Frankly getting tired of suicide due to bullying

I didn’t have anything to do this morning so I figured I’d sit down for some news. Well, I knew that was a mistake when I came across this :

By NBCNewYork.com

NEW YORK CITY — A 12-year-old boy harassed by school bullies about his intelligence, his height and his deceased father killed himself in the New York City apartment he shared with his mother, according to relatives and those who knew him, NBCNewYork.com reported.

I browsed through the comments on that piece, and came across the usual flack by a bunch of Neanderthals saying “kids will be kids”, “fight back”, “grow some balls” etc…

There’s some idiot named Lori Christensen in Minnesota (Google her) who got herself in jail for being a bullying jackass. Constantly harrassing her neighbors, violating restraining orders or otherwise manacing everyone on the street. But guess what, she’s now in jail because her neighbors didn’t go “neighbors from hell will be neighbors from hell”. They didn’t “punch back”, throw insults back or otherwise return in kind. They got the cops involved.

Now tell me again why is it that adults have these legal defenses against the violations of their constitutionally protected rights (Life Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness) and children still don’t when the violator is another child?

Why is it that “kids will be kids” keep coming out? Where are the administrators? When are we going to see some parents behind bars for raising threats to society at large? Why are these little monsters still allowed to come to school? Why is it that they get to grow up and innocent children like these are lost forever?

As for the people saying “fight back”… just because some of us don’t have qualms about returning the favor, it doesn’t mean others will do the same. A lot of kids aren’t wired for that mentality. They’re vulnerable and, for crying out loud, they’re children! Now that word, “child”, may mean nothing to some of you, but it means a whole lot for those of us that still value childhood as a formative time that should be happy and safe. Not terrorized by a bunch of sociopaths and their enabler parents and possibly enabler teachers.

The psychological trauma of bullying carries scars that are no less severe and hurtful years later, just because the aggressor is another child.

By child or by adult, abuse is still abuse.

6 thoughts on “Frankly getting tired of suicide due to bullying

  1. In my very humble opinion, the rise of the internet and all the ways in which things can go viral is the big game-changer here. Yeah nerds like us got pushed around when we were young, before we really came into our own and found a confidence that transcended petty bullying…but there wasn’t a permanent cache where constant reminders of our social awkwardness could be stored for all eternity. Bullying is never ok–the “kids will be kids” cop-out is and always was bullshit–but now more than ever kids (and their lazy parents) have seemingly-innocuous ways to make their torture as close to perpetual as it can get. As such, there needs to more than just casual dismissal of the problem.

    • Of course.

      With the advent of social networking, not only is there a permanent cache, the treatment can continue at the bully’s leisure, and for all to see.

      I can understand the appeal of saying “fight back” because its those that don’t retalitate that get the worst of it. When I did get into fights, the nonsense stated to subside, but some kids are too fragile to do this and, looking back with the aid of added wisdom that comes with age, it was foolish and outright barbaric. Many of these children are also depressed and in a vulnerable state, which compounds the problem. This usually ends in tragedy.

      The dismissal was, if I do say so myself, bloody infuriating. Especially since the adults don’t really consider the fact that these kids will eventually be adults in our society with none of their ways mended. A bullying kid will grow into a bullying adult raising bullying children and the vicious cycle will continue.

      • I have to admire you: I was actually one of those kids who never fought back. I’m fairly well messed up, but I’m really uncertain as to how I avoided being completely messed up.

        The dismissal and seeming nonchalance of the adults to the plight of kids in this situation is rather baffling. But I think you hinted at it: it probably has to do with their own childhood experiences in this regard. Thus, the cycle continues.

      • Gosh, I don’t recally doing particularly well in any of those scuffles. ;)
        But, it’s true. Child bullies and adult criminals follow a very similar pattern: If the target is difficult, they move on to an easier target. Winning the fight isn’t what’s important, it’s knowing they’ll have to work harder to get their fix. Laziness and Schadenfreude seem to be the most common traits of bullies.

        I was a short, skinny, kid with a bit of a frizzy afro and I didn’t really care much to be trendy (read: Hand-me-down Giants hoodie and occasional worn out Raiders cap) so I had a perpetual bullseye painted on my back.

        We all have our own coping mechanisms for these episodes and if ours works… it takes years, sometimes decades, but eventually we can achieve some semblance of normalcy as adults.

        We turned out OK. I just hope today’s parents and teachers realize there are kids who don’t know how to cope, don’t know how to talk about it and above all else, have no one else to turn to for help. Desperate people do desperate things.

  2. Better late response than never….this bullying b.s. is like the eruption of the boil of overall non-thinking reactivity that is so overwhelming at present. I have often wondered why adults would allow children to be bullied or abused, and the thing of it’s what happened to them never really worked to my mind. It always seemed to me in my school years to be as though the group was watching some kind of sacrificial tableau, Here’s The Different One on A Plate sort of thing. The whole process IS barbaric and fighting back? Is not an across the board success as you have noted. The thought that a twelve year old would be in such extremis is truly awful. The additional fact that no one around intervened is equally awful.

    • This is a diffused Bystander Effect, I think. The idea that so many people might be watching somehow devalues our own responsibility to do something. So we have people with arms crossed saying “somebody ought to do something”. Well, when everyone says that, nothing really gets done.

      If we started prosecuting parents of bullies and firing administrators who allow bullying to happen, we’ll start seeing results quite rapidly. I say administrators and not teachers because often teachers report these incidents (or they themselves are instigators) and it’s the administration that turns a blind eye. They have the power to stop this.

      We have administrators do stupid things like banning hugging claiming it leads to inappropriate behavior, meanwhile the true evils are given a blind eye. That must stop yesterday. If some of these children had hugs when they were younger, they would have probably been less inclined to be bullies in the first place.

      We also need a nationwide blacklist of administrators and teachers who have had incidents of chronic bullying under their watch. If they suck at keeping the children safe, they don’t need to be around children.

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