Use Your Voice

I have a love/hate relationship with the news. I inherited a strong sense of curiosity from my mother and so I often pore over any news I can get my hands on. I am also aware that I find myself sucked into it and when most of the news that I hear/see/read is disturbing, I find that partaking of the news often toggles my “joy” switch into the “off” position.

There have been a lot of news items that have toggled my switch lately… (You’ll probably be seeing a post on the Sandusky debacle sometime soon…) But then, yesterday, I came across an article online (that, much to my abject frustration, I can’t find the link for now) that just flabbergasted me—and not at all in a good way. The article shared the story of the mother who recently to found her pre-teen daughter (I believe she was nine) dead from suicide. The child had been mercilessly teased at school. Looking at the pictures of the little girl, I saw myself… the slightly overweight, blonde-haired child, smiling in pictures but suffering inside. It haunted me…

Tonight, I returned home from work, flipped on my local news station, and was immediately assaulted by another tragedy.

Bullied 10-year-old girl commits suicide ::

A child’s picture floated onto the screen. She had the face of an angel—a smiling angel. But at the age of ten, the teases, insults, and ridicule of her classmates crushed her spirit and drove her to suicide.

This news would have horrified and outraged me, regardless, but when I learned that this child was a student at the same elementary school where I attended fifth grade, the pain intensified a thousand-fold.

It’s personal.

You may remember that last week, I reposted my story on my blog. You know… The story of one of the many instances of bullying in my life. I had reposted it to share with a friend whose teenage daughter is being bullied at school… To remind her that she is strong and smart and beautiful and worthy.

What if somebody had told 10-year-old Jasmine that she was strong and smart and beautiful and worthy? Would she have still put the belt around her neck?

I can’t change what happened to Jasmine. But I think that it’s time for us to come together to make a change.

Children are dying. It’s personal.

When I tweeted the link to Jasmine’s story on Twitter today, several of my friends rose up and agreed that something must be done. God once told me, “I gave you a voice. Use it.” So, that’s what I and my friends are going to do. And we invite you to raise your voice with us.

On the first Saturday in December, there will be an anti-bullying Blog Carnival, hosted by Band Back Together. I will be there, as well my good friends Sarah Corente of My Own Beeswax and Bekka Favelle of Moonlight & Sunbeams.

Between now and then, put your pen to paper—or your fingers to keys—and find your voice. Were you bullied? How did you survive? Have you seen another bullied? How did that make you feel? Were you a bully that has realized the error of your ways?

Speak out!

The Truth will set you free!

Let’s get free together and help others get free in the process!

Remember! December 3, 2011 at! Come join us!

About Sarah Salter


  1. The bullying I suffered as a kid will be with me the rest of my life. Every time I look in the mirror the false tooth I see reminds me of the time two jealous classmates in elementary school slammed my face into the brick wall of the school because I was heading up a classroom play and they wanted to do it.

    Thanks for speaking out.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Wow, Jason! Thank you for sharing that story! I’m so thankful that you found the strength to overcome that abuse. God had then and has now a purpose for you and those two classmates couldn’t stop God’s purposes! Amen!

  3. I saw the same news story about Jasmine that you mentioned. It blows my mind that a 10 year old child would feel that suicide is the answer. Thanks for speaking out about your own experiences and against bullying. You never know who may be reading your words…could be the bullied, but it could also be the bully. I pray that your words and the words of your blog carnival peeps reach many and are used to encourage and to change hearts. Love you!

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Joell, it took me hours to pass from incensed speechlessness to the place where my outrage could find voice. You are exactly right… You never know who’s reading. Thank you for your support and for coming by! Love you, Sister!

  5. Bullying robs worth. Parents and friends need to reaffirm that worth. One of my favorite ways of looking at this is something my pastor said he shared with his daughter: something is worth only what someone is willing to spend. A candy bar costs $0.50 because that’s what someone will pay. How much are you worth? What price was paid for you? You are worth the cost of God’s own son.

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    That’s a GREAT point, Frank! There are SO many kids that aren’t hearing that, though. That’s why it’s SO important for US to tell them. Thanks, Frank!

  7. You’re right, this is ridiculous. I have felt this way when I hear a teenager commits suicide. I wonder how that hopelessness can so infect until they see no way out. But then to consider a nine and ten year old–around the age of my kids… it’s even further baffling. We may not be able to stop everything, but we can do our part and be the support these kids need. Good call to action, Sarah.

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason S, if I respond to your comment, I’ll be giving a spoiler for an upcoming post. So, let me just say Thank You! ((HUGS))

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