A short one page paper on my thoughts about the recent string of gay suicides...what are your thoughts? What can we do to fix this issue? (links included)
Enough is Enough
My Thoughts on Bullying
Sadly, there has been a recent trend of teenagers (mostly male) who are killing themselves. Most of the time the reason has been because of bullying and because the males are either gay or presumed to be gay. This is disturbing and sends the wrong message to kids especially young gay kids; it’s okay to kill yourself if the pain becomes unbearable. This is the wrong message to send to our kids.
Let’s face it, gay or straight, kids will be bullied. It’s a fact of life. I was teased many times growing up over many things. But when is bullying “too” much? When does it cross the line? When does it stop being playful and start being hurtful? For gays and lesbians, the teasing is constant and there are no playful undertones at all. They are already having an internal struggle and they have a need to feel accepted. Many are rejected by their families so school is the only outlet for them. When their peers don’t accept them, it makes them feel like no one loves them. Add this to the fact that their religious leaders are telling them they are wrong and are going to hell, it can be a bit much, too much to handle. That’s when they feel like the only way to end the pain is to end their life. It’s a sad cycle being repeated by too many of our bright young youth. In fact, one third of all teens who commit suicide are gay.
Honestly, the answer to stopping these suicides is not to stop bullying. Yes, that is a step in the right direction but we can’t honestly think that we can stop all bullying instantly. We have to raise our kids differently and it starts at home. Parents have to teach their kids to be more accepting of people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations. Also, the schools have to start being more proactive. All kids who are being bullied aren’t going to ask for help for fear of being bullied more. So the schools and educators have to keep an eye out for students who are in trouble. Many of them exhibit warning sign before they take their life, it’s up to the educators to find those kids who are “slipping through the cracks” and get them help before it’s too late. How many suicides does it take for us as educators, as Americans, and as a people to say enough is enough?