I know what it is like to be bullied. I know what it is like to have done something sexual that I would rather have not done, then to be publicly humiliated by it. I know what it is like to attempt suicide. I am not contributing an opinion without experience.
Bullying has always been around, and it always will be. The format has and will continue to change. As long as we have abusive parents, and glorify aggression, we will have bullying. As individuals, it is the responsibility of each of us to conduct our interactions with others in such a way as to negate this phenomena, but only you can make that difference.
How schools deal with bullying is different. They are an institution set in place to prepare our young for the current culture. In this day and age, that includes processing the aggression of others. We cannot control the behaviors of others, so how does a school deal with it appropriately then?
Suicide scares people. It creates emotions where there were none, and causes people to do things they might not normally do. This isn’t necessarily bad, until the coddling starts. When someone commits suicide, the adults affected become overly sensitive to their young. We want to protect them, even if they don’t deserve it.
Even if a school knows the suicide is a result of bullying, instead of reacting to the individuals involved, they coddle everyone trying to prevent another suicide, trying to figure out the cause of the behavior that lead to this moment. How do they prevent bullying in the future.
How about expecting young people to face the consequences of their actions? Do you know what bullies without guilt grow up to be? Recently in Florida a young lady committed suicide because of a sext that was spread by another young female. There were a few web pages dedicated to torturing this girl. How are the schools going to deal with it?
I can tell you what they won’t do: That female who shared the private picture between two dating individuals with the rest of the world, will not be forced to set her eyes upon the dead classmate before she is made all lovely by the undertaker. She will not have to go to these parents who are burying their child and look them in the eye. Every single person who posted on those web-pages will not be forced to accept that they killed someone.
Sounds harsh? It damn well should be! Why should they stop teasing if they don’t understand the real consequences? Yes, I am also aware that there are real consequences to making someone understand the depth of their actions. By calling these kids murderers, they may become the next suicides. Fine. These are real consequences too.
You see, I am a murderer of sorts myself. I knew things that I could have prevented and I did not, resulting in the death of someone. Yes, that knowledge made me attempt suicide once, and contributed to suicidal tendencies most of my young life. It also made me more aware of how my actions, in-actions and even words can impact someone else. My perspective may be warped, but there is no doubt that I learned to be a better person.
The young people need to understand their impact on the world. Adults walk around talking about their ineffectiveness, not even realizing the greater impact they have that they do not see: The impact of the impression we leave on those around us. They watch and the listen and the rarely take in the exact lesson we hope for. They are still watching and listening.
To the school administrators in Ruskin, Florida: I recommend you require a gathering of all those involved. It shouldn’t be at all difficult to look up the students who posted comments and their parents. As a group, they need to understand the consequences of their actions, as well as how to proceed. Everything negative in life can be turned into a positive if we only learn from it. If a student or parent refuses to attend, expel them. No matter how hard we try, we cannot save everyone.
To all of you: Talk about it! Talk about it! Talk about it! Talk about it! Talk to your kids not just about suicide and “how do you feel”. Talk about the fact that bullies are murderers; they know they are being mean and that being mean can cause the victim to commit suicide. That is pre-meditated, and you have a duty not only to your child but to the rest of society to prevent your child from becoming a murderer. Help them learn the real consequences a few spiteful words or actions can have. Share this idea with your kids’ friends. Get involved. We who do not speak up are no less guilty that the female who shared an intimate picture with the world.