By Beverly Gadson-Birch
In light of the untimely death of RaNiya Wright, a 5th grader at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, SC, it is time legislators implement stiffer penalties for bullying. Across the nation, children are fearful of going to school. They go to bed thinking how to avoid the bully the next day at school. Children should be focusing on education and developing fond memories of their time in school. A child’s memories should not be scarred with bullying. Bullying is responsible for children dropping out of school, committing suicide and in the case of RaNiya, death. Education begins at home. In most instances, parents know whether their child is a bully or not. Oftentimes, they display similar behavior at home. They pout, make faces, stomp off or slam a door in your face when you are attempting to correct them. So, don’t act like y’all don’t know.
Since we still have a few months before students are out for the summer, let’s share some tidbits with them that will keep them focused and out of trouble.
Study hard and read more. Burn the midnight oil if they have to, but complete all assignments. It will pay dividends later.
Not cheer on bullies. Bullies are not as bad as they think they are. They are seeking attention.
Not follow the crowd. The crowd may end up in jail and so will they.
Be where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be to avoid trouble.
Select their friends carefully. If momma says “there is something about that child,” believe her!.
Listen attentively; they might learn something.
Obey all rules that are set before them and don’t question those in authority. As they mature, they will understand that someone must be in charge and that someone is not them.
Get up before their alarm clocks go off. Getting to school late because they overslept is not an excuse. If they start making excuses now, they will continue to make them throughout life.
Learn to think with their head. No other part of their anatomy was designed to do so.
Go with their gut instinct. Nine times out of ten they will be right.
Don’t worry about designer clothes and shoes; design their education and fill big shoes.
Take time to help others. There will come a time in life when others will have to help you.
Not make hasty decisions. Oftentimes, they will have to retract them.
Not allow others to influence them to carry a gun. You can’t give life, so don’t take one.
Not live to regret anything. They may not get the chance to correct everything.
Be adventurous. There is a world beyond theirs waiting to explore.
Be flexible. Don’t bend because others say bend; but bend because you know it is right.
Respect each other’s differences. They were designed differently.
It is important what others think of you; but, it is more important what you think of yourself.
It’s not old-fashioned to say “please” and “thank you”. That’s what called manners.
Not avoid classes that are tough. Life is tough. Equip yourself to elevate yourself.
Don’t say “yes” to sex unless you are prepared to be a “great mother” or a “great father.” If not, you will find yourself at an early age struggling to make child support payments or in jail. If you don’t believe me, visit the jail at Leeds Avenue and ask who owes child support.
Stop sitting in the back of the class. You learn more upfront because you hear more. You have less chances of falling asleep. Don’t learn to take a back seat to anyone.
Volunteer to do tasks other than those assigned to you. You learn by doing. There is no room in this high-tech nation for one track people.
Stand out from the crowd. Even if they are short, people will see them.
Not think they know everything in their short life. They learn from each other.
Respect their mother, father and those in positions of authority. When they respect others, they will respect you.
Follow the golden rule. Go to church. The church will keep them directed and focused on things that are positive.
Thanks for listening and maybe, just maybe you can avoid bullying or associating with those who take advantage of others.
Are y’all ‘chern listening???