I was going to post after dinner tonight…something like Beef Stroganoff or Pea Soup or even Welsh Rarebit. All seemed retro and fun and like something I wanted to share with you. I could have posted though about my children’s excitement over the fact that I made stuffing for dinner.
But, on the way to post…and I was dragging my feet…I read this story about a 11 year old boy who committed suicide. 11…possibly just a few months older than my youngest. Why? Well, I suppose we won’t ever know exactly but he was bullied at school. Called “gay and a snitch” by his classmates, he probably didn’t think there was another solution. He is the second 11 year old who has chosen this way out.
The schools have their bullying programs. Bullying still goes on. I was a bullied child…a little odd, a touch strange, awkward, and easy prey for bullies. I rarely mentioned it. After all, the bully lived up the street and my mother and his mother getting together always was as stressful for me as it was for whatever happened at his house afterward. I had an idea of what happened there…and in the 70s that wasn’t to be reported either. I never was bullied by being called a homo, a dyke or gay. Whether I had hit a secure enough point by high school that it didn’t matter or if kids in my neighborhood just weren’t that creative, I don’t know.
I do know though that the fact that two of my children participated in the National Day of Silence doesn’t mean another child won’t lose his life to people taunting mercilessly. It doesn’t make children kind…the non-participating kids in my son’s high school made it a game to try to get the participants to talk. The kids in my daughter’s middle school were excited because it excused them from answering questions in class.
But instead of a cute recipe from a time where gay was used to describe a really lovely holiday get together, (but there were still bullies then too) I am going to go share this with my kids. I am going to tell them about why it does matter and that words do hurt. I am going to tell them that just because they don’t believe that this is a teasing issue–that it goes on. And of course, I am going to hug them tight and say a prayer for the families whose sons have been lost.