For the last two weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about a beautiful 14 year old girl that was driven too far by bullies. Ultimately, she gave up. I never met Sandrea but her Mom and I were step-cousins and I have very fond memories of sleepovers, backyard tea parties, hide and go seek and so much more. My heart just breaks for her and for the rest of Sandrea’s friends and family whom are suffering from this tragic loss. I’ve been feeling so helpless, wanting to do something to honor this family and to put these bullies on the spot. You see, Sandrea didn’t end her life. The bullies did!
As a Mom, a formerly bullied child/teen, a woman, a human, I am outraged. And, I am scared. I was just like Sandrea 20 years ago. A freshman in High School who had boy trouble mixed in with being an obese teenager dealing with vicious lies and rumors. Ultimately, I swallowed a bottle of Tylenol. I was found in the bathroom of my High School by a close friend (who later became my son’s godmother) and taken to the hospital. In the emergency room, when my parents walked in, I will never forget the look on my mother’s face. The terror, the pain and I think the misplaced guilt as she felt that she should have done something to prevent this from happening unknowingly that there was nothing she could do. Just like there was nothing Sandrea’s mom could do. But, there is something we can all do. Today. Right now.
Let’s hold these bullies accountable.
Let’s keep the word bully on the front burner, lets ignore the fools that say that bullying is a media hype. It isn’t. It’s just that now these things are being acknolwedged and they are going too far and unfortunately, the same channels that led you to this post are providing a platform for bullying through social media like never before. Let’s, as parents, hold our schools accountable and when they do nothing, go to the next level and encourage our local law enforcement agencies to not only punish or assist with putting an end to bullying; but to be more proactive. We have the DARE program in our schools to help teach our children about drugs and their dangerous. Bullying starts in preschool people. Let’s get a proactive program on the books. Let’s do more than an annual assembly with a five minute speech about bullying. And when bullies push people over the edge, lets hold them accountable. My own kids deal with bullies, especially my 12 year old daughter who has learning disabilities. She’s been pushed pretty far, even to the point of cutting off a huge chunk of her hair in the middle of the night after a text message from a former “friend” telling her that she should end her life. It took her weeks to tell me the truth. I thank God daily that it was only her hair that she cut.
Codi Kaye – “You’re Not Innocent”
A huge thank you to Codi Kaye whom I believe is from Australia. Codi wrote the song above as a lesson to bullies, making them accountable for the death of someone they’d pushed too far.
Suicide is NOT the Answer
If you somehow found this page, thinking about suicide or because you are dealing with bullies I emplore you to speak to someone now. A friend, a family member or at the very least call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline NOW. No matter how great your pain is, no matter how much hurt you feel, I can promise you its pale in comparison to what your loved ones will feel when you are gone. I remember the love and support that surrounded me in my hospital bed from friends and family. I felt so guilty, so horrible for making them all feel that way. The saddness in their eyes was something I will never forget. Sandrea got the same love and support but she had to watch it from heaven. For Sandrea I beg you to please reconsider and to know that whatever the worst case scenario is, you can overcome it and I promise there are people who love you and can and want to help!
Bullying Prevention and Cyber Bullying Tips
If you are being bullied or the parent of a child that is, please visit the National Bullying Prevention Center for some wonderful resources. If you suspect your child may be a bully or are hearing that they are being unkind to others please don’t go on the defensive, get the help NOW! even if its just a bit of a reminder. Teach your children kindness and acceptance of others, all others. You amy also want to visit these sites:
Bullying Stops With You!
Because this topic is near and dear to my heart, I write about it often. You can read some of my other posts about bullying and bullying prevention here. I encourage you to speak out against bullying, to educate the children in your lives to prevent them from becoming bullies and to know how to deal with bullies.