This was written about a year and a half ago, but in light of ongoing events since then, I felt the need to repost it. Particularly when Tyler Clementi, 18, took his own life after being humiliated by his classmates. Peer bullying is not so much on the rise, but the fallout from bullying and how it affects our population is more intense than it used to be. The ways of bullying have changed and become extrememly more damaging and dangerous. There are even teachers in our public school systems who bully their students or demean them to the point of their loss of self worth! How is it that we have come into an age where it is “cool” to treat others this way? When did it become acceptable to ALLOW our children to invest in beliefs that hurt other people?? Who are we to hold responsible? Parents? Bullies? Our schools? I say we hold them all responsible. We need tougher laws on offenders and more protection for victims. Read this article and tell me what you think! Don’t forget to click the socialvibe box to your lower right! I want to hear from you!!!
I am so enraged with anger and grief for my long time ago friends, Jenny Adkins and Dave (Crockit) Jones. Last week they lost their 14- year -old son due to senseless acts of violence. This 14-year-old young man was Christopher Jones. He was a handsome young man, well liked by his friends. He was a young man that I will never have the opportunity to meet. In fact, many of you reading this have also been robbed of this opportunity. His family and friends have been robbed of the opportunity to watch him grow into a man, to go on his first date, to prom, go to college, and do all the silly stuff none of us want to admit to doing when we were his age. He was assaulted by several other young teens who are reported to be linked to gangs in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. They beat him so severely that he lost his life in the middle of the afternoon. It was on a Saturday, on a very busy road. He lost his life, his mom and dad lost his life, we all lost his life. Here is the story http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/01/AR2009060103704.html
Now, I am totally NOT a Hillary fan. But, I do agree with one thing she said regarding the children of our nation. It goes back to an African proverb well publicized back in the mid 1990’s when she published her book.
Hillary said this: “CHILDREN are not rugged individualists. They depend on adults they know and on thousands more who make decisions every day that affect their well-being. All of us, whether we acknowledge it or not, are responsible for deciding whether our children are raised in a nation that doesn’t just espouse family values but values families and children.”
It’s hard to believe that this kind of violence is still happening within our youth communities. Our children have become victims of our society and it is up to each one of us, parent or not, to offer guidance and direction whenever possible.
Our children are not possessions. Our children are future leaders and future role models. Our children are future parents. Our children are people in need of being taught the RIGHT WAY. What kind of values were taught to the kids who committed this malicious act that ended in death? What kind of role model allowed them to devalue human life so dramatically? They intentionally set out to commit harm to this promising young man without reserve, without regret, without a single thought as to how their behavior would effect this young man.
We see this time and time again. Kids videotaping themselves committing assaults on other human beings in order to be “accepted” among their peers. They do these things simply for bragging rights. Where do they learn this? At what point did our society dictate that the acceptable thing to do is to harm other human beings in order to reign supreme? Are we not caught up again in a barbaric age? Are we so without self -control and pride for a sense of love that some people are willing to allow these children to latch onto violence and hate as a way of recognition?
It does take an entire village to raise a child. A child who comes from a family that embraces violence and other immoral behavior need to have contact with other adults who choose love, peace and kindness. Parents who have never themselves learned to love and trust can’t possibly pass those belief systems onto the children they create. So it does take every person being involved to say “Hey….what are you guys up to today? You live around here? Where ya’ goin?”
It takes an entire village of volunteers to raise a child. What contribution are you making? Our communities NEED strong teens and adults to reach out to kids who may not have good core morals and values. Community centers, Big Brothers and Sisters, and mentors are all needed. What gifts do you have that you could give out of love in order to improve a child’s life? What have you been blessed with that you can in turn bless someone else with? Can you teach a sport? Can you teach music? Can you teach someone to read? Can you teach someone how to use a computer? Can you teach someone to be a friend by being their friend? Can you share your spirit? Can you share some time?
It takes an entire village to raise a child. We have so many children and an even bigger village. If something is amiss, do the right thing and address it immediately. I beg you not to wait. When is it time to act? What does your gut say? Do it and do it now! Share your gifts. Everyone has some, teach our children that violence and gang activity are wrong.
I have a lot more to say, but no more time to say it right now. I know that something has to be done….and it’s up to us to do it. Let’s find a way to end the violence.