“Many times people have asked me why I keep doing this and by ‘this’ I mean why I have continued to push our Anti-Bullying campaign,” says Susan Guess, founder of the Guess Anti-Bullying Fund.
Her answer is, “How can we NOT fight against violence and disrespect among our youth? I see the battle against bullying as a serious issue with regard to family values and the culture we are creating for the future of our children.”
We have all seen stories and media features on children who have lost their lives as a result of bullying. Guess and her daughter, Morgan, have made a personal commitment that children not become victims to this abuse.
“Like many issues, we often think that our child is not that vulnerable or that alone or desperate. But we must understand they CAN be and we must recognize that we have within our power the ability to prevent these ‘worst case scenarios’ by being diligent about raising the awareness of this prevalent cultural issue.”
Guess believes that this problem is not a school problem, but a cultural problem. Schools obviously care about their students. And yet it happens and continues to happen.
Not only does it happen, but it happens frequently. A teen is bullied every 7 seconds by another teen. Approximately 160,000 kids miss school every day because of the fear of being bullied. These are THOUSANDS of kids not getting the instruction they need to be productive citizens. There are 250,000 young people being bullied each month. Many more never report it. And the most startling statistic and the one that should get all of our attention is that by the age of 25, 1 in 5 bullies will spend time in jail. “This is not a school problem. This is our problem. This problem is bigger than a child being pinched or pushed around. This is about who we are becoming as a society” Guess adds.
“Bullying happens because we allow it to happen. It is as simple as that. As parents, as citizens, as members of the human race, we must begin to stand up and say, You will not do this and for there are ramifications. When we turn our heads or we tell our children to do so, we are saying that they are not important enough to fight for. We are teaching them to ignore the problem,” she adds.
The Guess Anti-Bullying Fund is a part of the Community Foundation of West Kentucky. All donations are tax deductible and all distribution of funds receive oversight from the foundation board to ensure donations are used for the intention of providing bullying prevention resources to schools and to the community. Donations may be mailed to Guess Anti-bullying Fund, Community Foundation of West Kentucky, P.O. Box 7901, Paducah, KY 42002.