Shane’s story has already begun to create social change - and it has saved lives. People from all over the world have reached out to me because this has opened new conversations that have enabled many children to let their parents know that they are being bullied and living in fear. Some have even admitted to having thoughts of self-harm or taking their own life. Many parents have told me that thanks to Shane’s story, they were able to get their child the help that they desperately needed. Many are seeking guidance so that they can ensure that what happened to Shane does not happen to their own child. Yet, every time I see or hear of a child who has taken their own life because of bullying, I feel that I have failed that child because I haven’t done enough... YET.
One of the first questions people ask me is how I have been able to appear to be so strong. The truth is, I'm not.
All I know is that for the rest of my life I will do whatever I can to ensure that what happened to Shane never happens to another child. Having said that, Shane’s death created a force and determination within me that I had no idea existed. But I needed to figure out what to do with it.
One day when I was driving home from work. I asked Shane if he would give me a sign. The car is where I tend to scream, cry, vent. Within seconds, the song ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon came on the radio, and after hearing the song hundreds of times, that day I intently listened to the words for the first time. The name Shane’s Imagine-Nation popped into my head and it felt perfect. It was a lightbulb moment, yet I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, I just knew.
Community-Wide Bullying Prevention
Community-wide strategies will help reinforce the message that bullying is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Change can only happen when someone takes the first step. After reading this book, you will be well on your way to helping to ensure that what happened to my family doesn’t happen to anyone within your community – or your own home.
Teaching social-emotional competence has been found to be an important ingredient in effective bullying prevention. However, helping kids develop a positive mindset requires much more than simply telling them what to do, Bullying is a learned behavior that is often carried into adulthood. Prevention is better than the cure.
Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Programs
In order to see themselves in a positive way, kids must not only be able to see their strong points, but also know how to deal with failure. Kids who feel good about themselves have an easier time handling conflicts and negative/peer pressures.
Lead by Example
It’s quite easy for us to ignore the fact that we often forget to do the very same things we tell our children to do. Despite all the movements of inclusion and acceptance, many of us still find it hard to live our own lives judgement-free. This do as I say, not as I do mentality makes it impossible for kids to understand and follow an ambiguous set of rules when they see adults not leading by example.
Bullying will continue to exist until everyone understands that bullying is abuse. Far too many adults are carrying around antiquated mindsets of what bullying is, and is not. When adults do not have a full understanding about how much bullying has changed, this often results in most bullying instances going unnoticed, and contributes a large sense of people feeling helpless to do anything about it in the first place.
Bullying is generally considered a childhood phenomenon. It is not. Adult bullying is rampant, we see is virtually every day. The behavior is the same or similar, but the terminology seems to change as we get older. We cannot expect to make change if we haven’t taken the time to explore ourselves from the inside out. We get so caught up with living our lives that we lose track about the very things that we tell our kids to do.