Last week, I attended the Leauge of Women Voters forum. The event included school board candidates.
When the subject of bullying in our schools came up, candidate Bill Burnett said it is a “silly issue” that is basically made up by educators and parents.
I wanted to shout him down, I wanted to write a letter to the editor — but knowing his history, I did not want to become the subject of his hate website, and find out what kind of lies he would lob at me.
So, I didn’t.
I was afraid of being bullied myself.
This week, I am distressed to learn that a child in our high school died suddenly this week. Rumors are swirling about why it happened, and most of them allude to the possibility the child was cyber bullied and bullied in school by classmates.
Do schools have the sole responsibility for changing bullying behavior?
No. We all do. We have responsibility online when we see comments that are degrading toward others, we have the responsibility to shout down people who make up lies about others for political gain.
We have responsibility to teach our own children the consequences of language they use when talking about classmates.
We have a responsibility to come to the aid of all people that are marginalized in our society by bullies.
I should have written the letter last week. I should have said bullying is not a silly issue, and Bill Burnett and the people who think like him and the people he represents on his hate website have it dead wrong.
Bullying is not a silly issue. It’s ruining our society, our community, and breaking up families.
Please join me in creating a zero-tolerance policy in our families and then in our community toward degrading language and bullies.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
Terica Taylor, a mom