Today is National Spirit Day, it's all about wearing purple and standing up against bullying. It's sponsored by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and is all about anti-bullying, and the best thing about Spirit Day is you don't have to be LGBT to be against bullying. It's about getting the message out there, that bullying is not acceptable. It's about giving the young people of the United States the courage to take a stand and say I'm different, I'm me and you have NO right to treat me in a manner that would make me feel unworthy. Bullying has become the number one cause of suicide among our nations young people. Every day, you can find a new story on Facebook or even on the national and local news telling everyone in America how yet one more child has killed themselves to escape being *picked on*. People, you need to wake up... our young people are NOT just being *picked on* any longer, it has gotten MUCH more serious than that.
I have a personal reason for being against bullying. Not only do I think it's unforgivable in any form, but my granddaughter Cheyenne has been a victim of different forms of bullying for the biggest part of her life. I'm talking about the people she goes to school with, not family members (although there IS one person, I'd like to have a come to Jesus meeting with about how she feels it's her *right* to chastise and humiliate a 16 year old, who made a unpopular choice). There have been times where a school administrator actually told Cheyenne she brought the bullying on herself *because she chose to dress and look differently*. Are you kidding me? Diversity and individualism is what we teach ALL our young people. For someone who carries the title of educator to condone any type of negative behavior is in my opinion grounds for termination from that school system.
Then we have Alanna, she's my next granddaughter and at 13 has decided SHE will stand up against bullying. She is active in her small community in Woden, TX. She she participates with a program at her school where she can go into the community and help with people who may need help carrying their groceries, or to the nursing home to visit some of the patients who don't normally get visitors. And before you say this activity has nothing to do with bullying, I'd like to tell you you are wrong. This helps instill in Alanna and anyone else who participates that there are people all around us who are different, and there is NO reason to make them feel inadequate. There is NO reason to treat them less than human.
Alanna also has a Facebook page called Take A Stand Against Bullying which has attracted 124 followers in just under 30 days. On this page are various stories from people all over who have either been the victim of bullying or have at one time or another been the bully themselves. Please stop by this page and leave some love. Show your support of those who are Taking A Stand Against Bullying.
Did you know the idea behind Spirit Day, was first created by teenager Brittany McMillan in October of 2010? It is a simple idea, not dissimilar to the concept of “Spirit Week” held in many high schools, and can be summed up in three words: Everyone Rally Together. Spirit Day honors the teenagers who have taken their own lives. But just as importantly, it’s also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them. This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple.
By wearing purple on October 19th you are using a simple way to show the world that you stand by these courageous young people and the perfect way to stand UP to the bullies. Please always remember those lives we've tragically lost, and show your solidarity with those us are still fighting by wearing purple today and then continuing to stand up against bullying in ALL of its forms.
OH! In case you didn't know the color purple symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.