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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anti-Bullying Campaign Initiated By Stars

Celebrities Team Up for Anti-Bullying Campaigns

By John Mitchell
In September, five teenage boys killed themselves after being physically or verbally (or both) assaulted for being gay. The suicides of Tyler Clementi, 18, Billy Lucas, 15, Asher Brown, 13, Justin Aaberg, 15, and Seth Walsh, 13, have brought national attention to the epidemic of bullying in American schools.

Now, a number of stars, many of whom have personal experience with anti-gay bullying, are speaking out in hopes of raising awareness and providing support to teens and young adults who are being victimized or who are having trouble dealing with their sexuality. The topic is also addressed in a cover story for this week's PEOPLE magazine and in a week-long series on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360. Read more....


Anonymous said...

I'm not gay but I was bulled all throughout high school and if I had a choice I would never go back there. It has affected me socially and has killed my self esteem a lot as well. I'm doing much better than I did back then but people need to realize that bullying does have long term affects. I know because I am there and have been there. Glad these celebs are doing this and speaking out about it!

Anonymous said...

I think it needs to be about bullying....period. Not just if you are gay or not. I miss the days when schools could actually discipline bullies and parents also stepped in. Or, an older brother showed up and explained things to the bully. But, we took the ability to discipline and control students away from teachers and administrators and we are seeing what that is returning.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the first two comments. I am a senior citizen, and I was bullied by a boy when I was in school, and I've never forgotten it. My grandchildren have been bullied at school in Port. (The bully free school) It breaks my heart. The teachers don't do anything to help.
Something has to be done !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I was bullied as well...
i fought back... back in the day when you were allowed to fight back.

zero tolernace my a$$

best solution for a bully is a punch in the nose.

joshhatcher said...

I endured RELENTLESS bullying and teasing from Kindergarten until about 9th grade.

At the bust stop in kindergarten, some high school kids through it would be fun to burn me with matches on the back of my neck.

The kids on the bus used to flick my ears until I would cry out in pain.

They would call me names, make fun of my family, make fun of my weight...

and though i am not and was never gay... I was called it almost daily for years.

I have been spit on, pushed into lockers, physically assaulted, insulted, humiliated, PEED on in the locker room showers, and betrayed by dozens of kids who were brave enough to befriend me, but not brave enough to withstand the bullying they would endure for being my friend.

I got in a lot of fights.
Won a bunch of them. Lost a bunch of them.

About the end of eighth grade,

I started to find out the places that I had talent, and value and worth.

I realized that God loved me no matter what.

I realized my parents loved me no matter what.

I had some teachers at Port Allegany that took me under their wing (Ken Myers, Betty Kelley, Jovanna Porter) and they gave me the opportunity to shine at what I was good at - writing, music, drama, performance.

When I recognized that my value was NOT based on what my classmates thought of me, but of what God thought of me... and what I thought of myself....

it took ALL the power away from the bullies.

They could make fun of me, and it didn't matter.

I had value. I had worth. I had something they could NEVER take from me.

And it became a WHOLE LOT less fun to pick on me.

It's funny. Because 20 years later, all my friends pick on me all the time. We joke about my weight, the way I talk, my resemblance to a pink sasquatch, my sensitive side, and any number of things... but today... it's fun. We tease and poke fun, and now it's completely in it's proper place. I can laugh about the parts of myself that are humorous. I can be who God made me to be, without shame, without pain, without fear.

The moral of the story for people being bullied:
God made you special. HE is the one that gives you value and worth. There ARE people around you that care about you and want to help you find and develop your talents. Find what you are good at, and do it well. Everyone is good at something.
Find ways to be creative, so that you can express the pain you are feeling.... it could be carpentry, painting, journaling, music, poetry, math.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with hurt... find someone to talk to about it... a pastor, a friend, a parent, a teacher, a guidance counselor. You are NOT alone in feeling the way you do. In fact, almost EVERYONE has been bullied, been depressed, and understands how you feel. And though it FEELS like you are all alone... there ARE people who can help you.

Don't give up hope! and DO SOMETHING about your situation.

"Hope is a verb... with it's sleeve's rolled up." - Dr. David Orr

If you don't like the way you feel, the situation you are in, and the way they are treating you... you've got to DO SOMETHING about it.

joshhatcher said...

So I wrote a really long comment, and it's too long to post... so made it a note on my facebook page.
I think you can read it if you don't have facebook.

Solomon's words for the wise said...

To Josh,
Just a note to tell you that I admire you and what you are doing with your life. I thank God to have you as a friend.

Anonymous said...

Me too.......gotta love the "Pink Sasquatch"

Anonymous said...

Well said,Josh Hatcher. God has given you a voice of experience to help others who are facing problems you have experienced and now share with others who are facing these same pressures. I too, have been bullied and felt like suicide would solve my problems, until Jesus reached out to me and showed me the value of my life through his Love for me. Being a teen can be a very scary, lonely time and some times your family can't make you feel better about life...Hang on life does get better and we need people who know first hand how it feels to be bullied and still came out alive. No one and I mean no one can understand this unless they have felt this pain. We need to stand up and stick together....BULLIES are the ones with the low self esteem and they hurt others to make them feel better, this behavior should not be tolerated...ever!

Anonymous said...

Drug Free school zones, bully free school my ass!!! They (the schools) lie like hell just to be able to get 100% of the grant money for lying.

Anonymous said...

TO: October 6, 2010 10:19:00 PM EDT

What are tring to say? How does this relate to bullies? What? Why don't you volunteer to go to school and solve this problem....

Anonymous said...

Being a senior citizen one gets to observe what became of those who thought they were better and freely bullied those that maybe didn’t have the best of clothes to wear or maybe weren’t the sharpest in school. Those that got bullied are way heads above those that did the bulling. I now understand that those individuals that bullied didn’t and still don’t have any respect for them self.

Greg Elderkin said...

Great comment josh! Pink Sasqatch needs some beef jerky.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why a bully can do something on school grounds with no consequences. If I was on the street and randomly decided to assualt someone without provocation, I would no doubt be in jail and have a required psych exam. We don't protect these kids being bullied and then we ask "why?" when they've had enough and are feel like they have no options besides violence.
This problem really is as simple as a teacher or principal calling the police when they witness a crime being committed by a bully.

Anonymous said...

I agree ALL bullying SHOULD be addressed and severely dealt with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Post 1:23pm, Your comment is ABSOLUTELY perfect. I completely agree with you.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Bullying has been going on forever. Yet when gays get bullied the "celebs" come out of the woodwork. Gay or not gay, bullying should be decried for what it is, a pathetic excuse of a person committing a crime against another person. And it needs to be punished. Parents, you have a great deal of sway here. Use it. I know of one kid who, after being bullied mercilessly and horribly, toted a gun to school. Thank God he did not use it, but later he told a friend that he did it. Port Allegany school system? Yeah right. More like Port Allegany Cruel System, including the administration. Put a bunch of arrogant fools in four walls and what do you got? PAHS! They have no idea how much resentment is out there for their historically wrong treatment of students. A book could be written about the political "good ole boy club" corruption going on. There are good people there, but they do not control anything.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A girl could get raped right in class infront of the whole classroom and the school wouldnt do anything about it. Unfortunately, the "better" a school looks, the more grants they seem to get, so they lie or look the other way. The hell with dealing with problems.