Findingravity Anti Bullying Link Up

I’ve always been a little hesitant of blog hops/link ups. Personally, and this is JUST my opinion, I blog because I’m passionate about writing. I don’t blog to get comments, or to have a million followers, or to feel self important. Obviously I ADORE my followers, and the thoughtful insights they share with me, and I am so grateful that you have stumbled across my corner of the blogosphere and taken a moment to read about the things I care about, (mixed in with frequent Will Smith dance parties, Adam Levine tangents, and the occasional embarrassing story).

So yes, blog hops/link ups have always made me raise an eyebrow. Now I suppose giveaways are considered link ups (because TECHNICALLY people are linking up to my blog through the giveaway) but currently, I’m not getting paid to promote these products, and I’m not even receiving one to try out for myself. I’m just saying thanks to my readers for being so wonderful. When I decided to host the NALS giveaway, I spent two hours one night after work filtering through independent Etsy shops and graphic designers who I felt represented my blog’s vibe. In other words, I’m not about to partner up with Pajama Jeans or Slap Chop.

I do actually own a slap chop. It’s the bomb diggity, and I’m not giving it away. Sorry.

However, this particular subject is one I feel very connected to. If you’ve been following along you know that I have my degree in English teaching. (If you’re a newbie…HI! Glad you’re here! *Fistbump*). Now I don’t mean teaching English as a second language. I’m talking Shakespeare, creative writing, and teaching you yo’ grammah skillz.

Being a teacher and working in schools, I get to see a lot of things that you (assuming you’re not a teacher) don’t get to see, but probably hear about. If you’re a parent, I not only urge you to stick around for this, but I urge you to participate in what I’m about to propose. Bullying is a trend that has skyrocketed in schools across the country, and after watching a story on the news last night about a young girl who came forth about being bullied in school, I became so enraged that I knew I had to say something.

Here’s the deal. The young girl had complained to the office several times about being bullied. Every day this little girl went home in tears, and her mother called the school to find out what could be done. The situation actually escalated to the point where this little girl, who feared for her life to the extent of staying anonymous on camera, was not only being bullied, but sexually assaulted. In this particular interview, the news reported that the school responded by saying two things:

-That it’s hard to validate bullying reports because you don’t necessarily know whether they are true or not…
-That they take their anti bullying clause in the code of conduct section of the student hand book VERY seriously…

Wait, WHAT?…WHAAAAT?
Just one question…Are you serious? ARE…YOUUUUU…SERIOUS?

First of all that statement is so contradicting, that I don’t even know how to intelligently respond to it, because it’s one of the most unintelligent things I’ve ever heard come from a school. Don’t B.S. the students, the parents, or me like that. I am a teacher, I’ve worked in schools, and I’ve seen and stopped bullying first hand. YOU KNOW when students are being bullied. YOU CAN tell. IT IS obvious. IT IS happening. IT CAN be stopped.

When I make the Carley by night, Miss. B by day transfer (yes, just like Superman), It becomes my duty to keep the kids in my classroom safe. It should be EVERY teacher, principal, aid, and administration member’s duty to keep the kids safe. Let’s look at this realistically; as individuals, we may only get one or two hours with the particular students in our classrooms, but collectively, we spend more time with the students than their parents do. I’m not a teacher because of the RIDICULOUSLY high salary I make (please note the sarcasm), or because I just LOOOOVE having summers off (I mean I guess units and lessons can write themselves). I’m a teacher because I want to give students a positive learning experience in a safe environment. I want the students in my classroom,  from time they walk in, to the time they walk out, to feel safe.  I want them to feel respected and cared about.

I’ve watched bullying occur in hallways, and I’ve watched other teachers turn their backs on it and do absolutely nothing because they mistook it for horsing around. Maybe because I view my students as more than just a name on an attendance sheet, I care more, or maybe because I’m younger I feel closer to this issue. Who knows? When I see a group of high and mighty teenage girls corner a fellow student and call her every derogatory name in the English language, I can immediately tell it’s not “horsing around.” When I see a hamburger go flying across the cafeteria, hitting a mentally disabled student in the face, it is NOT “horsing around.” When I hear a student being made fun of for his sexuality, economic status, or family background, it is NOT “horsing around.”

It is bullying.
Period.

This is not a joke.
This is not a lighthearted issue.
Students across the country are being bullied into suicide.

So if you’re reading this, and you’re a teacher, or an aid, or a principal, I’m going to ask you one question. How would you feel if YOUR daughter was coming home every day in tears? How would you feel if YOUR son was so tormented by his classmates’ words and actions, that he was contemplating taking his own life because he felt worthless?

These are not plastic dolls and hand me down clothes that our children will eventually  grow out of. These are horrific experiences that could potentially stay with them forever, damaging them both mentally, and emotionally.

These children, both the bullied AND the bullies, are the future.
They are learning this cruel behavior and accepting attitude toward it, from US.

Together, as a community, as a nation, we must find ways to end bullying. Zero tolerance needs to start meaning zero tolerance, and not, well there’s not much we can offer except a lecture tolerance. No student should ever have to think, what are they going to do to me today?

I am asking you ALL to link up with me today, tomorrow, or sometime next week. Spread the word. Take a stand. Share a story. If one person does it, and links up, and another person does it and links up, who knows how many people will feel our message and link up? I’m talking to every single person reading this, whether you’re 15, 25, 50, or any age in between. I’m asking you to dedicate one post to the issue of bullying, post the button I’ve included, and link back to this piece, so that people can truly feel and understand that this not a game.  Throughout the week, I will be posting the links to people’s blogs who have written about this issue, so everybody can read everyone else’s responses.

Do it however you want. Are you an artist? Draw something, and scan it. Are you a better speaker than writer? Great, vlog about it, I fully intend to as well. Can you rap all of the words to Fresh Prince of Bel Air? I can too. Write a rap and perform it. Are you a fashion blogger? Make a shirt, take a picture wearing it, and post it on your blog with a description of what it means to you. I am leaving all creative mediums open. Be a part of something bigger than yourself, and do it however you feel comfortable.

Take a stand. Share YOUR story.
It could save somebody’s life.

Be sure to shoot me an email (carley{at}findingravity.com) or leave a comment if you participate, so I know to add your post to my blog, and don’t forget to grab the button below!

63 thoughts on “Findingravity Anti Bullying Link Up

  1. You’re so very welcome, and I TOTALLY agree! All you have to do is a post about bullying on your own blog, and include the link to this post which lets readers know this is where they can find the original post in the link up (which is the “linking up” asepct)

    I’ve included the HTML for the button/banner underneath it at the bottom of the post, just copy the HTML and insert it into the html section of your blog post and it should appear when you save the post!

    Thanks for participating xoxo

  2. Pingback: Bullying « nikilee30

  3. Hey! I had no idea about buttons or links up, so instead, I blogged about it and added the link to your blog so people from my blog could read what you have had to say. I’m from Toronto, ON. Canada and bullying is just as vicious here – I hope, like you, that the schools and the adults in these schools will start to step up and take action!

    I love your blog Carley, I am so grateful for it! It makes me laugh, think and want to watch Fresh Prince re-runs!

    • Thank you Nikilee! You actually did exactly what I was trying to explain, I just probably didn’t do a great job explaining it haha! I’m SO SO happy you found my blog and that it makes you laugh and think!

      And honestly, who DOESN’T want to watch Fresh Prince re-runs? Am I riiiiight?

      xoxo

      • Oh i love it! it comes on at 7pm and whenever I am actually home and sitting down for five minutes I throw it on and will constantly youtube my favourite clips!

  4. I would love to participate. I wrote about my childhood and dealing with the issues today as an adult. I will write about it tonight when I post on my blog.

  5. I was a victim of bullying, so I know first hand just how mean kids can be. I have elementary school kids now and no way would I tolerate any sort of aggressive behavior towards them. Verbal or physical. Of the handful of times that I had to go into school concerning another student, I am happy to report that our school takes this issue very seriously. And unlike the example you cite, the issue was dealt with swiftly and accurately.
    But, may I also say that it starts at home. There is no substitute for good parenting. AND, parents working alongside their teacher(s). My kids would be lucky to have a teacher like you!

    • Thanks, Robin! You should participate and write about your experiences! I’ve learned, especially through this blog, that it only takes is one person to read your words and their whole day can be turned around. You could help somebody immensely and not even know it.

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  7. Carley… I’m really sad to say that Riley got his first taste of bullying at a birthday party this winter. The poor kid is 6! It was at an indoor bounce house place, 20 something kids jumping around bumping into each other, what else is to be expected right? Well Riley came to me crying because these two boys maybe a year or two older than him were teasing him and making fun of him. I asked him what they were doing to him and he wouldn’t answer. It was time to go to the Party room for cake so I went and sat with Riley. The two boys were across the room laughing at Riley, calling him a trouble maker, a jerk and telling other kids not to play with him. I was sitting right next to Riley, those two boys were looking right at me and continued on and on. I found out one of the boys mom’s and approached her and explained how her son was teasing Riley so bad he was in tears and wanted to go home. Her response was, ” we’ll my son said your son bumped into him and hit him in the bounce house so his feelings are hurt”. I told her that i didn’t feel that it was ok to allow her child to pick on mine over and over for something that was most likely an accident. All she said was ok. I was furious that a mother no matter what led up to the behavior would allow her child to bully another child to the extent these two were displaying. I was disgusted…. I immediately scooped Riley up and we left. I was not going to allow someone to treat my child that way! We have not gone to a birthday party since.
    It saddened me that at such a young age I have Riley crying on my shoulder because someone was bullying him. I know from all the years I have been working with kids that they do argue from time to time or get into tiffs but I have always tried to instill in Riley that being a bully is not a good thing and that people don’t want to be friends with bullies. I want him to know what a bully is and what to do if he is bothered by a bully so that he can handle it appropriately without being one himself

  8. You did it again Car…blown me away with yet another awe-inspiring blog on a topic that is relatable to so many! Thank you for your words! Not sure if you saw it or not but a few weeks ago I posted the link for the upcoming film “Bullying”. Looks like an inspiring and painfully truthful story about the effects bullying has on everyone involved! I think it is a movie that should be played in EACH and EVERY classroom worldwide….

  9. Thanks stace! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to some really great responses to this, a few have already started filtering in. Sometimes you have to look at an issue you feel strongly about, and evaluate what you can do to change it!

  10. Wonderful post – great idea! I was bullied as a child but not overtly, so I wasn’t teased or punched or anything like that, but I was excluded because I was often perceived to be different. I could never ‘fit in’ so I was ignored, left out and very lonely and nervous. You only have to walk into a schoolyard, any schoolyard at lunch time and you can immediately see the kids who are bullied by exclusion. That’s an aspect of bullying that perhaps isn’t talked about enough? I wasn’t sure how to grab the button – sorry!

    • That’s okay! All you have to do is take the HTML code that I posted at the bottom underneath the button, paste it into a text widget on your sidebar, or switch your “new post” over to HTML and paste it in! Either will work :) Or, you can save it on your computer, and add it the way you would add a regular picture to a post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. xo

  11. I want to thank you for your blog. I’m really new at blogging, and this particular post has hit close to home. While it is very important to recognize and stop bullying in the education system, please don’t forget about the workplace.
    I am a victim of workplace bullying, and while I have the support of my boss, it does NOT stop the actions of the other person – yet.
    Be prepared to go to the authorities, go to the Human Rights Board. It could be a long fight, but the battle NEEDS to be fought.
    This issue is not restricted to schools, or countries, or even continents, it happens everywhere, in every situation, and even within the family unit.
    Guess I better go post this on my own blog. Sorry for the rant. You touched a nerve, and I thank you for that!
    Marg

    • SO glad you commented! YES, PLEASE go write about this on your own blog RIGHT NOW! You have no idea how many people go through what you have gone through, who could connect. You could be changing lives with your words! Glad you’ve joined the link up. Your rants are always welcome here.

  12. Carley, this is AWESOME. I linked, wrote my story, the whole nine.

    http://kayjer.com/2012/04/stand-up-against-bullying/

    Kids can be the most amazing little people — they do fantastic things, have funny insights, and are so flipping creative.

    But it’s those same traits that they can use for the wrong reasons and absolutely destroy someone else’s life. It’s horrible. I hope that with a combined effort between adults and tweens/teens/kids we can all send a unified message that this will not be tolerated one second longer.

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  14. This is great and definitely needed! I participated and wrote my story {Stories}-I hope you check it out… and I hope people learn from all of our stories! Also I included the buttone (twice) but have no idea if it works the way it was meant to!

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  19. I think this is so great! I really appreciate that you brought this up. I am doing a whole week’s worth of posts that relate to bullying this week. I will link up on Friday, but if you want to see or read any of them you can head over and visit anytime :-)

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    • Glad you & Le Clown were able to get the button to work! I’ve just been telling people to save it as a picture and add it to the post that way until I fix the html. Loved what you had to say! xo

      • Thanks! There a book by Mercedes Lackey called Firestorm. The beginning of the story talks about the bullying that the oldest students in a specialized school are doing. (This is set in the somewhat medieval/magic setting of Valdemar.) At one point, after a horrible accident where a student’s magical powers get out of control, killing some of his tormentors, a healer is examining the unconscious body of the bullied boy. When asked about it from another character, he says it was straight up torture. That’s what they would call it in adults. This is far too true in the case of some extreme bullying.

        Why would we subject our children to torture, then tell them it is okay to both perpetrate it and suffer from it? Whether it is physical or psychological, it’s still torture…

  22. Hi Carly, I am a mum and I live in Australia. You are right. People need to see what is happening. We trust schools for a long period of time each day to care for our children. Our school had a bully as a principal, who bullied the teachers and had little resolve for sorting out any difficulties with children, parents or anyone else. This is not a healthy enviroment for children. I feel we do need to start asking questions of our schools, and not assume that they know best. I love your passion, and respect highly the ethos you have shown in your post towards teaching and a students wellbeing. I also endorse your message that parents must remain involved. Like any workplace, a school is no different. Some staff pull their weight, some coast, and some cant wait to go home. We all have different capacity for what we do, and it is REALLY important to remember, these places have our children for a long time every week. They must have a duty of care and level of respect for all that attend. My son was bullied, physically and emotionally. It has taken him almost 3 years to regain his self esteem, and some days he is still unsure of going to school. He is only 11 years old. I say to EVERY parent, if you are feeling unsure about something, ask. If you dont get a satisfacory answer, ask again until you do. But also importantly, please use respect in the process as everyone is usually trying to do their best, it just might be the framework they are basing it on needs changing. We have a National Campaign launched in Australia that has a government funded website if you would like a look:
    http://www.bullyingnoway.gov.au/ and the Alannah and Madeline Foundation at this address http://www.amf.org.au/ . We cant keep blaming society if we as individuals do nothing to help change the attitudes. After all, we live in this society, dont we? Thanks Carly, this is a topic close to my heart. There is only one chance will a childs future and the children deserve the opportunity to have a decent life.

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