Friday 16 March 2012

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence: Bloggers Join Forces ...

Today is the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, and a few fellow bloggers are joining forces to take a little action. As Sheri Larsen, who initiated the idea, said, there's strength in numbers, right? So if you have ever been bullied, know someone who has been bullied, or simply believe in taking action for a worthy cause, today is the day to tell the world, or even your next door neighbor, to take a stand.

My experience:
I was never beaten, pushed or called names ... well, I was sometimes, especially on out-of-school-uniform days when I'd come with rainbow-coloured tights and get called a fruit-loop -- little did they know it had a double meaning. But ... I was ignored and manipulated and tricked by other kids, which is just as horrible as being picked on. I was in tears at the end of every single recess and lunchtime. Either due to kids blatantly running away from me, or from being coaxed to be 'it' in hide-and-seek and having everyone run off on me when my eyes were closed. Sometimes, though, kids would let me play with them. But it would always be a role-play game in which I was someone such as a victim of a kidnapping. Of course, that entailed many hours of loneliness in the school yard, because "it was realistic to the situation". For the majority of the time, however, I just sat on a school bench, watching my feet swing backward and forward. No one liked me because I was shy.

I was alone for pretty much my entire school life. Even in high school. Because my shyness was mistaken for snobbishness. Until one day I started dressing like a goth. Then everyone was just too apprehensive to approach me. But at least then there was a reason to be ignored. And it felt good to have control of it. At least that's how it made me feel then.

No kid should feel this way in school. It should be an environment in which children are able to grow in every aspect of living, not just educationally. Luckily, I was strong enough to overcome such ill-experiences, but there are young people out there who aren't as strong as others. Bullying can have all sorts of effects. Even suicide. And I wouldn't be surprised if it is linked to adult depression either.

Bullying must stop.

Let's take a stand. Together.

Stand up to a bully today and make a difference. Even the smallest difference counts.

The following bloggers are also taking part today. Please drop by and say hi:

Sheri Larsen -
Dawn Dalton -
Talli Roland -
Candace Ganger -
LM Preston -
Donna Martin -
Jonathon Arntson -
Nicole Zoltack -
PK Hrezo -


  1. Aw, I wish I could go back to the past and give young you a hug. :(
    I agree, no one should view their childhood or school years as a time of harassment. I think everyone experiences some form of bullying at some point in their lives. It helps to know you have support.

  2. ((hugs))

    My daughter is part of a leadership team and they are working hard against bullying at their school! It's kind of neat to see. They've won awards for their efforts.

  3. It's got to stop, and only responsible adults have the power to do anything about it.

  4. Sorry you had to go through with that. Kids can be so cruel. And the Internet has only made it worse.

  5. It's great how this issue is being addressed and that there's more awareness about it now. Kid bullies turn into adult bullies (not all the time, but some people don't mature as they get older unfortunately) and it effects people of all ages.

  6. I posted on PK's blog that I was totally clueless that today was National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. Shame on me for not paying more attention. Such a great effort!!

  7. You know damn well if we'd gone to school together, I'd have stood up for you :-P Thank you for sharing, honey. Nobody should ever spend recess in tears. xoxo

  8. It seems more prevalent now than when I was growing up...I worry about my grandkids.

  9. Going to school in the fifties and sixties I was never bullied but I was ignored - my kids, born in the early seventies experienced some bullying but not a lot.
    One thing I noticed, because I made a point of watching the films my kids saw, often with them and making comments which they hated, was that most of the films were American and most of those made for children and teenagers involved bullying - the theme was always the same, poor kid, smart kid, dumb kid, black kid, fat kid etc., would be bullied and would, through luck, fate, chance, courage etc., ultimately triumph and then take revenge on all who had bullied him or her.
    Watching movies out of the US made for the same market now the theme remains exactly the same, as it does on a lot of television programmes. I believe this aspect of American culture has been marketed so well that it has spread far and wide and while I suspect the worst bullying is in the US (unfortunately also an armed society) there is no doubt that the culture of bullying has reached further afield.
    The film industry has a lot for which to answer to my mind.

  10. p.s. I also spent most of my school years alone Jess. I was also very shy. I made no real friends in primary school and for the first year of high school I spent every lunchtime walking around the oval to make the time go faster. A 'generous hearted' girl, who remains a friend today, saw me and drew me into her small group and in essence 'saved' me. I wonder if this solitary experience is not part of the creative gene.

  11. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Makes me very angry to hear any story like this. The only way to make an awareness is for parents to speak out. Nicely done.

  12. Thank you for sharing! It's amazing and a shame how cruel kids can be.

  13. Thanks for this post and for tweeting about it- I have posted my own now too.

    This has got to be the generation that brings and end to bullying. We've lost too many kids already.


  14. Love that you guys are doing this. It's an issue that doesn't always get enough attention.

  15. We moved a lot with my father's job so I was the new kid quite frequently, but I learn very early how to stand up for myself and against bullies.

    Good article, Jessica


  16. Jess - I so want to reach my arms through my laptop screen and hug you! Call it bullying, belittling, or picking; it's an ugly creature by any name. I've yet to share my experience, not quite sure how, but I'm glad you did. MMwwaaahhhh....

  17. Everybody should have the right to be different without being tormented about it. Likewise, a person's physical appearance shouldn't be a call to get picked on.

    I was never bothered much when I was a kid. I guess I was of average stature and wasn't easily intimidated. But I knew kids that were picked on and it was troubling.

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  18. Yep it is a shocker. We all cop it, and in some ways we learn coping techniques. Some healthy, some not. Fact is school is often a rough place, often you only develop 'street smarts' through the pain of being hurt by others. What to you is just a joke wrecks someone else's day.
    The big shame is that kids grow up and find adulthood contains just as many bullies who are much more adept at hiding their tracks, who operate in management roles with impunity and intimidation.
    I like the focus on childhood and cyber bullying because like the fight on smoking maybe we can see generational change. The issue is probably too ingrained to change in our generation (Gen x) to change the more serious adult bullying.
    Assault, rape, abuse both physical and emotional, manipulation, mistrust, standover tactics - all stem from the same core, and it would be a shame to deal with a symptom than the root cause.
    People do what people see, not what people are told. Here's hoping for parents and teachers to step up and be great role models, changing the culture.
    And Jess, if ever I said anything hurtful in your time at MHS, (surely I did as it was a long time there), I'm sorry.

  19. Gosh we never know why kids do stuff. Why we as teens internalize every little word and make it define us. But you know what - we can never change what people say but can change how we react to them.

  20. very well said, Jess. No one should be made to feel that way! Everyone needs to take a stand.

  21. I was teased relentlessly in grade school because of my non-traditional name. I started going by my middle name in middle school which relieved some of the teasing. I know what it's like to be bullied. It's true that no child should have to feel that.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris