Monday, August 22, 2011

On Bullying

How do you really feel about bullying? What are the options for a bullied child? Please consider these two stories as another school year begins.

First, a fictional story about a girl named Mary...
Almost every day for a few years, Mary has spent many hours with Peter and his friends, who are very cruel to Mary. They call her terrible names, throw things at her, spit at her, destroy things that are valuable to her. She has started to eat meals in the bathroom when Peter is around, because it is the only place she can escape his torment. She believes she is worthless and has thought about killing herself. Peter has warned her not to tell anyone about the things he does to her or else he will only make it worse for her. He is much bigger than she is, so she has not said anything until now. Mary has finally come to you and shared her story, and she is afraid.

How do you feel about Mary? About Peter? What should Mary do? Do your answers depend on who Mary is, and what is her relationship to Peter?
Continue reading here for some of the possibilities.

Second, a true story about a terrible tragedy...
Hopeless is what I imagine two girls must have felt as they took their own lives together. The fourteen-year-olds got together for a sleepover, and hanged themselves, leaving behind sad suicide notes and sadder families. [Read the news article from earlier this year]

The girls had apparently been bullied at school. They were harassed about things like their weights and hair colors. What is a child to do when she is a victim of bullying?
Read more about options here.