I live in Ohio. I'm not too far away from Chardon. If you haven't read about it or saw something on the news, something very bad happened there. My heart goes out to the whole town, the kids, the teachers, everyone.
What happened shouldn't have.
Many times what happens in these situations is that a kid was bullied. This is why I felt I had to say something. I taught school. I saw firsthand how fragile even the toughest kids can be. Kids take most everything at full value and hold on to them. They are kids. Even when they are 18, the kids are still kids.
Kids bully. It's sad but true. Kids, no matter how tough they are, are kids. They will do things adults don't understand. One of them is bullying. Kids may seem very secure. Some are. Almost all kids I've come across have had those moments where they were insecure. It happens. Happens to all of us.
But what we, as the adults in these kids lives, have to do is listen and show them we care. It's not the end-all, be-all answer, but it's a start. TALK to your kids. Not a text, not a note on the counter, face to face talk to them. Find out what's happening at school. Listen when your child tells you about his/her day.
Another thing we adults need to do is back up our kids. I don't mean, back your kid up because your kid will never do anything wrong. Kids need to be accountable. But if your child comes to you and says, there's this person I'm having a problem with... LISTEN. You don't have to get right in there and have a fit, but listen. The problem might be small, it might be big, but talk to them and find out. Unite with the school and the teachers. The old saying four eyes are better than two is the real deal. If you work with the teachers and let them know you care, then you will have the teachers as well keeping an eye out.
Why do kids bully? Maybe its because he came from a broken home. Maybe it's because she's been hurt at home. Maybe it's because he's ignored at home. Maybe it's chemical imbalance. Maybe it's an anger issue. Maybe it's that she's been harassed by other kids and sees no other way to deal besides bullying. Maybe it's because she's quiet. Maybe it's because he's not like the other kids. Maybe it's because the child is more emotional. Maybe it's drugs. Maybe it's alcohol. Maybe it's that the child feels less worthy compared to others. Maybe its all of the above. Maybe it's none of them.
Doesn't matter. Bullying, no matter what reason, isn't cool or acceptable. Ever. no excuses.
Help stop bullying in it's tracks. YOU have the power to build a kid up. YOU have the power to show that child that they are worthy no matter what other kids say. YOU have the power to instill the child with the confidence to ignore another child who is bothering them. YOU have the power to make our future great and it starts with our kids. Having a kid in your life is a blessing. Treat him or her that way.
Hug your child today and mean it.