It happens everyday and everywhere. It happens at home, on the way to school, and throughout the school day. It even happens in the world of professional sports and in the corporate world. The issue that has taken our society by storm is bullying. Statistics show that 30 percent of children will be bullied at school, especially in the elementary and middle school years. This results in lower academic scores, absenteeism and leaves both emotional and physical scars that last a lifetime. Victims of bullying can develop eating disorders, self-destructive behaviors and depression that can eventually lead to suicide. According to a recent study from Yale University, 46 percent of 600 students interviewed said that bullying contributed to their eating disorder. Children who are bullied are three times more likely than others to do destruction to themselves by the time they are 12 years old. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts as a result of being bullied.
This is an issue I understand very well since I was bullied during my eighth grade school year. I was told I was “heavy” at 110 pounds, which led to my believing that I was fat and ugly. Because I internalized these hurtful words, I became convinced that the words were true. My self-hatred ended when I entered Arkansas Children’s Hospital as a teenager weighing 88 pounds for treatment associated with my bulimia and anorexia disorders. As a result of being bullied, I nearly lost my life and that has led to my dedication to ending this terrible problem with our youth. Won't you join me in this battle?!