A close friend recently recommended that I should check out “Gawker,” a popular blog she frequents often. Although I’m normally skeptical of most blogs, I was so grateful that I took her advice and explored the site. While looking through it, one post particularly caught my eye, entitled “Bullied Teen Shares Story of Pain and Perseverance on Online Video.” Attached to the article is the YouTube video a teenage boy, Jonah Mowry, posted in order to share a troubling story of his life filled with bullying. One of the most moving and emotional videos I’ve seen to date, I encourage anyone and everyone to watch it. It will not only strengthen your sympathy towards victims of bullying, but also show you the bravery found in a select few kids who are able to rise about the bullying and refuse to let it bring them down.

Through various notecards, Jonah openly shares with us his heartbreaking story of being bullied since the second grade, leading to the self-destructive act of cutting himself and often times considering suicide. The constant taunts and remarks, such as “gay,” “fag,” “dick,” “douche,” and “homo,” eventually lead him to these thoughts:

“A lot of people hate me. I don’t know why. But I guess I do, because I kind of hate me, too.”

How a young boy, as young as 7 or 8, grows up with such pain of hating himself, is unimaginable to me. It’s disturbing to me that it gets to the point where Jonah is afraid to go to school.

Towards the end of the video, it sheds a morsel of light upon the situation. It leaves a tiny glimpse of hope that optimistically more kids, like Jonah, might be brave enough to realize that life is worth living and although its tough, one must persevere through the ignorant bullying. This lesson is not clear to the thousands of victims worldwide who succumb to suicide because of bullying, and in turn led to the new term: “Bullycide.”

It has been said that:

“Bullying and harassment have traditionally been considered rites of passage… This is a myth. It has only been in the past 20 years or so that bullying and harassment have received international attention, in large part due to the children who commit suicide as a result of being a victim of relentless bullying.”

In society today, 1 in 6 gay teens is beaten so badly during adolescence that he requires medical attention. If that statistic doesn’t shock you, not much will. How did society today evolve into one where bullying is so freely expected. Where it is a normal day-to-day activity to shove an innocent boy into a locker? Maybe it is the agencies and structurism in which we live that give home to such bullying. Schools, often the institution home to most bullying, do put efforts to support anti-bullying campaigns, though sometimes that is not enough.

By using the constructionist theory, the key to understanding bullying and tackling it, is in seeing it in connection with cultural symbols available to pupils and adults. On one extreme of he constructionist spectrum, is the solution of abolishing schools stands, as it is in the nature of such institutions to breed bullying. In  more serious note, educationalists should look at cultural resources available, which offer alternative ways of dealing with daily pressures. Either way, the issue of bullying has reached new levels. Not all kids will be as lucky as Jonah to survive daily taunts, and it is our job to put an end to it.

I urge all of you to watch Jonah Mowry’s video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRXjqpfOnS0










4 responses

  1. lsaadia1 says:

    Wow. I got the chills while watching Jonah Mowry’s youtube video. One point that really stuck out to me in your blog is your question as to how bullying has become “so freely expected.” I specifically remember coming home from elementary school one day, crying to my mother because of the way a group of girls were treating me. I clearly remember her response to comfort me was, “don’t worry everybody goes through it at one point in their life.” I wonder, is bullying really inevitable or can it be stopped? Or is this attitude that bullying is inevitable consequently allowing it to happen? I am curious as to what the future holds in response to bullying. In todays day and age, I feel that the constant advancements in technology will further the awareness of bullying. In Jonah’s case he used the internet as a voice. Jonah’s video was viewed by 666,776 people so far. After watching his video, I noticed other videos that were posted in response to his, which shows the immense support of other viewers. This blog is so important because sheds light on how damaging the effects of bullying can be. It also shows the benefits of gaining the courage to speak out if one is a victim of bullying.

  2. merlekassab says:

    Bullying is an extremely serious issue that parents sometime tend to take likely. Many believe that bullying is “normal.” This is not the case. Sometimes kids get bullied so bad that it has potential to lead to something as bad as suicide. One example is Tyler Clemene, a student at Rutgers University. Two bullies posed a video of him online of him having sex with another male. Clemente was so hurt that he took his own life. Jonah Mowry is such a brave young boy. Watching this video flooded me with emotions. I could not believe how upset this young boy was because of other children bullying him. Jonah taught me that getting through hard times is not easy, weather it be bullying or something else. When we want to just throw in the towel and give up, we have to push through. Realizing how important he is and how much he can contribute to the world has given Jonah the strength to live. Unfortunately, not all children are as brave and strong as Jonah. I hope that parents and educators will begin to have a more watchful eye on kids and help them stay happy and safe.

  3. sarahatt says:

    I do believe that bullying should end because it is a very serious situation that can jeopardize a family and most likely, end a life just because that child believes what others tell him/her. Growing up, I seen a lot of bullying in my schools that I have attended. One time I was bullied in my elementary school and I know exactly how it feels when a child is bullied. A child might think that they incapable of standing up for themselves because they think they are worthless. But I agree it should be ended and parents should be more educated to teach their children not to bully others and respect everyone for who they are.

  4. S.Gutmann says:

    That video was really shocking! It is just unbelievable that so many children/young adults are being bullied. I always ask myself how far do this victims have to go to be heard? I feel like bullying is not only “expected”, but people who are being bullied don’t see an end, and often consider suicide. Jonah Mowry has cut himself and to some extend people think that isn’t an issue. I remember that I had at least 6 kids in class that would cut themselves. I think it is horrible. Most of the kids that are being bullied, just want to be heard, and not being left alone. The cutting, engaging in high-risk behaviors, and other self destroying behaviors aren’t enough anymore for so many. Just like Jonah wrote:” suicide has become an option…many times”.
    We have to make this stop. People have to be aware of it and should not turn their backs on bullied kids. We have to show these kids that there is a way out, and they are not left alone.
    I looked at some other videos as well, and I believe these videos might help other kids that are being bullied.
    Bullying is not ok! Will never be ok! And should never be expected!