Awakened!

He’s back!

James Tate, 34 year old founder of the Dallas Citizens Prosecutor Academy and an assiduous public policy student, is doing it again!

This time, as Chair of the Dallas chapter of GLSEN he is collaborating with educators, students, parents and supporters to make area schools a safe space for ALL students.

He joined me on The Journey, where I meet fascinating people with novel solutions to life’s tricky problems. He and I settled around a vexing issue: bullying. Listen to us here.

  • 3 million US students absenting themselves – fear of being bullied
  • 13 million US students bullied sick
  • Children being bullied silent – Dead!
  • Physical and psychological bullies in all ranks
  • Children thwarted from reaching their potential
  • Cynical folks shrugging it all off as no big deal
  • Torment labeled ‘teasing’ and ‘just a joke’

Really!

11 Year Old Hangs Himself After Daily Bullying

11 Year Old Victim Of Bullying Hangs Himself

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover (pictured above) hanged himself after enduring incessant bullying in school and despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. James Tate standing with Carl’s mother, Sirdeaner L. Walker (above), joins her in a focused battle against this endemic problem. I cannot even begin to imagine such a mother’s wound.

James Tate is not griping, growling, bashing in heads or pointing fingers – heightening awareness, yes, unflinchingly so. Courageous and indefatigable, he’s taking the necessary steps to keep our students safe, valued, respected and progressing!

As cool as a cucumber, seated before me, he carved out one portion of the problem with a collaborated solution, unfolded the plan to get this job done, ticked off the accomplishments thus far (and they’ve only just begun) then gleaming he says, “Allies (of the effort) get me excited! They stand with us. They make the difference.” Who-ah!

Campaigns launched:

They are making a superb difference … and they’ve only just begun.

UNT Equity & Diversity Conference – (Left to right) Dan Hinson, Dan Savage, James Tate

“Children are mandated to be in school seven hours each weekday; there is, therefore, a moral imperative to keep each child safe and secure and not facilitate injuring them in any form or fashion – physically, psychologically or intellectually.”

So why am I sharing these stories, so many of which are quite well known, when James Tate so strongly recommends seeing the movie Bully (See The Bully Project) and when students such as these (click here) in Dallas, reported by The Voice, are succeeding in their GLSEN campaigns, when folks such as Forthworth City Councilman Joel Burns are standing out so courageously for these kids?

In part, SANDRA SIMONDS answers my question in her poem: You Can’t Build a Child.

You Can’t Build a Child
with the medicinal poppies of June
nor with Celan’s bloom-fest of dredged stone,
not with history’s choo-choo train of corpses,
not with Nottingham’s Robin Hood
nor Antwerp’s Diamondland.

Not walking on the Strand in Manhattan Beach with her
silicone breast implants, refinery, waves of trash,
not out of the Library of Alexandria
with her burnt gardens that prefigure gnarly,
barnacle-laden surfboards broken in half.

You can’t build the child with the stone paths
that we have walked on through the atmosphere,
the pirate’s plank, the diving board, the plunge,
nor with the moon whether
she be zombie or vampire.
Not with Delphi, not with fangs, or cardamom bought
in Fez, red with spring, red with
marathon running cheeks.

Not with monk chant, bomb chant,
war paint, not with the gigantic Zen pleasure zones,
nor with this harnessed pig
on the carousel that I am sitting on with my son
in Nice, France. How it burns on its axis
as if it were turning into pineapple-colored kerosene
the way the Hawaiian pig, apple in snout, roasts
in its own tropical meat under the countdown sun.

James Tate & Eliza Byard (Executive Director of GLSEN)

References & Resources:

  • James Tate on The Journey
  • GLSEN DFW Website: http://www.glsendfw.org
  • Chair email: James@glsendfw.org
  • GLSEN DFW Facebook Page
  • GLSEN DFW Twitter: @GLSENDallas
  • Bully (Movie): http://thebullyproject.com/

  • Dallas Voice GLSEN related articles:

  • New GLSEN Chapter
  • Dallas Students Travel To Conference
  • Day Of Silence
  • This morning, I ran pass a mother steering her daughter’s stroller. As I passed by, the child said, “Hi.” I turned around and waved and replied, “Hi.” She waved. Her mother smiled. I smiled.

    When I stopped for my usual cuppa, I saw a dad feeding his golden daughter. She sat comfortably in his arms and seemed full of joy. And a mother was encouraging her son to continue his coloring, saying he will uncover a surprise. And his sister was kneeling on her dad’s lap inspecting his ears. Our eyes caught each other and we smiled.

    In part these are why I share these stories. This universe is ours.

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    2 responses to “Awakened!

    1. In some ways life was so much rougher back when I was in school. Bullying wasn’t even talked about. It wasn’t uncommon for girls to be grabbed at while walking down the hallway.
      Today it is so much more psychological with the advent of technology. I am glad to see that most schools have rules in place for this.
      Great post!

    2. Thanks much, susie. I feel privileged sitting with these students face to face and listening to them. I too am glad to know things are getting better. Glad you mentioned the onslaught of technology related psychological bullying. In fact, the kids asked me to do a program on just that topic. Thanks, susie.

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