I was a victim of bullying. Driving home with my mom from a soccer game, she asked me, because I seemed I guess off, she asked me what was wrong, and I just exploded with all this stuff, what was going in in school, the name calling, the teasing, I found out that the same bully who had been attacking me had also been reported by STOPit. Knowing that someone in the school cared enough to say something about it made a world of a difference for me.
Last month, they found a child, he had killed himself, sitting in the foyer of the school gate in the middle of the night, he had several weapons. This child was being bullied for being gay, he had enlisted two other people to help him, and they had a plan to shoot the school up. The other two didn’t show up, and he ended up taking his own life.
Of course it’s the elephant in the room and no one wants to have this conversation but I remember one particular incident where a student said, hey my friend you know broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriend and they’re you know they’re gonna bring a weapon to school and handle it on their own. Before a student brings a weapon on campus we’re able to make a phone call to parents and say this is a report that we got. Am I 100% certain that that would have happened, no, of course not, but I would rather be proactive, have a conversation with the parents before a student brings a weapon to campus. And then that student loses out on an education because of an emotional response to something that we all go through.
Way back in the fall we had a report of a student that was reporting that she was getting bullied, she feels like suicide is the only option, subsequently the counselor in the building was able to log in and start communicating since she knew who that person was, she felt comfortable coming in to talk to that person. So I love that at the district level on the building level we can respond to any of the needs that come up and just meet them immediately.
We have had at least three kids who have gotten counseling, for suicidal ideation and they’re getting the help they need.
It’s an incredible story that’s still in process. We had a coach who was abusing students and had been for a long time. And through this program we were able to make that stop. That was tough for a small community to go through. We gave a voice to students who historically did not have a voice.
If it helps one kid, I don’t know that you can put a price tag on that.
If we can just save one kid’s life, it’s worth it. I’m nearly positive we’ve already done that in just a few months.
It’s really helped a lot with my confidence in myself, my abilities, who I am. Thank you.