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Sticks and Stones
May break my bones
But words will never hurt me

Warning for frank talk about bullying and mental health.

Yesterday a judge handed down a decision in the case of Michelle Carter who is accused of manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy who committed suicide. Both individuals had a history of mental problems and both were under a Doctor’s care.

In the ruling the judge said that Ms. Carter’s action of telling over a cell phone for Mr. Roy to get back into his truck and finish what he started after he had a change of heart and had stepped out of the truck was why he convicted her of involuntary manslaughter. That she did nothing knowing what Mr. Roy was doing at the time. Not the text messages as the denizens of Internet have been spreading around.

However the discussion about what you say on the Internet and does it really affect anything or anyone has exploded.

The phrase “first amendment” is getting tossed around a lot. The First Amendment reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That’s the wording of the amendment.

Nowhere is in that amendment does it say that one is not responsible for what one says.

And that to me has been the disconnect on the Internet especially when people can hide behind their avatars and handles. They can say whatever they want and figure that their anonymity will protect them from any consequences from what they said.

Actions and words have consequences and this idea that it is always someone else’s fault just rubs me the wrong way.

I take responsibility for what I say here and in real life. I learned that from my parents. I am trying to teach that to Caroline.

Anything I say here, I would be willing to say in person and that’s my rule of thumb. Would I be willing to say this aloud where others would here it?

Now back to words and I am putting the rest of this behind a cut so as not to trigger some people about bullying and depression.

When I was in elementary school, I was not one of the popular kids, which should surprise no one. I was different from the other kids but I think most children even the popular ones think they are different from everyone else. I was informed that I would never be popular, that I would never be beautiful, that I was a uncoordinated klutz, that no one but my parents would ever love me. That the reasons I had no friends was because I was weird.

For some reason I became the whipping boy for the popular kids and they took great pride in making me cry. Probably because they could get a rise out of me. They could see how they were hurting me. I was told to ignore them and stay away from them and don’t cry because it only encourages them. Since there had been no physical violence, there was nothing to be done. This went on for a very long time. I tried to do what the adults said I needed to do to not be a target but that only seemed to encourage the behavior.

Then one morning I just had it. I could not take it any more. I decided to collect my books and leave school and never return again. I left and no one stopped me. I walked home which was over a mile and went to an apartment/office that was attached to the garage. It had a working toilet. And I stay there reading.

What I didn’t know is that my absence was noted and set off a hunt to find me.

I was found and I opened up to my parents and then the principle about why I had left and why I felt I could never come back to school. I told them about what had been said and done to me.

Rather than brushing me off, the principle checked out my story and found out from the other kids that I was telling the truth. The entire class got a lecture and a promise that suspensions would be the least of their worries if this behavior continued against me or anyone else at the school. They were informed there would be consequences for what they said.

I returned to school were there was a detente between me and my tormentors. We stayed away from each other until high school but that’s a story for another day.

Words do hurt. They can destroy people. But they can also help and uplift people.

I hope that my writings help people. That what I say is something it is known that I am speaking my truth and my belief. I take responsibility for what I say both in real life and out here on the Internet.

I am grateful when I can help people.

Date: 2017-06-17 04:57 pm (UTC)
readinggeek451: (Hairy Pawter)
From: [personal profile] readinggeek451
I remember being very unfond of that principal. But he did some things very right; I'm glad dealing with those bullies was one of them.


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