Although I am no health professional, I am qualified to offer pointers on how to tackle bullying. As a child, I was bullied. Kids chased me home afterschool, hit me, threatened me, and called me everything but my given name. There were some bullies I stood up to and others I was afraid to challenge. I surmise it was because of fear or maybe just good judgment. Back in those days, bullies weren’t murdered by their victims. They’d settle the score, amicably, and become friends or go their separate ways. Nowadays, violence ensues and innocent bystanders are caught in the cross fire – sometimes fatally.
My last memory of being bullied was when I was in middle school. I grew tired of a male peer harassing and threatening me. So, I kept a journal of everything he did to me from the first day of school until the day I turned over the journal. I figured, if I wrote everything down then discussed it, I could account for every incident inflicted. And it worked. The police, assistant principal, my teachers and his mother were all involved. He stopped harassing me.
Most children who are abused are ashamed to tell their parents. They either harm their bully or themselves by committing suicide. I think parents should have a heart-to-heart conversation with their kids about what’s going in their lives. Parents shouldn’t wait for their children to tell them what’s wrong. They should take the initiate the conversation. When a child is being bullied and the parents are aware, there should be an immediate meeting with the bully’s parents, the victim, and the teacher. Teachers and parents have a responsibility to protect children, including the bullies. Bullies are either bullied by other kids or their parents; the cycle continues. Problems like these should be assessed from the root. I grew up in an era when I had to fight the bully or tell a teacher. I am all for self-defense when it is necessary, but violence isn’t always the answer. When parents and school officials exhaust all options, the bully should be removed from the school. I believe communication and proper tactics would be safer protocols for cracking down on bullying.
–Hannah D. Spivey is the author of Ebony the Beloved and you can find her novel on Amazon and Kindle. A native of south Florida, Spivey currently lives in Atlanta where she’s an advocate for victims of domestic violence and child abuse. Follow her on Twitter: @Bossladywriter and find her on Facebook: Hannah Bossladywriter Spivey.