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What Would You Say To Him?


And what are you saying to your own kids about bullying?


A friend alerted me to an interesting video on YouTube yesterday so I beat feet over there to check it out. Me and more than 30,000 other people. It was recorded by, Jonah, a 14-year-old boy who is obviously going through a lot.  The pain is evident in his eyes as tears roll down his cheeks. I felt like a big baby myself as I was crying, perhaps in solidarity.

I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer and Lord knows I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. But I was so moved by this kid and the courage he showed in posting this video.  Instantly I was transported back to my middle/high school experience and,  while I wasn’t bullied the way he says he is, I did feel very much like an outsider.


I left a comment for him on his page, telling him, among other things, that we ALL felt that way in the 8th grade and that this was but a moment in time and it will get better. But it got me thinking about what we as parents need to tell our kids about middle and high school to make sure they understand what’s really going on. What do you tell your kids about growing up? About bullying? Are you arming them with the tools necessary to withstand the intense pressures of adolescence? Are you teaching them to be kind to others who might be different from them? And do you know how they are truly feeling?




  1. Russ Vandeveerdonk

    December 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing and getting the word out #1 Rene! Good stuff. Thanks!

  2. m.e. johnson

    December 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I didn’t really have to teach my children that, they associated with everyone, all types and races. I did teach them it doesn’t matter what people who don’t matter say about/to them. They were good at witty comebacks and weren’t afraid to fight back if things got physical (and they had friends to back them up.). To this day they have a mouth that can bring somebody to his knees. They don’t start it but they sure can finish it.

  3. doreen e

    December 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    don’t give up they don’t hate you they hate themselves. my kids went throungh the same thing. not only they get it at school their father was an acholic and abused me and them they hated going to school. the schools are afraid to do anything because they are afraid to get sued from other parents. iused to sit in the bushes and watched my boys being aused by other children and being taughted by them everyday. i made ntes time and what was being done to them brought to juvinal court with thier parents.gave all the evidence and they were told next time they did this they would be taken away from them. parents get involved with your children and what they are going through. we are here to protect them. as far as the cutting goes with young boy its to get rid of the pain. God loves you he created you for a purpose. get help someone must be there parent teacher speaking of teachers can’t someone speak out to much going on bulleys must be stop if parents can’t do something then WHO.

  4. doreen e

    December 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    can’t moderate anything i fell his pain i felt my childrens pain they are adults now and i’m very proud of them i have grandchildren now and they watch over them and what goes on in school there are still bullies out there they have to know it won’t be tolared and their parents need to know also. children re not here for someone elses abuse no matter who it is.

  5. Ella

    December 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I try to teach my kids the golden rule. If you don’t want it done to you DON’T DO IT. It seems pretty simple, but hopefully it works. I also make sure that they see stories like this and discuss the extreme outcomes. How even though you might think you are playing you are really hurting someone’s feelings and would you really want to be even partially responsible for hurting someone in such a way that they want to hurt themselves?

  6. Ella

    December 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    And, Rene, you are so right. Telling him that it was like that for all of us at that age is spot on. Ugh.

  7. Will Jones

    December 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm


    Sometimes, you feel like it’s you against the world and you feel small and helpless, but you’re not! Decide that it stops, and don’t stop fighting until it does.

    First, tell your parents and try to make them understand how serious this is. They may not get it, but they might. Give them a chance.

    Then, go to your teachers and tell them that you WILL NOT accept being bullied any more and either they will make it stop or your next stop will be the school principal office, and after that, the superintendent of schools, and after that you will call the police department and after that you will call the damn president if you have to!

    Those idiots that tease you feed on fear and want you to suffer in silence… DON’T LET THEM WIN!!!

    You are better than them. None of them could take what you take and still be a good person. They are not strong enough to stand up to each other and stand up for those around them, but you are! You have to be because if you don’t stop it, it will just go on for the kids around you and some of them won’t be as strong as you. Don’t let that happen! You have to shout at the top of your lungs. Bullies are scared of things coming to light. They run like cowards!

    SO SCREAM AT THEM. And scream until everyone hears you. Don’t give up. Don’t be quiet. And don’t ever stop believing that you can change the things around you.

  8. Christopher Parish

    December 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Hey Rene,

    I just found another video made by him. In that video he says everyone loves him. So to me, that makes me wonder was he telling the truth in this video?? I tweeted you the link to the video. In case you didn’t get it here it is.!

  9. m.e. johnson

    December 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Well, Christopher, if it wasn’t him, we can go ahead and assume that hundreds of young people are indeed going thru that. It was brought to light and people are talking about it world-wide. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

  10. Christopher Parish

    December 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    @M.E. no, it’s not a bad thing. But as a person who was bullied everyday during school (even during my high school years) to the point where I wanted to kill myself, to find out that the video may not be true, is insulting to me. I wish the media had brought bullying to the forefront of the news when I was in school. I graduated High School in 2000 and this was going on even back then.

  11. Christopher Parish

    December 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Also, @M.E. I was the one who brought this video to Rene’s attention, and to find out that I (among many others) MAY (key emphasis, MAY) have been misled, or lied to, is really appalling. It makes me not be so trusting to people I don’t know or never met.

  12. m.e. johnson

    December 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Christoher, I’m sorry you had such terrible experiences, but you made me smile when you refer to 2000 as “back then”. Try the year 1500 or maybe even before that. Misleading, lying, fooling, scamming, etc has always happened too. Don’t feel too bad, you are not alone. We learn how to be wary, how to temper our trust. As old as I am and as much as I’ve been burned I still believe nice people are the majority. 🙂

  13. autumn

    December 10, 2011 at 2:03 am

    i feel so bad for this kid ! all i want to do is to go up to him and give him a hug! and beacuse i know exactly were this kid is comming from beacuse i have been in his shoes more than once ! and when i watched this this brought tears to my eyes!!! and i liked how at the end the kid says i have a million reasons to live !! this realy was a very powerfull video!!

  14. Jalisa B

    January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I would totally talk to that kid.

  15. Shiloh

    July 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I’m goin in to 7 grade and I feels like no one gets me and all my friends are moving and leaving the county.. I feel bad with them there so just imagine how it gonna be with out them I got a couple of friends stayin but I have a TRUE friend 2 hrs away so there goes my life, anyway I hope u feel better jonoah and no matter Wat they say ur just the opposite and they r Wat they call u they r just too chicken to admit it!

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