Be You

May 29, 2012
By Rebecca3970 BRONZE, Bowling Green, Ohio
Rebecca3970 BRONZE, Bowling Green, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Be You

Today’s society has many issues, one of the issues currently uprising as an epidemic is bullying. Bullying can be disguised in many forms but the truth is that bullying in any form is a killer. If you take a look at todays teen suicide rates they are sky rocketing. Our society now days is more focused on politics and fashion statements and not so much focused on the task at hand. In previous generations, they were told to be more thick skinned and get over it. Well, I am sorry but being thick skinned is simply not enough.

When you walk into a school for the first time, you might ask a very simple question, “What is your policy on bullying”? Most schools might tell you that they have a zero tolerance policy. This might sound comforting, but don’t get too comfortable. In my mind a zero tolerance policy is a reactive force against bullying after the fact. When you own a swimming pool, you put chlorine in the water before you begin to swim; this eliminates all germs and creates a crystal clear view down to the bottom. With the zero tolerance policy, you are cleaning up the bullying after the brawl or adding the chlorine after all the germs collect and create a murky cesspool. We should as a society embrace a different approach, a more accepting approach. How about this? Create 100% tolerance for everybody. This is like adding the chlorine before you swim. Creating a safe and transparent environment where germs can not thrive. This metaphorical pool resembles a school. You need a clean and transparent environment for kids to feel safe and secure. And also putting those chemicals in the water eliminates germs or bullies. “Well how do we do that”? You might ask. Well my friends, it’s certainly not rocket science.
All you need to do is step up. Yes, step up! Teachers, faculty, parents and most important students, take that small and simple step to change. Change from reactive zero tolerance to proactive 100% tolerance. I know that seems challenging, but I promise you it is not. Even the smallest voice can make a huge change, but maybe it’s better to scream to make a better change. But the only way we can do that is with numbers. A lion can’t take down a giraffe alone, but the pride working together can. So let’s take it down! Don’t stand for bullying. Make a change, because you can. Stand up! Stand out! Be brave and most importantly Be you! And I will tell you, folks, we are on thin ice, and if we don’t do anything, we will fall through. But there is hope, for everyone, and hope is the strongest weapon anyone can carry.

The author's comments:
Hi, my name is Ruthanne. I am a 7th grader at Toledo School for the Arts and I was a victim of bullying. I was called names, and worse, and I was drained. One day I decided to write an email to Oprah Winfrey, I poured my heart onto the page and let here know that this was my cry of distress. And after waiting for months she answered. She took me under her wing and showed me in my mind my destiny. I was Oprah’s guest at the Lady Gaga “Born this Way” foundation launch at Harvard on February 29, 2012. I got to meet both Lady Gaga and Oprah and together they have changed my life.

I started a foundation called Be You. It is a Youth Empowerment / Anti-bullying foundation. My mission is to speak out every chance I get on the tragic effects of bullying in my life and countless others. I want to speak at every school, camp, organization and event to educate our youth, parents, teachers, administrators and public officials on 100% tolerance. I have already spoken at a number of events and intend to be a voice, an advocate and a beacon of light in the darkness of ignorance.

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This article has 2 comments.

DONTH8 said...
on Nov. 8 2012 at 7:12 am
DONTH8, Basildon, Kentucky
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
'starships were meant to fly'


CassiDessen said...
on Jun. 29 2012 at 12:08 am
CassiDessen, Birmingham, Alabama
0 articles 4 photos 1 comment
AMAZING!! I totally agree with you, and this is just so beautifully written! :)

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