Last year was once again full of complex problems and we have no doubt you had your share of trials/tribulations. In 2015, Robert Cabell, the founder of the BATCOTW campaign, was carrying an unnaturally heavy heart. It swelled with pained realization that bullycide was a bigger problem than he ever considered. As a writer he was compelled to research what on earth was going on. He found himself caught up in a plethora of news reports describing the plight of children (children!) who ended their lives before they really started. The violence and cruel quotes from bullies made him recognize a very different world from his own school days.
His heart broke to hear sobbing parents describe who their children were by listing their interests and developing talents. Robert, like many who look into this matter, so found himself drowning in the sea of photos with smiling faces. Faces that would never smile again.
Pictured: Reagan Hacks (12 yrs) who committed suicide shortly before Christmas 2015
Also in 2015, I crossed paths with Robert at his local writing group. I must say it is still very refreshing to know an older adult intent on keeping imagination alive and healthy. He recognizes value in diverse voices and sees being creative as a tool to address very real concepts. Despite not having any children in school, Robert impressed me by pushing his wish to support those dealing with bullies and the effects of bullycide the best way he knew how – music.
Did you know he once wrote a whole musical (google ‘Pretty Faces’) surrounding a body positive theme for women as a result of an adult woman being bullied? That’s a point he may get onto me for bringing up, but I see that mindset as it relates to his BATCOTW music video. He deserves cudos for trying to change hearts/minds through the power of song, while also working to present comfort/entertainment to his audience.
After joining his anti-bullycide crew, I’ve contemplated who that audience is. After all, it cannot be denied that a good portion of our followers are adults. Adults like Mr. Cabell refuse to buy into the thought that the bullying children face today is “just part of growing up.” After all, how can anyone use the phrase “growing up” when children pushed to commit suicide have lost that chance?
Here are our team’s 2016 New Year resolutions: We hope to continue creating and expanding a safe space for anyone of any age. To pay homage to the needlessly lost children; while helping grieving parents relay their message that this is not just “a kid’s problem.” We must tackle misguided stigmas and learn how we can better lead by example. We must spread awareness to both children and adults alike. After all, Intolerance and hate brought upon ANYONE at ANY age affects us ALL.
Reagan’s story and photo can be found here: http://www.lex18.com/story/27744700/parents-say-bullying-drove-daughter-to-suicide