Following the tragic suicide death of a 16 year old local high school student [his name was Daniel], who is alleged by his parents to have been ‘bullied to death’ [see news article at the end], I’ve been moved to…
“Here am I… Send me please!”
I am not one to be bold enough to speak or comment on social networking sites, and yet, not be willing to step in, step up, try to be part of the solution, or put into action what I preach. So today, my originally scribed March 12, 2014 draft- becomes a post, where I would like to offer myself up, to your service…
I would so LOVE to assist & serve on any team, committee, or task force, for any school or community service, that would have me.
Worthy of a side note–
Speaking of recent [special] forces… Spirit Wars @VBS New Life 2013 was a God-Send for me!
[–And if you would like references to my performance and counsel, I will refer you to The Green Team (11/12 year olds) who I was honored to serve!!!] ♥
And speaking of Spirit… On the third day of “Spirit Wars”, past & prior incidents of bullying and suicidal thoughts were brought up by the students and addressed in our group (and all I had for students in the group that day, were only a handful in number); all this from processing this Scripture alone-
“7 Submit therefore to God.
Resist the devil
and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God
and He will draw near to you.”
Some of my opening questions were “What does this Scripture mean to you personally?” “What have you faced from the enemy and what did you do about it?” I prefaced that ‘some may say that you haven’t experienced life enough yet to answer these questions, but I’m not one of them.’ I know & think differently… “I know each one of you, has something to say & offer!!!”
[For all I’ve seen & heard in public schools and from youth in the last few decades, I should have seen this coming, but even that day, I was amazed. These were 11 and 12 year olds!]
The letter, continues—
At present, I feel as though I am a voice crying out from a wilderness experience, and can identify & fit in rather nicely with the students, staff, and the families that are in the trenches right now. I have worked [& lived] for decades fighting against the likes of child abuse, depression & suicide, bullying, addictions, violence, poor social skills, communication & relationship issues, etc…
I have earned a Master’s Degree and NYS credentials as a Counselor to operate in public schools and have worked for nearly two decades in them, including an active service on Crisis Intervention Teams, with several deployments [that involved incidents of both suicides & murder], throughout area schools. I did this when working as a Student Assistance Counselor through The Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council. These specific issues cut to the very core of my purpose [and His plan] for me. [This will be partially addressed in a post that follows this one… “I can’t stop there!”]
“So Please, let me serve you?”
If you were to include me, I promise that I will do my very best to assist you, the students, the staff, the parents, the community, and beyond. And if all involved are not acclaimed to be in a better shape after than they were before, then I will gladly bow out. No harm no foul! All I’m asking for is an open door and an opportunity to help you to help make our living and learning environments- healthier ones.
April 2, 2007 Edition
Page 40 – 41
Personally, I don’t believe it’s right to expect or rely on public schools to address or take care of moral issues, or think it even fair to ask. I believe “the local church” [each of them together], need to intervene, step in, step up [Thank you New Life Christian Church & Campus Impressions!], and get on board [Noah did build the Ark before its occupants were delivered]… the way God intended & purposed them to. AND THEN– the community, the schools [& even the government] need to ALLOW THEM.
Schools have been bombarded with unfunded mandates for as long as I have been in them, soaking up already designated time, money, and resources that were intended for teaching Core Curriculum. The schools and professionals therein, are already overburdened with the tasks they were hired to do in the first place. I can see where there will come a time, when they [schools, etc.] will have no choice but to accept the help that is offered to them. And…
I believe that time is NOW!
Once inside, we need to go to “the experts” to find out what is going on. “Just who makes up these experts?” They are the students, staff, administration, parents, and the community. I believe if we want to know what’s going on with people, on the inside & out, we need to ASK THEM!
Here’s a start…
“What do you know about bullying already?”
“What do you see, hear, and feel about it?”
“Have you ever been part of a bullying incident? Where did you fit into it?”
“What did you learn from it and what would you do if you encountered it again?”
“Where would you go for help if you see something you know to be wrong?”
“Who could or would you tell?”
“What’s a ‘tell’ & what’s a ‘tattle’? Is there a difference?”
“What do you think should happen to those who bully or try to get others to?”
“Have you, or anyone you know, ever tried to hurt yourself [or another], or even just talked about it?”
“Do you, or do they, have a plan of how to do it or get it done? Who could you talk to if you did?”
“What would you say to someone that wants to hurt [or kill] themselves?”
“What are some examples and observations you’ve seen or witnessed that you can give us so we may help you & the students?”
“How do you think we can help your school, your classmates or your students, YOU?”
“Do you know the difference between ‘a drama bomb’ [my daughter’s term] & a real live one? Do you want to know so that you can help each one?”
[The attention seekers often distract away from the ones who really need the counseling & intervention, not only serving to be counter-productive, but often destructive. If someone needs attention, we should give it to them in a way that is constructive, beneficial, and empowering… attending specifically to each student and their respective needs “as well”.]
And… “In what ways do you think we can help the parents, the school staff, and the community… to understand, get involved, & “HELP”?”
Here comes my most favorite part. Working with & Training up all those experts [students], who are highly influential in making a difference all around them. I had once called them my “PALs” [Peer Assistance Leaders] when I was working with student groups throughout the schools I was employed or interned in. I would sincerely LOVE to get these PALs back up & running. Then, even long after we [the motivators & trainers] are gone, these empowered students [by the way this includes ALL OF THEM], will continue to model, serve, and protect all that they have helped to create.
[A large number of my current Facebook friends are former students. They represent some of the finest individuals, positive peer role models, and ‘persons of integrity’ that I have had the great honor to work with. At the risk of sounding parental… “I am very proud and privileged to have witnessed the fine adults that you’ve become!” — I hope you know who you are! ♥]
As most of us adults know—Bullying, Depression, the risk & completion of Suicide, Poor Social Skills, Maladaptive Behaviors, Addictions, Ineffective Communication, and Relationship Issues don’t stop with childhood or end at home. It spreads & permeates throughout the life of the individual… effecting the core of their being & influencing [negatively] those around them. It may very well take more than the whole village [& church] to raise a child– with the moral integrity to respect oneself, to treat others with that same respect, and then “go” out and serve their communities- by teaching and modeling, for all the others around them -an honorable and moral code of ethics. This is an all encompassing and time consuming endeavor for certain, but I believe our youth, our [and God’s] future investment, are well worth the effort!
I, for one, would like to ex-nay on the negative [just giving “lip-service” or social networking quips], but rather work toward positive solutions… ones that effect & process through the individual’s life in such a way that everybody wins. I believe it starts very young… in the home, school [Pre-K and up], church, the community, and each individual. It will be a huge undertaking! But I BELIEVE our youth, our families, our communities and beyond, are “worth it”, don’t you?
I would be honored to join a team of professionals who desire to assess, connect, educate, implement, deliver, train, provide follow-through, and intercede on behalf of young people- TODAY! If you were to ask me, I would go further than just educating on anti-bullying, but would include all the “preventions” and “Divine Intervention”.
I may be able to help. I come to serve [and I wouldn’t come alone]!
“How may I assist YOU?”
[I sincerely hope this moved you too!]
I think it has become too easy to just say “we’ve done our part to educate on bullying prevention”, and then conclude with-“our work here is done”. And seriously, let’s not overlook the graver side of this story- suicide. Whether it is claimed, determined, or proved that Daniel’s death was the direct result of bullying or not, he is no longer with us. This should give us great pause & cause… for concern. And move us!
As long as there are people out there that would rather die to get out of here, then to persevere through their pain, I’ve got to try… “To speak for the masses, defend the defenseless, guide those who need guiding, and provide an atmosphere that excludes isolation. To give hope where little may exist…
Let there be vision– to see the forest beyond the tree, the future beyond the present, the success after the failure, and a testimony- that’s Alive to tell -&- “read all about it”.
[Modified Career Mission Statement]
I don’t have all the answers,
yet always willing to learn.
I can’t do everything, but I so know One who can & does.
The One of which I speak, trains us up in The Way we’re
to go; speaks only The Truth; and made it His assignment
to offer His Life- for our death. And His name is “Jesus!”
I hope today’s the day, that
I’m allowed to share Him!!!
If we want to beat this, or any
problem, it takes unity to make
it happen, a united people — one
student body at a time, “under God!”
I believe in Miracles! I do, I do, I DO!
So please allow God, back into our public schools.
And if there is room for me…
“Here am I, send me please?”
“Here am I… Send me please!” is actually a forerunner post. It represents my willingness to serve. This next one “I can’t stop there!” will hopefully illustrate my readiness & preparedness [from both God & man] for the job. And although “I can’t stop there!” follows today’s post, it actually serves as the background and history leading up to it and the confirmation of why it was published at all. By my last post, I hope to have made my case of why me, why now. How at first with man, now “with God”.
This is 16 year old Daniel’s story, as told by his parents…
http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Parents-Looking-For-Justice-Over-Bullied-Sons-Suicide-249343011.html [Newzjunky to Facebook] 😥
“God Bless YOU!” … Remember, it is not THE END until God says it is!!! ♥
On an end note… Having just watched “The Book of Daniel” movie by Pure Flix [The same production company that brought you “God’s NOT Dead” over this past weekend as a limited release, that is now #2 in the country], a particular quote that Daniel repeats in the movie has stuck with me… ‘I will only speak to you the Truth. If you would rather not hear it, I would rather that you ask me nothing!’ With that being said, if you would rather not hear the Truth from me, I would rather that you ask me… ‘nothing’!
The real 1st Book of Daniel…
Daniel 1 (NASB)
The Choice Young Men
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.
8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”
14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.
17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. 20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.