BULLYING
 
 I can remember coming up in San Francisco, California, my younger siblings and I had to walk to school, it was at least 2 miles from our house.It was a group of guys always standing in our way as we trotted along they always stop us and took our lunch money.
They slapped me and my brothers and said you better not tell anybody.
This was very traumatic to us as children.  To think that there was mean people in the world who would hurt a kid, I can’t remember what they called people that did this when I was coming up but today it is known as bullying.Everyday this happen to us and everyday we’d cried and was told you better not tell.
It was hard for me because I felt that I should’ve protected by younger siblings, and then I look back and see that these bullies were also older then us, one was at least 18yrs old.  I believe this experience was a part of the reason that I begin drinking alcohol at 10years old. Eventually, I joined a community boys and girls club in the neighborhood; they had a great afterschool academic and recreational program for children.
When I see teen bullying on You Tube and Local news, I am appalled because I can definitely relate. I say to our communities how can you not get involved with something as serious as this? Even if it’s not your child, you have a moral duty to get involved. Martin Luther King said “It Is Never the Wrong Time to Do the Right Thing.” As concern parents we should have a legal recourse against bullying, it’s a serious issue as a matter of fact it’s a crime.  Statistics states it is a strong link between bullying and suicide and it is estimated that 15-25 children have committed suicide each year. Your son or daughter can become the next victim if we don’t stand together. The community needs to work together to discourage this tragedy then maybe students can develop a sense of connection to their peers.
As parents we need to teach our children to respect themselves and others. 
There was a recent survey that stated 6% of students in grades 9-12 had missed at least one day of school during a 30 day period because they felt unsafe at school or walking to school. This is not child’s play, my friend let’s call it like we see it ABUSE! These children need to be held accountable for their actions and to those who condone this negative behavior “Shame On You”. There is no doubt in my mind that bullying increases the fear factor in the school environment. As I go into the schools, I tell the students it starts with our attitude because for a long time I personally didn’t listen to anybody who had authority and it cost me a lot incarceration, drug addiction, family and friends but most of all it cost me an education.  I had a bad attitude and made bad decisions. I say to the youngsters if you are a part of the negative behavior, you need to stop. Please realize that this behavior poisons the atmosphere of learning, stop wasting time. Each and every one of us as human beings should promote health and safety to our youth and communities.

DEDICATION AND TRIBUTE

Sergeant Matthew Douglas Goodin

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