Questions answered about Jared and Bullying

"My name is Becky I am 21 years old. I live in Nottingham, England. I am currently studying for a BA (HONS) in Psychology and Educational Development at The Nottingham Trent University.  I am in my final year and as part of one of my assignments, and because of my interest in the potential consequences of bullying and suicide, I have decided to make this the focus of my research project.  ...I am interested in why these children feel they have no other option other than suicide! I'm not sure if this is a question that anyone could ever answer!!  ...I wondered if you would feel comfortable answering some questions about your experience that I could include in my research."

Questions

1.   Do you think the school could have done more to help Jared?
Yes, the school not only didn't do anything to help Jared, but they told him he was to blame for being assaulted.  In my opinion, they victimized Jared worse than the bully.  (see www.jaredstory.com/the_lawsuit.html)

2.   If so, what do you think they could have done?
Instead of treating Jared like he was involved in a “fight”, which they said he caused because he gave the bully the "evil eye", they could have treated him like a victim of assault.  It was pure incompetence and laziness on their part.  They should have shown concern for Jared and his injuries.  They should have assured Jared that it wasn't his fault that he was beat up, and they should have reassured Jared that he would receive justice - that the bully would be punished.

3.   Were the bullies ever punished for what they did?
Along with Jared, the bully who assaulted Jared was suspended from school for 3 days.  When both of the boys came back to school, the bully threatened to kill Jared again.  After I showed up at the school to complain and threatened to pull Jared from school, they expelled the bully for the rest of the year (3 more weeks - an early vacation).

4.   Do you know what the bullying policies were, which were held by Jared's school?  If so, could you explain what these were?
There were no policies then, just total confusion.  Today a State Law  mandates an anti bullying policy.  (see www.bullypolice.org/wa_law.html)

5.   Can you tell me whether these policies were adhered to at all?
No policies

6.   Could you tell me what made you decide to set up a website in memory of Jared?
It was a spiritual experience for me.  It was about 6 weeks after Jared died and I was crying and praying in a private place, when an overwhelming feeling came over me – a voice in my head told me to do a website to honor Jared and get the word out about bullying, depression and suicide.  I knew it was a message from God, because I knew absolutely nothing about web sites or email.  The only reason I ever used the computer was to type documents onto it.  I hardly knew how to dial up the internet.  Everyone except my older daughter, Sonja, thought I was nuts, (or that I wasn't really serious).  No one in the family would help me, or knew how to help me, but I was determined, so I got my older son's best friend to help me.  I figured that if the Lord wanted me to do this, there was a good reason.  I've found over the last few years that I've helped a lot of people, so I've found that reason now.

7.   During this difficult time, did you look for any help or support? If you did, did you find anything that was helpful to you?
The family all went to counseling.  I attended some suicide support groups too.  Our Church members were very supportive.  The best support I could of ever found, however, was doing my website.  Writing seemed to relieve a lot of stress and disperse a lot of grief within me.  (www.jaredstory.com/dealing_with_grief.html)

8.   Did researching and setting up the website help you in any way? If so, can you explain how?
See #7  - Also, I think that when people serve others and forget their own problems, they heal their own grief.  There is always someone going through something worse than you, but it's hard to see that when all one can think about is their self.  When I read some of the sad email from others, I count my blessings.

9.   What would you recommend to other people who have found themselves in the same situation?
There won't be much they can do those first few weeks other than to get through them.  I would suggest taking a sedative at night for the first two weeks so they can sleep.  Then I would suggest that they get out and exercise, no matter how bad they don't want to.  Too many people waste away sitting around at home thinking about their child.  Thinking too much about the loss of a child is too painful and is torture.  Find that “Healing Project” mentioned on the Dealing With Grief page (#7) as soon as the concentration abilities come back (as I was totally in confusion those first few weeks).

Finding the Healing Project can lead to healing much quicker.

10.  Can you tell me something about who you think is responsible for bullying in schools?
In a sense, every individual associated with schools is to blame, but I’ll give my top list –

#1  The top School Administrator (Principal, Head Master, etc.) – This quote applies, “The buck stops here.”  If there is bullying in a school, and he/she knows about the bullying, this is where the most blame lies.

#2  The bully – he/she knows better but for some twisted reason, they feel that they can torture another person without cause (although they will come up with a self-psychological excuse for their bullying in every case).

#3  Teachers (& other adults at the school) – They see the bullying happen, but for some odd reason, they don't demand that it stop.  Some teachers even turn away and pretend not to see it, just so they don't have to deal with it.  …the “See no evil” philosophy.

#4  The Parents of the bully – IF, they know they have a little monster and they don't stop it immediately, they are as bad as their own progeny.

#5  The School District Boards who set the policies and programs for the schools - If these people don't care enough to make rules, set policies and implement anti bullying programs to stop the bullying, then they should be promptly kicked out of office.  The number one duty of these people is to protect the children in their care.  If bullying has not been addressed they have failed in their number one duty.

#6  Lawmakers – They talk about how they care about the children of their constituents, but when they don't enact laws to protect the victims of bullies in schools, they show that they don't care about little people, only about the big people who vote.

#7  The children who witness bullying – I've put these kids last on the list, because, in a sense, they are victims of bullying too and unless the witnesses are taught how to react to the bullying, by a good anti bullying program, they can't be responsible for what bullies do.

11.  How do you think, children committing suicide as a result of bullying could be avoided?
The key is to prevent depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, and Stress related problems that bullying will cause.  Since these emotional disorders are a big factor that leads to suicide, the extinction of bullying will bring down the teenage suicide rates.  A child who is happy about their life at home and at school will be unlikely to die by suicide.

12.  Do you think that if all children were brought up to respect each other and treat everyone as equals, there would be less bullying in schools today?
Yes, and it would be a near perfect world.  Wouldn't that be wonderful!

13.  Do you think that if people like yourself, were to go into schools and tell children about your story, that they would think more about what they do and say to others?
Yes.  I've talked with students about depression, bullying and suicide and they've told me they have been changed.  But, I believe people, and kids, need to hear good lessons over and over again to reinforce their thoughts and deeds in life.  We should all work to improve ourselves every day.

14.  Is there such a programme like this in your area?
Not to my knowledge, but there are some good anti bullying programs out there.  We have posted some of the programs on the www.bullypolice.org website.  The Olweus Program is world renown and might be a good one for the schools in UK to check out.  They've had a lot of success where they've been implemented in the USA. 

15.  What experiences have you and your family encountered since this happened?
We have grown a lot, in spirit and mind.  We came together and stuck together through our grief and into healing.  We don't hurt anymore but we will never forget the scar of Jared's loss in our heart.

It was hard losing Jared, but we have survived and are doing well.  It's been a sad journey that we would wish for no one to take.  We have also gained more faith in God and have a strong belief in life after death.  This has given us peace and hope.

HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY - From an interview with Pasco School District investagators concerning the assault.  This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real clear, but worth the download effort.  Jared had a real mellow voice.     Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then play again from the start.   -   5 minutes long

 

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