Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. This phrase that has been said for hundreds of years has sat in the pit of my gut since yesterday morning. Yesterday morning I read an article on how a teenage boy was punished for recording one of his many victim sessions from a bully. Christian Stanfield had been the victim of bullying for months. He stated that he never felt that it was him being heard, so he made the recording to show what was happening. Instead of disciplining the bullies, Christian was turned over to the authorities because of a violation law.
To Christian, I applaud you! I applaud your courageous effort to stand up for yourself without causing violence or harm to others. You used the intelligence and the good sense god gave you to put a stop to the behavior that has undoubtedly caused you great pain. You did the right thing. You give me hope for the future. Thank you for being a role model to victims of bullying everywhere and Thank you for being you!
To the officials of South Fayette high school well I just have three words. Shame on YOU! Shame on you for condoning bullying behavior at your school with one single act. Whether this was your intention or not, that is exactly what you did. Shame on you for not acting sooner to protect this boy as much as possible. At fifteen years old, a teenager knows right from wrong and simply ignoring a problem of this magnitude will certainly not make it disappear. We send our kids to school to be safe and you failed that boy. . He did not go on a rampage and start stabbing or shooting up the school. He chose to remain level-headed and instead of thanking him , you give him detention to punish him for what HE did.What about the consequences for the other kids? You those as the bullies of that poor boy. I have read your anti bullying laws and it looks like you need to read them too. I am certainly not blaming you for the other children’s behavior, but You are in control of how you react to such behavior. so once again Shame on you!
Reflecting on my childhood one moment comes to mind. Picture a young six-year-old me waiting at the bus stop with my friend. Her older brother who was in fifth grade suddenly looks at me, comes a step closer and then begins throwing rocks at me. At six years old I did not have the capacity to think that this kid is a bully, but instead i thought “WHY me!” What is wrong with me that he would do that”. Now as an adult I realize how significant that is and completely distorted that line of thinking is. He was a bully. A mean boy, and it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. His self-esteem was so low that it made him feel better to pick on a young kid. Now I have been fortunate enough that this is the only time I was truly picked on.
Children who are bullied, much like the domestic violence victim feel that it is their fault. The young girl might think if only I was pretty, or if I were thinner. Maybe if my hair looked nicer. The words of their attackers affect them mentally. In essence Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can crush my soul.
My own daughter started school this year, and I will never forget her first day. The fear and anxiety about a part of her life that I no longer get to be a part of. The night before her first day, I thought about all the possibilities. Will she make friends. Will she do well. I am ashamed to say that I was worried sick that she would get picked on. As a mom you never want your children to feel inferior or as if they do not matter. She is doing well, and has made lots of friends, but that bring on a whole new fear. The mean girl. I have seen teenage girls jump on each other on social media sites and say hateful words that would make a marine blush. So now as I reflect on the hundred old phrase sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. I realize that this isn’t true. Words do hurt, and It is up to me to try to teach my children to be kind to everyone. The other day my daughter was describing a baby on t.v. that had weird ears, and I nearly gasped as she said it. I explained why the baby looked that way, and that we all come in different shapes and sizes. I told her that the baby is special and will bring much joy to this world. We can’t always keep our children from doing wrong and they have a mind of their own. But if my children take one life lesson from me then I hope it is quite simply this
Sticks and Stones may break my bones but Words can crush a soul!