As a teacher in the public school system, I am concerned about my students. During the summer, my superintendent talked to me about concerns that she had about bullying that she had heard some students discussing. She wanted us, as health educators to deal with this problem as part of our curriculum. So I set out to research this tragedy that affects the lives of many young Americans.
I was talking about this problem with a teacher from another school, and she related the story about a woman in the area who had lost her son to suicide as a result of several years of intense bullying. She didn’t know the woman’ s name, but said she had spoken to students in several neighboring schools about bullying. At this time, the idea of finding this woman and getting her to speak to our students was planted. Several months passed before I was able to learn the identity of this mother on a mission.
One Sunday, in the absence of our minister, his brother brought the message to our congregation. I don’t remember the whole sermon, but that it was about listening to God when he speaks to us. Steve related a situation in which his father had called him with news about a woman whose son had committed suicide. He urged Steve to talk to this lady. It had been several years since Steve had even seen her and he hardly felt like he would be able to say anything to her that would make a difference. Her son was a victim of bullying and that led to his feeling so desperate that he took his own life. After the service I knew that I had to talk to Steve and find out who this person was. I asked Steve if this was the original topic he was planning to preach on and he said that he had changed topics on Friday because it just wasn’t coming together. I knew this was a story that God wanted me to hear. I could finally find the woman I’d been looking for.
I called and spoke to Sharon in February and by the middle of March she was in my classroom addressing my eighth grade students. I wasn’t sure how the day would go and was a bit nervous about how my students would receive her message. I was very pleased when their response was very receptive, compassionate, and positive. My hope is that students will stand up for others when they see bullying so that much of it will be eliminated. Students have to take a stand because they see things that happen when teachers can’t. Parents must do their part by teaching their children to respect the rights of others. Teachers have to address it when they see bully behavior. We all have to work together to put an end to the vicious attacks on our children whether they are physical or verbal. We are all children of God and as such, we should learn to follow the Golden Rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated!