Two girls in my daughter's 7th grade class attempted suicide in the past 4 weeks. I see a small grieving class of 13 yr old's trying to make sense of their microcosim called middle school. They are forever changed. The school sent out a note to parents saying the girls have trouble dealing with conflict. Administrators and teachers are afraid to talk about what exclusion does to a person's spirit, how we all need just one friend and and what being a member of a school community really means. I wish we could develop program's for middle schoolers where they are mentored by high school students telling them they will survive middle school-that all the dynamics change. I wish there were a series of videos like the one's Dan Savage made about being gay, but with people talking about surviving bullying, exclusion and feeling alone. We need the world to stop saying, "well it's just middle school or high school" and instead find way to identify kids who seem isolated and help them develop friendships, social groups and a sense of belonging. I think this would also end much of the school violence we see. We have too many kids hurting deeply in isolation and not finding a place in their school community.
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