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Boy's YouTube flashcard video highlights torment from bullying

By Myron Mathis, Special to Chronicle



By now many of us have seen the video of eighth grader Jonah Mowry revealing his feelings to the world by flashing index cards for the camera. In fact, as I was leaving Bits & Bytes with my Mile-High burger from BYOB, I saw a diverse group of five students huddled around a laptop watching this video.

Jonah's cards describe how although he puts on this façade of being a joyful eighth grade kid, he is not. Since the tender age of about 6, when Mowry was in the first grade, he has been bullied and tormented. His homosexuality was the butt of jokes. He started considering suicide in the second grade.

Lacerations adorn the body of young Jonah all over. It is a shame that even today people are that cruel to torment this boy as much as they have. Whatever happened to being your own person? Being unique? If you vary even slightly from the norm you are a freak, outsider, or "weird."

I am glad to say that Hofstra is seen by many as a safe haven and place of extreme acceptance of all kinds of people. But sadly, the world is a cold, dark place which some have sunken deep into.

I was brought up on that timeless adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." In an ideal world, this would be true. In an ideal world young Jonah wouldn't be tormented the way he is. We must realize, it is imperative we realize, that we don't live in an ideal world. Although it is good to be optimistic about your endeavors in life I take the mindset of a realist. Realists acknowledge that the world is what you make of it and that things aren't always going to be great and peachy-keen.

What has happened to Jonah Mowry for so long is an abomination and something should be done about it. Change can only come about as a result of action. One must be as informed and cultured as much as they can and it is partly the responsibility of teachers to provide this education. More importantly, what is taught at home is ingrained into one's psyche and stays with them the longest. It is time for us to make a change, not just for us, but also for all of the Jonah Mowry's of the world.

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