This is a letter I wrote to the editor of our small town newspaper a few weeks ago:
My heart sank as I read the article about racism issues. I had been under the (apparently mistaken) impression that there wasn’t much racial prejudice in Orange City. Yet the article indicated several students either laughed or stayed silent while one was abused on the bus. Where was the bus driver? Why didn’t he/she stop this? Were the students not taught by their parents to stick up for those who are targets of cruel students? Why was that one who sat on and degraded the student not taught to respect all people, no matter what the skin color or language?
School board policy 102 needs to be enforced by school board, principal, teachers, bus drivers, and all students who are brave enough to stand up for what is right and loving. We were all created by the same God, who commanded us to love each other.
Kids are often cruel, which is extremely sad. I think bullying has always been a problem, whether the color of the skin is different or not. Bullies will always find something different to ridicule about a person they don’t like. Bullying is a big problem in middle school or Jr. Hi age, but it may not necessarily be racism. I assume it hurts just as much for a white person to be harassed and ridiculed and abused by a white bully as for someone of color. Frank Peretti’s book, No More Bullies attests to that. In a town I formerly lived in, a white Jr. Hi boy was often ridiculed and belittled. One day he took a gun to school and shot those who had bullied him, plus the teacher and two other students.
Racism is not always the problem. Often it is just plain bullying. We need to address this problem. Why are some students like this? How can we teach them to treat others of every skin color with respect? Is a bully psychologically sick? Or acting out in anger? Did his/her parents not show enough love?
We need to learn to love one another as Jesus taught us, whether they are “red or yellow, black or white” and teach our children and grandchildren to do so, also. All of us are precious to Jesus.
Here is an article I found on the internet which may be helpful to people concerned about bullying: https://www.transfinder.com/resources/school-bus-bullying-prevention