The Weekly Wrap

Since it’s getting closer to the holidays, and your life is getting busy, I figured I would start wrapping our weeks up in one post for your convenience.

Though I’d encourage you to visit every time a story goes out, this should at least help condense it for you in a crunch.

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Of all the federal holidays, Veteran’s Day might be the most important. Without the men and women that we show appreciation for, it’s quite possible that none of the other holidays would exist as we know them. Featuring two phenomenal charities, Thank You: A Post For Our Veterans, was an appropriate start to the week.

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Thanks to a TechCrunch story that came through my reader, we learned that a Russian sports network, R-Sports, was threatening that it would revoke credentials for journalists found to be using smart phones and apps like Instagram during the Sochi Olympics. Though it seems focused toward maintaining a level of “classic journalism,” it looks more like the network needs to find it’s way out of the Dark Ages.

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I’m becoming a Certified Personal Trainer, and Chris Powell inspired me to do it. From the Extreme Weight Loss guru, to a very supportive wife, I’m on a journey to get certified, and help others understand that if I lost my weight, then they can too.

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Finally, Affordable Healthcare cracked me. After avoiding the topic for months, the president’s recent apology for the botched job that is the Affordable Care Act caused me to laugh. After finding a CBS story about three 20-year-olds that created a functioning healthcare website overnight, it’s evident that nobody in Washington has any clue what they’re doing.

That was the week for the Freelance Rider, and I can’t wait to see what we get from this weekend.

Bullying: Everybody Cares Until it Happens

The word that has jarred people the past few years, the one that creates a stir in any conversation about the way people are treated, is bullying.

But what does anyone actually do when it comes to handling the issue?

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I would encourage you to take a look at stopbullying.gov to find the laws and statutes that exist in your state, but note what the repercussions of bullying are.

Because the examples that I have both come from North Carolina, that is the state I looked at.

According to Stop Bullying, in North Carolina bullying has both laws and policies to protect victims of bullying, but when you look for the consequences of bullying, everything falls to the responsibility of the institution where the bullying occurs.

Essentially, the whole process is muddled with words so that you can feel “safer” about going to school, or sending your child to school, but there is no legitimate process for handling the issue.

Since I told you I had two examples, I’ll start with a personal one.

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Interestingly enough, North Carolina believes that cyberbullying doesn’t occur between adults, because nobody has ever been stalked or harassed online after they turned 18, and so the law only applies to minors.

The exchange above happened between a person that would go on to represent our school on a national level, despite a number of issues with other students. Since she carried that kind of report, when we found ourselves in her path, we reported it to student affairs and the national organization that the student belonged to.

The response from the university…

That we should leave her alone and avoid any campus activity that she would likely attend.

Again, she virtually ran the university’s student government, so basically we were being told not to participate in anything. Because we were the problem.

Demoralized that the university would slap us in the face, it’s hard to believe that anyone actually takes bullying seriously unless it’s happening to them. But what should a victim do when the powers-at-be choose to do nothing?

That brings me to my second example.

Paige and I were in North Carolina after our honeymoon and I was told a story about an employee whose son was being bullied, and she has had to miss work because of it.

Essentially, her son was being harassed in class by some other punk that wouldn’t leave him alone. The student complained to the teacher, who did nothing, until his mom had to complain to the school. The teacher separated the two boys for a few weeks, and because the issue had calmed down, move the two students so that the bully was sitting directly behind the victim.

After a few days of being harassed again, the victim took justice into his own hands and hauled off and punched the kid.

Of course, the victim was reprimanded for getting violent, but what was he supposed to do?

Now, after hitting the guy that was bullying him, his mom has had to go back into school to discuss her son’s behavior. Oh, and the teacher put the bully in the seat behind the victim so that he can go right back to harassing the kid because he knows if the victim hits him again the victim will be suspended.

Tell me how any of that makes sense.

What type of society are we trying to build where we fake emotion, thanks Facebook, and tell someone they are protected until they’re an actual victim?

What is it that we’re going for when the victim is always wrong?

I don’t have answers to either of those questions, but as a kid that got beat up in sixth and seventh grade, I’m curious to know what your suggestions are.

My bullies stopped after I hit them back, but what do you do when that doesn’t end it?