Bullying. Cyber Bullying. Let’s pledge to fight bullying together. Let’s put an end to it. #Bullying #cyberbullying

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My son was recently accused of bullying.  He’s five years old.  He’s in Kindergarten.  It wasn’t bullying, as it turns out. But the hours and days until we knew for sure that it wasn’t?  A hellish nightmare full of heartache for us as parents.  He was wrestling with a pal on the bus (not appropriate, but it happened) and got carried away.  Both boys said the same thing to the principal in separate conversations.  They walked from the office together as buddies after they met with the principal.  We got lucky-both families, I mean.  Really lucky.  That’s a big part of why I agreed to work with Take Part and help them to promote this STOP BULLYING campaign to try to get as many people to pledge against bullying with me.
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But every single day, kids aren’t so lucky.  It isn’t just wrestling gone too far, or a misunderstanding.  It’s real and in your face and life changing for many.  It’s pain and crying and heartbreak and loneliness and suffering- often, in silence. Our experience with our son and his friend was so short, and had a happy ending, but it gave me a lot to think about.

Please won’t you retweet this and help spread the word?

 

With the dawn of social media has come all kinds of new ways to taunt peers and belittle others- and another way to bully others.  Sure, I love social media. It’s fun.  It’s clearly a huge part of my blog, interacting with friends, family, peers, readers, fans, brands and PR folks.  Normally, we talk about the happy side of things. But the fact is that social media isn’t all sunshine and roses.  It just isn’t.  But really, nothing ever is.  Just like school isn’t just about academics.  People are people and sometimes they are mean.  Cruel.  Enough to send people into depressions, to hurt themselves, or take their own lives.  That’s not me being dramatic, friends. That’s the truth.  That’s why I’m writing this today. We have to make it stop.  The bullying, the cyber bullying.  We have to promise, each of us, to take a pledge and follow it and put a STOP to bullying.

fight bullying
What IS bullying?  By definition, it’s intentional aggressive behavior (there are other definitions, but this one pops up the most, the idea is there) .  And it’s not restricted to any age group, it’s not just kids and it’s not just adults.    What scares me is how much more open we all are- especially our kids- to this, in this day of social media.  We have to teach our kids how to protect themselves, but we also have to educate ALL children about bullying and what it means- and what to do if it happens.  Actually, I take that back. We have to educate everyone about what bullying is.  As we educate one another about bullying and get them to understand how devastating it can be and is, we can take the pledge to fight bullying together.

My friend’s little girl was bullied on her school bus when she was in kindergarten.  An older child was taunting her, pulling her hair, and ultimately, video footage from the school bus helped to ensure the older child was no longer able to hurt my friend’s little girl.  A boy in a high school near mine took his own life – he was bullied by peers for years and years.  Bullying isn’t just happening in some other town in some other state. It’s not on the West Coast, nor the East Coast.  It’s here, it’s there, it’s in my school, it’s in your school.  It’s happening everywhere.

Thanks to TakePart for sponsoring today’s discussion

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

78 comments… add one

  • I am embarrassed to say I was a bully.then one day one of the girls I was about to beat up just looked me straight into my eyes and within that second I felt my heart break. That was the end of my bulling days forever. To this day I won’t stand for someone to be bullied. I think bully’s should be punished very harshly. I really regret being a bully. I hate it. God bless the kids I hurt.

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  • My childhood was ruined because I had a speech impediment. I was beaten, tormented and called retard virtually every day until I got into high school. It has changed who I am. Deb

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  • I am the bully…to my loud obnoxious drunk druggie neighbors. They irritate the living crud outa me.

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  • Thanks for bringing attention to this subject that I’m very close to and also a big thank you to TakePart!

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  • I take the pledge.
    My daughter was bullied in 1st grade but her teacher stopped it. I blogged about if you would like the whole story
    http://sillymommy2sillygirls.blogspot.com/2009/10/bullying-in-first-grade.html

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  • I took the pledge!

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  • My son was bullied when he was in school but thank god grew up to be a strong and confident man. Unfortunately we don’t find that many success stories, it’s usually the other way. We need to teach our children at an early age that it’s not ok to make fun of people, to gang up on them. It’s very destructive to someones emotions and self-esteem. Please educate yourselves and your children. It’s a matter of life and death.

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  • My kids are not in school yet, but I think about this a lot. Bullying these days is terrible, especially with the internet. It’s so important to teach our children to be kind and caring and compassionate… and how to work out frustrations in another way. Thanks for sharing this important message!

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  • I will pledge and share with my grandkids.

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  • I was bullied in junior high for being Italian in a midwestern town. Everyone thought my family was in the Mafia, yet there were no guns or violence allowed in our home; we were not even allowed to hunt to place harm on any creature. Someone spit on my sister, and no one was allowed to come over and play with me or become friends. I had no dates to the prom, no dates at all. Kids called me unacceptable names such as ‘wop’ and ‘dago’. It was horrible. This is a wonderful cause!

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  • I was bullied when I was in eighth grade. A classmate who lived a few houses away picked on me at school and on the way to and from school also. It got so bad I couldn’t go to school out of fear of being jumped on and being beaten by this girl. My parents wound up sending me to live with my grandparents clear across the country for six months. I was 13 years old and torn away from my family. I loved my grandparents, but I missed my sisters and brother. Being bullied is not fun and the effects last a lifetime! I am 62 and I still recall everything she did to me. People need to be educated and they need to be vigilant in stopping bullying. Thank you.

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  • My granddaughter was bullied by a boy classmate. Thank goodness one of the teachers was my daughter’s best friend and was able to get the problem taken care of. I took the pledge and hate anything to do with bullying. There has to be something that can be done. I don’t think bullies should be allowed to go to school with the kids they are bullying. Send them to a special school where there are only bullies and see which is the worst then. Maybe they will stop and think about what they are doing. I know that is not really the solution but it sure makes you mad when someone you love so much is bullied by a kid that is much bigger and leaves bruises on that little person you love so much. It is hard to feel sympathy for any bully.

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  • I took the pledge.

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  • This is a huge deal in our society kids bullying others for being different , as parents i think its part of our job to educate our children so that they do not become bullies or if they see someone else getting bullied they lend a helping hand.

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  • It’s not happening here.

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  • I took the pledge

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  • i pledged i am so for this good job !

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  • We’ve been really lucky in that no one has ever bullied my daughter, and she has a good head on her shoulders and has never bullied anyone.

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  • Wow, I am so with you on this… thank you for such a personal post and sharing with us!

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  • Bullying has gotten so out of control. It so seldom happened when I was a kid. It’s reached an all new level of cruelty. I am glad to see this issue coming front and center.

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  • I took the pledge a few days ago. This is definitely something I’m passionate about. Especially with young children.

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  • I took the pledge.

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  • Pledged. I remember being bullied up to HS, I think parents and teachers can take a bigger role in preventing it. As a parent, I talk to my sons about this all the time and they are only 3 and 5. My 3 year old bullies my 5 year old and it is a daily struggle to teach him but I am sure as he gets older he will.

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  • I will take the pledge, gladly. It is important we understand that there are adult still acting like childish bullies and they are equally as destructive to society as bullies. So not only must we work to end bullying, but also adult cyber stalking and harassment, as well.

    Enjoyed reading your post and am very happy for you that your story had a happy ending. May we see more of those!

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  • took the pledge…..a friend of mines daughter committed suicide from being bullied………..such a tragedy

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  • This really can help.

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  • I took the pledge. I think we all just need to work together to make both kids and adults realize that sometimes words cut just as much as a knife. Let’s all try to led by example.

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  • I took the pledge and will share with others!

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  • My daughter was bullied in preschool. She was called names for being fat. How do 4 year old even know what fat is? This was the worst 6 months ever. As a mom all I could do is instil positive words in to her life and pray over her. These are things kids should never have to deal with. Great post!

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  • Great post and program! Thanks for sharing it, I just pledged! Bullying is the main reason we decided to homeschool. It has gone on all year with no real help from our school. During the last week of school .. the main bully sucker punched my son and the school was totally over it. I went and persisted that they take action, which they “mostly” did at that point.. but in the end we decided to get our son out of there.

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  • I took the pledge, it’s sad that in this day and age nothing is being done in a lot of places. When my son was in middle school he was being bullied, we ended up having to take him out of school. Now, we have grandchildren in school, I hope everyday they don’t have to deal with the same situation. I feel for all of the parents and children dealing with this. I wish the parents and schools not dealing with it would wake up! Sorry, rant over :)

    Life with RA is a Pain

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    • Don’t apologize. We all have stories like this. We need to educate and stand up- if it’s our family or someone elses! Thank you for sharing!

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  • I’m in!
    It’s time that we all did more than just say that bullying is wrong….too many kids are getting kicked while those that should be looking out for them turn the other way. Bullying punishments in schools need to come with the harsher penalties of zero tolerance, even if the bullying is off campus. If the students go to school with their victim it affects them on campus.

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  • I took the pledge and tweeted it out too! As a parent I worry about my child being the bully as well as getting bullied. I try to lead by example and teach my children that we are all people who deserve to be treated with kindness and that there are consequences for bad behavior.

    I think that as a social society many people lack what should be common social skills and feel entitled to being treated a certain way. Look at the way the media {magazines and such} treat celebrities… I mean really Kim Kardashian is pregnant – carrying a life inside of her… comparing her to a killer whale is awful. shame on them. More people need to take a stand and lead by example. —- Stepping off soapbox now—-

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  • Unfortunately some parents just don’t care that their children are bullies. Sad.

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  • My son has been bullied before. It is so hard for parents to fight against these poor choices by other children. We try to teach our children respect and kindness for everyone. It is so disappointing when other parents don’t follow suit.

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  • Bullying is such an awful experience (I know! i was bullied from grade 6-8. I ended up dropping out of school at the end of gr 8 because it got so bad!) I hate that its been taken to a whole new level! I

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  • Information and education are definitely key. “Bullying” seems to be such a hot word right now that it’s becoming a witch hunt. I feel like the only way we’ll stop the cruelty is to get children, teachers and parents alike to commit to an open discussion on the topic to understand the root of the issue in each individual situation. Snap judgements and “zero tolerance” policies are SO counterproductive, in my opinion.

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  • I’m so sorry about your situation.

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  • Great topic to discuss, educate, and bring awareness to. I took the pledge as well!

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  • Took the pledge…such an important issue. Thanks for spreading the word!

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  • I signed up! This is an important cause and I’m glad people are starting to care instead of standing idly by.

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    • Thanks for signing up Ashley- and I 100% agree

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  • Oh geez, I didn’t say that in response to YOUR situation! I hope you didn’t think that. I just saw so many parents run right over the principal because when their kids got in trouble, they threatened to sue. It was a HUGE problem at the elementary my son went to, not with bullies, but with entitlement of parents for their kids.

    I totally went off on a tangent. Sorry!

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    • I totally get what you’re saying. It’s the sad truth about our society today as a whole.

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      • Liz, I feel the same way. I think there’s going to be a lot more “wrong” with our society until the pendulum swings back into discipline and respect. The entitlement thing is just awful. Its very sad. I’m just doing the best I can to make sure my kids grow up to NOT think they are entitled to everything and everything.

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  • I think bullying has been around for as long as time has been around, but it has just reached a new level of cruelty and it’s getting harder for kids to have safe havens from it. I also think parents are way more lax on their kids than they used to be. I can’t think of too many of my friends’ parents who wouldn’t have cracked the whip at the mere suggestion their child was bullying, but the parents’ of kids today? Oh no…they cry foul and not MY child. :(

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    • I feel like most parents today say “not MY child…” far too often. And it scares me how much CAN happen with bullying these days. Too much. If my parents so much as thought I was contemplating bullying, I’d have had a swift, severe punishment- and no way no how would I ever. But I knew better.

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  • I’m glad you provided a clear definition of bullying. Sometimes I think kids/people like to accuse others of bullying just to get THEM into trouble – this kind of spiteful false accusation itself is a form of bullying that I saw a lot of when I was a teacher.

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  • Thanks for bringing this to my attention! My husband is a principal at a middle school and I hear and see first hand the damage it does to our youth. I’ve seen pictures and heard story after story of the horrible consequences bullying has. I am happy to take the pledge! I may not be the best mom in the world, but my kids know they will never hear the end of it if they are mean to anyone at school or if I find out they are excluding other kids. They may not go to bed on time or eat their veggies, but they will hopefully grow up knowing how to treat others.

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  • As a teacher I am very passionate about this issue! I pledge and will spread the word :) Thanks!

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    • Thanks Sara!

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  • I took the pledge! Also tweeted and shared on FB!

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    • You rock Daisy!

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  • It is so important to spread the word! thanks for sharing!

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    • Agree, Bonnie! Thanks!

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  • My daughter was bullied in sixth grade to the point that I took her out and homeschooled her for three years. I am happy to take the pledge.

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    • I never knew that was why you decided to homeschool, Pam. That must have been a really hard time for your family :(

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    • My parents pulled my brother AND myself and my sister out of school b/c he was being bullied. I was fine and was unhappy to leave but he was SO miserable. :(

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  • Bullying is such an awful thing to deal with. My son is being bullied at his school now and as hard as we work with the school, they are having a really hard time stopping it. Very frustrating.

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    • :( I’m sorry to hear that Ellen. I hope it’s resolved soon

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