I dont know really what to call it: blessed? fortunate? survivalist?
When I read the stories of two young boys, one in Massachusetts and then another here in Atlanta who hung themselves after enduring vicious name calling and hate in school, a cold chill of remembrance ran through my spirit.
Its been decades since I was in grade school, but I have never forgotten the humiliation of being called faggot, sissy, girl and more and then summarily being excluded from normal games with other boys because I was called something that I wasn’t even aware of at the time. Trust me when I tell you it is pure torment.
I didnt want to kill myself, but I spent many days at school angry, hurt and isolated. It was the grace of God that the same did not happen to me.
Last week, my little girl came home from school with a note from the teacher. It said her conduct was not good. When her mom asked her about it, she burst into tears and said that a group of girls had been calling her names. So she was acting out of character to defend herself. I immediately knew that feeling. Like you had to face it all alone. Im glad that my baby girl had a daddy who sprung into action, comforting her and promising that I would protect her. I also affirmed her against what she had been told. I asked her today if she knew about the boy who had taken his life. She had and she told me that she had not had any problems since I sent the teacher a stern and personal note about the situation.
Just as I wont tolerate sustained harassment of my children in school, I am equally adamant about my children not calling each other names like big nose, stupid or ugly while at home. I flatly do not allow it. If a child becomes comfortable doing that at home, it can easily be duplicated at school with a weaker target and with deadly results.
My heart goes out to the families of these two boys and all the children who have had to endure unwarranted cruelty from classmates. The world is a cruel place and that evil has touched our children. I wont go into all of the reasons, but life in this country has been devalued beyond belief. This country has made some foolish choices and this evil is a result of it.
I also want to say to any parent, do not stand idly by when your child exhibits signs indicating they are being harassed at school. Pray for them and rebuke the hand of the enemy. Ensure that your voice is heard and understood by everyone in school with authority over your child. If it continues remove them from school until you are satisfied that something has been done. I dont want to over spiritualize this, but we should know by now that the devil is a murderer and he has been so from the beginning.
I know much has been said about this being gay related because the term gay was used in a pejorative manner against the two boys. I dont believe the answer is to have gay sensitivity days in school. Neither is the answer to affirm homosexuality as normal. No child should have to endure such treatment just to get an education mandated by the state. And while we cant expect that kids will be perfect little specimens of respect and comraderie, we can be much more vigilant of both bullies and victims alike.
I know this isnt pc nowadays, but I remember when bullies were reprimanded and paddled by our 6ft 2 male principal, they seemed to change their ways substantially.
Thanks for listening.