On Feb. 13, The Union (thankfully) printed my op-ed entitled ‘And the bully epidemic continues … ’
Since then, I’ve seen and heard some very disheartening things that only further remind me of just how bad things can be when sick people (young and old) do cruel things to others.
Over the last 15 months, I’ve heard stories of sexual abuse (between two students), bully by committee (of cowards), rape (including gang rape) and the usual “mean-spirited-antagonizing’ of someone who’s already suicidal — really makes you wonder what’s going on in this “so-called” peaceful community.
Concerned citizens should be forming anti-bully coalitions, outreach programs — something!
Do I sound frustrated? I’m just getting started.
In the last “bully” article, I tried to be informative and inspirational, which was (apparently) an ineffective approach to such a rampant epidemic.
In fact, most who read it were saddened and confused. Well, it’s time to dry your tears and wake up.
If someone is bullying a loved one, the time to do something about it is now. Hopefully, while reaching out, they can avoid the label of“snitch” which is a social death sentence in this county.
Students should also feel free to ask their parents to enroll them in a self-defense class. Nevada County has many and most are very reasonably priced.
Remember, self-defense courses don’t condone violence. Self-defense courses are especially beneficial when it comes to teaching our youth the quickest way out of a bad situation and empowers them with the knowledge that, despite the odds, they’re calling the shots. It is a very valuable life lesson that not all parents can teach their children.
In fact, some parents sadly don’t want their children (biological or otherwise) to learn any life skills, which really only makes sense if said parents have ulterior motives.
On May 12, a young lady (“Maria”) arrived at the after-school program where I volunteer. I was just leaving when she got out of the vehicle that she came in.
I noticed immediately that something wasn’t OK. She walked over to me and proceeded to melt in my arms in tears and talking very rapidly. I was able to get the gist of what she was saying.
Somebody had abused her physically and psychologically. She was beside herself and terrified but she wasn’t acting crazy. She was and is still the victim! I took her to the Hospitality House where they simply followed protocol.
The next thing you know this terrified young woman is being dragged away in handcuffs and chained to a bed in the jail — you get the meaning.
At 11 a.m. the next day, she was placed in the emergency room still terrified, lost and just about broken. I’ve known her for two years and she was always the happy-go-lucky one — the one that I never thought would be broken by anyone.
She’s the person that I now proudly call my “niece.” The minute she told me she was in the ER, I dropped what I was doing and made arrangements to go see her. We had an awesome visit. The next day, in a crumbled heap, she was ‘hauled-off’ to St. Helena mental institution in Vallejo.
Earlier that day, I had spoken to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition. They really wanted to help but couldn’t because this poor girl is “stuck” in a conservatorship. When I called Adult Protective Services twice, they told me that her story would have to be validated by her foster parents.
Long story short, no one really wants to help her. She has bruises. She’s been physically suffocated. Her wrists are swollen and, through it all, she’s acted no crazier than anyone else I’ve ever met. Somebody please help her help herself. Give her a chance in her upcoming court hearing to have her voice heard. Give her the chance at life, liberty and the “pursuit of Happiness” that is endowed to us by our creator and our United States Constitution.
Reach me at 530-615-8312 or firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you and all the Maria’s that are dealing with a system that’s failing them, miserably.
Mike Craig lives in Grass Valley.