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."
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?
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
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
#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).
(& 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
#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.
– 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
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.