Why Combat Bullying?

 

For Josie
Three weeks after the brutal assault, which left Josie Lou Ratley, age 15,  in a medically induced coma -- with a piece of her skull removed to relieve swelling in the brain -- family representatives say they've seen some small hopeful signs they've been waiting for.
“Josie Lou Ratley has just begun to breathe on her own. She has been extubated and is no longer on a ventilator," her family's lawyer Rick Freedman said Tuesday night.
According to investigators, Wayne Treacy, a 9th grader at Deerfield Beach High School, planned and executed an attack on Josie Ratley at the bus loop outside Deerfield Beach Middle School after the two exchanged text messages about Treacy's 13-year-old girlfriend. Investigators say one text message in particular, regarding Treacy's older brother, who hanged himself, may have incited Treacy's anger.  
                                                                                                                                                              - Florida, 2010

 

For Phoebe
Nine teenagers have been charged in connection with the suicide death of South Hadley High School student Phoebe Prince, 15, who took her life after she was bullied by other students at her school.  The bullying was witnessed by a  faculty member and other students, but was not reported until after Prince’s death.

                                                                                                                                                                 - March 2010
 

For All Victims
Imagine you are the victim of bullying on a daily basis.  How do you feel?

  • I feel lonely
  • I feel scared
  • I feel mad
  • I feel _________________
  • I feel _________________
  • I feel _________________
  • I feel _________________
  • I feel _________________

 

How can I help?
If you are a bystander (witness), or if you are a friend of a bully, ask yourself:

  • Is this the kind of climate I want for my school, sports team, neighborhood, etc.?
  • Do I really respect and want to be friends with someone who treats other people badly, even though he/she is (for now) nice to me?
  • Is there something I can do to help the situation? (e.g., stop spreading rumors, tell the bully to cut it out, get help if  someone is in danger.)

**Thought:  By doing nothing, you are actually doing something.  It is our responsibility to help if we witness someone suffering.  So if you are ever held accountable for witnessing bullying and think to yourself, “but I did nothing," remember that by doing nothing, you actually DID do something….you allowed it to happen.

 

If you bully others, ask yourself:

  • Do I really want to be remembered for having made other people feel miserable?
  • Is it okay with me that people pretend to like me so that they can avoid my bullying?
  • Do I really feel better about myself  just  because I made someone else feel bad?
  • Would I regret it if someone hurt themselves or someone else as a result of my bullying?