"Why don't we just forget the whole thing happened? Leave me alone and be on your way."
When a student bullies another student, you cannot anticipate an adult on the school grounds voluntary involvement--it doesn't happen. The only time people act is when they feel they have something to lose. Such is the case with eleven-year-old Cameron. Following instruction to the teacher that a student took Cameron's class project and refused to give it to him, a promise takes place to rectify the situation. But the following day, students say the perpetrator threw his project down in pieces, insuring its destruction, so the boy's single mother visits the principal.
After a long talk with the principal, she takes her son home and decides this isn't the end because it is bound to happen again. The truth is, next time it will be worse. The bully has Cameron in her sites and will continue to pester him, adding other assailants into her group and forcing him out, unless he stands up to her. His mother, teacher, or even the principal cannot stop the abuse faster than if he stands up to the bully himself. "Out of the 77 percent of those bullied, 14 percent have a severe or bad reaction to the abuse, according to recent school bullying statistics. These numbers make up the students that experience poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety about going to school and even suicidal thoughts as a result of being bullied by their peers." Bullying Statistics (2009)
Bully, (2011) a beautifully constructed film by Lee Hirsch, shows the varying sides of bullying, how society excuses it and sweeps it under the rug unless it affects them directly. The assistant principal named Kim in the film receives criticism due to the film, and even though what she does is not correct, she is not alone by far. The majority of the principals behave in the same way, asking the bullied victims how they can change, instead of confronting the bullies. They realize the assaulted will not fight them the way a bully might.
Cameron's mother cannot stop until she is certain this type of behavior doesn't happen again. With Utah's student count so high, we must protect our children. The schools will continue to permit bullies to attend school with little to no discipline because they state there are too many bullies. Isn't this like abandoning a lawn because of the weed infestation? And what about "kids will be kids," as is quoted many times throughout the film by law enforcement, and throughout our own communities. Would they shrug their shoulders if their own house was burned to the ground and sigh, "Ah, those darned kids. Kids will be kids"? Doubt it.
Is your child a victim?
What can you do?
Who can you trust?
Are you unable to stop it on your own, even after talking to a Utah school district?
Utah parents must stick together and stand up for the rights of our children today--tomorrow may be too late. We need to force the schools to prevent bullies from attending. Even if it's temporary, it will put out the message it is unacceptable and their parents will need to make alternate arrangements. This will keep the bullying down, and is sure to have an eventual impact on our prison system. Forward this message on and join bully prevention. Knowledge truly is power for the single parents in Utah.