It’s sad that Amanda Todd has over 113,000 likes on her memorial page when all she needed was for some ONE to really like her while she was living. Never doubt the impact you can have on the ONE. This breaks my heart.http://www.facebook.com/rip.amanda.todddddd. I like the attention that bullying is getting and the campaigns and programs against bullying, I really do – I just don’t know if it’s enough. What we need is a movement of empathy. We need to somehow resurge the human emotion of compassion. I’m not convinced that comes from standing AGAINST something. I think it needs to stand FOR something. Teaching the art of seeing someONE. Standing for the ONE. Being willing to see past difference and befriend the “loser” or the whore.
I couple of years ago I wrote a dance show we toured in schools called, “The Bully Project”. I wrote the show after watching Ellen feature the death of a teenage boy who killed himself because he was bullied endlessly for being gay. My heart stopped for a moment. I was overcome with grief for this life taken far too early because of something that can so easily be prevented. I began to research others who have taken their life and it was overwhelming the amount of websites dedicated to those gone too early for such injustice.
After I wiped the tears from my face, I got angry.
Angry at the bully. Angry for those standing by silent. Angry at the cries unheard. Angry at my own silence.
My anger turned into a fire to fight for those still living. If only we could somehow spark compassion back into the hearts of humanity. If only we could show the bully what they were doing. If we could only give them a slap of reality. If only we could somehow spark this same fire in every day people who observe bullying on a daily basis. If we could get them to FEEL again. To break out of their numbness and get angry; get pissed right off…. maybe they’d speak up? Maybe they’d do something?
I felt God’s voice saying: ONE DEATH TOO MANY.
To what limit do we get to before we decide not to put up with such acts of cruelty? When do we wake up to the fact that whatever reality presented to us is either created or tolerated BY US?! WHO WILL FIGHT FOR CHANGE? Who will create a new culture that defends the broken?
The fact is that twelve students A DAY in Calgary alone get sent to emergency for suicide attempts. A DAY. In Calgary alone. Awake yet?
One out of every five canadian teen is bullied. That means the chances of my children and yours being bullied is pretty high. Do we want this kind of future for them?
If information was enough, there would be change. Knowing about it clearly isn’t doing much.
It’s time. Time to stop thinking about, “what a shame” it all is. To stop looking around, pointing fingers. Do something. Create a movement of empathy; starting with the one you look at in the mirror and letting it ripple out.
ONE DEATH TOO MANY.
If you have the guts, here’s some names who have taken their own lives and why. This can’t even begin to scratch the surface.
Enough’s enough. Be the change.
- Brian Franklish died while trying to escape the children bullying him.
- Twelve-year-old Debbie Shaw agrees to a challenge by other girls to end her bullying by fighting the school bully. She died of her injuries.
- Thirteen-year-old Roger Hillyard found dead near his home after a lifetime of bullying.
- Sisters Samantha and Michaela Kendal are so taunted and bullied about their overweight they go on hunger strike … both died.
- Fifteen-year-old choirboy Darren Steele is found hanged in his bedroom after a life of bullying at school.
- Twelve-year-old schoolboy Stephen Woodhall hanged himself with his brother’s school tie rather than face bullying by the school bullies for another day. “He must have been going through hell,” his father, Ken, said. Later, forty-seven-year-old Kenneth Woodhall also hanged himself. He had never got over the hanging suicide five years earlier of his son Stephen.
-13-year-old Salvation Army girl Kelly Yeomans took a fatal overdose after months of tormenting and bullying. Her bullies were given a slap on the wrist.
- Katherine Jane Morrison, 16, takes a fatal overdose after horrendous bullying.
- fourteen-year-old Kurt Cobain shoots himself to escape the local bully boys.
- Vijay Singh Shahiri wrote poems about his schoolyard tormentors, then hanged himself.
- Marie McGovern overdoses after bullying. Her diaries recorded a life of day-to-day terror.
- Sixteen-year-old bully victim Lucy Forrester electrocutes herself by throwing a copper wire over the live lines of the local railway track.
- Lynette McLaughlin hanged herself with her own dressing gown cord because of bullying.
- Fourteen-year-old Amanda Brownridge overdosed because of bullying.
- Schoolgirl dancer Kelly Farrar, 13, killed herself with her father’s heart pills after telling friends she’d been teased at school.
- Mark MacLaglan hanged himself from a tree because of bullying.
- An un-named Asian boy is knifed to death in a suicidal bid to stand up against the bullies who had made his life hell.
- Eleven-year-old Martin Harvey, a long-time victim, collapsed and died when a bully gang charged him in the playground.
- Daniel Overfield, 12, hangs himself, unable to cope with a hand-written insult.
- Denise Baillie, 14, dies from taking pills after horrific bully campaign against her.
- Mark Harvey, 15, died after refusing to run away and being beaten by a bully gang outside school.
- Peter Evans, 11, is crushed under the wheels of a truck trying to escape a bully gang.
- Six-year-old Matthew Bibby risks the busy rush hour road rather than the bullies and is killed by a car as he tries to escape them.
- Fourteen-year-old Bryan Frankish is killed escaping a school bully gang on a friend’s motorbike.
- Jamie Evans, 14, hangs himself with his belt after long-term school bullying culminated in the shaving off of one of his eyebrows.
- Suzie Barclay takes an overdose of pills after vicious playground taunts … five months after another girl at her school narrowly escaped an overdose death to end her own bully torment.:
- Daniel Mole is chased and beaten by the thug who had bullied him throughout his school life. He died falling from a roof in an attempt to escape
The tragedy is that the first death on the list was enough to scream a change needed. ONE DEATH TOO MANY.
If you ever doubt that the ONE person you invest in isn’t enough, may this be a great reminder that the ONE matters. It would have mattered to Amanda. Let’s not lose one more. Look for the broken to befriend. Love them. Believe in them. It will make all the difference. THAT message would be quite the campaign.