with her and if she wanted to fight me then let’s fight fair. Long story short I called her bluff. At 12 in a new school while everyone else was 13, I continue to be bullied. All my friends were not there, because I had to stay late after school. After that situation she slowed down but kept her shit up through 12 grade.

You don’t want to socialize, all of these places that should be fun are places of attack.

          I know the feeling all too well that children experience while being bullied. You don’t want to go to school, you don’t want to go to the special events at school. You don’t want to socialize, all of these places that should be fun are places of attack. They are the places that the kids will ridicule you and pick with you and call you ugly etc. This young lady that is in the news now, killed herself after months of bullying her parents were aware of. When did it start? How long did it truly go on? With social media, bullying is way worse, with Trump as president bullying is at an all time high. I really believe social media may be why he was even able to get into office. He is a bully and he empowers all the bullies in the country and around the world. NO child should kill themselves ever, especially from being bullied. This is on us as a community. It takes a village to raise a child or is that just an old fable.

          As parents and adults I want to challenge you to look at your habits. Be mindful of the things you laugh at. So many people are bullied through technology because of their shortcomings. Who are you to judge? Are you truly perfect? None of us are. Even media and radio outlets need to be mindful of the things they are reporting. I heard a young lady say on the radio this morning that social media has made us insensitive, but she then continued to report a fighting situation in Florida where people recorded instead of helped, smh. She is insensitive as well. That incident shouldn’t even be addressed. The more we bring attention to these things, they will never stop occurring. If you see something say something, not to the authorities to the culprit. Cut the tree at the roots. If you see a child begin to bully or clown someone else on social media, address it immediately before it gains more attention. We as a community have to make an initiative to love on one another more. Just because I don’t know you doesn’t mean I can’t have love for you or wish the best for you. Competition is none. When we lift each other up the results are huge. Everyone is successful instead of only one. Guess what success is lonely, being rich is lonely, why place yourself in a position where you only have money to love. The ideal should be love and stability.

Even harmless jokes aren’t totally harmless.

          As we enter into this school year, let’s have the bullying conversation with our children. Let’s check our own habits and make sure we are not showing them its okay. Don’t say anything about the person that just walked past you, don’t judge the person who has no decent clothes to wear. Don’t be so critical of others, your children watch your every move and you would be surprised of the things they learn from you. In order for bullying to stop it must be addressed in our homes. Even harmless jokes aren’t totally harmless. Let’s put a stop to bullying and save our children and our communities.

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