Bullying is unacceptable

When one hears the word bullying, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Have you ever stopped to think about it? Do you know what bullying is? How often have you heard this word? Do you feel any immediate emotions when you hear this word, or do you just brush it off because you have not been directly affected by it?

Bullying is a serious issue in our islands, bullying can affect children in so many different ways. It can cause children to become reclusive, refusing to participate in everyday children activities, being afraid to communicate and becoming extremely non-responsive.

It also affects parents: as parents, you have sleepless nights because you are constantly checking on your child to ensure he or she is OK. Your spirit is broken to think that another child could cause such devastating emotional damage to your child.

I have had personal experience with bullying and know what bullying can do to children, their parents and the wider community.

As citizens, we should be concerned about each other and to look out for each other. As parents, we should teach our children that bullying is wrong, and they should never participate in such horrific acts.

I strongly believe in empowering our children and young people. However, there are children who are already vulnerable due to low self-esteem, physical disability and mental disability. Empowerment cannot protect these kids from a bully who is very persistent and is on the prowl every day.

Bullies are inherently cowards who believe that because of their height, size or position of power in the workplace they can push other people around into humiliation.

The irony, from my personal experience, is that kids who have been bullied, often extend a hand of kindness and forgiveness to these bullies and amazingly help to prevent them from being punished by the relevant authorities. I have seen bullied kids display incredible character and stand toweringly taller than these bullies.

As parents, it is our God-given right to protect our children from harm and some children are just not aggressive and inclined to fight back. God has made us all in his likeness and we are all unique and different. I strongly believe that parents have the right to protect their children who are not inclined to stand up and fight a bully.

I have heard the cry of so many mothers whose children have been affected by bullying. It is frightening to think that our children may not have a fair chance of getting a good education because they are being plagued by bullying at school.

In conclusion, I appeal to the powers that be or anyone who can help put a stop to this horrid act. Let us protect our children, protect our integrity and protect our beautiful Cayman Islands. It is now my life mission to stand up against bullying in all its forms. Bullying is unacceptable, and should never be tolerated!

Janet Sinclair-Young

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