bullying

Invisibility

Posted in advice, bullying, homophobia on October 4th, 2010 by steph – 4 Comments

This morning, a friend of mine on Facebook who is training to be a teacher posted a link about how to make your school bully-proof. This is the start of the post

On September 23, 2010, a 13-year-old who had endured years of bullying at school committed suicide.[1] The day before that, an 18-year-old university student committed suicide after an act of cyber-bullying, and a few days later a student at another college who’d been bullied also took his own life.[2]

What immediately jumped out at me was the thing that wasn’t there: any mention of the fact that both of those instances of bullying were homophobic. Nowhere in the ‘how to’ (the text or the actual steps an individual can take) is anything of the sort mentioned. I think this is terrible. I understand that it is meant to be a general article about bullying prevention/intervention, but to not even acknowledge that the two quoted cases of bullying were fueled by homophobia, and that homophobic bullying is a huge fucking problem? The first tip is

1. If you are a student, initiate a club that promotes tolerance and respect. Work with teachers and administrators to create schoolwide activities. Hold assemblies and make them both informative and fun (go multimedia!).

and this would be the perfect place to talk about LGBT-straight alliances, or drop some sort of reference to the specific issues that these clubs can be advocates against (racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism).

So, I changed it:

On September 23, 2010, a 13-year-old who had endured years of homophobic bullying at school committed suicide.[1] The day before that, an 18-year-old university student committed suicide after an act of homophobic cyber-bullying, and a few days later a student at another college who’d been bullied also took his own life.[2]

(emphasis mine to show my changes).

Hooray!