The latest teen suicide, results of bullying on the rise, was a Rutgers University student “Tyler Clementi”. Tyler was only 18 years old, just beginning his life, when as the result of his classmates placing his private sexual encounter on the internet, he ended his own life by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River.
Teen suicides are on the rise due to other teens bullying them in one form or another. Kids will text message nasty things, bully children on the school bus as in the case of “James Jones” daughter who has cerebral palsy, or record, and place horrible things on the internet, approximating what happened to “Tyler Clementi”.
In the case of “James Jones” he was so disgusted about his daughter receiving unthinkable bullying, that he went on the school bus and confronted the bullies. This poor man was arrested for defending his daughter. Yes, he too was bullying, but he was also defending his daughter. Why didn’t the bus driver ever put a stop to this? The school reports that, “appropriate action was taken against the bullies”. What about the bus driver who was there every day, while these bullies took advantage of this girl and others, what happened to them?
As parents when we leave our children in the hands of school bus drivers, teachers, and administrators we expect them to be safe. The schools do have rules, but are they fair? If a fight happens and the victim does not do anything to defend themselves, in our school district in Monroe County PA, both students get suspended. What does that teach the children? If someone hits you, you might as well hit them back, because you will be suspended anyway, that is ridiculous.
Bullying is going to far these days, where are the parents of the bullies, do they even teach their children the “Golden Rule”, treat others as you want to be treated? Yes bullying has been happening for generations, but now with the use of cell phones as video cameras and the use of the “world wide web” everyone can see the embarrassment a child goes through when they are bullied. This causes more shame to the victim than it ever could before, and in some cases, the victim resorts to suicide as a way of escaping that shame. Maybe this is why teen suicides are on the rise, as a result of bullying, the exposure is greater now.
As parents we need to be vigilant when it comes to our children being bullied, in whatever form that takes. If our children are suddenly acting insecure, we need to talk to them and find out what is happening in their lives. We should always know what is happening in our children’s lives regardless, but more so when they are being secretive or keeping to themselves.
As for parents of bullies, we need to teach them how they are hurting others, and what could result from that. The bullies need to know that their behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances that videotaping someone, without their consent is wrong, and exposing that tape to the world is twisted.
There will never be a world without bullies in it, that is something we must accept, but when teen suicide is on the rise because of bullying, we as parents need to do whatever we can to protect our children. As long as that is not resulting to violence or bullying the bullies.