It infuriates me that it takes yet another kid ending his/her life to get politicians talking. To get all of us talking. Here in Canada, our federal government is talking about it. Unfortunately, we didn’t talk loud enough in the past to stop the people who bullied Amanda Todd and we didn’t do enough for Amanda to know that she’s not alone. That people out there give a shit about kids like her.
I don’t have any answers to this other than to say that we can and must do more to let bullied kids know that help is out there and that we care about them, we worry about them, we want the bullying to stop.
As an author of both adult and young adult novels, I’ve been scratching my head over the past few days since I first learned about Amanda Todd’s suicide. I wonder if there’s something that YA publishers can to to help … like, maybe a list of links (in our books? blogs?) to websites and resources that can help kids who are bullied. (Feel free to shoot this down if you think it’s a lame idea.)
Or maybe just a small symbol of solidarity. Something that kids could easily recognize as being a sign that they’re not alone and that people truly do care about them.
Above are some jpeg’s that I made this past weekend. I’m posting them on my blog for other YA authors and publishers and bloggers who love YA to maybe post on their blogs and websites and Facebook pages. Maybe if a symbol like this could make its way onto the spine of a YA novel – of every YA novel (yeah, I’m ambitious but it’s an idea, right?) then we’re all speaking with one voice. We’re all saying that bullying is socially unacceptable and young people like Amanda Todd should know that hundreds, thousands, millions of us give a shit about them and we’re putting our stamp on it.
For me, I’m beginning to post links on a new page with resources and support services for kids who are victims of bullying. I’m going to use my little stamp I created as the icon and I’d encourage others who support this idea to do the same.
Imagine if all us who write, publish and are fans of YA fiction got together to stamp out bullying. Imagine if a small symbol like the one I’ve created started popping up everywhere. Imagine if bullied kids saw that symbol and knew what it meant?
Bullying needs to stop … now. I hope YA authors, publishers, bloggers and fans start talking about it. Maybe together we can do something. Maybe together we can let bullied kids know that people give a damn about them and they are never alone.