Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bullies


Okay so we’re moving from marshmallows to bullying but hey, that’s what’s fun about being here. Every day is different:-)


I have to tell you that I’m still a bit heartbroken over the story of Phoebe Prince - the fifteen year old who was bullied so relentlessly that she went home and hung herself.


This article said:


Her books were routinely knocked out of her hands, items were flung at her, her face was scribbled out of photographs on the school walls, and threatening text messages were sent to her cell phone.


Scheibel said she had drawn the ire of the "Mean Girls" by briefly dating a popular senior football player in her first freshman weeks at the school. One student later said it felt like the whole school ganged up on her.


Then I read about these boys and their pink shirts, and it reminded that despite all the evil out there, there are kids willing to stand up and do what is right and good.




In response to Phoebe and the countless, nameless others who have been bullied and harassed, I joined YA Authors Against Bullying on Facebook. That page has many other links to stories of bullying and those who have stood up against it.


I think bullying is one of the hardest things to deal with - and it honestly never goes away. It’s not a high school issue - it’s a human issue.


Myra McEntire shared on her blog about a slew of verbal bullying that occurred on twitter just the other day. Grown up mean girls hiding behind their twitter names.


But it was this article in on Crosswalk that that seemed to put it in perspective. It’s a longer article, but well-worth the read.


When I went on The Tyra Banks Show (story here) a few years ago and shared about leaving my life as a witch and becoming a Christian, I got hate mail and threats for months afterwards. They were vicious and mean-spirited and accusatory. It was the first time I had ever experienced anything like that in my life. It was really hard, and surprisingly painful. But I had support, I had friends praying for me, and most of all, I knew that the attacks were coming because I had spoken the truth.


What happened to Phoebe and so many others is that they are targeted for simply existing. Nobody deserves that.


The bottom line is that the way Jesus teaches us to walk and to be is very different than the world’s way. We shouldn’t really be surprised at the evil humans are capable of. It’s why we need a Savior. But with God inside of us, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to stand up for those who are being abused. We can model what real love looks like, bestow kindness even when you're the only one. It’s not easy. But by saying nothing, we help it to continue.


Be strong and courageous. The God of the Universe is on your side.


6 comments:

T-del said...

You know, a person doesn't necessarily need God and Jesus to be a good person. Just like plenty of "good Christians" are VERY good at bullying, harassing and throwing insults at each other as well as other people. Just saying.

It's great that you found a way of life that you enjoy, but I resent the way you seem to imply that only people without a "Saviour" can be a bad and mean person. In my experience, the worst offenders are those most devoted to their own religion.

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

Well T-Del - this is a blog post, so it's just my opinion - not trying to offend. And you are right - there are many good and kind people who don't know and love God. My Dad was one of them. Christians can behave in awful ways as well. It's totally true. But it must be said that those so called Christians aren't behaving as Jesus teaches us to.

My implication is that without a moral compass, anyone can be capable of terrible, awful things. And I do believe that bullies such as the ones that tormented Phoebe, and even gloated about her death, are completely lacking a moral compass of any kind.

Nichole said...

Thank you Sarah. I've never been bullied but I do teach a class of 11 girls in my church and I know that one of them has been and is still being bullied and I've felt in my heart I needed to talk to her and this just proves to me I do. Thank you. God it good.

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

I'll pray for you as you approach this issue Nichole...

Makay said...

This is terrible. I left a comment on the CNN student news about this, and it was religious. It was put on the air the next day. I got extra credit in class, and now my class has been inspired.

-makay

Lynda Young said...

I was seriously bullied in school. I managed to get on the bad side of the popular girls and they got the whole school against me. I had a single friend who gave me support. It was that friend that made the difference.

Great post.