That’s how many messages from parents I have gotten in the past 12 hours.

They’re asking for help…they’re asking me to use my voice to keep talking about the bullying epidemic…they’re offering to help me in order to finally put an end to all of this nonsense.

But the biggest thing everyone is asking me is this: Why? Why does this continue to happen?

Not everyone is going to like what I have to say. And that’s okay. But if you know me, or of me, then you know that I am unapologetically real.  I have zero minutes in my day to sugarcoat anything…because let’s face it, it just wastes everyone’s time.

Ok here it goes: stop blaming teachers for all of the bullying.

This is not like the movies in the 80s and 90s where kids are getting thrown into lockers or meeting out on the playground to settle the score.  It is NOTHING like it was when we were growing up. Back in the day, Friday was the day everything came to a head. By the time the weekend was done, everything had blown over.

Now, thanks to social media, Monday is the new Friday. Things build and build over the weekend…and it all collides just in time for classes on Monday.

Our kids are bullying and harassing one another from the confines of their bedrooms.  Their fingers are assault weapons…typing and posting away.

Teachers can NOT be held responsible for something that is happening in our own homes.

Here is the thing: parents, take back your house.  The privacy your child thinks they deserve? Umm…nope.  Your house, your bills, your rules.

Privacy comes when our children are “off our payroll.”

Stalk them. Know everything they’re texting. Know everything they are posting.  Know everything they are receiving. Know everything that’s being posted about them.  Follow them on social media.  Follow their friends.  BE IN THE KNOW.  Set a time every night where every damn device is turned off and turned over to you. Sure, your kids will roll their eyes at you…they’ll probably call you clingy or annoying.

I call it parenting.

Am I a parenting expert? Hell no. Most days I have no clue what I am doing.

But I have been involved in the anti-bullying movement for QUITE some time now.  I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of messages from bullies and mean girls.  I’ve read the diaries of the victims where they outline the pain.  I’ve sat down with the parents of the victims who told me they had no clue their child was struggling.  I’ve sat down with the parents of the bullies who were shocked that “little Johnny could do this!” I have been to the FUNERALS of young children who have killed themselves because they couldn’t take it.

Let that sink in.  FUNERALS of young children…because they couldn’t take it anymore.

Our kids need to learn empathy.  As much as our children know that they are the center of our world…they need to understand that everything doesn’t revolve around them. Feelings matter…words hurt…words scar…words kill.

There are so many children who don’t have parents who are willing to be involved.  We need to know who those children are…because they need us.

We, as parents, need to take off our rose-colored glasses and realize that our kid could be the mean girl…the bully. We need to stop feeling thankful that “at least they’re not the one getting picked on.”

Our kids don’t need to be friends with everyone.

They don’t need to like everyone.

Not everyone is going to like them.

And that’s okay.

Because that’s how it works in the real world.

There are several people who I know who I have no plans to have a pizza party with, hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

It’s about being respectful and civil.

So to answer the question “Why is this happening?”

I believe that answer can be found in our own homes.


No matter who you are, I will always fight for your kids…I will still be a voice.






52 thoughts on “Why.

  1. I love your posts! You say what needs to be said in a very eloquent way and I like it. Thank you for not being afraid to say what needs to be said.


  2. Amanda – thank you for this post. You are so right – we have to stop blaming everyone else for the issues our own children are facing. We are responsible for our children and yes, they can make decisions on their own, but we all need to remember that the decisions our children make are based on the types of people they are surrounded with. If your child sees you talking bad about another person because they don’t ‘do it right’, they think it’s ok to call out others without repercussions. If our kids see us leaving others out, they will do the same, not knowing it’s wrong. We can all do our part to teach our children and even their friends when they are in our presence, about being inclusive and being nice. It goes a lot further than assuming you’re better than everyone else. You don’t have to like everyone you are right, but you do need to be nice. As parents, lets continue to show our children how to be better people and in turn, push them to be better people, and don’t stop at your own children, push their friends to be better too. Let’s spread the good around and remember, different isn’t bad…ever. thanks again Amanda for your constant advocacy!


  3. Amen! Thank you for this post! You are correct, it needs to be said — anyone can be the parent of the bully or the bullied. And it’s up to the parents to take care of both situations. Parenting is a real job. Don’t get fired!


  4. Amen Amanda. I was wondering if you new the laws in Iowa on charges that can be placed if a child does commit suicide due to another child repeatedly telling them to


    1. Kimberly, your best bet is to call local police and they should be able to advise you. Our local police have an officer assigned to each school. The officer let us know of our options with cyberbullying. It was handled appropriately. If you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere with police, contact the court system.


  5. Bullying happened in the 80s and the 90s also. Speaking as a kid that was harassed everyday of junior high. I would come home crying. It is more noticed now and I am glad. I do not want the kids of today to go through the hell I went through. It changes who you are. Thank you for making people more aware. Keep it up!


  6. While I agree with most of what you said I whole heartedly disagree with not blaming teachers. In the school my daughter went to she was being bullied by a girl and it was seen by the teacher and she didn’t do anything about it. Come to find out the girl that was doing the bullying was that teachers daughter. Teachers have an accountability that they are not using. And then they don’t understand why these anti bullying programs don’t work. My daughter was bullied so bad in Middle School and a lot of it was due to teachers inactions and even the principal’s inaction, so why bother reporting it because no one cares anyway! My daughter had a cellphone (not a smartphone) only to use with me because I’m disabled. And she needed it in case I had an emergency and I had to pick her up. So, don’t tell me not to blame teachers because they are to blame in a lot of ways! I’m not saying all teachers but some teachers are, but they are all to be held accountable!


  7. I love you, love your articles. But I’m learning, just as the rest of us moms in this social media evolution. Amanda – what’s your advice when you say monitor their texts? How do you know if they delete them? What about Snapchat? How can I monitor that? Mine is 15.


  8. Amanda , If my father ever heard of me bullying anyone there would have been hell to pay . I know it’s a different time but lest we forget we are parents first . Later in life my dad became my best friend and for that I will forever be grateful . But there should be no doubt who answered to while you wee growing up . More involvement by parents would go a long ways to prevent so many of our problems today !
    I’ll support you always young lady !!!


  9. Thank you for saying exactly what I was thinking. This crap has been going on for way too long and so many lovely lives lost because kids think its cool to pick on the weak and vulnerable. If you ever gather a group to try to make a difference…I’m there! Thank you Amanda!


  10. I believe a lot of this is coming from both parents working outside the home, then when the parents come home they are “busy” catching up on whatever and the kids are taking care of themselves. Also, too many split homes. I may get corrected on this but I am not a fan of Boys and Girls Club after school… Nothing but running and screaming and pushing others..


  11. You said it all Amanda ! It’s long over due people have been oblivious to bullying & its consequences & heartbreak. Time to ” wake up & smell the coffee ” Somewhere courtesy & empathy have fallen along the wayside. Keep shakin it up !!


  12. Amen! Thank you! Spot on! So true! My classroom is a place to learn. To love a child means to help to mentor and lead that child to be the best s/he can be. “Sit still to eat your supper,” is a loving statement. When kids only hear what I call the “snuggly, cuddly” comments, they interpret all comments of positive (yes, positive) criticism as bullying and mean. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for posting this!


  13. Agreed! I am the stalker mom, I try to let myself into every part of their life, and yes I look at their messages on their phones and I don’t feel bad about it. I am a high school teacher and I see exactly what u are writing about here. It all starts at home parents….. at home!


  14. Thank you for your posts; they are spot on. And thank you for explaining the differences between bullying then and now. But most of all, thank you for explaining why teachers should not be blamed for bullying on social media; I think it’s important for parents to realize THEY should be the solution. It’s called Parenting!


  15. I have been a teacher for 27 years. Boy have things changed. I got three phone calls and four emailed in the last 24 hours from a parent whose son got means texts from another student in class two nights ago. Neither kid was with me when it happened. They weren’t in school when it happened. They were each at their own house. The parent wanted to know what I was going to do about it.


  16. That was one screenshot and 15 likes! That group chat did not show everyone involved! Talking to my daughter tonight about what is happening, makes her feel like the school is hypocritical! I understand how she’s feeling I kind of understand the school too. It is not just social media it is happening in the school also! Cedar Falls is such a sport oriented School. If you’re not in the top sport or live in The Ridges you are looked down on! P.s. she said if I want to get her phone she can erase everything in 5 seconds! Plus she said there’s ways to hide it!


  17. Bravo!! Appreciate your candor & also for taking a stand for teachers who have shouldered the brunt of bullying way too many times when it was out of their hands. Keep it coming!


  18. Well said and thanks for addressing the elephant in the room. Parents need to parent, not worry about being their child’s friend.


  19. The term “bully” is overused. The actions of these kids are not defined as bullying. The evil and cruel behaviors of these children can be described as malicious criminal tormenting behavior. It has transcended bullying. We need to stop referring to it as bullying. This is far more dangerous and is increasing with technology becoming more readily available.
    WSR just had a huge blow out about some very self righteous people thinking their views and opinions should be above the law. There was a horrible post from a mother who didn’t agree with transgender people using “her sons” locker room. The things she and other people said, ABOUT CHILDREN, were appalling. After reading all of the horrible things some people where saying, I can see why there are such horrible kids out there that are driving their peers to suicide. It begins at home! Children look to their parents on how to treat others. It is time people quit focusing on being so mean, hateful, and cruel and begin to open their hearts and appreciate the differences that make this world go around.
    Parents need to be nice, not display ridiculous road rage, not treat the server at the restaurant or the checker at Target as if they are beneath them, they need to be an example for their children! The bottom line is, stop being assholes! Period!


  20. Finally! Someone who agrees with me that kids today need more parent involvement!! I believe a lot of today’s problems go back to lack of parental guidance!! Parents, please teach your children right from wrong, what is seen on TV, in movies, and games is not real!! There are consequences to what they say and do.. both good and bad.
    Sorry for the soapbox oratorial! 😂
    Keep up the good work, Amanda!


  21. This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time!
    Our kids turned in the phones (that we paid for) every night, no secret passwords, no computers in their bedrooms.
    Why? Because we gave a damn! Because we love them. Because we are involved in the lives of our children.
    We weren’t popular and they didn’t like our “stupid rules”.
    One child refers to us as “helicopter parents”. Yep. And she’s still alive to criticize us.


  22. Amanda, thank you for all you do. I agree with what you are saying but I also know from personal experience with my own children that bullying occurs at school in front of teachers and administrators and in our case by teachers, a principal and even a bus driver caught on camera! This is a societal problem where the only solution is for every one of us to stop pointing fingers at someone else and establish a unified goal in standing with courage against those who attack others. We have an obligation as people to abide by standards of humanity in how we treat others and that includes not ignoring how others are treated among us. We need to teach our children to have the strength and courage to stand for those who have been beaten down and not sit quietly in the face of wrong but to speak up, speak out and be loud until someone hears you. Chase was my son’s friend. My son is grieving and I can’t imagine how his family is hurting. This impacts so many forever and it must stop!


  23. What makes a bully? Is this a self-esteem issue for the bullies? Are bullies (past & present) attempting to salvage their own self-esteem and insecurities by knocking down someone else’s self-esteem?


  24. So true and sad to say it gets much worse as high school hits that why we need to stop it now. That is why I refuse to let my children have iPhones it’s just so easy to type something ….. and it’s out there….. I don’t even have one !


  25. This is horrible advice. I grew up without privacy and now I have trouble trusting my parents and I get panic attacks when my door is left open and people go through my stuff without asking or even so much as peek at what I’m doing. I have nothing to hide, but I still feel that, even as an adult, I’ll be persecuted for what I’m doing.
    This will only teach your kids to delete and hide things from you. They will never go to you if they need help. They will lie to you. When you go into their things with the mindset of catching them doing wrong, every little ambigous thing seems wrong.
    If you feel that you are a good parent, you should trust your kid to make the right decisions. Build their trust with you and they will come to you. Talk to them. Don’t make them feel like they’re being attacked or will be punished for telling the truth and coming to you.
    Not allowing them to have privacy is bad for their mental health and development, and in the end will do way more harm than good. Any expert will tell you that.
    I’ve experienced this first hand and seen how it effects other people. Please, do not do this.


  26. How about starting with treating kids like humans instead of property. Set a good example for them at home and in public. Talk to them and teach them right from wrong. Advising people to “stalk” their kids is gross and irresponsible.
    Going through kids stuff is how they learn not to trust you and hide things from you. They frustration will likely be taken out on other kids.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s