On March 28, 2013, thirteen year old Devin Brown was pronounced dead after hanging himself in his closet with a belt. Now, why did this happen? Devin was constantly being bullied at school, and he was finally driven to take his own life when he started being called a snitch for reporting a girl with a knife which she was going to use to stab a teacher. Students found out about Devin unveiling the girl’s plans, so they bugged him all day and called him a snitch. Devin had been jumped twice before, and this new name-calling was the last straw. He never looked for help from neither his friends or parents, possibly because he did not feel comfortable with talking to them, or because he felt there was no one to help him. This could change for kids being bullied everywhere if schools actually put some effort in reaching out to kids, by having tolerance policies and support groups to help them.
We are asking LAUSD schools to have tolerance policies and support groups in schools to help people overcome bullying. By establishing support groups in schools, children will know that they do not have to go through bullying alone and that there are people that care and are trying to help them. These support groups should be open to all children in the schools that have been bullied, or just anyone that wants to help others, so that they can find a way to feel comfort and support. Many people that go to support groups get help and are able to talk about their problems with people that will actually listen and help them. When children do not have support and help from others, they will find other ways to feel comfort, such as self- harming which can eventually lead to suicide. The support groups in schools will allow children to feel acceptance and this can help reduce the amount of suicides due to bullying.
Tolerance policies and teaching tolerance would also be great for schools.Teaching children to be tolerant in schools would result in a better and safer environment which would significantly reduce the bullies and their victims. We speak from experience when we say this because our school has a very safe and friendly environment due to not only the fact that we have a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Pride club that teaches us to be tolerant towards others and respect others, but also the fact that we are a model “mix it up at lunch” school. This means that every other Friday or so we sit with people we don't normally hang around with during lunch to get to know them, and to show people that they are accepted by everyone.
These new additions to schools, if put into use, can be a very vital aspect for a school to have seeing that it gives students a feeling of openness and of belonging which is important when it comes with coping with difficulties like bullying. Support groups have in general helped so many people around the world, many being available online. Although many online support groups have guided so many teens with solving their problems, it would be better if the school/community was willing to help them by giving them a more personal experience. Such groups like dailystrength.org help people narrow down what their problem is and pairs them up with people that will help them out. Although these are very helpful for teens such as ourselves, it would be more of an impact if we had more of a physical relationship in which we had a person to call our friend rather than a computer screen.
Gladys Garcia started this petition with a single signature, and now has 278 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.