Author: Norlita Brown
Title: UNDERSTANDING THE TACTICS
Jayden stood, arms folded across his chest tightly. He bit the inside of his lip in hopes of controlling the anger that was steadily rising within him, threatening to cause another outburst. It would be another scene that would leave him sitting before the principal adding more pages to an already thick file. It would be yet another call home to his mother asking that she pick up her son whom they had already labeled as incorrigible. No one understood the depths of his pain. No one was there for him right now, through the taunting and teasing. He tried hard not to let their words get to him, but as the numbers increased in the crowd, the spectators were making him angrier.
He was different from the other children who were bullied but the internal scars that came from it were the same.
“You know boys ain’t bisexual, Jayden. You either gay or you straight, you foul,” the boy said as he snickered. The crowd erupted in laughter cheering the little boy on.
That was it. That was all that Jayden would allow the boy to say before he took the text book that he carried and slung it hard. It landed exactly where he wanted it to, upside the boys head. Huffing, Jayden ran toward the boy and pushed him to the ground.
“Who or what I am has nothing to do with you, so keep my name out of your mouth.” Jayden said as he stood over the boy, feet planted firm, fists pumping, ready for battle.
This scene has so many variations because bullying comes in so many forms. It also has many vehicles. I was mocked as a teen and called names, the emotional scars still reside within me. At times they will rear up from within my soul causing self-doubt in the strength of the woman I have become. There are moments in time that threaten to remain with me. A place of healing is foreign to me as it is too many who are the victims of bullying. There are many who at 13, 15 and 16 years old have decided that the bullying was too much for them to bare and have taken the life that God gave them as a means to an end.
I never understood why someone felt ridiculing someone else was a form of entertainment. Neither have I understood what makes one person believe that they are so much better than everyone else that they now have the God-given right to taunt and tease another person for whatever makes them unique. I believe everyone should strive to be their own person, uniquely defined. If I could speak to every small child that is being bullied, I would encourage them to not let the words that are being slung their way discourage them for being who they are, but inspire them, knowing that if what they’re doing has caused others to take notice, then they are definitely on the right path.
I presented this topic to my niece, Rachel Wynn who is fifteen years old to gain enlightenment from our youth. Her intelligence on the subject was nothing short of amazing. Here is what she had to say:
As human beings one of our greatest instincts is to protect ourselves and generally others from harm. As parents you usually indulge all the grief of your child to keep them happy and to protect them from negative outside influences. No matter if your child is mentally disabled, gay, fat, or cripple, you tell them from early on that everything will be fine, that they are beautiful, and just a little different from some others. You try to push all the negative consequences your child could face away because of their way of life. In reality we know that as humans we fight against everything we don’t understand, everything that is different from what we are used to, everything that is not of our beliefs. The question is where do you draw the line of ignorance from the line of pure hate? And how do we protect ourselves from it?
In many cases of bullying these questions seem very simple but most difficult to answer. Who are we to blame for the make-up of one human being? Who are we to blame if your child is dyslexic, or is overweight, skinny, gay, short, or “ugly”? Over the passing of time, humans have manifested the idea what the perfect woman should consist of and what the perfect man should physically and mentally be capable of doing. All of the various personalities and physical make-ups in people would cancel out all the expectations of what the perfect man or woman should be. Until the day comes that people see everyone as their own person and not judge them by how they are different from the next person, the chapter of the epidemic of bullying will never conclude in the history of the human race.
Bullying consist of verbal, cyber, and physical abuse. The first step to curing bullying is by finding the source of their being. The second step would be to find the bully’s upbringing and or life history and their reason for bullying. In most cases the second step is most difficult to consult because the reasons for most bullying are insecurities and ignorance.
Here is the bottom line, bullying is killing our children emotionally and physically. It is my belief that it begins at home. Many times the person who is bullying is dealing with issues of their own and rather than dealing with their own issues they take their frustrations out on others who they view as inferior or weaker than they are. My plea is to work on strengthening our youth - those who are bullying and especially the ones who are being bullied. Seek to help the underdog but don’t forsake the dog because both are in dire need of positive attention to help gear their lives on a positive path. Let’s start becoming active participants with our children. We need them to be strong for the next generation.