This week's question:
Were you ever bullied in school? Do you think its worse now and what do you think about that?
This is a troubling topic. I was thankfully never bullied in school. I am sure we have all experienced the pangs of growing up. It is never an easy road and there are sure to be plenty of bumps along the way to adulthood. Yet, for so many people out there, those bumps have turned into mountains as they are constantly exposed to vicious attacks and bullying incidents. I think bullying was once just considered to be a part of growing up. Everyone was sure to encounter the mean boy or girl in the school yard. Tangling with a bully was sure to thicken your skin and it was best to adopt the old adage: Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. The problem is: names do hurt. Constantly subjecting someone to name calling over time can be detrimental. So much so that it can lead to depression, anxiety, cutting, suicidal thoughts and death. I know we have all seen the headlines and heard the stories of teen and even preteen suicides that are the result of bullying. Today it is even worse with social media. Youth like never before can be intimidated and made fun of online by anonymous attackers. Imagine being bullied everyday but an unknown assailant? Even worse being bullied by an faceless enemy on a public stage? It is a sickening thought!
So what can we do? Take a stand. Start fighting against the bullies. Monitor your kids, especially their online activity. Make sure they aren't participating in these heinous acts or worse that they are the victims. Talk to your kids, make it known that it is not okay to bully and be mean. Teach them to walk away and not partake in bullying and get help for someone in trouble. Furthermore, lead by example. Keep your thoughts and tongue in check, in your personal, public and online life. Do not support bullying in anyway.
I think as a blogger one of the things that bothers me the most when reading books especially in the YA genre is the constant use of the mean kid theme. It is alright to a point, but I have read numerous books where the mean kid does not see the consequences of their behavior or the protagonist keeps quiet and watches others bully. I am not okay with books that let this issue slide. An author has a chance to speak out and let their message be heard. No one should sit idly by and watch others terrorize someone. No one deserves to be tortured and made to feel inadequate. Let's start working together to change this behavior. If you know someone who is being bullied speak up. There are plenty of resources online that you can utilize to help with anti-bullying.
On that note, I know that many authors have used their books to speak out on the wrongs of bullying. Goodreads has a list on bullying books you can see it here. Other recent titles are: Dear Bully Anthology, Keep Holding On by Susanne Colasanti, Send by Patty Blount and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, to name a few.
Please weigh in share your thoughts on how we can stop bullying and share titles that you know of that address this topic! I will be reviewing Send by Patty Blount tomorrow!