Bullying Is Not Harmless Teasing

All too often we see a story in the news of a bullied child or teen who has committed suicide. Unfortunately, we have no statistics to show exactly how many people die by suicide due to such mistreatment, says Stephanie Bodie, the Fort Wayne “Out of the Darkness” Walk Coordinator.

“Erica” of Fort Wayne was horrified when she learned that her 11-year-old daughter, “Jessica,” was being bullied not only at school, but also on Facebook. Erica confronted Jessica’s teacher, who claimed to be unaware of any name calling or hitting of Jessica in her classroom. The mother next visited the bully’s parents and learned that they knew about the incidents, were unhappy about them, but had not taken action. So Erica spoke with the child herself to let her know just how unacceptable such behavior was. However, damage was already done to her daughter’s self esteem. Thankfully, her mother’s intervention prevented Jessica’s pain from causing Jessica to turn to drastic action.

According to Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., bullies also suffer from self esteem issues: “Inside, they are often insecure, lonely, and full of anger and self-criticism… bullies aim to unleash their anger and self-hatred onto others in hopes of feeling relief themselves.” But those horror stories on the news make it clear that bullying can lead to much worse things.

The OOTD Walk to end suicide will take place on Sept. 6. Please contact Stephanie Bodie at (260) 450-5219 to register or for more information.

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About Drema Drudge

Drema Drudge received her MFA in Creative Writing at Spalding University and has had her fiction most recently published in The Louisville Review, Mused, ATG, Mother Earth News, and Penumbra. She is a frequent contributor to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Drema is married to musician Barry Drudge. They have two grown children, Mia and Zack. Feel free to visit Drema's website where she explores her passion for writing about art at dremadrudge.com.

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