His funeral is tomorrow.
Earlier this week, his older sister gave an interview to our local news channel. She discussed not only the serious bullying her brother endured (so serious, in fact, the family had plans to move and enroll him in a new school next week), but also how prevalent bullying is at that particular school. She spoke of students crying in class, fearing for their safety, and even missing school to avoid their bullies.
According to the news, the school district has yet to recognize a link between bullying at the school and the boy’s suicide.
It’s difficult for me to wrap my brain around the fact that this 12-year-old child, who had his whole life ahead of him, is now gone. My heart aches for his family and friends, and for him, who could still be here today if only the bullying were stopped in time.
Or didn’t happen at all.
I can’t do anything to lessen his loved ones’ grief, but, in honor of this child, I’ve compiled a list of solid resources for preventing, reporting, and stopping bullying. Maybe a student, parent, or teacher in need will see them in time.
- StopBullying.gov: This government website provides “tips, facts, toolkits, training materials, and more” – all you have to do is enter a search term. The site also provides a directory of every state’s bullying laws and policies.
- National Bullying Prevention Center: Pacer’s NBPC provides everything from information tools to free advocacy materials. Pacer even offers some grade-specific teaching tools.
- Connect for Respect: The National PTA launched this initiative in 2011 to “encourage PTAs across the country to lead conversations in their school communities about bullying, how it is affecting their communities, and to develop solutions that they can implement collaboratively together.”
- ADL Bullying Resource Center: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) provides information about bullying and cyberbullying, stories from kids who’ve experienced bullying, and information about strategies for responding to bullies.
- Education.com: Education.com dedicates an entire section of its site to bullying. Parents, teachers, and students can find information about what to do if a child is being bullied, how to stop bullying, and even the steps parents can take if their children are the ones bullying others.
- Resources To Help Stop Bullying: Ellen DeGeneres lists numerous anti-bullying resources on her website, many of which cover other related topics such as suicide prevention and LGBT issues.
Please feel free to add to the list in the comments.
* Although the boy’s name has been released and his family has spoken publicly about the situation, I’ve opted to respect the family’s privacy and not use his name on a platform as large as PsychCentral.com.