Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ninja Gets Bullied

Bullying has been a hot topic lately, as the consequences of leaving it unchecked come to light more and more. It’s a subject that I have a personal interest in, as a victim of bullying when I was younger. The worst of it came from an older girl on the school bus when I was in junior high. At the urging of Dr. L, I located and reached out to her online. I made my peace and forgave her. We’ve conversed some and she is, from what I’ve seen, very different from the girl I remember. She’s kind and considerate. I’m grateful for the chance to move on.

Then came the new that Ninja (my nephew and fellow Aspie) was being bullied. By an older girl. On the school bus. In junior high. Here we go again.

Understand that this is not the type of boy to hit back and, even if he was, he’s not going to hit a girl. Not even a girl who is older than him and is verbally and physically attacking him. I can’t even put into words how angry I am. The whole family is furious, but I’m taking this personally. I hate that this poor kid, who is so much like me, is going through the same thing I went through at his age.

I love the “It gets better” project and I believe it can get better, but only if something is done about it. If parents and teachers and EVERYONE ELSE can’t step up and tell kids that bullying is not acceptable, things will never change. Not only do we need to pass that message on, but we also need to make sure everyone understands what bullying is.

You don’t have to be physically hurt to be bullied. You don’t have to be slandered online. A bully can be anyone…a friend, a relative, a teacher. Just because someone follows up a cruel joke at your expense with, “I’m only kidding. You’re too sensitive.” doesn't mean what they did wasn’t bullying. Sure, we can all pick on each other from time to time but, when it hurts, it’s bullying.

It has to stop now. Enough is enough. It won’t get better on its own. We have to make it better.

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