Mike’s Musings by Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor

January 24, 2014

Bullying still a major problem in schools

Bullying continues to be a major problem in our school systems. Many schools have attempted to pitch greater sensitivity in a variety of ways, but today, just like yesterday, there are still thousands of students that must endure the emotional and physical punishment of bullies.
This week, in particular last Monday we honor the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, who like Gandhi before him, and Mandela after him, believed non-violence was the way to change how people think.
I just wish some of the so-called bullies would take a step back and study the accomplishments of King. He never believed belittling a person or using force was a means to an end. I think he would agree understanding that people and students are different, and celebrating that diversity was a better course of action.
My son,  Jordan Wilcox, who is 12, wrote the following essay for a 7th grade writing class. He cleverly tied in Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech with his thoughts on bullying. He received an A plus plus, and I thought it was good enough to share with readers of this column. Here it is:
I Have a Dream
I have a dream that bullying would cease to exist.  I have a dream that we would not wallow in the valley of despair, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow.  It is a dream deeply rooted in kindness and forgiveness.
Bullying has been around since the dawn of time.  Cavemen used to bully each other, and now in this day and age, it is still going on.  Why?
I have a dream that one day every student will be  able to walk on school ground without having to worry about getting pushed into a locker or tripped at lunch, feeling like a fish out of water.
Bullying from my experience starts before kindergarten and sometimes even goes into adulthood.  By the time you are in middle school it is in full swing.  Instead of worrying about all of the homework we have, and getting good grades we have to worry about getting picked on for the way we look, talk, walk, dress, even the friends we choose. Staring at us with steel eyes.
Our peers should judge us by the content of our character and the person we are inside, not the color or designer of our clothes or how popular you may or may not be. The harsh judgement and yelling is deafening like a hard rain on a tin roof.
I have a dream that students will learn to stand up for others that are bullied and for themselves, that every student can be confident and say that I am no longer being bullied.
Everybody has been bullied by someone at least once in their life Do you remember how that made you feel? Now, just imagine those kids who get picked on every day, sometimes having to walk down a different hallway just so they won’t have to see the kid or group that bullies them day after day.  It makes it hard to go to school.  What a horrible feeling.
I have a dream today!  I have a dream that bullying will become a thing of the past and that nobody has to experience pain when coming to school each and every day.
This is my hope.  That one day bullying will come to an end, and every one can respect and forgive one another.
This will be the day when students can walk down the hallways with courage and their heads held high look bullies in the face and say I am not scared of you or your friends anymore.
I have a dream that, that day is today!

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