Archive for the ‘Bullying’ Category

by jhwygirl

With the Clark’s Fork rising, search efforts on a 15 mile stretch of river were called off after efforts both last night and this morning and afternoon failed to turn up the body of a male 19 year old UM student.

The student had jumped into the river with a female companion early yesterday evening around 6:30. Response was instantaneous, as community member Mikal Anderson was on the trail adjacent to the Madison Street footbridge (where the jump was made.) Anderson – a certified EMT and lifeguard instructor – jumped into the river after the young man who had immediately showed signs of trouble once he surfaced briefly from the jump.

I hope he gets the public thanks that he deserves for his effort.

While the loss of a life under such a reckless act does leave me shaking my head wondering why anyone would jump into the flooding waters of a Montana river, what I heard on KECI on this evening’s news leaves me very disturbed. And concerned for the still-visibly shaken Danielle Chesley who witnessed the jump.

Ms. Chesley tells the the story of a young man who was goaded into jumping by a girl – even after having expressed a fear of the water and its temperature. here is the interview, but be warned that you might find it upsetting.

My heart goes out not only to the family of the victim, but also to Danielle – who expresses concern for the (as of yet) unnamed victim’s family. While the family will no doubt struggle with this loss, they will struggle more with the knowledge that some companion of their son prodded him to do something despite his clearly demonstrated misgivings over his ability to handle the situation.

A tragedy. In some ways, a tragedy multiple times over.

After watching the KECI interview, I can’t help but think of what bullying does. Hazing is another form of bullying – and whether the victims are 9 or 19, the results can be tragic. Undoubtedly there was no intent to cause harm, but there also appears to be a lack of concern for the personal safety of the victim.

I am leaning towards this having been a situation of bullying – and I am left wondering what we can do as a society to change the community standards that create an environment where this kind of behavior happens.

Life is never perfect and there will always be tragedies – but recognizing the factors that bring about situations like that which resulted in the tragedy witnessed by Danielle Chesley yesterday evening may be one step in ensuring that a life is saved the next time someone considers pushing someone too far. Or the next time someone considers “yes” to doing what the victim did when the jumped from the bridge.

by jhwygirl

Bringing it back. As always, consider this an open thread

If you watched only one The Daily Show this week, hopefully it was this one. He starts off with “Democracy” – brings in Saudia Arabia’s lack of it with regards, especially, to women. Slaps the U.S. for embracing Saudia Arabia and then whips it all together with #occupywallstreet and the NYPD attacks on peaceful protesters.

On that note, here’s The Nation’s FAQ on Occupy Wall Street. Just the basics, for those still wondering what it is.

For your visual pleasure and cultural and even perhaps political curiosity, some pics from an expat living in China, twitterer @lonniehodge – who’s also a TED speaker.

I was seriously asleep on this one – Supermontana reporter John S. Adams broke the story, then Don Pogreba took the Rep. Denny Rehberg Federal land-grab story and pulled it all together with a very thorough analysis.

More hypocrisy from Rehberg. Against National Monuments, but fine with handing over unilateral authority over Montana’s borders to the Department of Homeland Security. Kinda like a double-dip of hypocrisy there, isn’t it?

Speaking of hypocrites..the face of Montana’s reasonable conservatism Montanafesto absolutely rips on Reverend Harris Himes’ criminal activities in this post titled Hypocrite, Meet Karma – Another Righteous Right Winger Down.

Himes, if you haven’t heard, is Blaming the gays.

Jack over at The Western Word had a piece this week about a local drinking-and-driving tragedy there in Great Falls. He has written quite a bit on the topic of drinking and driving, and I had, in fact, had reason to come across this tough criticism on the legislature from this past session just today.

Are you reading James Conner? Because you need to be. James’ latest piece at the Flathead Memo is on the bullying incident at Glacier High School. The story is pretty sick, and I knew it was going to get ugly when the coach resigned as the story broke. For all that, read this earlier post from James, which really rings together the whole sordid thing, along with a local history of the issue, together.

Montana is one of only 5 states in the nation without anti-bullying laws. Congressional candidate and state senator Kim Gillan sponsored SB141 this past session in an effort to address bullying. While it passed the Senate, it was tabled in the House Education Committee. A blast attempt on the floor failed also, 63-34. That’s not a party-line vote, btw – looks like 2 Republicans might have voted with the Dems to try and get the thing a fair floor hearing.


2nd Grade Bike Rack got linked to in an Huffington Post piece on the Keystone XL pipeline this past week. Pretty sweet! Kudos to James for that. Wanna read it? Republicans Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline.

That’s all I got – what about you?

by jhwygirl

I’ve been able to listen to some of the Free Conference HB2 budget hearing today and I have to say I’m thoroughly disgusted.

A short summary might be something like this: Dems Sen. Carol Williams and Rep. John Sesso make motion after motion to replace federal funding into the budget and every amendment was rejected. With little to no discussion.

This is money that Schweitzer has said will be one of the reasons for his promised veto of the budget: It is federal funding that will go to another state if we don’t take it.

The amount is upwards of $100 million, much of it for social services.

Today the committee sparred, with Lewis jovially leading the charge of not budging on any amendments that I heard offered by Williams or Sesso. There really was – again, I’ve only heard part of it – little to no discussion. Clearly, as this quick report on today’s hearing points out, the Republicans have no intent to negotiate this thing at all.

They want that veto. Keep in mind I use the word “jovially” to describe how today’s hearing played out.

Plainer wording is that the Republicans were downright disrespectful of the legislative process and their fellow legislators. It wasn’t hidden. It was unprofessional and unfitting of someone for whom I’ve expressed respect for in the past. Yet alone the rest of them.

Senator Carol Williams – goddess that she is – has more grace in her baby toenail than all the Republicans I heard joking and jabbing today in committee.

Here’s an idea: Maybe the 18 Republicans that are fond of federal subsidies for their agricultural business should signal to Sen. Dave Lewis (who is heading up the joint committee) that they are more than willing to allow the addition of the federal monies to the state budget.

Either that, or I suggest the hypocrites give their federal subsidy money back, just as they are forcing the disabled and poor of Montana to do.

Hell – Rep. Janna Taylor, a Republican out of Dayton could start the “give back” off with her $1,017,491.

Quite the welfare check, I’d say.

Then there’s a whole other bunch of tea party anti-federal money. Here’s some of the bigger hypocrites:

Sen. Bruce Tutvedt, R-Kalispell, $643,063
Sen. Jim Peterson, R-Buffalo, $637,547
Rep. Lee Randall, R-Broadus, $507,674
Sen. John Brenden, R-Scobey, $497,291
Sen. Taylor Brown, R-Huntley, $473,563
Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, $380,160
Sen. Donald Steinbeisser, R-Sidney, $241,761
Rep. Daniel Salomon, R-Ronan, $223,865
Sen. Ron Arthun, R-Wilsall, $213,800
Sen. Terry Murphy, R-Cardwell, $188,427
Rep. Mike Milburn, R-Cascade, $141,770
Sen. Debby Barrett, R-Dillon, $123,378
Rep. Christy Clark, R-Choteau, $122,287
Sen. Rick Ripley, R-Wolf Creek, $89,847

By Duganz

People who’ve heard me run my mouth, be bombastic, and generally be one of those awful folks who becomes a comedian when he’s given an audience, are usually shocked that I was picked on, and suicidal through most of my freshman year in high school.

I don’t usually mention that year because, well, it’s sad. And it bums me out. And that’s not very funny for my audience.

But it’s the middle of National Bullying Prevention Month, and there seems to be a lot of bullying lately. By no means am I trying to overshadow tragedies like this, I just feel that there is a good chance someone reading has a kid (or is a kid) going through this. And maybe the more bullying stories we all share–among friends, in the comments section, in a video for the ItGetsBetterProject— the more people will get involved to stop bullying.

So this is the story of when my bullies nearly won.

Beware, salty language follows. Continue Reading »

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