So, I had another feature story published in a newspaper today. It’s causing quite the outrage and the debate is ongoing. Writing a feature story has both positive and negative attributes. You have the freedom to write your thoughts and opinions without referencing or using expert advice. However, there is less room for debate, less room for arguing all points of views and less room to have facts and scientific evidence supporting the words you write. It’s basically all you.
When I wrote this particular feature story, I did so knowing I was not taking the most popular stand in the matter of bullying in school. I knew that people might take offense. That’s how we create debates on important issues, right? Push a few buttons, and allow people to reflect and respond. Even if the immediate response is done in the heat of the moment, perhaps a seed of something positive has been planted? Either way I have done my part.
As a social worker who have worked with children both in school and otherwise I try to always take the side of the children, and I believe that all of our children need nurturing and protection. Even the ones who do unspeakable things. – Remember, they are children! Grown ups who bully are an entirely different issue all together. When a child hits another on the playground, do we hit back? Of course not. Do we ignore them, talk about them, judge them, bully them? Perhaps.
I need to believe that there is hope to be had for all of us. The debate was headed in the direction where the bullies were being bullied, not by their peers but by grown ups and politicians. You might argue they deserved it, that they had it coming… Who created these bullies?
I was bullied myself, in three different schools. I moved and the issues followed me, because the issues were my own too. It took time for me to find my voice, but there were certainly things that could have been done earlier to prevent what happened. I do not think that we should excuse the actions or hug the bullies to change. It needs more concrete measures. We do, however, need a change in culture and we definitely need an attitude correction toward one another.
We need to speak up when we are witness to children being hurt, and this is true for all of us, including teachers, parents and the children themselves. It is NOT ok to bully! I do NOT condone their actions! I want us to stand up and take responsibility for how we educate our young, and not allow it to escalate to the point of no return. If a child bullies, there has to be room to to point fingers at his or hers surroundings as well as at the perpetrator?
Anyway, I could debate this for hours on end. It is interesting and a little scary to put your work and opinions out there for the world to see, but how else do we grow and learn? How else can we aspire to be better and do more? We take a leap of faith and hope that our feet (or our pen/keyboard) will take us where we need to go!
Write on peeps! You CAN!
Please leave your comments 🙂