I am a firm believer in taking my troubles to God. He hears from me when a friend is ill, troubled or blessed. When it storms, I pray. When I’m wide awake listening to my husband snore, I pray (it may take a while to get there, but I do pray). Yet there are other times when so much more than prayer is necessary, especially if you are a person of faith.

A few weeks ago, there was a fight at my son’s school. Two 14-year-old girls went at it, one of them biting the other in the face. Following one half-baked news story which is so inaccurate that I refuse to point it out, the community has freely tried the case on the newspaper’s web site and on Facebook. Mostly they condemn the school and the teachers. One brassy teacher, God bless her, had something to say to parents who don’t parent. Part of the reason for this extraordinary hoo-ha is that this may have started out as a case of bullying.

There’s no doubt about it. Bullying is an epidemic in our society. Kids bully kids, and its no big surprise because they’ve learned all about it from the adults in their lives. Teachers bully students. Employers bully employees. People feel free to shout down anyone who disagrees with them.

So what do you do? This is a prayer blog, so you might expect me to say “pray,” and you should. Pray every day. Pray for the kids that you know who are bullied, but also pray for the bullies. And, when you are done praying, unfold your hands, get off your knees and do something about it.

Not sure what to do? First of all, go see the movie Bully. Here in the St. Louis area it is showing at Plaza Frontenac. Visit the web site for the movie. This page has a downloadable toolkit for parents.  Be prepared. They are going to insist that you do more than pray or complain to the school. They are going to ask you to do, because that’s how you solve problems. You pray for the tools to do something about them then you pick up those tools and get to work.

–SueBE