Dear Schools: Help Save Your Kids

Dear Schools: Help Save Your Kids

Bullying is not going away by ignoring it.
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Sometimes in our lives, we encounter people who are not nice to us, people who don’t wish us well and would prefer not to see us succeed. These people go to great lengths to rip us down, calling us names and stepping on our accomplishments, building themselves up by tearing us down. Is it a thing that can be dealt with, as others often advise us to do? In general, yes.

But sometimes, kids are too young to understand how to deal with it, or do not feel as if they can. Here, they turn to their school and their teachers as “trusted adults," looking for a source of safety, security and aid. And what do these schools do? Absolutely nothing.

Often, bullying begins as early as elementary school. I remember in third and fourth grade listening to people’s harsh words, usually played off like a joke but becoming more serious as more and more people laughed. People called others worthless, stupid and lame, told them to stop talking because nobody was listening anyway and called on others to isolate and ignore them. At age 11.

Countless friends and people close to me have experienced the same. Mean kids using words they don't understand with impacts they can't imagine lash out at others, looking for a reaction from peers and acceptance, willing to take their friends' social places for themselves. It seems so often that prettier people, more athletic guys are the ones that everyone loves - the middle school teachers play favorites and the more "outgoing" and "fun" crowd, the one that usually, even if not directly unkind, is exclusive and arrogant.

And yes, it gets better in high school when people stop caring both about other people's opinions in general and gain the confidence to stand up for themselves, but what happens before then? Well, not much.

Yet another news story about a kid who killed themselves flashed across the news screen about a week ago, this one a twelve-year-old girl who apparently had been bullied for years. Her family is filing a lawsuit against the school district in New Jersey because they had known about it and done nothing. This is a news headline that pops up almost monthly, with someone who has been picked on and told they are worthless, stupid, future-less, ugly, uncool, boring, unloved, uncared about, ignorant or just laughed at so many times that they have believed it.

This isn't something that you can just tell kids to ignore and then leave them behind to "deal with it themselves."

Especially since, once somebody stands up for themselves and retaliates with even a fraction of what was given to them, they receive equal punishment.

How about schools start answering their own call to action; since they display posters reading, "tell a trusted adult," they owe it to their students to be that trusted adult. Requiring students to submit proof in video or picture form of harassment (and refusing to acknowledge an issue without said proof), and handling even proven situations mildly makes students feel unsafe and as if they don't matter.

Students are expecting to feel safe in their school, or, at the very least, they are expecting their schools to try. As bullying takes new forms, it is difficult to contain - nobody expects schools to monitor text conversations, and nobody is asking the schools to mediate between catty girl drama or boys fighting to simply resolve a quick dispute. What everyone expects is for schools to handle situations that are handed to them; when a child, sibling, friend or parent comes to them and says, "somebody is bullying me/my son/my brother/my friend, they have been for months and they are ignoring all messages to stop," it is their job to handle this.

Perhaps it is also time to stop blaming the victim - it is not "their job to get thicker skin" or "their job to let it roll off their shoulders." A ten-year-old has a much more fragile sense of self and much lower confidence levels than a fifty-year-old administrator or even their parents. You have got to help kids when they come to you- they are trusting you to fix the situation, not tell them to grow up and ignore it.

And besides, okay, ultimately, it doesn't matter what you think or how you feel towards the situation, because when kids are repeatedly feeling so ignored, so uncared about, so hopeless and helpless and worthless that they are ending their lives before they even hit puberty, there is a problem. And it is not going away by "ignoring" it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

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Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

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