Yesterday afternoon, my girlfriend shared on Facebook one of the most heartbreaking videos I’ve seen in a while. It was of a young boy, Jonah, about to start the 8th grade. The entire video was music and him tearfully sharing words on index cards. In his words, Jonah talked about cutting himself (he showed scars) since the 2nd grade. He talked about being bullied since that time too. He had only one friend left; everyone else hated him. He admitted hating himself too: because he’s gay. He was scared to start school again.
I decided to search online to see if there was any word of whether he’d survived and thrived or if he wound up killing himself to escape. I am thrilled beyond measure to report that no only did Jonah survive bullying, but he seems to have his own channel on YouTube. And he’s grown into a beautiful young man.
Watching that video reminded me that I could and should write something about it on my blog. Beginning this week and throughout the next month or so, schools across the nation will begin again. And there will be hundreds of kids like Jonah – both gay and straight, male and female – who are bullied because something about them is different. Being different shouldn’t be a social crime. Imagine a world if we were all the same. How dull and boring would that be?
I’m challenging anyone who stops here and reads this post to talk to one child or teen in your life about bullying. He or she doesn’t have to be the victim or the one doing the bullying. Standing by and doing nothing is just as bad as the one who bullies. Someone needs to be told every time that bullying happens or it will never stop. No child should fear leaving their home for what they might experience nor should they ever feel that the only means of escape is to end their own life.