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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  • What a powerful speech. I would be proud of Jake, too. I’ve stumbled the post and hope others do too. It needs to be read by parents and children alike. God bless your son and any child who is being bullied right now. I’m so glad his school has a zero tolerance policy. Every school needs that (and not just on paper — they must ACT!)
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..A Very Expensive Cat Chair =-.

  • What a powerful speech. I would be proud of Jake, too. I’ve stumbled the post and hope others do too. It needs to be read by parents and children alike. God bless your son and any child who is being bullied right now. I’m so glad his school has a zero tolerance policy. Every school needs that (and not just on paper — they must ACT!)
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..A Very Expensive Cat Chair =-.

  • That was beautiful, insightful and horribly true. I wish everyone would share Jake’s attitude – the world would be a vastly better place. Nicky, you’ve raised a very smart son, give yourself a pat on the back.

    Also, Nicky, do you have a personal email in case I want to spam you in private sometime?
    .-= Ziva´s last blog ..The Tale of the Pink Bike =-.

  • That was beautiful, insightful and horribly true. I wish everyone would share Jake’s attitude – the world would be a vastly better place. Nicky, you’ve raised a very smart son, give yourself a pat on the back.

    Also, Nicky, do you have a personal email in case I want to spam you in private sometime?
    .-= Ziva´s last blog ..The Tale of the Pink Bike =-.

  • Wow! That is very powerful! What a sensitive and wise son you have. You are, no doubt, very proud of him, and so you should be. Stumbled.
    .-= Babs´s last blog ..Dancing Bird! =-.

  • Wow! That is very powerful! What a sensitive and wise son you have. You are, no doubt, very proud of him, and so you should be. Stumbled.
    .-= Babs´s last blog ..Dancing Bird! =-.

  • I am very glad my friend Kathy shared this on Facebook. Jake, I really enjoyed your essay and think that you are a very perceptive and insightful young man. Thank you for allowing us all to read your speech and reminding us how important it is that we all stand up for those that are bullied.

  • I am very glad my friend Kathy shared this on Facebook. Jake, I really enjoyed your essay and think that you are a very perceptive and insightful young man. Thank you for allowing us all to read your speech and reminding us how important it is that we all stand up for those that are bullied.

  • Jen

    Jake is a fine writer. What a great message he shared and every kid needs to know that it is not okay to bully another kid. Parents and teachers need to act quickly and with zero tolerance. Kids also need to be taught about how to react if they get bullied. Kids who bully do so because they like to see the victim react in a certain way, usually fear. If kids were taught how to react when another kids bully them the behaviour would more than likely stop. The Mother had a video about this subject and it was wonderfully done. Sadly, most kids who are bullies have been abused themselves.

    Nicky, you have a wonderful son and he is a great writer.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently =-.

  • Jen

    Jake is a fine writer. What a great message he shared and every kid needs to know that it is not okay to bully another kid. Parents and teachers need to act quickly and with zero tolerance. Kids also need to be taught about how to react if they get bullied. Kids who bully do so because they like to see the victim react in a certain way, usually fear. If kids were taught how to react when another kids bully them the behaviour would more than likely stop. The Mother had a video about this subject and it was wonderfully done. Sadly, most kids who are bullies have been abused themselves.

    Nicky, you have a wonderful son and he is a great writer.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently =-.

  • Thnx everyone lets just hope my teacher thinks the same way. Ive wanted to write on the blog for a while but never got around to it. my mom said it was a good idea to post my essay so i did. i look forward to writing more on the blog 🙂 thnx again for the comments.
    .-= Jake´s last blog ..He Makes Me Proud – Seriously =-.

  • Thnx everyone lets just hope my teacher thinks the same way. Ive wanted to write on the blog for a while but never got around to it. my mom said it was a good idea to post my essay so i did. i look forward to writing more on the blog 🙂 thnx again for the comments.
    .-= Jake´s last blog ..He Makes Me Proud – Seriously =-.

  • What a sensitive, articulate young man. Thank you for sharing his story with us. I don’t know what it will take for a zero-tolerance policy to be observed in every single school. Back in the 80s, I wrote a short film for Disney on the subject and it seems like nothing has changed. Hopefully, more people like Jake will speak out.
    .-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld we’re often called “A Wise Ass…” =-.

  • What a sensitive, articulate young man. Thank you for sharing his story with us. I don’t know what it will take for a zero-tolerance policy to be observed in every single school. Back in the 80s, I wrote a short film for Disney on the subject and it seems like nothing has changed. Hopefully, more people like Jake will speak out.
    .-= injaynesworld´s last blog ..injaynesworld we’re often called “A Wise Ass…” =-.

  • Absolutely awesome post. Jake you did a terrific job on a very meaningful and real problem, that many young people must deal with and some, as you mentioned with horrifying results. I am going to tell as many parents and kids as I can to come here and read your words.

    Nicky you should be a proud mom, Jake sounds like one great kid, of course it helps to have a fantastic mom, whose only downfall is her addiction to cheese 😉
    .-= Man Over Board´s last blog ..If Only We Could Be More Like Our Pets =-.

  • Absolutely awesome post. Jake you did a terrific job on a very meaningful and real problem, that many young people must deal with and some, as you mentioned with horrifying results. I am going to tell as many parents and kids as I can to come here and read your words.

    Nicky you should be a proud mom, Jake sounds like one great kid, of course it helps to have a fantastic mom, whose only downfall is her addiction to cheese 😉
    .-= Man Over Board´s last blog ..If Only We Could Be More Like Our Pets =-.

  • This is an amazing essay that ought to be required reading for school children. Three of my four kids were bullied, some of them badly, and I was also bullied when I was young (the glasses I wore then really didn’t help).

    We live just a few miles from Columbine High School. In case you’ve never heard of it, and I doubt that very much, it was the school where two frequently bullied kids decided to load up their guns and go on a rampage. By the time they were finished, 12 students and a teacher were dead, and 21 other students were injured. The two shooters shot themselves. Although people here are reluctant to admit it, the bullying these boys regularly received helped drive them over the edge. Bullying is a terrible problem, and one that schools still don’t adequately deal with.

    By the way, I mentioned that three of my four kids have been bullied. My fourth child, Gabe, is a star athlete and I pity the idiot who picks on him. Thanks to his awareness of the problem, particularly with his mentally handicapped sisters, Gabe has always been champion of the underdogs in his school. So far, he’s only had to flex his biceps to scare away the bullies, but I’ve seen him take on much older, much larger boys on the ice–sometimes two at a time–and take them down faster than I’ve been able to get out of my seat. I never want him to go to work on a bully at school, but as a victim of frequent bullying myself when I was kid, I probably wouldn’t mind it so much, either.
    .-= MikeWJ at TooManyMornings´s last blog ..I Must Not Allow The Airplane To Take Me To Kilimanjaro! =-.

  • This is an amazing essay that ought to be required reading for school children. Three of my four kids were bullied, some of them badly, and I was also bullied when I was young (the glasses I wore then really didn’t help).

    We live just a few miles from Columbine High School. In case you’ve never heard of it, and I doubt that very much, it was the school where two frequently bullied kids decided to load up their guns and go on a rampage. By the time they were finished, 12 students and a teacher were dead, and 21 other students were injured. The two shooters shot themselves. Although people here are reluctant to admit it, the bullying these boys regularly received helped drive them over the edge. Bullying is a terrible problem, and one that schools still don’t adequately deal with.

    By the way, I mentioned that three of my four kids have been bullied. My fourth child, Gabe, is a star athlete and I pity the idiot who picks on him. Thanks to his awareness of the problem, particularly with his mentally handicapped sisters, Gabe has always been champion of the underdogs in his school. So far, he’s only had to flex his biceps to scare away the bullies, but I’ve seen him take on much older, much larger boys on the ice–sometimes two at a time–and take them down faster than I’ve been able to get out of my seat. I never want him to go to work on a bully at school, but as a victim of frequent bullying myself when I was kid, I probably wouldn’t mind it so much, either.
    .-= MikeWJ at TooManyMornings´s last blog ..I Must Not Allow The Airplane To Take Me To Kilimanjaro! =-.

  • Kathy – Thank you so much. Unfortunately, it seems like action is most often taken when things are pushed to the extreme.

    Ziva – Funny, my first thought was “There are bullies in Finland?”. Silly, I know. Bullying happens everywhere there are people.

    Babs – Thank you. He is sensitive and very wise. I am often amazed by how profound he is.

    Tracy – Welcome, and thank you.

    Jen – ♥

    Jayne – Thank you. If more people do speak out, we might actually make it to universal zero-tolerance. What was the name of the film?

    MOB – Thanks Glenn! I told a friend recently that I sometimes feel he turned out this great not because of my parenting skills, but rather in spite of them!

    MikeWJ – Thank you for sharing that with us. It broke my heart to read it, because I know first hand how frustrating and painful it is to watch your child go through something like that. I was very lucky with Jake, it never got extreme and the school stepped up immediately. It seemed like after Columbine, schools everywhere were really cracking down on bullying. But time has gone by and sadly, people forget. New problems arise. Hopefully, it won’t take another Columbine for people to pay attention.

  • Kathy – Thank you so much. Unfortunately, it seems like action is most often taken when things are pushed to the extreme.

    Ziva – Funny, my first thought was “There are bullies in Finland?”. Silly, I know. Bullying happens everywhere there are people.

    Babs – Thank you. He is sensitive and very wise. I am often amazed by how profound he is.

    Tracy – Welcome, and thank you.

    Jen – ♥

    Jayne – Thank you. If more people do speak out, we might actually make it to universal zero-tolerance. What was the name of the film?

    MOB – Thanks Glenn! I told a friend recently that I sometimes feel he turned out this great not because of my parenting skills, but rather in spite of them!

    MikeWJ – Thank you for sharing that with us. It broke my heart to read it, because I know first hand how frustrating and painful it is to watch your child go through something like that. I was very lucky with Jake, it never got extreme and the school stepped up immediately. It seemed like after Columbine, schools everywhere were really cracking down on bullying. But time has gone by and sadly, people forget. New problems arise. Hopefully, it won’t take another Columbine for people to pay attention.

  • Jake’s speech brought tears to my eyes. You SHOULD be proud of him! I sure am!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Thirteen] =-.

  • Jake’s speech brought tears to my eyes. You SHOULD be proud of him! I sure am!
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Thirteen] =-.

  • Jepeto

    Jake you are exactly what i hope for in every human being. I don’t know how bullying is defined today, but in my opinion it has worsen. I was bullied, like a lot of kids (was a little genius, a “nerd”), but never violently, like those kids. OMG. Schools today need a dramatic new orientation, not metal detectors. Maybe the advice i can leave is: talk about it, don’t let it ruin your life (because it gets better! Just have to find a nice spouse 🙂 Ouch quit it baby). Find a way to vent the bag. Very proud of you..MAN, because you are one.

  • Jepeto

    Jake you are exactly what i hope for in every human being. I don’t know how bullying is defined today, but in my opinion it has worsen. I was bullied, like a lot of kids (was a little genius, a “nerd”), but never violently, like those kids. OMG. Schools today need a dramatic new orientation, not metal detectors. Maybe the advice i can leave is: talk about it, don’t let it ruin your life (because it gets better! Just have to find a nice spouse 🙂 Ouch quit it baby). Find a way to vent the bag. Very proud of you..MAN, because you are one.

  • Jake is so cool. I love bright articulate and intelligent males! You can’t be a man unless you feel the plight of other people. Jake is already a man! I can’t tell you how impressed I am with him. He’s a great writer, and an even better person. You so so lucky Nicky!

  • Jake is so cool. I love bright articulate and intelligent males! You can’t be a man unless you feel the plight of other people. Jake is already a man! I can’t tell you how impressed I am with him. He’s a great writer, and an even better person. You so so lucky Nicky!

  • Gabriele

    Jake/Nicky: Great article, something like this should be required reading in school. It might help some of the kids that are not as strong or have the support and love that you did. Very nicely written. I can relate to your story…I had a boy keep threatening to beat me up when I was in third grade…it leaves a mark on you….keep on being strong…love you guys…all the best..hope to see you soon again…Love, Gab

  • Jake/Nicky: Great article, something like this should be required reading in school. It might help some of the kids that are not as strong or have the support and love that you did. Very nicely written. I can relate to your story…I had a boy keep threatening to beat me up when I was in third grade…it leaves a mark on you….keep on being strong…love you guys…all the best..hope to see you soon again…Love, Gab

  • Wow. That was amazing. No wonder you’re so proud. And yes, every child should read this. And every adult, for that matter, because like you said, it’s very eye-opening to read this from a child’s perspective.
    .-= Margaret (Nanny Goats)´s last blog ..Kentucky Derby Parties: They Wear Dresses, Don’t They? =-.

  • Wow. That was amazing. No wonder you’re so proud. And yes, every child should read this. And every adult, for that matter, because like you said, it’s very eye-opening to read this from a child’s perspective.
    .-= Margaret (Nanny Goats)´s last blog ..Kentucky Derby Parties: They Wear Dresses, Don’t They? =-.

  • This story is one of the best I’ve ever read. So many kids get bullied, especially at school. I wish adults there would care at least a little bit more than they do. Most just want to avoid any extra work for themselves, so they let it continue, while getting angry at a bullied child for trying to get help.
    .-= Ratty´s last blog ..A Strange Grackle =-.

  • This story is one of the best I’ve ever read. So many kids get bullied, especially at school. I wish adults there would care at least a little bit more than they do. Most just want to avoid any extra work for themselves, so they let it continue, while getting angry at a bullied child for trying to get help.
    .-= Ratty´s last blog ..A Strange Grackle =-.

  • I got bullied at school but I was lucky as I was always fighting back like a little poodle barking. I also had brothers and friends who never let me get it to bad. But I still hate the guy who did it. I didn’t grow until college so I know the feeling Jake went through. My dad always taught me to fight back, etc. That’s not for everyone but it did work for me and helped me have confidence. SOunds like Jake has found his. Fantastic story and Jake is the man!

  • I got bullied at school but I was lucky as I was always fighting back like a little poodle barking. I also had brothers and friends who never let me get it to bad. But I still hate the guy who did it. I didn’t grow until college so I know the feeling Jake went through. My dad always taught me to fight back, etc. That’s not for everyone but it did work for me and helped me have confidence. SOunds like Jake has found his. Fantastic story and Jake is the man!

  • Great message and such a great post! I’m going to tweet this! 🙂

  • Great message and such a great post! I’m going to tweet this! 🙂

  • meleah- thnx i try my very best:P

    Jepeto- love you too buddy it takes a man to know a man

    Linda- i try 😛 you know its hard being so smart when your also this good looking:P

    Gabriele- love you too and i hope that this does get to schools

    Margaret- thank you i put alot of thought and effort into this and my marks showed it

    All… btw i got 8 out of 10 for the essay and 7 out of ten for the presentation.

    Ratty- one of the best, aww im blushing..:P thnx

    Waltsense- its true that fighting isnt always the answer but you gotta do what you gotta do 🙂 thnx

    Phatelara- tweet away Phatelara, tweet away lol:P

    i got to say if theres anyone i should thank its my dad who always knew what to say an is always there for me and of course, probably the person who i adore the most with all my heart… my cat:P of course not its my mom. i openly admit to being a mamas boy and wouldnt trade it for anything in the world <3
    .-= Jake´s last blog ..And Now Back To Our Regular Programming =-.

  • meleah- thnx i try my very best:P

    Jepeto- love you too buddy it takes a man to know a man

    Linda- i try 😛 you know its hard being so smart when your also this good looking:P

    Gabriele- love you too and i hope that this does get to schools

    Margaret- thank you i put alot of thought and effort into this and my marks showed it

    All… btw i got 8 out of 10 for the essay and 7 out of ten for the presentation.

    Ratty- one of the best, aww im blushing..:P thnx

    Waltsense- its true that fighting isnt always the answer but you gotta do what you gotta do 🙂 thnx

    Phatelara- tweet away Phatelara, tweet away lol:P

    i got to say if theres anyone i should thank its my dad who always knew what to say an is always there for me and of course, probably the person who i adore the most with all my heart… my cat:P of course not its my mom. i openly admit to being a mamas boy and wouldnt trade it for anything in the world <3
    .-= Jake´s last blog ..And Now Back To Our Regular Programming =-.

  • Nicky

    Silly boy, you made your mom all mushy and teary-eyed…I love you too 🙂

  • Nicky

    Silly boy, you made your mom all mushy and teary-eyed…I love you too 🙂

  • Shelga685

    I hav to correct a mistake, my Daughter was in 3rd. Grade not first.
    Still Jake is the greatest to try to help these poor Kids.

  • Shelga685

    Please help these poor Kids.
    My Daughter was Bullied in the 1st. Grade, she got so sick that she was running a high fever. Th didn’ t do anything about it, so I took it in my own hands and took care of it and that stopped the little creep.Please listen to these Kids when they tell you that the get bullied don’t think that it’s not important it is very important. I’m getting upset just thinking back all these years how my Daughter suffered.

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