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Bullying Starts at Home…So Does the Solution!

December 2, 2010


AIDS Awareness




Paige Rawl is a 16-year-old former student at Westland Middle School in Indiana who was born with HIV. While she attended Westland Middle School, she endured severe teasing, taunting and bullying – not only from her peers but from school staff. Students gave her the nickname of “P-AIDS” and a school athletic team coach even suggested using her HIV status as a tactic to scare the opponents from another school.

Paige said that the bullying and harassment she endured lead to health problems and stress-induced seizures.

The state of Indiana already has a bullying law on the books, under the code (20-33-8), that became effective in July 2005. However, it is not comprehensive, and schools in Indiana have not followed through on the required training, implementation and procedures that would have kept students like Paige Rawl safe.

via HIV Positive Student Bullied and Harassed | Education | Change.org.

The more I read about bullying, the more pissed off I get.  It’s not JUST that kids will be kids and being bullied is part of growing up, the kind of bullying that’s going on is symptomatic of a larger problem in our society.  WE as adults in America have created a depraved indifference generation through our own actions.  WE have created a culture so lacking in regard for others that WE are as liable and blameworthy as those committing the act.

Children don’t come up with this on their own.  They learn by example.  They learn from their parents, their peers and others they come in contact with.  They are a reflection of their adult counterparts.  Take a look around at what our society has become.  There’s a complete lack of social civility and accountability.  Fifty years ago, adults didn’t allow other adults (or children) to misbehave in public.  We didn’t tolerate indifference, disregard for our fellow ‘man’ and we didn’t allow disrespect.  Children were taught regularly there were consequences to their actions.  Today, we have television so violent that there are programs you can’t watch while eating food for fear of vomiting, reality television propagates the uncivil immoral antics of the fringes of society, aggressive driving is pervasive and child discipline has become nothing more than ‘time out’…  Add to that adults don’t hold themselves, each other or their children accountable.  WE expect our government, our schools and our teachers to rear our children for us.

It’s time we take back our society and apologize to a generation indifferent to others. If adults don’t learn how to behave in public and hold themselves accountable for their actions, children certainly won’t.   If you’re a parent, stop trying to be your childs friend and start trying to be their parent and mentor.  If your an adult and not a parent, hold your peers accountable, hold yourself accountable and learn some civility.

If you’re still not sure what civility and accountability are, here’s a few examples:

  • Next time someone tailgates you, you don’t have to stand on your brakes to prove a point- just move over and let them by.
  • The next time someone is walking through a doorway behind you, stop and hold the door.  Perhaps even say hi.
  • Speaking of hi, treat your servers, your stylists, and your service workers respectfully.  They’re not serVANTS, they provide a service and are professionals.  Treat them as you would your physician.
  • Take a moment at the beginning of a conversation to engage in small talk before you get down to business
  • Turn off shows inappropriate for your children, or send them out of the room.
  • Monitor your child’s internet usage and know what they’re doing
  • Teach your children manners.  Crawling around on a restaurant floor or  screaming in the grocery aisle IS NOT acceptable.  It may be inconvenient for you to pick them up and leave when they can’t behave, but YOU chose to have that child and you made a 20 year commitment to raise them.  You’re accountable for their actions and part of that accountability is to not allow your child to be a nuisance to everyone else around them.  (your child is ONLY cute to you!)

Oh, and stop getting pissed off when others are annoyed by your inability to respect and be civil to others.  You’re the problem, so learn to be part of the solution.  Lead by example and help stop the bullying.



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