Education. Hands down I would fix the education we give our children. Not Maths or history or science, a social education. The skills our children often graduate school without that makes life so much harder for people who are different.
I’d try to let adolescence be just a little bit easier for kids like me. School is hard enough to keep on top of without being harassed and bullied ya’know? School was a nightmare for me; trying to keep on top of my over-the-top honours programme while living a relatively stressful home situation, the last thing I needed was to find my books ruined and have my classmates make lewd gestures at me as I picked them up. There just isn’t enough being done to educate people about what bullying actually is and developing the skills to deal with being harassed (or ya’know, to NOT harass.)
Even if it were nothing more than having a safe place for LGBTQ kids and their peers to go so they don’t have to worry about having garbage tossed at them for holding hands in the hallway. A place for education, a real education, where sex and sexuality and gender and alternative lifestyles are actually discussed and celebrated as the legitimate feelings they are. A place to learn life skills, like how to deal with negative emotions, a place for healing and therapy and acceptance.
God, If even one person had told me in 9th grade that feeling different was okay and that the feelings I was having towards myself we’re a normal thing to feel, I would have had a lot less scars from the constancy of feeling wrong and worthless. Children are out there being told that they are wrong for being different. One person calling them a bad name in regards to something they haven’t even come to terms with in themselves can be devastating. I still remember the first time someone called me a “faggot”, years before I would actually question my sexuality, nonetheless my gender identity. Life changing realisations, years delayed by the paralysing fear of being called “a faggot”, “gross”, and “wrong”.
Bullying isn’t getting knocked down for your lunch money any more. It’s evolved with the generations into a political bureaucracy. It’s turned into a biased trial of who can prove what to “the adults” who remain to be swayed if you happen to subscribe to a different belief system. (Not to mention the disregard for being a crying child as the fastest way to get ignored.) Bullies are not just mean schoolmates any more; they’re teachers who refuse to intervene in class, they’re principals who sweep harassment claims under the rug for football season, they’re guidance counsellors too over worked and underpaid to help a hurting child developing dangerous thinking get the help they need, and they’re administrators who as long as they’re getting paid will turn a blind eye to anything that stays off the news.
If I could help change one thing, it would be to be able to slap some sense into people about what is hurting others. Education reform at a societal level. I don’t know why we grow up and forget the pain of being a hurting child as if it’s “just how things are”. Abuse should not be ingrained into the fabric of society as “just growing up”. I will never understand how adults can’t see that their actions don’t just affect the adults around them, but that they are absorbed and re-enacted by the children who are always watching and the bulling and harassment that is so pervasive in our schools is because they’ve seen adults do it and think it’s okay. It’s okay, it’s funny, calm down it’s “just a joke”. It’s only funny to kids because at some point in some form they watched an adult do it and laugh at it. It’s people who don’t care to educate themselves on the disparity of others who teach that rape isn’t rape if it’s not violent, It’s people who refuse to talk about LGBT teen suicides because it’s not “polite conversation” that teach that LGBT people are not legitimate members of our society, and it’s people who hide behind religion to justify their violence towards minorities who teach that harassment is a solution to dealing with difference.
I can’t think of any repercussions of teaching acceptance.
*edit* rebloggable by request *edit*
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