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March 21, 2010

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Rebecca

The incident you mentioned about the girl who asked her teacher to make the other kid's stop throwing things in her hair struck a chord with me. I remember growing up there was a boy who lived on my block, and for some reason he was continually picked. This went on for years. I never really got involved in teasing him, but it never occurred to me to ask anyone to stop. Or for that matter, it didn't even occur to me that there was something very wrong with that scenario. Years later, my mother and I were talking about the incident, and she said that as an adult, she always regretted not saying something to stick up for him. We forget that adults really do have a strong influence over kids to "do the right thing". Now, I try to lead by example. My daughter and I have had many a discussion about how kindness is so important.

Debbie

This is a very interesting topic. I don't have one of these experiences related to abuse, but I have had experiences where I second guess myself and think I should have helped someone.

For example, I once came upon an accident on my way home where one car was flipped on its top and the other was off to the side. It had obviously occurred not too long before I drove by as there were no other cars or emergency vehicles stopped. I did call 911 and they had indicated help was on the way. I kept driving. I immediately regretted that decision. I thought of the poor individual that was in the car on its top. Likely they were trapped and couldn't get out. Could I have stopped and helped at least comfort them while the ambulance was on the way? Why didn't I? Afraid of what I might see? It was so easy to rationalize it by saying that I called 911 and at least reacted that way. If I was in a similar situation, I would have loved to have someone actually stop and tell me "everything is going to be ok." I chose not to that time, but I have promised myself I will not let that happen again!

Recently there was a young girl (6 year old) that was killed when she was struck by a vehicle on a highway near her home. She and some other kids were playing and decided it would be ok to climb the fence near the interstate. There were comments in the paper after that in which one person indicated they had driven by and saw the kids playing near there and didn't stop to do anything. I don't blame that person for not stopping, but they will live with that forever. Could they have intervened and gotten the kids to the other side of the fence? Could they have called police to come before the little girl was hit? We'll never know, but the point is...people can and should get involved. It is tough to do, but it truly can make all the difference.

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