Published: April 28th, 2015
Regan Flay has been talking about you.
Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school.
Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah.
The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but what nobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched...
Bullying: The Silent Threat
As I was researching bullying before I even wrote a word of Life Unaware, the statistics I discovered were sobering. According to a study conducted in Great Britain, over half of all teen suicides were the direct result of bullying.
It absolutely breaks my heart to think even one teenager thought life wasn’t worth living—that they couldn’t free themselves from whatever hell they were going through. Even one life lost to suicide it too many, so I’ve really been obsessed lately with what we can do to change things.
1. If you see someone getting bullied, say something. Far too often we fall into the psychological phenomenon known as the “Bystander Effect.” Essentially this means when we see a situation where someone needs help, most people won’t assist because they assume someone else will. This theory also states that the larger a crowd is, the less likely the person who needs help will receive it. So don’t assume. Take charge. If you see someone who needs help, tell a teacher, a counselor, or anyone with the authority to intervene.
2. Bullying can have devastating psychological effects leading to depression and possibly suicide. If a friend or loved one is withdrawing from friends, family, and social situations, if they are no longer enthusiastic about things they once loved, if they’re suddenly giving away their belongs, or making suicidal comments, again, tell someone. Make sure to listen and take what they’re saying seriously.
3. Organize and push for school anti-bullying policy reform. If you’re unsure what that means, a great place to start is here: Do Something
4. Ask questions about bullying to your peers. Find out the “who, what, when, where, and why” and report these findings to see what areas need reform and how to boost prevention.
Of course, these are only a few suggestions. While the internet can be a dark place for bullying, it can also be a healing place to come together and lift each other up. With that said, I’d love to hear your stories and suggestions for bullying prevention. Together we can make a change. #OneVoiceEspecially Regan Flay.
Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.