God only knows when schools and college will discontinue shuttering their doors. Just because your LGBTQ child isn’t face-to-face with the school bully doesn’t mean he isn’t being harassed online, 24/7.
We’ve all heard about cyberbullying resulting in suicides for those who are being abused on-line. GLSEN that studies the climate for LGBTQ students each year produces the same results: that LGBTQ students are more prone to bullying than heterosexuals despite efforts at inclusion in schools.
Remember Tyler Clementi, a promising Rutgers University student, who died at age 19? He jumped off a bridge because he was being “outed” online.
What can your at-home student do while on furlough to combat this insidious practice of bullying:
- Do not retaliate. Do not let your child call the cyberbullying parents to complain. It will only backfire.
- Keep a list of all upsetting messages, noting time, place, date. It will come in handy when your get the school involved and/or police.
- Model good behavior yourself by not bullying.
Says influencer and YA book author Carrie Berk, 17, who was bullied in elementary school, “throw yourself into projects you enjoy. It will keep your mind off the bully. Berk and her mother, Sheryl, have written the series The Cupcake Club. Their latest venture is Ask Emma for middle schoolers.
Do some confidence-building activities such as crafts. According to a study by Rutgers University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of New Hampshire in The Journal of Youth and Adolescence), https://www.newswise.com/articles/view/728361/?sc=lwtr&xy+10002023, teens who feel empowered are less likely to bully, harass, or commit sexual violence.
When class starts up again, you will be in the position to find an ally to outwit the bullies in your guidance counselor, principal or trusted teacher. If those personnel don’t solve the problem, check my blogposts:https://-when-the-school-personnel-are-the-bullies/9/3/17 and https://when-the-school-isn’t-an-ally/8/19/18.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.