The first interaction can prove to be toxic.
Like when I met you.
It birthed a situation so chaotic,
I felt consumed wholly.
Never had a person’s interest in me proved to be so lethal,
Clouding my vision of a hopeful future,
Just hearing your name was torture,
The anxiety was wrenching.
Suicide felt more like a friend than a threat,
I had never known darkness…
Until I had a bully.
The Marion County Commission on Youth is working to combat the act of dehumanization we all know as bullying. It is pervasive and toxic. Unfortunately, according to the Center for Disease Control, Indiana ranks third among the United States for bullying incidents. Victims of bullying often lead pessimistic lives or may even commit suicide because of self-loathing thoughts which attack their minds. House Bill 1423 is the legislation currently proposed as a means to bring solace and security to thousands of Indiana’s children and teens. Drafted by Representative Greg Porter, in coordination with over 25 local and state organizations, it will ensure that schools have a published policy, thorough education and effective intervention strategies to address bullying. This can be the change Indiana needs as well as the resuscitation for restoring life to Indiana’s future.
Working along with House Bill 1423 is House Bill 1015: School Safety. School safety looks to ensure the protection of more than just students; it brings security to the staff, as well. House Bill 1015 would create a study committee focused on school discipline. Where have schools succeeded and where have schools failed? In a time where teachers can become the victims of ill-will just like students, this bill researches strategies of peace and hope for a system that used to promote and emphasize humanity. Schools were once the catalyst of society changing initiatives. When faced with the Great Depression and pervasive food shortages, schools worked to grow gardens and increase their communities’ well-being. And when America made the inspiring decision to be an integrated society, schools were among the first to exercise the practice. However, today, many walk into and conceptualize schools as uninspiring, dreadful and hopeless. Why? Because all too often the students have not been taught to be advocates for positive change in their environments; instead, they have been taught to fight and manipulate for control over their support systems. House Bill 1015 focuses on learning how to empower schools in order to produce a generation of young people who know how to support their educators, their peers and their communities. In supporting House Bill 1015, you support a better Indiana.
Finally, Marion County Commission on Youth has taken a vested interest in Senate Bill 1. It is a bill authorizing schools to have a police officer in the building during the entire school day. This potential law is a two year grant program created in an effort to make schools safer. However, is the placement of a law officer empowering or discouraging to our young people? If there is already widespread misunderstanding leading to bullying between students, what happens if the misunderstanding is transferred or is already inherent in the police officer? Moreover, what about feelings of criminalization children can feel because there is an armed guard in their schools? Remember, children behave how they are treated. There are a number of issues concerning this legislation that should give parents as well as community leaders pause. MCCOY is being vigilant in regards to Senate Bill 1 and is collaborating with professionals in an attempt to modify the legislation. It is in the best interest for the future of our state to invest in the future of this bill.
*Picture from http://www.glogster.com/mackdm/anti-bullying-/g-6l4oikepe8tr87ld2m61aa0