I had the honor and the privilege of travelling to Orlando, Florida to participate in the National Conference on Bullying. I must say that the conference was jammed pack with people that were there and willing to learn. It does my heart good to know that so many people are dedicated to the cause of eradicating bullying. In addition to being a participant in some sections, I had the opportunity to present two sessions of my own, "Black Girl Blues, An Examination of Intra Racial Bullying" and "Yo Momma So, the Dozens and Bullying Culture" Both sessions were jammed packed with people that were ready to get down to the business of helping kids and saving lives. We were able to enlighten some and validate others about unspoken rules of being young in today's society. I cannot wait to do it again!
Until next time, keep courageously conversing
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