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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conversation with a REVOLUTIONARY teen

I talk to ALOT of teens and when I say ALOT, I mean, I sometimes don't sleep all that much because I have two or more IM windows open, am carrying on a conversation in Facebook messages and filtering through emails.

Usually teens approach me - sometimes I step in when I see someone being publicly mistreated - but usually teens want just chat about everything that sucks in their life. And that's what I am here for.

But this week while chatting with a new friend on facebook he started telling me how he hates the kids in his school because they are so mean and the teachers do nothing. Now, I can't see anything about the kids I talk to except what is in their profile picture and other pics if I start looking through them but usually I just go on the profile pic.

So, based on the fact that I can only see this kid's face on his profile, I have no idea how big he is, if he looks tough, what "group" he probably hangs with, etc. So, from our conversation I am thinking this kid must be picked on ruthlessly to say he hates the kids at school.

But I was pleasantly surprised when he explained they aren't picking on HIM. He sees them picking on OTHER kids.

Then he says, "That's when I have to step in."
And that's when our conversation gets interesting.

(I am calling this kid Derek because, well, all superheroes need to protect their identity)

"i saw a kid get bullied by the same person day after day, and it sickened me, so i told him to leave him alone and go away. that kid was never bullied by him after that, but i did have some problems with that bully. he did get annoyed with me, but he isn't a problem anymore."

So, what made you step in? You could have just walked by like everyone else was apparently doing.

"i couldn't take seeing that poor kid get picked on and bullied anymore. "
It obviously bothers you deeply to see someone being bullied. Can you explain how that feels to you?

"i honestly hate it. i cant stand it. it's like a dog you haven't fed in a couple days. its sad, hurting, craving help. well, in this, im a can of food."

What is your biggest gripe about your school?

"people just make fun of people to look cool, bad, and tough. well, its doing the complete opposite."
If you look at the big picture, can this epidemic of bullying be wiped out?
"if most people do what i do."

Stepping in isn't an easy thing to do. You are putting yourself in harm's way. But you still do it. You are actually putting the welfare of that child ahead of your own. What do you hope "stepping in" will do?

"that will show people that children don't appreciate bullies, and that they want to be left alone, and that they arent gonna take it."

What's your biggest hope for this school year?

"to get people to be nice, kind people."

So, your school day is not filled with just academics. You are also involved in making others school experiences better. That makes for a long day. Do you see yourself continuing to step in when someone needs you?

"yes because not just who i help should be relieved of it. everyone should."
My conversation with Derek was beyond enlightening! 
Derek WILL make a difference in his school this year. Derek is a SUPERHERO!
The best part of what Derek told me was that he has noticed other kids jumping in and following his lead. He watches others pick up and start coming to the rescue of those being bullied.
Derek is starting a REVOLUTION.
Now, what will YOU do with this??
Do the right thing.
Then come tell me about it!

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