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How to Understand Cyberbullying: From a Teen’s Experience

When bad things happen – do kids have someone they trust? Are you that someone? It breaks my heart when today’s brave teenager Sarah Beeghley speaks out about her bouts with bullying. Now a high school senior, Sarah talks about the heartbreaking journey she experienced. For this reason, I’m asking that you listen and discuss — she’s using her pain to help improve the world.

what cyberbullying looks like from a teen's perspective

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I hope that we’ll all understand what it is like to be bullied so we can better help those who struggle. Sure, there are two sides to the story. But I lived this for five years. I know what it is like to be made fun of the moment you walk on campus. I cannot imagine the terror and heartache I would have lived if my taunters could have gotten to me at home or in my private time. It took me time away from school just to get up the strength to go back.

It is tough to empathize unless you, your child, or your grandchild or someone you love dearly has experienced this sort of thing. But there are times we can get a glimpse. Today’s show is one of those glimpses into the life of someone who struggled and is coming out for the better.

Children are petty and hurtful. I don’t see everything, but I can be like Gandalf the wizard and put my staff in the ground and say, “you shall not pass” to bullying behavior. My room is a safe place. No bullying. No “picking on.” No unkind words. Now, will I miss stuff? Of course. Like when I sift flour to make biscuits – somehow unsifted pieces make through. No matter how hard I try, there will be things I am oblivious to and miss. However, I will not let the impossibility of the task keep me from clearly stating what my class will be. My class will be safe. Students can come to me and trust me.

May we all be more sensitive. Is there a “Sarah Beeghley” that you know? Is there a child struggling? Take the time to have a conversation. Trust your gut instinct on this. Just show you care today. Please.


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