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Switch to Forum Live View Bullying: Words and Actions Do Matter
3 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2011 - 6:05PM #1
REteach
Posts: 14,536

A gay teen in Canada committed suicide.  I am noting this in a separate thread because so many people seem to believe:


(gay) kids are not bullied and it doesn't really matter anyway

Words don't matter--They have the right to say anything about anybody and there is no reason to consider doing some self-censoring

It is OK for school personnel to say horrible things about groups of students in their school and it shouldn't bother the kids 

Being attacked for being gay or even thought to be gay doesn't really drive kids to suicide.

So, those of you who think it is OK to "disagree" with innate traits and who think that kids don't really commit suicide because of the dreck you post, you are wrong, sadly, tragically, yet again.

His dad: "He just wanted someone to love him. That's all. And what's wrong with that? Why do people have to be cruel to our children when all they want to do is be loved?" said Hubley, speaking on the phone with the CBC's Ashley Burke"



Edit: underscore link

Moderated by Stardove on Oct 19, 2011 - 09:14PM
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2011 - 8:21PM #2
TemplarS
Posts: 6,775

Oct 18, 2011 -- 6:05PM, REteach wrote:


 


His dad: "He just wanted someone to love him. That's all. And what's wrong with that? Why do people have to be cruel to our children when all they want to do is be loved?" said Hubley, speaking on the phone with the CBC's Ashley Burke"



 


Very sad.


 


Kids will be cruel to other kids for any number of reasons.  


It is up to us adults, as adults,  to deal with this in the appropriate ways, and not encourage or enable or tolerate such behavior.   Adults who happen to share certain prejudices are certainly a problem; but I think more of a problem are adults who simply make excuses, disengage, or say things like "The kids will work things out amongst themselves", or "it's just kids being kids." 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 18, 2011 - 8:58PM #3
Wanderingal
Posts: 5,504

REteach--thanks for starting this thread. it is so horrifying that it is ahrd for me to think about it in relation to the Gay members of our family.


I have two comments--


First "Harry's Law" which is an NBC legal drama did a story on this issue last week in which someone who bullied a Gay teen who committed suicide is put on trial for homicide.


The title character is the defense lawyer the accused but the treatment of this subject is complex and the many different legal and emotional aspects are examined through the vehicle of dramatic storytelling.


IMO it was very well done. Kathy Bates plays the title character and Cameron Manheim played the prosecutor. It was exceptionally well done. The whole seris is excellent...


Second--and I hope this doesn't take your thread in a direction you don't want it to go--one of the Gay members of my family--who is an adult and is in a longterm relationship--was bullied--unbelievably--by tbeir own professional colleagues--including being stalked to their residence where the professional colleagues parked in front of their residence and would leave when they saw polkcie vehicles approaching.


It was an emotionally devastating situation and if I hadn't heard the numerous sad details myself and hadn't seen the emotional devastation on ADULTS of this kind of behavior I probably would not have believed it myself.


I truly do not know what happens in the minds of the adults who decided that the "best" and "only way" to approach their Gay colleagues was to act like emotioanlly stunted children...


 

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 10:37AM #4
Erey
Posts: 18,651

It is not that I think bullying is no big deal but I read the link you put in the other thread.


 


This kid had loving parents was part of a group at school of gay and lesbian teens.  Not everyone accepted him.


 


I find it irresponsible and highly dangerous to tell gay teens that being bullied WILL RESULT in their suicide. 


Most kids who commit suicide are not gay.  They commit sucide because they are having mental problems, commonly depression.  This is the same reason almost anyone commits suicide.


WE need to stop sending the message that gay kids who are bullied or not included are on some natural trajectory to sucicide - they are not. 


You start sending out that message and you are naturally going to get more sucides.


 


www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/09/27/374...


 


"I don’t think there is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person alive who hasn’t experienced bullying, peer rejection and torment. For some of us, that experience has been indescribably brutal. But the fact that we are alive is proof that suicide is not a natural response to bullying. If it were, we’d all have killed ourselves. For some, however, there is at least one other ingredient in the mix somehow which leads then to kill themselves while others press on. Those ingredients vary from individual to individual, but suicide research shows that one common denominator is often depression, which can express itself in many ways. It brings an extra vulnerability for teens to carry, a vulnerability which makes it extraordinarily difficult to predict the specific incident which could trigger the next suicide. 


 


also:


 


The LGBT Movement Advancement Project, a joint effort of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, GLSEN, GLAAD and others, have a very informative 12-point guide for talking about suicide (PDF: 642KB/4 pages). Points 7 and 8 are particularly relevant here:



7. DON’T normalize suicide by presenting it as the logical consequence of the kinds of bullying, rejection, discrimination and exclusion that LGBT people often experience. Presenting suicide as the inexplicable act of an otherwise healthy LGBT person—or drawing a direct, causal link between suicide and the bullying or discrimination that LGBT people often face—can encourage at-risk individuals to identify with the victim (or the victim’s life circumstances) and increase risk of suicidal behavior.


8. DON’T idealize suicide victims or create an aura of celebrity around them. Research shows that idealizing people who have died by suicide may encourage others to identify with the victim or seek to emulate them.



 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 11:52AM #5
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

I think the "It Gets Better" Project a worthy effort to counter seeming to encourage suicide as an option. Started by columnist Dan Savage because he wanted to do something positive to show teens that gay adults know what it's like to be bullied but eked it out until they found how good life beyond one's teen years can be, the project seems to me to be a positive effort with the potential to do a great deal of good.


About the It Gets Better Project


Active efforts to stop anti-gay hostility are more difficult, but that's what needs to happen until the climate changes and badmouthing being gay is as unacceptable as regarding other races or ethnicities inferior to oneself.


I think it's also good that an effort is underway to include mention in school textbooks of the fact that noted authors, playwrights, artists and historical figures were gay or lesbian. We've sidestepped that fact in education for far too long, leaving gay kids with no one like themselves to seek to emulate.


 

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 11:55AM #6
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,626

A child who would read about Oscar Wilde, would have a good idea that words matter (Ballad of Reading Gaol). 

*******

"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 1:08PM #7
REteach
Posts: 14,536

Dot, the sad thing is that I believe this kid heard the message that It Gets Better but he couldn't stand the idea of 3 more years of what he was going through.

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 2:06PM #8
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Oct 19, 2011 -- 1:08PM, REteach wrote:


Dot, the sad thing is that I believe this kid heard the message that It Gets Better but he couldn't stand the idea of 3 more years of what he was going through.




And sadly, teens are often far too good at concealing how much they're affected by daily brutality.


Despite having loving parents, teenagers want acknowledgment and acceptance by their peers as they forge their independence.


Tragically, this young man appears not to have had the stamina to bear up under what was likely relentless and vicious persecution.



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3 years ago  ::  Oct 19, 2011 - 5:55PM #9
Marcion
Posts: 2,883

Bullying is wrong period; it is not limited to gay people.


The real killers at Colombine were the bullies - not the shooters.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 20, 2011 - 6:26AM #10
Ebon
Posts: 10,148

Oct 19, 2011 -- 1:08PM, REteach wrote:

Dot, the sad thing is that I believe this kid heard the message that It Gets Better but he couldn't stand the idea of 3 more years of what he was going through.



When you're being bullied, it often feels like you can't take another three hours. At that age, your school is the majority of your social interaction and when all of that social interaction is spent with people degarding you, telling you that you're worthless, maybe assaulting you, you don't think you can take it any longer.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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