This past weekend, I had the opportunity once again to volunteer for an amazing youth program called, “HOBY” (Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar) that goes on once a year around the world for 3-4 days. HOBY is a program that inspires our youth today to become leaders for tomorrow, if you are interested please check out: http://www.hoby.org and look for your location to volunteer, sign up and be inspired! I started HOBY in 2007 and have been a Facilitator and Speaker and have been intrigued ever since. I plan on signing my son up for HOBY when he’s 15. This weekend the 12-15 in May, we were advocating about bullying, from cyber-bullying to how words can destroy a person. We hear the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” For those who’ve been affected by verbal abuse, bullying and emotional abuse knows this phrase is far from ever being true. I am so inspired by my ambassadors at HOBY that the kids want to do something to end bullying.
What I find disheartening and sad is that our school faculty isn’t the first to stand up when their ultimate responsibility is to protect our kids and that it is the “bystanders” the “witness” that are sick and tired of seeing the abuse that they decide to do something about it. We need to be inspired and DO something to change this. Not only are the GLBT affected by bullying, but so are the disabled and anyone who is “different”. I’m a survivor of bullying and I went to a school where no one did anything, except for a few teachers that later was fired or quit because the school board refused to do anything about it. I had one inspiring principal that said to me, that if I quit I allow the bullies to win, but if I make it til graduation, I would open the doors for other minorities to attend at that school. Ten years later, my sister ended up as a cheerleader, popular and ahead of her class, just as long as she didn’t have to endure what I went through is an improvement in my eyes.
Bullying can stop, when we start talking about it and stop ignoring the signs and using words like: “We were just kidding, it’s only words.” To you it may not have hurt, but the other kid it impacted them in a very negative way. As for my friends who believe in otherwise about GLBT, I don’t care what your religious preference is, as long as you are around me you WILL RESPECT everyone in my group and my friends you don’t like it, you can leave because I have ZERO tolerance of abuse of any kind.
If you want to be inspired check out HOBY’s youtube video “Sticks’n stones” and be cautious the words may trigger you, but listen to the powerful point it’s trying to make. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjd1zyWWbfg (You probably won’t be able to see it, but just listen, it is VERY powerful.)
I hope reading this blog you’ll be inspired to do something, if you are interested, please contact your local anti-bullying organization, if you don’t have one contact the Domestic Violence Center or your Youth & Family Services or your school counselor, show them this blog or this video if they don’t think it’s an issue. Thank you for letting me share.