Stand up against Bullying!

 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month!

Everyone has the right to feel safe and be respected.

In many schools in our country, children unjustly suffer persecution, threats, insults, humiliation, and repeated verbal or physical abuse by other students and even by adults. School bullying has grim consequences on the mental health of our students; It causes emotional disturbances, depression, low self-esteem, low grades, school dropout, and even suicidal thoughts. For this reason, a campaign against bullying has been declared in the country at the national level.

When I was a child, my younger brother was harassed by another child in school and frequently came beaten and crying and did not want to go to class anymore. My mom said to my brother: “If you want this to end you have to face it, do not let them abuse you because if you leave as is, it will continue for a lifetime. If he hits you, you too, with all your strength, let him know that his actions have consequences. “ The next day the abuser assaulted my brother, and my brother fought back; he ran over and did not stop hitting his abuser until a teacher intervened. From that day on, the other child stopped bothering him and even turned around every time he saw him.

Bullying takes many forms; It can be physical, verbal, psychological and social. All of them equally, detrimental and harmful to the health of our children. On the following paragraphs, I will tell you a few examples of bullying in our school which I learned recently.

Last year one of our students was caught with a small kitchen knife. After he returned from the punishment that was applied to him, I asked him why he brought it. He told me that a group of students from a gang had threatened to beat him and they will continue to beat him until he joined them. His sole purpose for carrying the knife was to defend himself. It is a sad story in which the only people that received punishment was the child being the victim of bullying and not those who were harassing him.

One of my students this year asked for a change of school, precisely because he could not stand the pressure, beatings, abuse, and humiliation that he was subjected from a gang of students that he left after realizing that what he was doing would not lead him to anything good. He told me “if I continue with them we will end up all in jail.” Although he did not tell me explicitly, I think this group of boys was involved in drug use or distribution.

Girls are no strangers to bullying. In this same school year, a student arrived crying because a group of her colleagues surrounded her, and began to push her and to make fun of her publicly, with homophobic expressions. She told me that she had never felt so offended or as embarrassed as that day.

This year a mother told me about of a sports coach in our school who verbally assaulted her son and other students and shouted profanities and insults at them during training and games.  He even took the student´s hoodie and wiped his shoes and told the other children to do the same. I advise her to report it immediately to the school authorities. But the mother who was undocumented decided not to risk being deported by drawing attention to them.

I want to ask our students, parents, fellow teachers and school authorities to come together to combat this scourge in our schools. If we avert our eyes from this problem, it will only fester and will become even more challenging to solve.

Bullying affects us all, let’s fight together to make it a thing of the past.

If you suffer harassment do not walk away, report it.

 

 

Say no to drugs, say yes to life

Last week I was very sad to hear that a sixth-year child was caught smoking drugs in the school bathrooms. The next day I learned of an eighth-grader who offered drugs to his classmates. This news worried me a lot, and I had no sleep. Over and over again I wondered to myself, what can I do? What should I do?

Many times I have seen that some students destroy their lives, their studies, their personal and family relations, as well as any possibility of future success because they fall into the trap of drugs.

Ten years ago I retired as a teacher of higher education and started teaching math at the middle school level. In the first year, I learned of a similar drug case, and I went to the school authorities to ask what we would do. The answer surprised me: “That’s society, there’s nothing we can do”: I totally disagreed with it. When authority is defeated and does not want to intervene, minimizing and in some cases hiding incidents of this type, it will only aggravate the problem.

Society has placed in the teachers and school authorities the great responsibility of cultivating and caring for the most valuable treasure of all the families and of the nation, this is its young people. We can not turn a blind eye to these problems and ignore them. On the contrary, we should alert parents and raise awareness among young people of the serious dangers of drug addiction. To deny the existence of a problem or to pretend that it does not exist does not solve it; but on the contrary, aggravates it. It is a task for all adults to protect with all our strength, with all our heart, with a clear and determined strategy that protects our students from this serious problem.

If a friend offers you drugs he is not a friend, a good friend does not endanger your life and your future.

Take advantage of this great educational opportunity you have today, your future and that of your family depend on what you do today. Do not make a mistake that you’ll regret all your life

Do you think having a drug-addicted child is what your parents want when they send you to school?

And if you have already fallen into this problem, seek help. Lean on someone you can trust, a close relative, your teachers, school or spiritual counselors. I want to tell you that with will, determination, and perseverance, other people have come out of drugs. There is a thought that I want to share:

God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls and coal into diamonds by using time and pressure. He is working on you too“- Rick Warren.

Pretty Good, By Charles Osgood*

There once was a pretty good student.
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher.
Who always let pretty good pass.

He wasn’t terrific at reading;
He wasn’t a whiz-bang at math;
But for him education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn’t find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well.
And he did have some trouble with writing,
And nobody had taught him to spell.

When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine;
Five and five needn’t always add up to be ten.
A pretty good answer was nine.

The pretty good student was happy
With the standards that were in effect.
And nobody thought it was sappy
If his answers were not quite correct.

The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school.
And the student was not an exception;
On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good school that he went to
Was right there in a pretty good town.
And nobody there ever noticed
He could not tell a verb from a noun.

The pretty good student, in fact, was
A part of a pretty good mob,
And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life can be tough,
And he soon had a sneaky suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state
Which had pretty good aspirations
and prayed for a pretty good fate.

There was once a pretty good nation.
Pretty proud of the greatness it had.
But which learned much too late.
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

*Source: http://leedeth.wordpress.com/2007/02/27/pretty-good-by-charles-osgood/

You Can Be Succesfull

You Can

One of the biggest misconceptions about being successful in school (and in life) is that you sit at your desk and automatically success comes to you. When the reality is that you have to fight for it, and fight hard.

  • Trust yourself
  • Work Hard
  • Don’t be afraid to fail
  • Stay Focused
  • PUSH YOURSELF
  • Be Persistent
  • Never Give Up!

Say to yourself:  I will persist until I succeed!

Don’t eat the marshmallow!  Joachim de Posada  TED