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Category Archives: Judging

October Bullying: White Boys in Baja, Brown Girls in Cali

He acted like it wasn’t a big deal, but we knew otherwise.

“I got kicked in the stomach today.”

I felt objectivity fly out la ventana while my blood pressure rose. 

“Why, buddy?”

“I don’t know. I couldn’t understand them.”

When we sent our tall, pale, strawberry blonde boy to school in a black-hair-rules culture, we knew it might be rough. Not speaking the language basically made him feel deaf and mute. 

Whether the other kids talked, whispered or yelled didn’t make a difference; our child had no friends and no idea how to make them. So he climbed trees, ate, walked, colored and played alone. 

Solo in Kinder, Baja 2006

The learning curve of language and culture proved steep and acceptance into their world moved slow. 

A year or two later he understood just enough Spanish to know when they poked fun of his freckles, red hair and extra large feet.

We knew we couldn’t blame this bullying on the fact that we lived in another country; bullies exist around the globe. But when you don’t even know why you’re being picked on, that’s confusing. 

Especially when you’re four. 

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Straight Up Facts

According to DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations for young people and social change…

  1. In the U.S., 1-in-5 students ages 12-18 has been bullied during the school year.
  2. Approximately 160,000 teens have skipped school because of bullying.
  3. Students who reported that they were frequently bullied scored lower in reading, mathematics, and science than their peers who reported that they were never or rarely bullied.
  4. The most commonly reported type of bullying is verbal harassment (79%), followed by social harassment (50%), physical bullying (29%), and cyberbullying (25%).
  5. More than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.
  6. 6th grade students experience the most bullying (31%).
  7. Students are less likely to report bullying as they get older. Only 39% of high schoolers notified an adult of bullying.
  8. 42% percent of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that the bullying was related to at least one of the following characteristics: 
    • physical appearance (30%)
    • race (10%)
    • gender (8%)
    • disability (7%)
    • ethnicity (7%)
    • religion (5%)
    • sexual orientation (4%)

I don’t care if you’re a white boy in Baja or a brown girl in Cali. Bullying crosses all social, racial, economic, and religious borders and ruthlessly levels the playing field.

Photo by Ryan Tauss on Unsplash

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Do you have these numbers?

No Bully Help Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

STOMP Out Bullying HelpLine: view hours and chat online

GLBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Please copy and paste, print or share these resources with the young people in your life… even if you don’t think they need it. They probably have a friend who might.

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Unity Day

Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month, has been recognized in the United States since 2011. 

To participate in Unity Day, individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wear or display orange to show support for students who have been bullied. 

  • Date: Wednesday, October 23
  • Location: All over The U.S.A.
  • Color: Orange
  • Message: No more bullying!
  • Key Words: Kindness, acceptance, inclusion

Sooo? Wanna join me on the 23rd? Let’s don our orange clothing and take a stand against bullying!

I’m already picturing some cray-cray orange outfits from a few of my less-shy faithful reader friends. Royce? Ann? Jeanne? Rob? Betsy? Sherry? Leo? Brenda? Jeanne? Wendi? Robin? Billie? Come on… you know you want to. 

Tag me on Instagram or Facebook and use any of these hashtags:

  • #unityday  
  • #antibullying
  • #bekind 
  • #kindness
  • #bullyingpreventionmonth

Let’s make some orange noise for this worthy cause together!

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Qs 4 You

Were you bullied as a kid?

Do you have a child, niece, nephew or grandchild being bullied?

Do you have a rad way to silence a bully? 

Do you have an encouraging phrase for someone being bullied?

Share in the comments to help us all out!

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Above Reproach: 3 Stories with Men That Changed My Ways

At the ripe old age of 16-ish, I’m pretty positive I couldn’t have told you what living above reproach meant.  Fifteen years later I moved to Baja and lived above a roach (a colony of them actually), but that’s different.  The appearance of evil is a tricky thing. If you’re not actually doing anything evil/wrong/illegal,… Continue Reading

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What the What? Didn’t See THAT Comin’

I cooked in my kitchen when the house phone rang. “Sharri has cancer.”I sat in his Jeep when he told me we were done. “I’m loving you more than I’m loving Jesus.”I stood on my college campus when I read, “You have not been selected for the position.” I walked through a Costco parking lot when… Continue Reading

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Lord of the Flaws

  Though some exasperated parents might joke about dropping their sassy Tweens on an island, I’m fairly certain no parent would want the experience to resemble William Golding’s version.  My son brought home his 7th grade required reading list last month. I scanned it, unfazed until I reached the one title that zipped me right… Continue Reading

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I Met 19 New Neighbors! It Was Weird.

  It started five months ago with the people who share our fence. They were nice and we were new, so the conversation revolved around our dogs, mail for the former owner, and if the HOA is strict about paint colors. They are.  Handshakes and names quickly moved to swim invites and baked goods, with… Continue Reading

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Classy Smut

  I walked by the dilapidated Baja house with the window open and heard it. I visited Porvenir friends in the middle of the afternoon and saw it. Almost every time we ate tacos early, like old people, we saw it again—at our favorite stand, just above the raw meat.   Ask any woman in… Continue Reading

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Your Hoopie’s Showing

  My grandma. So sweet and helpful. If you ever wore a necklace in her presence and the clasp slid around toward the front, she was your girl. “Oh here, honey, let me help you. Your hoopie’s showing.” I naturally learned from an early age how hoopies should be on the back of my neck… Continue Reading

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‘Adulting’ Just Grew Up. Please Follow Along, Gen Z.

  “The kid called the officer a pig. To his face.” “A student challenged me in the middle of class about how my assigned homework was unnecessary.” “A parent told me her son can’t pass P.E. because he has a reading disability.” Wouldn’t you love to see the research that connects Shakespeare to dressing out?… Continue Reading

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