This is a HUGE Problem in Today’s Society…

Can anyone take a guess at what one of our biggest problems in today’s society is? As a whole we have become complacent to the idea that it is okay not to keep one’s word. A person is only as good as their word is, and if their word fails, then they fail. Period. Americans will allow their intelligence to get insulted time and time again and not bat an eyelash when they get manipulated. Why is that? What has made us so accepting of people who will say anything we want to hear, only to find that they never had any single intention of honoring their word?

This takes place in many areas of our lives but the result is the same.  If someone we care deeply about does it, we are far to quick to forgive–especially if that person is our partner. Well–most of us anyway. I am not that way anymore. I got in touch with my inner bitch a long time ago, and I am here to tell you, when I get lied to and the person is caught, that trust can never be brought back at any price.  In fact, I tend to make a clean break now.

In fact, I’ve booted exes, former buddies and a few peers from my life that seem to take pride in such behavior. Yes, pride. They say things like, “Oh I was just BS’ing.”  Sorry but your BS’ing got people hurt.

Now I want to address another form of “lying”.  Remember this story?

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Gay-Server-Tip-Lifestyle-Receipt-Discrepancy-233040811.html

 

Don’t jump the gun yet! I don’t think the waitress lied.  I think she and the family were, in fact, victims.  HERE is what I think went down with this story.

I think the waitress turned the ticket into whoever was handling the cash register.  I believe a reprint was made and that was the ticket given to Ms. Morales.  The reason I am giving her the benefit of a doubt is that there are more ways to rip off a person than one can shake a stick at, and I think whoever did it pocketed her tip and gave her a bogus receipt. I feel the note on the receipt, which again does NOT match the customer’s handwriting, was written by whoever cashed out the original ticket. If this is the case, there are two victims here–the family AND Ms. Morales.

Now there are people who will get even more angry if this is the case because of all the donations sent to Ms. Morales as a result. Either way she was still a victim. She got angry and posted that receipt merely to make a point. She did not intend to expose the people by name, but was simply hurt by the note left. Sadly, if that note was left by a fellow employee, I hope that he or she is caught via video, fired and then made ineligible for rehire because this type of person will continue to perpetuate fraud upon his/her co-workers and upon other customers as well. IN fact it should become a police matter at that point–even if all he/she did pocket was the $18 tip.  There is no telling how many other tips got pocketed that should have went to the wait staff  if this is the case.

I would also like to add that cons who are into criminal theft are not going to be making donations to “Wounded Warriors” either. As far as Ms. Morales goes, people really need to reserve their judgment.  I find it highly disturbing that if my scenario is correct, that anyone would leave such a hateful, spite-filled note to any waiter or waitress.

Have we as a society not learned that all people deserve a fair shake? Evidently not given some of the heated rhetoric I see directed at  Ms. Morales as well as  the family. America it is time to be quiet and wait to see what happens on this one. I think that both the family and Ms. Morales deserve that much.

A Passionate Hater of Bullying…That Would Be Me…

I want to make something clear to my friends and to my family. I loathe bullying whether it be school bullying or workplace bullying. I believe that stronger discipline must be used in public schools to stop school bullying because allowing it and/or enabling it and many school administrators and fake experts tend to do this, I fully believe that it leads to more devious and often violent criminal behaviors in adults.

I do not believe bullies fully change with time if they end up in positions of power. I believe this overloads their ego and makes them even worse. That being said, I am going to do all in my power to put a stop to this trend. Bullying is not the same as it was when I was in school. It’s not just the occasional fight or being shoved. In many cases it is assaults by multiple people, sexual assault, emotional abuse and some other things adults can go to jail for, like sharing inappropriate photos of a teenager on the net, cyber-bullying, etc…However, in some locales it is left up to the school district as to whether or not to press charges. Many won’t because if the criminal-in-the-making goes to juvenile hall, they’ll lose money for the school.  A school usually gets X amount of dollars for each student enrolled there from the government and state funding coffers.

Guess who pays for all this crap and such? We do…Carry on…In fact, RAGE on!

If you want crime rates reduced in adults, start taking care of the problems with America‘s schoolchildren who often learn these behaviors from their older relatives and stop letting these fake counselors give the bullying victim “resilience training” which only reinforces the idea that they must have done something to bring this on and need to change something about themselves. We should NEVER be penalizing a bullying victim–EVER and that is what resilience training is. It’s not the victim that needs to be worked on via therapy and/or disciplined, it’s the bully and/or the family thereof…PERIOD!

 

School is About to Begin, and Bullying Season NEVER Ends…

 

 

I am about to share a link here that many people will feel uncomfortable about when they watch it. The mother of this autistic child is disabled herself. She can’t protect her boy, not even in their own home if it comes down to it. I feel that the person responsible for this deed is every bit as dangerous as your local neighborhood psychopath. I hope this person gets caught and I think it fitting that this person should be totally OSTRACIZED by society.  There is so much hate in this person’s heart that he or she (and it is signed she, but one never knows) that this make him/her truly outright dangerous to others they don’t consider to be “fit” to live among us…

 

 

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/the-incredibly-offensive-letter-sent-to-a-mother-with-an-aut?bffb

 

 

 

We live in an age where cyber bullying and such is on the rise. It is as if with each passing school year, the next generation is getting worse and worse. It is difficult enough when a child is bullied in school and then parents have to deal with all this crap therapy about “making your kid bully proof” is not going to solve it because it isn’t the VICTIM that is the problem. It is the perpetrator who is the problem and we need to get back to setting SEVERE consequences for cases of bullying that are as severe as letters like this, as well as physical and sexual bullying.

 

 

 

I am really tired of these so-called experts (and they are not experts because their therapies often fail)  preaching that all kids can be made to be “resilient” when nothing that kid did causes them to be singled out other than their appearance, gender, income level, color of their skin, sexual orientation or religion.  The bullying victims are targeted in much the same way a crime victim is–school is only the “rehearsal”. The real world is the “production” on stage.

 

 

 

Even Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage.” and it is. However in a good production, the villain doesn’t usually win.  In this case the bullies are winning–or it at least seems that way. When these experts were allowed to come in and create diagnoses for bullying behaviors and phony treatments, the suicide rate among teens increased. These experts are quacks. Some of them do not have a license to counsel but are journalists riding on the coat tails of one  who never gets named, while using the case of a dead girl who committed suicide over the bullying to further his/her own career. I do not respect such writers. They disgust me.

 

 

 

Only one journalist bothered to name her source of information–and she wrote her book on the back of a dead victim. No names here but many know to whom I am referring. I am simply really fed up with the victims being further victimized or made to feel that they are collateral damage when it is the one attacking them that needs to be strongly disciplined.

 

 

 

These need to be strongly addressed in school or these bullies will be in the workforce terrorizing those under them.  When they are caught the price should be complete dismissal–especially if that person is an educator or a police officer.  If in sensitive fields like this, they should also have their licenses/credentials revoked.  These are the last people we want molding the minds of our children, OR having the power to mess up our lives.

 

 

 

I find it even more reprehensible that a so-called “adult” bullies would engage in such behavior to begin with and be allowed to continue it while hiding behind union reps and such…Keeping THEM away from all children is essential in my book.  In my opinion they are as dangerous to a child as a pedophile is.

 

 

 

Some states of the United States have implemen...

Some states of the United States have implemented laws to address school bullying. Law prohibits bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity Law prohibits bullying of students based on sexual orientation School regulation or ethical code for teachers that address bullying of students based on sexual orientation Law prohibits bullying in school but lists no categories of protection No statewide law that specifically prohibits bullying in schools (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

English: the picture consist of articles on bu...

English: the picture consist of articles on bullying, I obtained it from public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

How I Handled the Bullying and How it SHOULD Be Handled Now…

First, I want to say here that my previous blogs on bullying sum up a lot of what I dealt with and how I feel this issue should be dealt with now… I dealt with being bullied in a different way since I endured the crap all the way up to my senior year…I cut off a lot of my classmates.  I don’t attend reunions.  There is no point.  I never got an invitation to any of the reunions anyway.  I was told that they didn’t have my address, which was a lie. They knew my mom’s address which is where anything I get from them goes.  With the advent of FB, a few of them could have notified me there, too.

Several of us in that class didn’t get invited to any reunions.  It is true.  Three of my classmates have since died–one was a friend who died from cancer.  I found out about all of them well after the funerals.  One of them I didn’t know about for over 2 years because NOBODY bothered to email me or call–and my family didn’t want to “upset” me.  My best friend was one of the three, and I had talked to her just prior to her death.  That is what did it for me.   At least NOW my family lets me know stuff.

Do you remember the Walt Disney movie “Sleeping Beauty“?  I often wonder if Malefacent did the things she did because she was treated like crap, but then again, I always think outside of the box–and we only have ONE side of that story…All the bullying I endured–not to mention the abuse at home led to that little thought.  I know a few of my classmates went through some hell that changed their lives, but we are so fragmented and diverse that very few of us communicate.  The only two  reasons I keep going back to my hometown are my sister and my mother.

My sister has great memories of the place–but her experience was different from mine.  After Mom is gone, all that will be left are the memories that one clings to, and because of my own memories, I don’t ever plan to live there again.  I MIGHT move to Weatherford or Ft. Worth, but I refuse to move back to the mausoleum, which is what that entire town is slowly becoming.  I love my sister, but other than that, I would be totally miserable in that place.  I left it for good at the age of 23 and have no desire to return there.

The only saving graces in that town were the teachers I had in school, and a few of the police officers and a few administrators and counselors that knew what was going on.  I’d break curfew and hang out in front of the station.  There were pastors, doctors and a few other people I looked up to as well. They all knew why I left town too.  All I can say is that when my book comes out, I will change the names of the town, but when a lot of my classmates figure out who was who, they will be the ones who get very angry.  I told them all (especially the bullies) that I can do more with a pen than they ever dreamed possible…When it comes out, they will know it for a fact.  No, I’m not seeking revenge on them because the fact that my life is good does that already.  I just think things need to be shared as they really were and that they need to quit trying to sell this bullshit fantasy of theirs that all was just hunky dory in that place.  It was far from it from my point of view.

Writing was my refuge from all the crap that went on and I spent many days talking to counselors about what I wrote.  They finally figured out that it was therapeutic to write a lot of what I voiced about the students who made my childhood a miserable living hell in that place. They also figured out that my fictional characters were the students bullying me.  The bullies were very fortunate that I chose the pen deal with them being that some of the bullying was severe…The kids of today have no qualms about harming the bullies because all they want to know at  young ages is that they simply want their pain to stop.  To them jail or prison is a haven compared to what they are enduring–and unfortunately many feel that violence or suicide are the only options that  they have to make that pain go away.

When I was young, there were consequences–real ones for the actions one takes.  Now the schools seem to think that what they call “lunch detention” actually works…NEWSFLASH:  IT IS A BADGE OF HONOR TO A BULLY TO BE IN THAT!  Why?  There is an ever-growing population of students who have close family members who are incarcerated.  Many of them come from gang families and are groomed to be in a gang position.  This carries over into their lives at schools as well and it must not be tolerated. Uniforms are a start. If they can afford to get designer colors and shoes, their parents can afford simple pairs of pants or slacks and a solid colored top.  I really don’t want to hear about a student’s individuality because most of the time they are always being led by someone else anyway, and if it is not the parents, then it’s probably someone else in the neighborhood–and it most likely isn’t a decent role model either…

One of the topics that will set a school administrator off is facial hair on a male student.  They will waste 30-40 minutes of learning time each day each time he doesn’t shave to try to make him shave and/or call his parents.  Offenders in a Texas prison 99% of the time are NOT allowed to have facial hair.  Instead of trying to make our schools reminiscent of penal institutions, I say let the kids dress as their parents would allow them to–within reason, and only make them wear the uniform or jumpsuit when they do stupid things–like fighting, cursing at teachers, etc…Their lunch period should not be in the same lunchroom with other students either if doing lunch detention.   They should have to be in a classroom with nobody sitting next to them, or in the ISS section in their own booth.  I get sick and tired of pscyho-babble that says that they must have that time to socialize.  They socialize almost everywhere on campus because nobody will stop them.

I think that in America schools have become not places of refuge and of learning, but of controlling and containing–two tasks at which schools fail miserably.  They are in some ways just like penal institutions and students with families in jail (or prison) will not be phased by the discipline methods being used now.  They will readily tell you that they see the same stuff going on when they go to a prison visitation. If they don’t tell you that, parents and other relatives can.

IF anyone wants to challenge my opinion on this, they should look at any offender disciplinary plan/procedure in the state they are in the state that they live in and compare it to any school’s disciplinary plans/procedures.  It will shock them as to the contents of it being like that of a school disciplinary plan with some differences. In prison there is solitary confinement, loss of commissary, loss of contact visitation (or all of it depending on what happened)  and sometimes food loaf for 3 days (if severe infractions warrant it).  So now the question just begs to be asked:  Why is the United States training its school children to be offenders?  No wonder the bullying continues!  Watching students fight day after day  in the halls on the playground is like watching offenders go at it on the recreation yard or in the wings!

To stop a lot of this, educators need to be taught (evidently) that bullying is no game.  It is not just “kids being kids” and it is causing violence and death.  Bullying should no longer be used in today’s vocabulary because it has, in recent years, gone beyond taunts and teasing.  It is now deep psychological abuse and physical assault.  It is not just students engaging in it, but there are times educators engage in this as well by saying things like “Well don’t say anything to Johnny (or Jenny) because she might run home to tell her mommy and we’ll all be in trouble.”  Yes, I know a teacher who did this.  She should lose her bloody license because what she did by doing that is set the stage for that student to be “pressured into silence” by her peers.  The result for this child is that there is a high chance that she would have been  bullied also because this teacher is well-liked by the students. Her mother withdrew her when the teacher humiliated her in class a few days after this was reported.

Note:  This is also the type of game offenders play in the wings to turn other offenders against each other–and sometimes officers do this too.  IF an educator lowers himself/herself to this level, they don’t need to be drawing a paycheck on the taxpayer dime.  They are committing psychological and emotional abuse–which is a CRIME people!  If the districts do not wish to handle it and take care of it, then they should be reported to the state licensing agency and to the police–period.  Get it documented if this is happening to your child.

Educators who know of this type of behavior are required by law  to report this also.  If you are an educator and you see this happen, and your district is doing nothing–abuse of a child can be anonymously reported.  If they end up going to jail and such, and your testimony is needed in this country–then the district cannot retaliate against you without being subject to the “Whistle Blower’s Act”. While this act was originally filed to give the power to the courts to deal with government officials who are committing various crimes, it can also be used to address people who abuse authority and/or become a danger to public health and safety.  Educators work for the state, therefore, if they engage in behavior that needs to be addressed, then this law also protects officials who actually report them.  Officials in the educational field are not exempt from RICO laws or anything else so I do not know how they could be exempt from this…Read about it here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower_Protection_Act

This teacher had gotten into a spot because another parent reported her.  The district failed to act so this parent is now home-schooling her children, who were also severely bullied.  Prior to this, the teacher I spoke of  humiliated one of the children in class (openly) and this is why the other student went to her mother. The other parent withdrew her child also (as I mentioned earlier) when the teacher started focusing her anger onto that child.

I think it is funny that the school district tried to threaten both sets of parents with calling CPS until their lawyers got court orders to  knock off the harassment and filed a formal complaint with the state board for educator certification against the district since it is not against the law to home-school a child.  I think the real reason the district decided to have a cow is that they lost $1500 per head per term  for each child taken out of school.  Between the two families involved, that is a total of 7 children.  That translates into a $21,000 dollar a year loss to the district.

This also tells me the district is less interested in stopping the bullying than it is in losing the almighty buck.  If they cannot stop the bullying, parents should be able to move their children to ANY other district without question and/or home school them–especially if it is a special needs child that is the victim.

I have seen one movie recently that deals with the bullying issue from the victim’s perspective.  It is a movie called “Mad World” with Gary Cairns II.  When I watched it, it took me back to my experiences.  I could relate to two of the characters in it, but my parents were NOT like Jevon’s parents…However I was the bookworm type.  I was the quiet one.  I stayed in my room for my safety and to hide from the world. I made good grades and such while half the bullies screwed up.  I think I could relate more to both Cory and Jevon–but I did have a classmate that reminded me a lot of  Will…That quacking thing really cracked me up and we had one kid in class who cracked me up like that when he opened his mouth.  Once in a while he teased me, but he didn’t really get whacked out like the bullies did.  I am thinking that he should be a comedian.  He would be great at it.

Anyway, here is the trailer for “Mad World”. I strongly recommend it because Cory Cataldo is the only writer I have seen that takes this issue from the point of view of the bullied and from the abused in a film–and these guys went through abuse at school and at home.

Here is the link and it is NOT edited for language and such:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v97q-QeQG0w

As a writer myself, I feel this film deserved a lot more attention for Cataldo’s way of bringing this issue to light.  The only issue I had with it is I would have totally left the political slant out of it to reach a wider audience, but that is just the way I would  have written it–and how I am writing my book.  I loved the movie though.  Because it is told through the eyes of the victims, that could be why the political slant is there…The “F” word didn’t bother me either. I’ve heard worse–but I’ve worked in a prison as a sergeant of correctional officers…THAT is one line of work I will never return to either.  The reason for that will come out in my 2nd book.

This movie is available on Netflix now. 

A good reason I like independent filmmakers is that they are really in touch with the audiences they want to reach.  This film did reach me.  Gary Cairns is also in another movie right now entitled “Lost in a Crowd”.  The cast and crew are also making a difference in the lives of homeless students in L.A.  You can see the trailer and info on that stuff here:  http://www.indiegogo.com/LIAC?a=103015&i=addr   and please share the link!

Anyone who would like to friend me on Facebook is welcome to do so.  School bullying is a topic that I speak out against regularly.   Here is the link to my FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002130892797

Attention to All Who Are Spamming…

Commentary not relevant to topics will not get put into my blog.  Neither will the posts used to spread negativity and/or attack others.  The other posts I do cut are ones that make statements that reveal to me that the article being quoted was not even read by the one person who made the comment.  If you aren’t serious, don’t even bother.  You are merely wasting your time and mine since I won’t even click on your links.  Thank you.

I have never seen a post directed at spammers–but have seen a few for trolls.  I thought I’d see what happens with this! Have a great weekend!

 

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The Kid who WANTS to stay after school…

This is going to sound harsh, but when a kid wants to stay after school, volunteering to take trash for every teacher in the building, cleaning erasers (for those that still have blackboards), arranging books, etc…Let him or her do it–but make sure that if that kid is acting as if scared to go home–don’t drill the kid with a million and one questions.  Let your school counselor handle that or the principal because you do NOT want that monkey on your back.  You can make an anonymous phone call if you like, especially if the student seems to be afraid to go home, but whatever you do, let that kid have the sanctuary even if just for a half hour while you go to another room to do something else after you’ve locked down your computer or whatever.

If the kid starts hanging out with the maintenance people instead of going home, have the counselor or principal talk to the child.  Sometimes it is true that there is something going on at home that needs to be dealt with, and other times the kid has other stuff going on inside of his or her head that he or she may need help for, but is too afraid to tell Mom or Dad.

Why am I advising this?  I was such a child.  Back in the days I did that, my teachers were powerless except for two items:  Detention hall and tutoring.  If I couldn’t stay after of my volition; they KNEW I was acting up to get a  one hour detention hall.  I don’t know HOW they knew but they did.   My school was my sanctuary.  It was a refuge.  I would stay as late as 5 p.m. and a teacher always either gave me a ride to my grandmother’s house or followed to make sure I got there alright if I wanted to walk slowly. 

They always knew when I walked in with dark circles under my eyes that something wasn’t right at home.  If I fell asleep, they knew I had a very bad night, but I wouldn’t show the marks or even talk about the prison cell I called my home.  I never knew what to expect when I walked in.  Sometimes my stepmother, Judy, would be normal and lucid.  At other times, she would pick me up and throw me across the room.  One time she threw me into a wall, and another time into the kitchen counter for being late.  I never said a word about this–not even to my sister or my mother.

I would go into my room and stay there for the most part, being careful to try to avoid her.  One night a teacher called and told her I had to stay after school for extra tutoring because I was having trouble in math class.  Ten minutes later the science teacher called also.   They never knew it but I got a belt taken to me by her and told if my grades weren’t up to her standards in two weeks, I’d get worse.  My dad wasn’t home and she said if I told him or anyone else, she’d “take care of me real quick”.  Having been around her long enough to deal with her crap, I knew what she meant.  There were many times she pointed a gun at my head.  I never talked about it–even after she committed suicide  with that gun.

My response to her threat was to not bring my grades up.  I deliberately made sure of it.  That way I could be away from her for longer.  After that, she tried to say I was “retarded” and all kinds of crap to the point that she and my dad were fighting each other.  I’d go hide out on top of the garage roof until 1 or 2 in the morning to avoid the bull.  They day she shot herself was the day my dad kicked her out of the house.  I didn’t believe that she was dead when they pulled me out of class and broke the news to me either. 

There were many nights after the funeral I would have nightmares about her coming after me in zombie form–.22 in hand.  I woke up in cold sweats more than once.  I often slept with a butcher knife under my pillow and NOT a soul knew about that either. It was one thing to tolerate the bullies and the idiots I had to deal with day after day,  but when I had to go home to my own little piece of hell, that was another story.  I often would snap and just disengage from life.  My escape was through writing and through reading books.  I also watched old movies. If I really wanted to block out the world, I put on a set of headphones and rocked out full blast to whatever struck my fancy when–which could be anything from ABBA to ZZ TOP and all things in between depending on how old I was. 

One would think that after going through something like this that I would have ventured out and became more outgoing, but I didn’t.  I preferred to live in my cocoon that I built for myself.  I didn’t feel safe at school due to some bullying–but it got taken care of.  However, I still didn’t trust my peers. I rarely went out.  When I went to prom in my Junior year, some people were surprised.  When I showed up for the Senior prom, it shocked the school, I think.  I was even in my Senior play and did well in UIL journalism and such.  I made myself do all that–and take the class trip…I also made myself stay in Band my last 3 years of school.  It got me away from her.  Ironically,  I was still acting like this 18 months after she died.  I don’t know why to this day.  I did my occasional sneaking off to shop after I got paid or whatever–but I went alone.  I preferred it. 

The bottom line is I felt that maybe in her madness, she was correct when she said things like, “You can’t have friends” or “You aren’t pretty enough to be with anyone when you get older so you might as well join the Air Force”–and worse…I won’t repeat the horrible stuff she said.  Being that the bullies at school tended to get to me, I’m surprised I didn’t go off.  Then I got invited to a friend’s house for dinner one night about a year before her death.  My dad pissed her off and let me go.  This was different.  These people didn’t yell at each other or anything.  If someone dropped something, it was okay–they didn’t get hit.

About  six  years ago I totally freaked out because I accidentally broke an antique mixing bowl that belonged to my paternal grandmother when I dropped something on it–I didn’t drop the bowl itself.  My sister said, “It’s okay, Tina.  It’s just a bowl.”  “But it was Grannie‘s.” was what I said.  She just kept saying it was okay over and over.  She even came over and held me as I was crying at one point.  What she didn’t realize was that this triggered another memory I blocked out.  I got thrown across the kitchen and into a wall when I accidentally broke Judy’s favorite bowl while washing dishes. 

Anyway, years later I began to open up about it.  That was when I realized I wasn’t the “bad” kid or the “crazy nerd kid”.  Some of my favorite teachers told me point-blank that they knew something was wrong at home and they asked me how I was able to deal with it.  I shocked them.  I told them the first thing I had to do.  I had to forgive Judy.  I had come to the realization that she was mentally ill.  I finally understood the issues that were going on after talking at length with my sister about it.  The second thing I had to do was accept that I am not to blame for the actions she took.  I was a child. 

Now I want to give you some food for thought.  I was that kid that had caring teachers who took time for me when they didn’t have to.  I wanted to give back.  I still don’t think I can ever give back enough, but I can attest to this much–kids who were bullied back then often fantasized about making bullies “disappear” or wishing them “into the cornfield” and there isn’t a person alive that doesn’t know what that means.  Those of us who were bullied often wondered what it would have been like if we could be rid of the bullies for one day–or better yet–for life.  We actually talked about it.  Again I ask that same question from my bullying blogs, “What made it okay for a person to ever cross that line and actually act out on their fantasies?”

How many more Columbines will it take? Jonesboros? How many more suicides?  Can anyone answer that?  We’ve had more recent shootings also.  Even when you have caring teachers who do take time as mine did, why would the kids put them in the line of fire?  Has anyone ever asked these things?  I think we should.   Some of the ones who bullied me are totally different people today.  One would never know how cruel they were in high school, and they often choose not to remember the hurt they inflicted.  I have had classmates that I do not remember bullying me for the life of me contact me apologizing.  Maybe they were bystanders or something, but I honestly do not remember them bullying me and I told them so.  As far as I’m concerned, they’ve done nothing to me.

I will close with some questions:  Where does this bullying type of behavior begin?  Where do the kids learn it? At home? In the movies? WHAT?!  Have we really degraded our own society too much to the point that as parents we can’t fix this issue ourselves?  I would not mind getting the “right” answer for those questions, if they do exist. Is this going to be something we have to create penal codes for or should we just insert it into categories under the current penal code–such as assault, aggravated assault with a weapon, etc…?

Westboro Baptist Church–Political Organizations Should NOT be Tax Exempt!

My son came home from the war in Afghanistan almost 2 years ago.  There was a  point during which I wondered if I would ever really have him back, because he is not the same young man who left home.  Then today, someone pointed  out to me that he is here–just buried inside somewhere.  I think she is right.  Over the past couple of years, he has composed and played music again.  He can sing also.  That is one thing that this war cannot take from him–his passion for music.

He also has a love for animals–which is one thing this war could not change.  Here is a link to an interview he did with GQ while he was in Afghanistan.  I was upset when I read it, not because of the war itself, but it was because I could see in his own words what the war was doing to him.

http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/200904/obama-afghanistan-iraq-war-troops

It may have been my intuition but there were times I couldn’t sleep at night wondering if my boy was safe.   When he came home, I realized that he had been discharged a bit early–not by much.  I found out why a month later.  He was hurt when an IED exploded–killing others, but he survived.  He didn’t let the hospital tell us either because he knew he was going to live.  He said, “I didn’t want them to worry you, Mom.”  Right…He knew I worried anyway, but he knew I would have told my employer to take a hike if I had to and I would have been on the next military hop to Germany.

Now that he is back, he has been diagnosed with PTSD  and depression, along with some physical issues from the blast.  He can play piano as beautifully as he did before he left and he can still compose and sing.  These are the only two things that really give him a sense of purpose at the moment.  I intend to get him the program he wants to laying out his music on his computer as soon as I can get it.  I do not voice my opinions or show a lot of what I feel around him, but there is not much I won’t do for that young man who could have lost his life doing his duty.

Then there are those detractors who will go and protest a dead soldier’s funeral, but they don’t have the guts to show up to protest at a VFW fundraiser.  Why?  They have no cojones.   I am referring to those cult followers of the Westboro Baptist Church–and I shouldn’t call them a church because they are a political organization.  I feel that they should be audited and their tax exempt status revoked.  If they are receiving donated funds that are supposed to be used for charitable purposes, they should have to prove what they are using it for.  I also think that they are a modern-day cult at its worst.

Political rallies (which is what these protests are) are not EDUCATIONAL either if that is what they want to try to claim.  There is a huge difference between education and indoctrination.  Their own words condemn them as much as their actions.  They are a political organization spreading hate speech about military service members (many of whom die daily to protect their rights to act like fools), Jews and homosexuals–among other things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church

While Wikipedia is a good place to start, I am going to put images here that should seal the deal for revoking their status.  If any other preacher that is actually with the Baptist Convention (which none of the denominations claim this bunch) were to do this, the Federal Government would have taken swift action, so why has this so-called church NOT been audited?  They call Barack Obama the anti-christ and say all kinds of stuff that put them in the same league as Jeremiah Wright.  Too many of these nuts and fanatics, which is what they are, are crossing lines that people would face jail time over under Bill Clinton–that is for sure!  A charge called “sedition” would cover it if treason wouldn’t. First, here is my favorite message to that group the WBC:

Appropriate for this bunch of fanatics...

 

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this does not sound Christian to me…Just listen to it.  Then get back to me. Click play at the top left of the page.  It’s nothing but hate speech and crap from that WBC group–and for  this “parody” (If you can call it that) I am quite surprised that Lady Gaga has not sued yet.  As I stated, to me it is hate speech…I am no fan of hers, and I often criticize some of her antics but this is so depraved that I would not blame her if she did sue.

http://meganphelpsroper.tumblr.com/post/653165655/ever-burn-wbc-parody-of-lady-gagas

And then the WBC will  put children into the mix.  Can they be charged for this type of crap?

I think it is a travesty that my son and others who survived, as well as  the many sons and daughters who did not, have either been wounded or killed defending the rights of those who constantly spread hate speech about them.  Groups like this are a shame to this country and should be scrutinized if they are tax exempt.  I deal daily with watching my son’s struggle.  I promise you not ONE of these detractors will ever do this to a live soldier or show up to protest a VA function either.  They only protest the dead because they can’t defend themselves.  That makes these fanatics nothing more than cowards.

In the meantime, I am thankful every day for my son’s presence.  I still hug him even though he doesn’t like that as much as he did before he left.  He knows that it is  a “mom thing”.  I have lunch or dinner with my boys when I can.  I will say this, they are grown men, but I would lay down my life for them in a heartbeat.  They know it too.  I just wish they didn’t have to deal with today’s crap.  I don’t think any parent wants their kid to deal with what is going on in today’s world.  We never would have thought this possible even 10 years ago.

I do have some bad news for the Westboro Baptist Church, though.  It does say in every bible I have read that “…Judgment begins with the house of God…” That tells me that groups like this will get theirs long before anyone they condemn will if that is the case.

More on bullying…(Updated on 12/2/2011)

If you read my earlier blog on bullying, then what I am about to say may be of some surprise to you. Yes, I do feel that forgiving others enables us to move forward, but what about those that are broken and can take no more? I have my own ideas on this.

We have different types of bullying–but in all cases I feel that there is ONE common thread. Bullies go after anyone they perceive to be different and/or lesser than themselves. I think they feel empowered at someone else’s expense because either they have been bullied and now this is an outlet, or they simply feel that they are above anyone else. I also feel that all bullying can stem from resentment or hate.

Bullies are EVERYWHERE. They are in school and in the workplace. If you don’t believe me, look at all the lawsuits. Bullies all use different tactics. Some use physical violence (especially in schools) and others use either cyber bullying and/or they use a position of authority they have in the workplace to exert their will over those they perceive to be beneath their station. I also feel that bullies look at their victims as a step below the species of humanity on the evolutionary chain.

The abused tend to become abusers–but not always. Now substitute the words “The bullied” and “bullies” in that sentence. Bullying is a learned behavior–not an instinct or a mental disease. If you want to stop this in our society, then it has to be stopped at the schoolhouse first! To stop it in the schoolhouse, there are many ways–mediation, sensitivity training, etc…I think the best way is for school districts to hit the parents where it counts–their wallets. I’ll also bet, if a study were done, those conducting it would find out that the children who are bullies also had parents who were bullies when they were in school. Parents who were like that tend to dismiss their own children’s actions as “kids being kids”. This is simply false today. As I’ve said before, “kids being kids” will get people harmed physically and psychologically today–if not killed.

If districts could impose heavy fines (like $25 per offense) on parents whose children are out of control, the money could be used to do many things–fund classroom supplies so teachers won’t have to pay for it–etc…Face it–parents often don’t buy the kids what they need, so use the fines for “bullying” to provide things like pencils, paper, crayons, map colors, etc…Also parents love their pocketbooks enough that they will eventually control their children when they get tired of paying fines for their ridiculous behavior.

Kids who are bullies and get caught should also be suspended from extracurricular activities and sports for at least three weeks after each incident. For severe cases of physical bullying, charge the kids with assault because that is exactly what they are doing on school grounds! Some districts and state laws already allow for this, others do not.

Victims of severe and/or repeat bullying incidents should also be made to see a crisis counselor immediately after the incident is made known to school officials to make sure there are no suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming others developing. Also, in less severe cases, transfer the bullies–NOT the victims. In fact, find out if the bullies are running in a clique and split them all up into different schools. When the cliques see that their buddies can’t go to school with them anymore, then they will back off of everyone else now.  If there is one thing a group hates it is having their social lives monkeyed with for someone’s actions.

It just seems to me that unless the case is extreme, transferring the victim should be a last resort–up to the parents. Why should the bullied child be punished? It would be more of a punishment to the bullies to separate their groups into different schools. It would also send a strong message to other students that there would be no tolerance for THEIR behavior. To me, transferring the victim is almost like punishing the victim. However, in the case of severe assault, or sexual assault of any kind, then I say move the victim to a new district to lessen psychological trauma and lock up the assailants in a juvenile facility.

Being bullied does not justify the victims taking the situation into their own hands and they need to be taught this. That is why it is important to get the victims to a counselor. When a person cannot take any more, they can become irrational and they can do things the normal person would not normally do–like harm others and/or themselves. I believe that we have to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to this subject. There are lives at stake and the last thing I want to hear about is another school shooting or bombing by some kid(or kids) who were victims of bullies who were themselves out of control.

The handling of bullying cases should be treated with no difference as to the reason behind the bullying. A bully is a bully and whether the victim is gay, straight, pretty, not pretty, athletic or not is not important here. All are created equal and should be treated no differently–whatever the reasoning behind it. This is true for the victim and the victimizer. All bullying is equally horrifying and I do not want to see it continue. I worked for 4.5 years as a corrections officer and spent over a year of it as a sergeant. Anyone can draw a parallel between the bullies who beat up kids for stepping into “their corner” of the playground and the offenders who will beat up other offenders for sitting at “their” tables or simply playing handball on “their part” of a recreation yard.

I also am a certified teacher. The same behavior exhibited by bullies in the school yards is also exhibited in the prison systems. IF you don’t believe me, then do a study. I’ll bet my last $10 that if a study is done comparing this behavior in the school with the behavior of the offenders who do this in the prisons, they will find so many similarities that it will shock them–especially when they find out how many of the schoolyard bullies are in families where one or more of its members are behind bars for violent crimes.

Our public schools should be a safe haven in America for these children, but to me it seems that they are growing in similarity to correctional facilities. At some schools, there are armed guards, fences, gates, etc…Is it any wonder that such a comparison can be made? What has happened in our culture that has made this so? I won’t go deeply into this subject here, but part of the problem lies in the devaluation of Education in America. We now have a culture that doesn’t view education as being necessary and important. Until power is given back to parents and educators to stop the mess going on–including the bullying–schools will continue to evolve into something reminiscent of correctional institutions. After all, it is teachers who try to instill social values into these children and they when grow up and get to the prison system–it’s up to the officers to do that. Am I right or wrong? I really want somebody to prove me wrong on this. I challenge anyone to do a study on it.

America really needs to start thinking and re-thinking. The clock is ticking and our children’s futures are at stake because of what society has done to them. The school system has to be changed. I think we should seriously take a look at overseas educational systems and find out what makes theirs different. What makes them work? Something is working well for them because you don’t see nearly the problems there that you see in our country now–especially school shootings and such. What are they doing right and what are we missing as a nation?

I have also thought that with all the new “Occupy” protests, that maybe parents should “Occupy” their children’s schools.  I do not see why parents cannot volunteer to monitor the hallways and such.   For students who must walk to their home from the bus or from the school, set up parent patrols to walk the kids home and ensure their safety.

There is one more thing that one might look into in order to make comparisons and ensure accountability on the part of the school administrations.   Here is my proposal.  The Prison Rape Elimination Act (or PREA) was passed in 2003.  It was written specifically to deal with victims of sexual assault in correctional facilities but it has expanded over the years to include offenders who are victims of extortion, beatings and to provide protections for offenders who have become suicidal.  You can read a little about this act here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison_Rape_Elimination_Act_of_2003  .

What does this have to do with school bullying?  Well, here is my perspective.  I feel that if a study were done on this, I would be proven right.  IF an offender commits suicide, there is always an  investigation into that.  If it comes out that officers or administrators ignored the signs of offenders being abused and/or made remarks to the offender like “Welcome to prison!” or “You shouldn’t have committed the crime you did to end up here!”, then the officer(s) and/or administrator(s) who failed to get help for the victim can be charged with deliberate indifference–and get jail time for it on top of losing their position.

I feel that if a study were done, many of the offenders who attack other offenders were probably either school bullies, victims of school bullies  and/or victims of abuse or neglect at home.  Now if the federal government were to expand the PREA to include public education facilities, it would open up the door for teachers and administrators who fail to protect victims criminally liable for their lack of action when it comes to protecting our young victims.

America has a growing population of gang related offenses and bullies in the public school system who have learned this behavior from family members, or have learned it by being exposed to family members who are incarcerated.  I feel that IF a study were done, there would be a strong connection here.  I really want someone to prove me wrong on this, but I do not think it will happen because the suicide rate among bullying victims is steadily climbing.  Cyber bullying and psychological terrorizing of children is becoming more common.

Since public school attendance is mandatory in this country, I have reached the conclusion that schools are no longer a safe haven for children to be educated in, but have become facilities for containment–much like the correctional facilities given the behaviors mimicked by bullies, teachers, administrators, offenders and officers–plus the upper administrations in both types of facilities.   When administrators tell parents, “Well bullying is part of school life and your child needs to learn to deal with it.”  This  is no different from telling an offender who is assaulted “Welcome to prison!”.  Do you see the connection I am making here?

We send our innocent children into public school facilities around the country with no protection given to them every single day because by law, we must do so. It is the only federally mandated institution forced upon our children, who have NEVER committed a crime or hurt anyone–yet they are getting hurt.  They are dying every day.   However, when the school systems fail to provide for the safety and well-being of those children in their care, it becomes a problem that can only be addressed by stronger regulation and litigation.  Schools that have not implemented a “Zero Tolerance” Policy for bullying, must be forced to do so and forced to enforce it.  It has to include stipulations about being caught for cyber-bullying as well.  If student’s cell phones and such have to be banned from schools, then so be it.  They aren’t allowed to have these things in a prison, so why would they be allowed here?

Dealing with the Past *about being bullied*

I often get asked how I deal with my past issues. I don’t often discuss these things with others, but people in my hometown know me well. They could not understand for the life of them how I managed to keep my marbles in tact…Seriously! I had a crazy childhood! I know many that had a hell of a lot worse, but mine was unique in that I lived in Bedlam, TX! Anyway, that’s what I called my house.

I won’t go into details. Those are unimportant since that is the past. The only thing the past can do is throw up pictures into your memory. Those things cannot hurt you. I had to let go of mine. I can tell you all personally that the hardest thing to do is the very first step I had to take, and that was to forgive people one by one.

You see, there was a big difference in being bullied then, as opposed to being bullied nowdays…When I was a kid, I got even. If they bullied me to do their term papers–I did them alright! I made sure they got nothing but “F’s” too. I took a few beatings for it, but it was worth it. They didn’t have me to another one because I told them I would do exactly the same thing. I was dismissed as being “crazy” by that bunch. I fought with brains more than anything else.

There was a boy in particular who was on the track team who used to make crude sexual remarks to several of us–one at a time of course. Sometimes he would push us down. Other times if we were wearing a skirt, he tried to lift it or pull it down in the hallway. We started talking one day. NONE of us knew the others were bullied by this idiot until one day in PE class one girl brought it up and we all began discussing the problem. Our solution: We decided to make sure he got a dose of what he dished out–together!

The coach wasn’t watching one day and we dragged him down into the theatrical prop room. In our school, costumes, make-up and every thing was kept in that place. Four of us held him down while the other three stripped him down to his boxers, put a dress and petticoat on him and colored his lips with red lip stick–the kind that is hard to wash off. I don’t know HOW the hell we got away with this, but we took his clothes and scattered them all over the front lawn of the school! He had to go out there all dressed up in his frock to get them too!

He never revealed who did it, and he never bothered any of us again either. We know his fellow team mates on the track team laughed at him for DAYS! NOW a bully is liable to get killed or injured severely. I don’t think anyone would dispute that even in our day we would wonder what life would be like if those bullies “died or disappeared”. The difference is, we knew it was wrong to actually kill someone and feared the consequences back then.

Now I fear that young people have no such fear and some have no conscience either judging by what is filling up our juvenile justice centers. I am not joking when I say I feel that most of our generation merely fantasized about killing the bullies or making them disappear…When did it become okay in our culture to allow these kids to cross that line between right and wrong? Even if one is a bully, kids should be taught at an early age that MURDER is wrong. Period! I get really tired of some type of “disorder” getting credit for everything wrong imaginable in society anymore.

Now were the actions the group I was with took “wrong”? Yes, they were. Were they abusive? Yes because of the humiliation he felt. Granted, at the time, we felt vindicated for how he made us feel, but we still felt an emptiness there…I think that emptiness came from the fact that getting “even” changes nothing about what has already happened. On top of that, we proved we were no better than he was–but my cousins would have literally beat him to a pulp if we’d told them about it and we would have felt even worse. Does that make it okay? No it does not. And people will say, “Awww you guys were just kids being kids.” Really? OH REALLY? Hmmm…Nowdays “Kids being kids” can lead to abuse, murders and suicides. If you don’t believe me watch the news and the talk shows that deal with the subject of bullying! It is out of control, people!

Having the ideals of right and wrong on THIS subject instilled in me in the seventh grade made it easier to forgive others. If one cannot forgive others, they cannot move forward because anything from the past for which we harbor a grudge will poison our present every time–we just don’t realize it until later. As I said earlier, forgiveness is that hardest first step that we have to take, but it can be done. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to let things go–especially if we are the ones who were abused, taken advantage of or whatever the case might be.

It can be done though–one day at a time–one issue at a time.