Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RIP Ashlynn Conner - Put an End to Bullying

I grew up not far from here.  Even though I didn't know this family, this has hit me harder than other stories like this.  Partly because of where it happened, and partly because this sweet little angel was only a year older than my daughter.
A few weeks ago, 10-year-old Ashlynn Conner told her mother she was being bullied at Ridge Farm Elementary School and in her neighborhood in Ridge Farm, Ill., WTSP reported.
Last week, Ashlynn's mother, denied her daughter's request to be home schooled. The following day, the 10-year-old's sister found her hanging in her closet by a scarf.
The devastated single mother told WCIA3 News she knew her daughter was being picked on, but not to that extent.
"They'd call her a slut," a tearful Conner told the station, "'Ashlynn's ugly.' 'She's fat.'"
While no one from the Georgetown Ridge Farm School District was available to speak with WCIA, they issued a short statement.
"The Board of Education is very saddened at the tragic loss of one of our children. Our hearts go out to her family in this time of loss."
Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said that they are still investigating into the cause of Ashlynn's death, The News-Gazette reported.
"There are all kinds of aspects of this death to look into," Johnson told The News-Gazette. "Bullying was brought up to us as a piece of the investigation, and we are still finding out information."
WCIA reported that the Conner family is still struggling to come to terms with the loss.
"I don't know what its gonna take to stop it," Conner told the station. "But no child should ever feel like they have to kill themselves to stop that kind of pain."
Last week, 18-year-old Ashley Billasano tweeted 144 times before taking her own life. Not one of her 500 followers reached out to help her.
People need to take a stand against bullying.  Parents need to step up and know what their kids are up to.  Parents of bullies need to step up and deal with what their child is doing and not dismiss it.

I've confronted the parents of the child bullying Sugar Pea several times and every time they put the blame on to Sugar Pea.  That she's to sensitive, or that she just needs to realize that is how Bully is and to get over it.

I even had a meeting with Bully's mother, the teacher, and principal last year and the mother said the same thing to them too.  Even with the strawberry incident (Sugar Pea's is very allergic to them and Bully tried to feed her one) the mother was and still is mad at me because Bully got in trouble again because of Sugar Pea.

These kids know that the schools can't do anything to them.  This is where the parents step in.  Stand up and be a parent.  If your child is being bullied, then make your voice heard.  If the teacher/principal at your school isn't doing anything about it, go higher up.  Don't stop until someone listens to you.

If you're the parent of a bully, don't pretend your sweet little innocent angel could never do anything like that.  Step up and talk to your child.  Make sure they know how you feel about bully and that you won't tolerate it.

If your child doesn't fall into those categories, talk to your kids.  Explain to them that they have the power to help the child being bullied.  That they can stand up for that child.  Either to the bully or they can let an adult know what's going on.

Take a Stand Against Bullying

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their school and community. If you see someone being bullied, you have the power to stop it.
By standing up for someone who is being bullied, you are not just helping someone else; you are also helping yourself. It is important to help others when you can.

What to Do When Someone is Being Bullied

  • Take a stand and do not join in. Make it clear that you do not support what is going on.
  • Do not watch someone being bullied. If you feel safe, tell the person to stop. If you do not feel safe saying something, walk away and get others to do the same. If you walk away and do not join in, you have taken their audience and power away.
  • Support the person being bullied. Tell them that you are there to help. Offer to either go with them to report the bullying or report it for them.
  • Talk to an adult you trust. Talking to someone could help you figure out the best ways to deal with the problem. Reach out to a parent, teacher or another adult that you trust to discuss the problem, especially if you feel like the person may be at risk of serious harm to themselves or others.

Work to Prevent Bullying

Bullying is less likely to occur when there are strong messages against it. Work with your school, community, or other groups to create and support these messages:
  • Get involved with your school and community to find ways to prevent bullying.
  • Create an assembly, performance, or event to spread the message.
  • Be a leader [PDF 540 KB] and teach younger kids that bullying is not okay and that they can stop bullying before it begins.

Does your school have an anti bullying plan?  Suggest one.  Talk to your child's teacher and other parents in the school.

To many innocent kids aren't getting the help they need and are turning to the only thing they think will make the pain stop.

1 comment:

  1. That is so sad. :( This is my fear when my son goes to be surrounded by bullying. I would love to be more involved with this and be an advocate for anti-bullying.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...