Lead with Two Rules: A Call to Action for Our Youth

In a shocking incident that took place in Las Vegas, a 17-year-old boy, Jonathan Lewis, lost his life while bravely standing up for a smaller friend who had become the target of a brutal attack. The assailants, a mob of at least 15 individuals, not only stole from the smaller friend but also threw him into a garbage can. The graphic video of this tragic event, as reported by the NYPost, serves as a stark reminder of the growing issue of violence among youth.

PLEASE NOTE THIS VIDEO IS GRAPHIC

https://nypost.com/2023/11/12/news/las-vegas-teen-beaten-to-death-by-mob-of-15-attackers-outside-of-high-school/

Over the years, I have advocated for the importance of being a "stand-upper" when facing bullies. However, this incident forces us to confront the reality that we are dealing with more than just bullies. This was a mob mentality, a collective act of aggression involving not only active participants but also bystanders who recorded the incident and shouted encouragement. It's time to reevaluate our terminology. Those who stand by and encourage such violence are no longer simply bystanders; they are "encouragers." All of these videos recorded and shared over and over seem to make others think it is okay to do these things. There is no sense of the “realness” of the damage it does physically, mentally and emotionally. They have a mindset it is happening to others, not me. Then when it happens to them, they may realize how awful it truly is. This level is far to high than learning a lesson, it is costing lives.

In light of this heartbreaking incident, I am compelled to reflect on the principles outlined in my upcoming book, "Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good and Feeling Safe." These rules are not just meant for the walls of schools; they are applicable to every corner of our communities. The philosophy behind these rules emphasizes the importance of consequences and responsibility for the choices we make. The title may seem simplistic, fluffy and as though it cannot really accomplish what is needed. I hope you take the time to learn about it, read it and understand what it can do. I utilized this philosophy in a school with children who faced real hard issues, gangs, issues with the police, drive by shootings and so much more. My expectations were high for everyone and never lowered. I never asked anyone to do more than what I was willing to do.

It is imperative that we, as a society, take proactive steps to address the multifaceted needs of the children we serve. Jonathan Lewis's tragic fate reminds us that tomorrow is too late for individuals like him. The responsibility does not rest solely on the shoulders of teachers, school leaders, or any specific entity. It is a collective responsibility that each one of us must shoulder.

Being an active member of our families, communities, and schools is crucial. We need to know who we are selecting as leaders, be aware of who is in our schools, and understand what is being taught. Establishing boundaries, guidelines, modeling positive behaviors, and fostering open communication are essential for the well-being of our children.

Moreover, it is crucial to address the increasing division in our country and recognize the distress our youth is facing—mentally, physically, and emotionally. If we continue to ignore these issues, the reflection we see in our society today will pale in comparison to the future we are allowing to be created.

Let Jonathan Lewis's tragic story serve as a wake-up call. It is time for us to unite, take action, and create a safer, more compassionate environment for our youth. The responsibility is ours, collectively, to shape a future where no child has to face such senseless violence.

As this came to my attention today, it is already old news. The incident happened on November 1, 2023. My reaction to the news feed was very mixed with empathy, anger, sadness and disgust. The news these days is full of things which generates these emotions instead of what is needed to bring our country together. My plea today is to do one thing today to honor the loss of Jonathan Lewis. Call your school and ask what is one thing I can do to help you today? Volunteer your time to eat lunch with children, cut paper, sort papers, copy papers, read to kids, put books back on shelves, help in the lunchroom, be a crossing guard or bus stop monitor. So many ways to be visible and to help! If you are an organization donate to the schools. Provide a family night discount.

There are so many ways to help schools! If anyone knows someone at Shutterfly, let me know. I would love for them to help me with supporting a family idea I have with my book to support community and school. We need to work together to lift each other up!

A follower of Bethesolutiondaily.com sent an email to me and provided an additional resource to provide more support to the readers and followers. Thank you, Susan Klein, Outreach Specialist-BroadBandSearch

The original post on Cyberbullying can be reviewed in case you missed it. Please share with me anything you believe will help others or leave it in the comments so others can see it as they read. I will get it out to others as quickly as I can. Very thankful to all helping each of us!

"Cyberbullying Statistics 2022 Resource"

I wanted to send this out again after talking with my friend Susan Klein. There are many who are working to keep information available to the importance of helping children feel good and feel safe. Two Rules is so important when we see bullying on display on the world stage.

Thank you for your work Susan and sharing with Be the Solution Daily! Utilize the link Cyberbullying Statistics 2022 Resource above for additional resources.

Cyberbullying

Bullying in school is still a concern after decades of trying to address the issue. There are many programs, strategies and techniques used to help address the issue. Technology adds just another platform for bullying.

This is according to the facts located on the stop bullying website. Cyberbullying is any aggressive, threatening, or “mean” conduct directed at a specific individual via electronic communication (email, social media posts, text messages, etc.). Did you know that girls are more likely to be the victims of cyberbullying? Also, boys admit to bullying others online. I have made the statement for years, “It is very easy to type or say things to a computer screen than to a person standing in front of you.” Understanding cyberbullying is an important step to take in beginning prevention.

The importance of having conversations about using technology is critical, but the topic of bullying is also essential. If cyberbullying goes on, it can cost lives. It is a true statement, as I have lost a student to suicide based on bullying at school and cyberbullying. The old saying of sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me ……now I replace it with cause death if not addressed with safety protocols. Peyton will always be part of my heart and memories. She moved away from me, but bullying issues remained a part of her life, unfortunately. I continue to work to stop bullying with you always on my mind.

Try this activity

Materials needed:

Directions: Pass out the materials to students. Ask them to squeeze half of the toothpaste onto the paper plate. Now ask students to try to get the toothpaste back into the toothpaste tube.

The students will work to try to get the toothpaste back in, but it will not go back in. It can be messy; this is why we have paper towels and wet wipes. This is how it is with the words we speak, write, text and type. Once we say, place ink on the paper and press send, it is done—no going back. The choice has been made. There is power in our words.

Helping students understand the power of the words we use, the actions we take, and the choices we make are essential in all of our lives. Everyone should feel good, and everyone should feel safe in the world we live in. It takes each one of us to work together to support the changes we need.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2023 Brenda Yoho
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