As much as we would like to bury our heads in the sand, pretend it happens everywhere else but here, and ignore any and all signs, bullying is becoming a serious problem in our little corner of the world.
Children, teenagers and young adults are being bullied at an alarmingly high rate, right here, right now. They are being bullied by their peers, by those that are their friends and those that are not. They are being bullied by adults, by those who profess to know better, but whose actions speak louder than words. They are being bullied at school, at home, at church, on the school bus and on the playground . . . and it must stop.
Bullying is a community wide issue that must no longer be ignored or accepted as a "rite of passage." It is not acceptable. Youngsters should not have to live in fear in their own community or suffer any of the devastating consequences of bullying simply because adults fail to see a problem or act accordingly when the issue is addressed.
The facts, figures and statistics of the devastation bullying can cause, has caused and will cause both individuals and communities are easily researched on the Internet. The facts, figures and statistics of the bullying of our own children here in Tyler County, not so easy to find.
"It really doesn't happen here." "We have bullying, but it's not that bad."
These are lies. Bullying does happen here, every day. It is happening here as you read this short missive. Someone is getting bullied right now. Someone is getting threatened. Someone is thinking of retaliation. Someone is thinking of suicide.
Silence is not golden. Silence is no longer an acceptable response where bullying is concerned. It must be discussed both publicly and privately, and dealt with immediately and fairly. We must take it upon ourselves to act. Now . . . before we are forced to out of necessity.
October is National Bullying prevention month.
Everyone has a voice, we believe it is time to use ours. We believe it is time to raise awareness, educate others and inspire action, in the name of putting a stop to bullying, once and for all.