Bullying and teasing are especially familiar to children and youth involved in alternative beliefs and lifestyles. Being pagan, Wiccan, Satanist, goth, or LGBTQ - or any combination of these - can make them even more of a target for christians that believe that their faith and their god justify their actions.
Take a look at a recent case here in Utah
When you believe that your god justifies your bias, then you feel no remorse in targeting those different from you for persecution. Yet look at all of the depression and anti-depressant use among younger mormons. Many can't live up to the need to be "perfect" in the eyes of their god and their fellow mormons. Their faith is literally killing them, and yet some of them go and treat others this way in order to make themselves feel better.
School administrations are another issue entirely. They adopt "zero tolerance" policies to remove from themselves the responsibility to think. They "counsel" anyone that does not conform to their norms because it is easier to control or modify the one, than it is to admit that they need to change their policies and outlook. Even some of the teachers watch the kids to find out who is not popular or different or is made fun of by the other kids, and go they along with it to keep their popularity up with the majority.
If you are one of their targets, do not give up. Others are with you, and it does get better. While school seems like everything to you right now (hell, school administrators talk about your "school career" like it's your destiny), it is not. There is a whole universe out there beyond school. Seek it out. It welcomes you. Our order welcomes you too.
On Teaching Targets To "just ignore it"
It's very easy to tell your children to "just ignore it". They can sit there, stoic like a little statue, staring straight ahead and act like they don't hear it - hoping the whole time that the bullies will get bored and go away. But that's not what happens.
First, the child still hears those things said about them. They hear the laughter of the other children at them. They know that if they open their mouth to try to deflect it or laugh back, it will just get worse. If they laugh back, the bullies just get more emboldened.
Secondly, the bullies want a response - not just the approval of their cheering and laughing classmates, but they also want to see the hurt and pain they are causing. If you deny them that, they will escalate to the point of physical injury to get that response. They will find a way to get their satisfaction.
Telling the child that is being bullied and teased to ignore it does not solve the problem. The problem is with the bullies, not the targets.
If you would like to know more, and learn about the case of Tempest Smith, please visit our Youth Ministry page.
So mote it be.
High Priest and Magus
The Liberated Of Lucifer