Have you seen it? It should be floating around theaters in most of your cities right now. It’s here but I’m undecided on whether or not I should see it in public. I have this vision of myself being hysterical because really, nothing else pains my soul like the bullying of a child.
We have vowed to take Yegs – and his friends, if they’ll go. Even though I’m shying from it, I encourage you all to take your school aged children. The message needs to be heard.
It’s all the rage these days. In the blogs, on the talk shows, etc. We hear that students are bringing attention to it at their schools. We hear churches talk about it. When I was working, I spent an enormous amount of time addressing “getting thru it”. But here we are.
3 suicides at a local high school in the last 2 months – all related to bullying. And another statistic said “1 a month in Northern Utah” – unofficially. Utah’s suicide rate is 8X higher than the national average.
What are we doing wrong? What aren’t we doing? I used to tell kids how important it was to immerse yourself in the community when you don’t have support at home, church or school. We have an amazing Pride Center. We have PFLAG orgs that are full of “moms for everyone”.
But last week, a local community held a viewing of Bully that included a panel of people willing to talk about the problem. One boy spoke of his boyfriend who was tormented at school. People gathered around and thanked him for his honesty. That night, his boyfriend took his life. He couldn’t wait another day.
What could’ve saved him? What could’ve given him just another day to find a different answer? He was surrounded by people who cared and it still wasn’t enough to heal the part of his life that hurt so much.
Tomorrow night, I’ll attend a community gathering to honor his life – and others lost for the same, sad reason. We’ll talk about what we can do – how we can help. I’m open to any suggestions because really, there has to be a better answer.