THE UNITED STATES OF GEEKDOM
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On Geekdom and Bullying 2

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When is it enough?  When a kid kills him or her self over the actions of a bully?

I have no words to convey just how tragic the loss of a child's life is when they are made to feel insignificant over the actions of a bully.  Their loss is felt by family, friends, and the community as a whole...  

It hit close to home for some friends of the USG the other day.  We have two friends who are some pretty incredible artists and all around pretty awesome guys.  Chris Oz Fulton and Michael Champion are friends of the show and pretty kickass dudes.  A few years back, they befriended a kid named Daniel at a convention.  Over the past five years, they mentored this young man as an artist and became friends Daniel and his mother.  Recently, Daniel took his life because of a bully.  It breaks my heart to say that.  This young man had his entire life ahead of him and he was made to feel different and inferior.  That is what bullies do.  

As I have said before, I have no place in my life for bullies.  If you are in fact a bully and you like to make someone feel inferior, make them feel isolated, alone, and hated because they are different, please, just stop reading my site, please stop listening to my podcast because we have a strict no bullying policy on this site.  

Someone lost a son over the actions of a bully.  As a father of a wonderful four year old boy (and soon to be another kiddo for that matter) I cannot imagine the amount of pain that Daniel's family is going through right now over his loss.  I have already seen and heard my son being bullied because he talks differently.  We reported this to the child care director and she simply dismissed it as something that never happens.  My son no longer goes to that child care mainly because the director didn't give two shits about what was going on in the class room.

My son has an open communication relationship with my wife and I.  We know everything that happens with him. If a kid calls him stupid, we know almost immediately about it because he tells us.  We hope to nurture this kind of behavior with him for the rest of his life in school.  Why?  Because it is necessary.  

For someone to lose their life over being made to feel inferior is one of those things that I cannot abide period..  I was bullied all through school.  I contemplated ending my life.  I was able to get the help I needed and look where I am now.  I am married, I am about to have two kids and I am happy.  I am living proof that the bullies lost.  I was able to make my voice heard and get the help I needed.  Unfortunately, there are
those who can't, or won't, or don't know how.  Here is how....  
In order to survive in school, it is necessary to stand up for yourself and who you are as an individual.  If you are a student in elementary school, middle school, junior high, senior high, and you are a victim of bullying, TELL SOMEONE.  A teacher, a counselor, the principle, your parents, clergy, ANYONE.  FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL LISTEN AND TELL THEM!  You are NOT alone! Be proud of yourself.  Be proud of who you are.  Fight for your right to be an INDIVIDUAL.  

I remember a girl in my high school class put as her senior quote "INDIVIDUALITY." At first, eighteen years ago, I scoffed at it because it was a Catholic High School after all and we were made to wear uniforms.  Thinking on it now, I was wrong to do so.  The reason being that now, I realize what makes us all unique is our individuality.  This is why I created USG.  This site has always been a celebration of all the unique things that make us geeky.  It will continue to be.  I have no reason to make it otherwise because everything that makes people geek out is as diverse as the people who geek out about the stuff and I love that Geekdom, Fandom, Nerdom, and everything in between harbors this diversity.

I am sorry if I am so upset about this but when the life of someone is lost because of a bully, I tend to get pissed off.  As a parent and a former victim, I have no place or tolerance of bullies.  This is something I believe in passionately,  And as someone who has been through so many are going through, I know how hard it is to make one's voice heard.  Know this.  If you are being bullied, you are not alone.

The Internet is an excellent resource for learning about bullying and how to help prevent it.  If you or someone you know is a victim of bullying be it cyber or in person, PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS GO QUIETLY!  Take a stand, get friends, family, police, teachers, clergy, anyone you know who can help you involved!  MAKE IT STOP!  Life is too short already to let a bully get to you!  You are better than them and NO ONE deserves to be treated in that manner.  Below are some sites with more information about bullying and where help can be gotten.  

Anti-Bullying Network

Government Site on Bullying

An excellent documentary about bullying


         
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