A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Bobbie Bean, author of "Shattered Dreams, Broken Patriot." While his story was a heart-wrenching tale of all that can go wrong when dealing with a bullying situation; the one thing that stood out in my mind was the importance of conversation. As I read his book I was left with a litany of "what ifs." "What if someone had reported to an adult that Matthew had been attacked on the bus?" "What if someone had reported this incident in the locker room to an adult?" "What if the school nurse had instructed Matthew's parents to seek medical attention?" All of these things could have potentially changed this outcome for the Bean family; but no one spoke up...no one was willing to have a conversation.
Outcomes like this one are why it is necessary to have courageous conversations, why we need to teach our children right from wrong, and why we need to model for them what to do when one meets a wrong. We have to open our mouths and say , "no, this is not ok." And we have to do it soon. Or there will not be much of a "normal" left to fight for.
Until next time, keep courageously conversing..
Carolyn Strong, BulliesStink Founder & Author
Carolyn Strong, MAT MEd