Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bullying Matters

When I was in junior high, my favorite bully was Keith Martin. He had blond hair and blue eyes, and he was a bully. Before I married and changed or hyphenated my name, my initials were "Brett Mitchell=B.M." I remember asking my parents often throughout the years, "Did you think about the ramifications of the initials before giving me a first name that began with a 'B'?" Their response? "We gave you a middle name (Parker) that began with a 'P'. You are BPM." It was always a chore reminding Keith that the name wasn't "BM," but "BPM." In seminary, another colleague, Doug, would love to sing out my initials across Princeton Seminary's grounds, "Hey, BM!" he would call out, and fall down laughing. We were both in our 20s. Bullying knows no age limit.

Bullying matters.

Most recently, my son was bullied in high school because of me and my book, ON BEING A GAY PARENT. Said one of the two bullies in his school, "You know, it (being gay) runs in the family." I already blogged about this earlier, when my son's friend told the bully how big and muscular I am, which seemed to draw to a close the bullying in the high school for or against my son.

Bullying matters.

Now there is this article in the Denver Post, about a young boy who is bullied who can, under the Colorado hate-crimes bill, bring charges against the bully. Click here to read more.

When are children taught to be bullies? At a tender age starting at birth. Who teaches children to be bullies? Often times, it would be the parents and siblings in the bully's home. Where and when do you stop bullying? Nip it in the bud: it starts at home. As do demonstrations of love: love and hate are both taught at home.


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