Not another one.
I whispered that to myself while I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office.
“Dan James Richards, of Creston, died on May 30 at the age of 16.”
Dan ended his life after being bullied…relentlessly. The rest of the obituary read:
The family would like to note: to the bullies out there who succeeded in making Dan feel worthless, he wasn’t. The family has no hard feelings towards you, and you are forgiven. Your actions are between you and God now. Dan was so loved by many and was a sweet and caring young man. He had such a big heart and will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, we ask that everyone be kind to each other.”
My sadness for this young man, quickly turned into a deep-seeded rage because I have to be completely blunt…I am tired of the bullies and keyboard renegades getting away with it.
I am 100% OVER hearing things like, “it says more about them than you”…”just ignore them”…”take the high road”…”just block them”…”it’s just a part of being a kid these days.”
Nope. No. No.
The day of reckoning needs to be TODAY for the bullies out there, because I am over it. I’m tired of it. Because if you give them a free pass to do or say anything they want with no accountability now…think about how they will be as an adult.
I got this gem the other day. It came into my personal FB account as a “message request.”
Isn’t that special?
I didn’t respond to any of the messages sent by this “person” because A) it’s a fake FB account B) I refuse to have anymore conversations about my damn lipstick shade and C) if you have to hide behind a fake social media account to tell me what you really think of me, then you don’t deserve a response. (Ok, I will give one response: Goodman is my maiden name, so the only Mr. Goodman I know, is my father. I’m still married to the same man I married 12 years ago).
People send these kind of messages so they can feel powerful…they get to “put someone in their place.” Sadly, we all know there are people out there who enjoy trying to make others feel worthless.
I get these messages ALL THE TIME. And I turn every single one over to the police. See, police departments have something called an “Internet Crimes Unit” and they can track EVERYTHING. Even the anonymous accounts. So congratulations.
I’m not playing.
Kids should NEVER get messages like these but they DO. They place their self-worth on what their peers think about them…what they say about them. And far too often the only advice we’re giving them is “Just let it go! You take the high road.” We cannot expect our children to have the same THICK SKIN that we have. Kids are using words as weapons and the wounds are deep and they never heal.
You can tell a bully that they are ruining someone’s self-esteem…making their life unbearable or the unthinkable, making them to want to take their own life. But this is the thing: the repeat bully doesn’t care. They never will care. There is a lack of empathy. Their bully behavior will continue well into adulthood and they will likely breed new bullies. It’s a never-ending cycle.
You can put hundreds of signs up in the halls at school…you can have every school assembly about the topic under the sun…you can think you know what you’re child is posting/sending on social media. But until the bullies understand that their behavior is CRIMINAL and parents understand that this is not “kids being kids,” we’re going to continue to bury our children to suicide.
HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.
TURN THEM IN.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.