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11 Year Old Bullied to Death

 On April 16th, 2009 a mother found her son, Jaheem Herrera, hanging in his closet, a belt around his neck.

He was eleven years old.

He and his family were from the Virgin Islands and at school, Jaheem was repeatedly bullied and taunted, called “gay” and “virgin”.

He and his mother had reported the bullying to the school system – including the teachers, counselors and administrators – eight or nine times, but the bullying didn’t stop.

What makes this even more tragic is that this particular elementary school had recently won an award for being the best school in the district when it came to bullying prevention.

This story – reported by CNN – also goes on to quote a study that says sixty-five percent of teens asked said that they thought telling adults did no good when it came to bullying.

An eleven-year old boy hangs himself because he sees no way out – he has turned to everyone for help, but to no avail.  He feels helpless, out of control and that there is nowhere to turn…so he kills himself.

This is absolutely inexcusable.  It was also one hundred percent avoidable.

This is what happens when someone – not just a boy, but a girl, a teen, an adult – doesn’t know how to “Take Their Power Back” from bullies.  I believe that this story uncovers and even larger problem – one that is spreading into our schools, even our culture.

We as adults are teaching our children – by example – TO GIVE OUR POWER AWAY.

That’s right; it is OUR fault that bullying is a pandemic larger than the swine flu will ever be.

It is our fault for one reason and one reason only…we are teaching our children to look for other people to solve the problem for them, rather than teaching them to solve the problem themselves. 

We are doing it by example.  Look at the current economic situation of many people in the U.S.  

Time and space prevent me from diving deeper into the subject here, but I can say that many people – rather than looking within as to what to do with their current situation, facing their fears, making tough calls and then taking decisive action – are looking to other people or the government to come in and “save the day.”

That is a perfect example of “giving away your power”.

Rather than stretching to grow; to think and come up with answers to tough questions and then act decisively, people turn to something or someone and wait for them to do it.

When that happens, it robs the person of building their self-esteem and self-image.  It makes that person dependent on whoever they gave their power to.

This, in turn, makes them the victim.  Someone who feels they aren’t strong enough, good enough or worthy of the effort; someone who can’t do anything without approval or permission.

That’s what happened to this little boy.  He went to everyone he was taught to go to and asked for help.  He gave them the power to stop the bullying and then waited for it to stop.

When the bullying didn’t stop, he felt as if he had no choice.  In his mind, he had done everything in his power and it didn’t work.

It is a tragedy that he was NOT taught there was more – MUCH more – that he could have done.

Do not let his be your child.  If you are the parent of a child, there is more you can do.  You can teach your child to stand up for themselves, rather than automatically give away their power to a school teacher, counselor, administrator or system.

For more information, go to http://www.bullyproofkids.com, where you can discover how you can teach your child to “Take Their Power Back” and be bully proof for life.

To Your Best,

Sensei Harrison Huff

P.S. – Bullying is literally a poison that is a pandemic in our culture.  Let’s start a new movement to eliminate this poison once and for all.  Go to http://www.bullyproofkids.com and learn how to get started.

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