According to recent studies about 77% of children claim they have been a victim of bullying with 35% saying they have been received direct online threats - and it is estimated that about 160,000 students miss school every day because of they are afraid. "Victims of bullying endure a host of emotional problems. They become anxious and insecure and suffer low self-esteem because the targeting of them has made them feel isolated, helpless, and vulnerable..." this can lead to a host of emotional and psychological problems... in some cases leading to suicide.
Bullying is not just an issue for kids either; Jennifer Livingston, a news anchor for WKBT in La Crosse Wisconsin, went on the air a few days ago to complain about an online bully. Ms. Livingston received an email from a viewer (Kenneth W. Krause) claiming that she was a terrible role model for the young people in the community because she was fat. The email went on to say that she should rethink the choices she makes or cease being a public figure in the community. Livingston claimed the email was unnecessarily cruel and excessively rude, but at the end of her nightly broadcast this past Tuesday she did have this message for the public;
"I leave you with this: To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience - that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many."
Use this month to access how you and your friends treat people and make the changes which allow you to treat those around you with respect... you don't have to like everyone or be friends with everyone, but you should be respectful to all those who are respectful to you... and if you or anyone you know is a victim of bullying, it's NOT okay and you need to report it...