Guest Bloggers

He Makes Me Proud – Seriously

Allow me to introduce myself, I am Nicky’s son… but you can call me Jake. I had to write a speech in my english class and the topic I chose was bullying. I chose this topic for two reasons: 1. I know people who were bullied and 2. I’m one of them. My mom read the speech and thought it would be a good idea if I posted it on her blog. I was more than happy to oblige.

Hello, my name is Jake and I’m here to talk about bullying.

Jared High killed himself September 29th 1998. April Himes killed herself February 14 2000. Ryan Halligan committed suicide on October 7 2003. Megan Meier, Eric Mohat, Pheobe Prince, Michael Bery and Kristina Calcoall suffered the same fate. What drives one to kill him or herself? Imagine a bag and fill it with the comments and feelings of others, comments and emotions received from others. The worse the comment or feeling, the heavier the bag gets. If someone calls you stupid, the bag becomes the weight of another human being. If someone makes fun of you, the bag becomes the weight of a building. If someone hits you, that bag becomes the weight of the world and you are Atlas. Verbal, emotional and physical abuse are three types of bullying.

On average, thirty percent of kids get bullied a day in Canada. One of those kids was Jared Benjamin High, a 6th grader at McLoughlin Middle School. One day, after school, Jared called his brother to pick him up. Right after doing so Jared encountered a bully at the school. He ran to the school’s gymnasium where he suffered a twenty minute beating. These twenty minutes weren’t consecutive however, the bully would take breaks to get water and urinate. He survived this with neck, shoulder, hip and spine trauma ( if you can call that surviving). His chiropractor said “if he’d been thrown one more time he might have broken his spine or died.” On September 29th 1998, Jarid Benjamin High took his own life. Jared did so out of pain and fear. This is one of many examples of physical abuse.

Millions of kids are bullied each year, two fifths of them kill themselves. One of these poor unfortunates was Kristina Arielle Calco. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to wake up Christmas morning and realize that your daughter died just a few weeks prior?  This was the case for the Calco family whose daughter committed suicide December 3 2005. She was a 4.0 Honor student and extremely active in extra curricular activities. The day she died she left a note in the form of a poem. It read “The only reason I even bother to tell my sad sob story is that someday the public might know what a teenage girl goes through. So as you know nice guys finish last… well it might as well be nice girls finish last too.” Every day she was told she was ugly( I found a picture of her and in my opinion she was a very pretty girl) and rejected from society. This is verbal and emotional abuse.

Bullying is a serious matter that needs to be examined. You  can imagine the weight many people carry every day, and it’s painful. Try walking in that person’s shoes, even if it’s just for a second. One second of holding the world sends a big message. The weight is unbearable, but you can help by doing the smallest thing. Saying “hi, how are you?” or even “want to hang out?” won’t kill you and it might save them. For those of you being bullied, don’t just stand there, talk to someone you trust. There are kids help lines with people who will listen. In the words of Harvey S. Firestone “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”

Thank you for listening.

Hi everyone. Just a quick note from the proud mom. When Jake told me his speech brought his teacher to tears, I immediately wanted to read it. When I did, I immediately wanted to post it. Jake mentioned that he had been bullied. He was in Kindergarten, and the bully was in the 3rd grade. Jake told me about it right away and my first instinct was to hunt the little punk down and teach him a seriously painful lesson. Jake was much more mature about it. He tried a variety of things to resolve the situation like ignoring the kid, trying to befriend him etc. I followed his example, and started reading up on what I could do to help him. Eventually, after all Jake’s attempts had failed, he agreed that I should contact the school. I did. They immediately stepped in, contacted the kid’s parents and had several meetings with them. They had a “zero-tolerance” attitude and made it quite clear that should there be just one more complaint, he would not be suspended, he would be expelled. The bullying stopped and Jake went on to enjoy the remainder of his primary school years as a happy, popular kid. I was very proud of the way he handled himself, and the way he never let himself become a victim. 11 years later, I’m even prouder of the way he shared that message. Everything I read during that time, while helpful, was always written by adults. Psychiatrists, psychologists, guidance counselors. Nothing from a child’s perspective. I wish I would have been able to find a speech like this back then. And that is why I asked Jake if he would let me post this. I know this is quite different from the “normal” WWFC fare. As Jake said, thanks for listening.

Kids help lines:

  • in Canada: 1-800-668-6868
  • in the US: 1-800-999-9999

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