- Posted September 21, 2013 by
ENUF INNERview Series: Wesley Davidson Views on Bullying
One (1) out of three (3) children is bullied each year. Children with disabilities are at a higher risk of being bullied than their peers. ENUF (Ending Negativity to Unify Families) is an anti-bullying online campaign that will encourage families to empower themselves and their children. On behalf of the ENUF campaign, the following interview is part of the ENUF INNERview Series here on HYH Online. For more information about the ENUF campaign visit us on Facebook at Facebook.com/esilentvoice
Our guest, Wesley Davidson is a freelance journalist that writes on parenting topics. Wesley is concentrating her writing efforts now on helping straight parents better understand their gay children. To this end, she writes a blog (http://straightparentgaykid.blogspot.com) that contains posts about bullying, a concern for both parents and its victims. She is writing an advice book, co-authored with a psychiatrist who happens to be gay, for straight parents of gay and lesbian children. This book will contain a resource section that includes organizations and websites that combat bullying.
YVONNE PIERRE: As freelance journalist, you’ve written about anti-bullying as well as talked about bullying in your book. Where does your passion stem from in reference to bullying?
WESLEY DAVIDSON: My interest in this subject stems from being the mother of a gay son, now age 29, who was bullied as a teen. His story is not unusual. I am concerned that 33% of all teen suicides are LGBT persons who have been bullied by other children.
YVONNE: What are some of the backlashes you’ve seen from someone being bullied?
WESLEY: From my own experience, I watched my son being bullied as a freshman in high school. Although there was a Gay-Straight Alliance at his school, he was bullied nevertheless. His teachers did not come to his aid, so he started skipping class, eventually dropping out altogether for a semester. According to GlSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) that surveyed teens, bullied LGBT kids skip school at least one day a month.
YVONNE: Bullying is often seen as “horse playing or “joking” but how does bullying impact our children?
WESLEY: Bullying is NOT teasing. It’s harmful aggression. Adopted by psychologists, the definition is physical or verbal abuse repeated over time and involving a powerful imbalance (the bully is the “dominant” one and the victim is the “weak” one). Bullying impacts a person’s self-esteem. With cyberbullying, bullying isn’t left at the playground, locker room, bathroom or school hallway. It follows the child everywhere. It persists online through texting and can go viral; potentially reaching millions for further humiliation. Author Ritch Savin-Williams, Professor of Clinical and Developmental Psychology at Cornell University, states that LGBT kids are bullied less once they turn eighteen, in other words, after they graduate from high school.
YVONNE: From your perspective, what needs to be done to better protect our children from bullying in school, home and in our communities?
Read this interview in it's entirety at http://hyhonline.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/enuf-innerview-series-with-wesley-davidson