Have you ever been bullied? Bullying used to be done predominately on the playground in grade school or in the locker room in high school. You didn’t hear much about it and it seemed to happen rather infrequently. You could escape the bullying by avoiding those places as much as possible and staying with your own group of friends.
Like everything else, with the advancement of technology, bullying has taken off explosively.
Not only can people be bullied when they’re at school or at a large gathering, but with technology, someone can be in the privacy of their own home and still be bullied. This has become such an issue, their are now laws against it and the perpetrators can face charges. You can learn more about Georgia laws against bullying here. To find out what qualifies as cyberbullying, go here.
This morning, Kevin Avery, a radio host for 104.7 the Fish, shared how his daughter was being bullied on Facebook. He has yet to allow his daughters to have any form of social media; however, someone created a Facebook page for the sole purpose of bullying his daughter. They only learned of it when a friend of his daughter told them about the page. Kevin responded like any protective father would, he took action. He contacted the authorities and reported the situation and is in the process of going through steps to bring the bullying to an end and hold those accountable who did it. Some may say this is just kids being kids; yet it is much more than childish play.
Proverbs 18:21 says,
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
This power can be welded in the spoken word, but also in the written word. People do not realize the power of their words and they use them carelessly without any regard to the pain they may cause. There are countless articles of teens committing suicide as a result of cyberbullying. One of the more famous ones is the story of Amanda Todd, a 15 year old who posted a Youtube video about being bullied just before taking her life. You can read more about it here.
I’m certain the people who bullied Amanda Todd, and the countless others who committed suicide as a result of bullying, never thought their actions would lead to someone’s death. Yet it did. A precious life was taken because of someone else’s insecurities played out in the form of bullying.
This has to stop! We’ve got to recognize nothing is gained by making fun of others. No one wins in that situation. If you know someone who is being bullied, take a stand for them. It truly could be the difference between life and death. Proverbs 31:8 says,
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
What are your thoughts on bullying and the situation the Avery family is facing? How would you handle it if it was your daughter?
Hello. It’s interesting that you mention Amanda Todd – a complex issue, as is all the cyberbullying stuff. Thank you so much for taking such an understanding stance. The cyberbullies were just children being what some children can be – very nasty, yet without the ability to know of the consequences. It is a shame that in the US and Canada, there seems to be a desire to make criminals of these kids, as in the Rebecca Sedwick case. They need love and help – not the sort of punishment they would get in a penitentiary.
However, if there are bullies in the school playground, it’s the responsibility of the school to at least do their best to ensure it doesn’t happen. The same with Facebook, who seem to do very little to prevent this type of behaviour. And, of course, it is our responsibility to try and make sure that our kids are treasured and nurtured, and learn not to do this sort of thing. People have to be very careful. In the Amanda Todd case, the people who are anti-bullying have become the bullies themselves, urging vengeance and retribution. That is not the way forward – that is a step back. Mr Avery should ensure that the people involved learn a lesson, but that’s all.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you that many time children do what they do without realizing the consequences. I’ve often told my children that people who lash out at others are hurting themselves and don’t know how to properly deal with their pain, so they lash out at others. They need help, but I also agree that they need to face the consequences of their actions.
I spend a lot of time working with survivors of sex trafficking. I strongly believe the perpetrators should pay for their crimes, but I recognize their actions of violence towards others are fueled by their own pain. Both the victims and the perpetrators need rescuing and restoration, which Jesus freely offers them both.
Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts here. Have a blessed day.