Friday, November 5, 2010

Jodee Blanco - A Survivor of Bullying Shares Her Heart and Soul!

Tonight, I did two things to nourish my heart and soul.  I shared my hopes for a brighter tomorrow and took action!

First, I met a dear friend, sampled a few delectable treats, feasted my eyes on beautiful decorations, learned of some local wineries and shared some hopes and dreams for the coming week.  Such a grand way to begin an evening. 

Little did I know, my evening would get even better!

At 6:30 pm, I battled rain and traffic to attend a special presentation by Jodee Blanco who was speaking at my church on the topic of bullying.  This topic is near and dear to my heart and soul, as I have heard one too many stories of young lives that are traumatized by insensitive comments and actions.  I have read too many stories of cyber-bullies and I wanted to know what I might do to keep my kids safe.

I very much wanted to hear what this survivor might be able to share with me.  Looking at Jodee now, you would never know....


Jodee told of her school days and the torment she experienced daily.  She bared her soul and history.  She reenacted her junior and high school experience and she had me transfixed. 

She talked about being pushed down the steps, being pinned down by several students while others ran to the parking lots to make snowballs which they stuffed into her mouth, ears and clothing.  They left her there choking. 

She talked about the nightmare of going from table to table in her high school cafeteria and never finding a place to sit.  As she asked each group if she might join them, they rejected her, sneered at her, and she was humiliated at every turn.  From that day forward, she spent her lunch period in the restroom eating stale snicker bars. 

She talked about her senior yearbook being ruined by a hateful remark when all she wanted was one pleasant memory of her graduation year.  She talked about her one friend, Mitch, who saw what was being written.  She described his eyes welling up, described him putting his face in his hands and sitting silently, while other students walked in, took a look and snickered. 

Much to my delight, Jodee's story has a happy ending.  She actually returned to her high school twenty years later and found a way to forgive her classmates and herself for believing the lies that were repeated time and time again throughout her school days.  She wrote a book about her experiences, then another and married Mitch.  She now travels all over, speaking to children, teachers and parents on what they can do to stop bullying. 



If you have been bullied or are concerned about your children, your neighbors, or community, you can learn from her too.  You may wish to read her book or join Jodee's  anti-bullying community.  You might want to read Jodee's blog to learn how to manage bullies and reduce bullying in school, on the playground, in the neighborhood and on-line. 


Jodee recommended Social Shield as a way of keeping our kids safe on line.  While many of our teens are reluctant to befriend us on Facebook, we can rest easier with Social Shield.  I came right home and ordered Social Shield. I am currently testing out its capabilities for free and while this system is new to me, it looks very promising.  I hope to report more about it in the days ahead.

While reading the Social Shield blog, I came across many resources, designed to keep our kids safe, because while our kids may be "cyber savvy" and know more about new technology than we do, our kids are not necessary "cyber secure." The online resources found here, from Stay Safe Online, provide tips about basic Internet safety, online gaming, cyberbullying, social networking and more. 

I learned much and tonight I will sleep better, knowing that I took action to feed my heart and soul.  

  • What do you do to nourish your heart and soul?
  • What is keeping you up at night?
  • What information can you share to brighten your life and lessen your load?
Please share your responses in the comment box below. 

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