January 8, 1991. Jeremy Wade Delle. Had he lived, Jeremy would be thirty-eight years old now. Jeremy Wade Delle, the sixteen year old teenager who was so despondent with life he walked out of his classroom, came back with a .357 revolver, stood in the front of the class, said “I got what I really went for” and shot himself in the head. Jeremy Wade Delle, whose obituary encompassed one small paragraph, nestled neatly, quietly, in the interior pages of the newspaper. He died as he had lived, a quiet little nobody who was an easy target to pick on. I wonder if he had realized his “revenge” would be so soundly disregarded, would his outcome be the same? I wonder if someone, just one someone had picked up that paper and talked openly about it, shared it with the world, spread the word, would we be in this current crisis? Bullying is a serious problem that leads to many negative effects for victims, including suicide. Too many adults wrongly see bullying as “just part of being a kid,” a rite of passage if you will. According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. For every “successful” suicide there are at least 100 attempts and those bully victims, like Jeremy Wade Delle? Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.
This blog post, it isn’t written to any specific someone, not a person of a specific age, ethnicity, gender, race, socio-economic status, or religion, it is written to you, just you, as a plea to every single human being. It’s time to stop the madness of this epidemic. When did teaching children kindness and compassion get swept under the rug? When did we choose to deny our child is a bully instead of trying to figure out why and to help them? Contrary to popular misconceptions, bullies generally have friends and a high self-esteem. They are, however, more likely to be impulsive, or easily frustrated, and lack empathy for others. Us. Them. It sucks to be the “them,” doesn’t it? God forbid my child is a “them” I raised him/her better, he or she is a leader, the most intelligent, popular kid in school. It’s this socio-hierarchal power, privileged mentality children are taught. Us. Them. Harboring and teaching exclusivity, superiority and taking it out on the person who got your order wrong at Burger King. What’s the cost of this mentality? A few victims of bullying were; Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, John Lennon and Steven Spielberg. Just to name a small few. Now think about all the potential inventions and creativity that never made it to adulthood. Us. Them. Shame on Us.
Take from? Bullying is not normal behavior or just part of growing up. Bullying is not a harmless problem that we can erase after another child is sacrificed. Eddy Vedder on this Pearl Jam video says it all when he wrote “Jeremy.” And as for me, I will not rest until the day Jeremy Wade Delle, Ryan Halligan, Megan Meier, Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons and countless others have a voice. I may be a quiet nobody, but for them, with them, I will have a voice. If it’s your child or teen who is acting like a bully, quit the denial and get them help, because bullying can have a negative impact, not only on the victim, but also on the bully and the school or community, ‘ell, on the world. Because in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.” I just wanted to put up something a little high gravity to think about as we slide into the weekend. If you want to find out how you too can help, take a ride on the link following: http://primarybullyingprevention.wordpress.com/