Editorial: "Standing up to Bullies"

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The heart-wrenching stories of children committing suicide after being tormented by bullies should be enough to get everyone's attention to want to focus constructive energy and resources towards programs that can bring an end to these unfortunate events.  We have wonderful, beautiful children with their lives and so much promise before them deciding to jump off a water tower and commit suicide instead of taking another breath and living another day because the alternative appears to them just too much to bare.  The alternative - is to wake up and face the torment either physical or mental at the hands of a bully; a bully that wields their power and control through fear and intimidation against others.

Folks, we are in a new era where social media and web sites that offer anonymity (i.e. ask.fm) give bullies the ability to devastate another's life not with a fist, but with a text or a post.  No longer do bullies pick fights in the school parking lots in front of a few; they now pick fights in cyber space and invite hundreds if not thousands to watch and participate.

For these reasons and more I was thrilled to hear about a new campaign in our area called River Region ROCK.  "ROCK" standing for Respect Others Create Kindness. The campaign's goals are to raise awareness about all forms of bullying; educate young people and the community on ways they can report and help prevent bullying; promote programs that advocate respect for others; and foster partnerships with community agencies and groups to advance the ROCK message.

I would ask you to take a few minutes, "like" this group on Facebook to learn more about what they are doing to inform, help and prevent future needless suffering of children due to bullying. One life saved or one life improved is enough of a reason to do your part.

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