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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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We do know that some kids become bullies because they encounter problems at home and they feel they are unloved. So parents must always guide their children accordingly and make them feel loved and secured.

Misery loves company. People do not understand that when a bully is lashing out at someone else it is their own insecurities. Not to excuse countless deaths among teens, but to try to understand how it can work. Throughout middle school and high school I was the unpopular kid with a gay mother. My own sisters tormented me in front of their friends. My older sister because I 'was hanging out with her friends' and my younger sister because 'I embarassed her'. I was actually trash canned when I was a freshman in high school. I took a swing at one of the three kids who forced me into a trash can. His mother was the nurse for the school....I was in trouble. Of course them dumping me in the trash can was not as bad as me swinging but whatever...After many years of torment, I learned to use my tongue. Quick wit at a mile a minute worked really well. People were afraid to fight me after that.I then protected those who were coming into high school because I will not stand for someone to be picked on because they are smaller or 'weaker'. Some of these children who are tormented could be the the next Emily Dickens or Bio-Chemist, or Govoner. Who the hell are these kids and teachers and parents to think its all harmless? There is no such thing as harmless!

My daughter at 4 years old was in a car accident she was pronounced dead at the seen of the accident and taken to the hospital any way where she again was pronounced dead, but kept moving so the doctors kept working and to make a long story short after being in a coma for 4 months with sever brain damage came out of the coma, she learned to eat, talk, walk, and do almost every thing all over again and lived she limps and one side of her body is larger than the other and she has trouble learning but she is wonderful … to make a long story shorter, God works in mysterious way and now that Josie has come out of the coma she has a chance to be whole again and I will pray for her.

i give you a lot of credit for defending your daughter like that and i am glad it worked for you. back in the 80s my mom tried to do the same for me and it made matters worse. i fear for my young children and the garbage they'll have to endure once they reach that certain age.

Linda, I agree with you completely. I was just telling what worked for me. Kelley, Linda makes parenting look easy, but she'll be the first to tell you it's HARD WORK! Everyone's situation is different and needs to be handled differently. Aside from that, you can be the best parent in the world, but those babies come with their own personalities and sometimes no matter what you do, there are going to be issues.

Re: all the comments on my daughter/password/access situation... difficult to paint the full picture here. I do control her access to the computer at MY house. I keep the keyboard locked other than when I need to use it. The head-butting begins when she needs the computer for a "school assignment" but then ventures her way onto Facebook, etc. You'd have to know the personalities and dynamics of the situation to understand just what a huge nightmare this is. She is a very smart girl and a very good student (3.9 GPA in an Honors curriculum). I don't want to undermine her school achievement. She is also smart enough to manipulate me emotionally and tell me that if I am "unreasonable" she will just go live with her dad full-time (I have FULL legal custody, however, when a kid hits 16, they have a lot more influence in custody arrangements even when it's clearly driven by being with the more lenient parent). I should also say that despite the challenges with her against my attempts to impose boundaries for her well-being, she is not one who is going to be bullied or to do any bullying. She is confident and outspoken and on more than one occasion, she has stood up to bullies and "mean girls" in defense of other kids who were getting picked on. My ex is aware of the issues with the Internet, and he and I both talk to our daughter openly about them. She understands the dangers... or she understands them as well as she can for a smart, headstrong 16 year old. I am onboard with being her "parent" vs. her "friend" - no issues there. I have always been the primary source of discipline in her life (and the recipient of the commensurate disdain). But when Dad can easily undermine what I do, it's not terribly helpful. Really, it's got to be very confusing to a child - like whiplash. Which is why I've asked him, practically begged him, to please work with me on some rules of engagement that we can consistently enforce (on "big things") at both of our houses. He just sloughs it off and says, "You can't control what I do at my house" and then throws in something like "And look which one of us she likes more, too" for good measure. Re: keylogging software, yes, could install it, and would actually TELL HER about it, not do it behind her back, but it is expensive, and like everyone else, I don't have a lot of extra funds laying around. Ditto on software that could block specific websites. And the real issue is the lack of solidarity between me and her dad on this -- if she knows she can't have her "freedom" and "privacy" at my house, she'll just restrict that activity to his house (or a friend's iPhone or something). As I've told her, "You shouldn't be saying or doing anything online that you would need to worry about me seeing." Suffice to say it's a complicated situation, and one where I continue to try to protect her and counsel her but not completely alienating her (and we've had some very rocky times; she's my only child, and it's hard to always be treated as the wicked witch.) And, despite it all, she's a "good" kid -- unconventional, non-traditional, strong-willed, but "good" and I love her to pieces.

With our girls the law was laid down when they were first given access - to ANYTHING - WE have the passwords, period. If you're not doing anything you shouldn't be doing, then there's nothing to worry about, right?

Even good kids have lapses in judgement, or get contacted by questionable people. I do not see this as overstepping at all. It's about safety, period. Facebook accounts, email, phone passwords, etc. SAFETY.

In order to avoid more confrontations with my 16 y.o. daughter,(since pretty much everything else is a confrontation,) we installed a keylogging program on the computer, but we TOLD HER we were doing so. Periodically I will remind her, "You know we can see everything you do online, right?" Sometimes I thinks she thinks we're just kidding about it, but we're not. We do check up. But this way, if she opens a new account we don't have to rely on her "remembering" to tell us, yet we are not going behind her back.

Linda, thank you so much for bringing attention to this heartbreaking story. Living in MA. our papers have been doing an excellent job of following this and keeping the pressure up - Kudos to Atty. Elizabeth Scheibel for not letting negative opinion stop her from prosecuting these bullies. I am so grateful that my 9 year old grandaughter, who has Asperger's, goes to a school w/absolutely 0 tolerance for bullying - toward her or from her (Aspies don't exactly censor their thoughts - and her all too honest opinions sometimes can be regarded as bullying -) but we do feel secure knowing that her school knows her well, and keeps her protected from others (and at times from herself :) - My heart aches for Phoebe's family - that is a pain that may never truly heal - but if her death brought nothing else - it seems to have brought this issue to the forefront - and I doubt that school officials and others in a position of authority will be able to turn their heads w/impunity again. As one of the columnists in the Boston Herald said today, "Phoebe's death is as much on their hands as on the hands of the bullies."

There ARE ways around that, it's just a matter of how you feel about it as a parent, i.e. is it going too far or not? You can install keylogging software on your computer that will run completely undetected by the user. Anytime a child enters their user name and password, it will be recorded. You can call the program up at any time, using a user-defined key combination and review it to your content.

The issue that comes to my mind with this is the risk of further alienation from your child because you went behind her back to get information they were purposely keeping from you, should you have to confront them about anything. Of course though, as many have said before, your job description says "parent", not "friend".

If you can't control the password, then they shouldn't have any access. It's pretty simple as far as I'm concerned. As for your ex? Bad on him. Privacy is all well and good, but teenagers need boundaries and someone checking up on them. I have three of the most well behaved kids out there, but I still monitor what they do. I'm sorry you are butting your head against the brick wall of his stubbornness.

Kelley, clearly Linda wasn't referring to you since you seem to want to do the right thing with your daughter's Facebook account. She is spot on in judging your ex-husband, though. Any and every expert on kids will tell you that kids that age shouldn't have unsupervised access to the internet without some sort of parental supervision. Perhaps you could find and print out some of the gazillion articles supporting your position so they could see your not just being a control freak. From what you've said, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference but it might at least open some communication lines for you and your daughter to discuss your worries and the very real problems teens have encountered on the internet.

Different comment - bullying is as much mental as physical. My friend's son is a very big boy, what you would consider a gentle giant. Chris reminds me of Michael Oher in the Blindside.

But when he was in Jr. High, he was constantly getting picked on, despite his superior size. Some people just want to poke the bear in the cage to see what he'd do. He had repeated incidents with this one kid taunting him physically - pokes, kicks, etc, and constantly brushed them off. My friend even went to school to complain, and told them that one of these days her kid was going to snap on someone - it was inevitiable. And when he did, because of his size, someone was likely to get hurt.

Well, one day the little bully did something to Chris (purposely jumped on his foot or something) and little boys being boys, Chris kicked the kid - in the crotch! Bully's mom immediately showed up at the school screaming for police, lawsuits, etc. Luckily at that point the school administration stood up and told her that her kid was the one that was the ongoing problem, and it all ended up dropped.

Something interesting in the Josie Ratley story in FL - the guy who beat her up was texting her because he was trying to locate his ex-girlfriend, and thought Josie knew where the girl was, and that's how their issue got started. But - the ex-girlfriend is the one who told the Beater where to find Josie, and knew he was supposedly going to go beat her up and did nothing. So the police have charged the ex-girlfriend too with some sort of aiding and abbetting. And I'm glad. Maybe that will send a message that it's also not OK to just stand by and let it happen and do nothing.

This happened not to far from me, so we get it on the news. They interviewed several kids, including boys, who were standing right there watching it happen, saying how horrible it was. But they did nothing. A teacher who saw it was the one who finally stopped it.

It made me wonder - if I saw this happening, what would I do? I too would be very, very scared to jump in between two strangers, especially when one was as violent as this boy was. But on the other hand, how can you just stand there? Certainly a dilemma.

Linda - You wrote "If your child has a Facebook, email, or text account and you don't have the password, shame on you." Okay, shame on me... now tell me what I do when my daughter, age 16, ferociously refuses to give me those passwords and her father (from whom I've been divorced since our daughter was 2) wholeheartedly supports her right to privacy and her "autonomy" by not sharing those passwords? I do regular combat with him AND her on this, and I come out the loser, as the one caricatured as a "control freak" and getting nothing but more avoidance and withdrawal from my daughter. So what about that kind of reality? Sure, I recognize that her father should be working with me on this, not against me, but if that were possible, we'd probably still be married. It's all well and good to "shame" other parents who don't meet your standards of what they should be doing, but I'd suggest you walk in my mocassins awhile before you go forming judgments on parents you seem to think don't care and don't try. (For the record, love your site and I think you have a beautiful family.)

On March 17th in Bath, Maine a 15-yr old committed suicide by jumping off the local bridge at 6:30 in the morning. My daughter who goes to the neighboring school brought home a note from the principal about the incident that went out to all families. Apparently he was the target of bullying as well. I didn't know this child or his family, but I did go to that school when I was 15. This is a small town and things like that just don't happen here. I guess I was wrong.

bullying HAS gone on forever - just look at Little House On The Prairie, and how absolutely hateful Nellie Olsen was to Laura. Of course, Laura let it roll off her back, so it never amounted to much, but it sure showed just how truly awful Nellie was. I, too, was bullied like so many here. MS & HS s*cked, and I wouldn't go back for all the money in the world. I'd often dreamed of moving to a new school, so I could start fresh. BUT, here I am, 43 years old and STILL living in the same small (pop. 5000) town I was born in! Oh, well...

I never told my dad. I had too much shame and fear and crap in my head - I had tried to talk to a counselor at school and was told that if I wasn't so obviously gay it wouldn't provoke the other kids.

My son's high school has permanent police officers assigned to the school to help keep bullying down to a minimum. He is in ROTC, so he's never had problems - they all hang out together. I think that bullies are too cowardly to approach a whole group!
Next year, my middle son moves to high school and my daughter moves to middle school. I am NOT looking forward to it!!

I too was bullied in high school. Stalked. Harrassed. My things and home were vandalized. And the school did nothing, even when my Mom went there and named names. What happened? I was lucky enough to have an older cousin who had plenty of friends. They bullied the bullies, and it stopped. I feel for these kids cause they have it a helluva lot worse then I did. But you do get to a point where you will do anything to just make it end. I spoke up to my parents, and they acted. Kids: Speak up to an adult you trust! We can help! You arent alone!!

I love that Theresa!! That is the best revenge!
I imagine my 'attacker' barefoot, pregnant with her 5th illegitimate kid from 5 different men. Starting on her 3rd pack of smokes for the day with a bottle of jack 1/2 gone sitting on her trailer porch. And protective services taking her kids away to a nice home....
Okay I can dream can't I!
No offensive to anyone!! Just her!!

When I was young, from elementary school through college, my hair was always too curly, I wore glasses, I was too tall, too skinny, my skin was too pale, ...

I spent a lot of years wishing I was prettier, that my hair was straight, that I was short like the rest of the girls (you all get the picture).

Somewhere along the line I "bloomed" a little bit, and whether I actually looked better or just gained some self-confidence (I don't know which), I stopped worrying about all that stuff and lived life.

Now I am WAY more successful than any of the people who made fun of me all those years ago, so I guess that's my "revenge" - my friend always says that the best revenge is to live well!

My heart just absolutely breaks for people who think they are "ugly". Like someone said, ugly is a term for an ugly heart. The kind hearted people of this world are all beautiful. Katy, you made me cry, because I, too, have a boy, and he also goes to the neighbors often on their trampoline, tells me lots of stories about the fun he and his friends have, and I also wish I could freeze his innocent mind and heart, if just for awhile.....

This story couln't have come at a more appropriate time for me. Just last night I had an HOURS long conversation with my 16 year old daughter about this very subject. Apparantely there are a few mean girls that have been spreading rumors and blasting her on every social networking, blogging site that teens use these days. All because of her boyfriends jealous and immature ex-girlfriend. This ex-girlfriend has spread numerous lies about my daughter to anyone and everyone in cyber world. Luckily I have full access to my daughters Facebook page and started to see some of this myself. Also, my daughters boyfriends mom does the same with his account and was on top of it just a quickly as I was. His mom ended up contacting the ex-girlfriends parents and had a very stern conversation with them about what was going on. She then contacted myself and my daughter to let us know what she had done and would stay on top of it.
I just don't understand how parents can be so checked out of their kids lives and just let them get a way with hurtful crap like this. My daughter was sooo incredibly upset last night and there was just no need for any of this at all.

It makes me sad to hear so many similar stories of pain that DIDN'T HAVE TO BE. One of my therapists told me I wouldn't believe how many woman she has treated over the years whose issues likely stem from crap that happened in middle school. Hugs to everyone out there who has leftover pain, and also to parents who make their children aware of how hurtful this type of behavior is. I can't imagine the pain of the parents who have lost children as a result of bullying.

Yeah it really does stick with you doesn't it. I can still remember being in 6th grade in middle school and for some reason we had gym class with 8th graders. But they were the 8th graders who were not in the regular 8th grade population. They were essentially the troublemakers and were separated from the rest of the kids. But for some reason they grouped them with us 6th graders for gym class. Theres such a huge size difference at the age between 11-12 year olds and 14 year olds. I can remember being afraid to go to the locker room to change because if they came in they would target us. Nothing major ever really happened but it still caused me to dread going to school everyday.

I often wonder what happens to these kids. I do remember one getting killed in a car accident while in high school but I assume some of them must go on to be successful adults. Do they remember how they traumatized other people with what they maybe saw as innocent pranks/hazing type stuff?

Naturally I meant the kid's expulsion from school.

And while I am at it, the suspension without pay for six months of teachers and principals who knew about it and did nothing.

Since Facebook seems to pop up quite a bit in these cases I think they have to be penalized somehow too but don't know how.

I have been reading these stories in the news and just like everyone here, am just sickened by them. I, like Nesee, am glad I have a son, because emotionally, I don't know if I could handle something like this. I would want to kill all the little beotches myself.
Last Saturday was a beautiful day here in Jacksonville. My son's two neighborhood friends were with him in our back yard jumping on the trampoline and laughing and having a great time. Later when I looked out to check on them, they were all just laying on their backs on the tramoline, talking and looking up at the green leaves and blue sky, and I thought if I could freeze a day to have forever, this would be one. Every child should be able to have those days where you don't have a care in the world, no pressure, no bullies, just a day to lay back and look at the sky.

I was picked on a lot too but back in my day it never escalated beyond the verbal.

You know when bullying this horrific ends? When the PARENTS are arrested and must park their butts in jail for 30 days or so in addition to automatic expulsion and detention in a juvie hall for the remainder of their high school years (or a min of 2 yars, whichever is longer).

THAT is when it will decrease mightily.

Middle school was absolute HELL for me! My mom was very old fashion - so when the other kids were in their Gloria Vanderbilt's & Calvin Klein's, I was in slacks & blouses, as a young lady should dress for school! The other kids had their hair on full Farrah - mine was on full Toni home perm! I was very tall & thin, and had large glasses & braces - trust me - I looked like a q-tip with a fro & glasses! I also hadn't "bloomed" yet - I was as flat as could be. I was tormented - teased, name called - threatened to be beaten up for calling someone a bitch (of course I never said it - but it didnt matter) there was a very mean girl who had it in for me - for whatever reason & everyday we would be on the same stairs going in the same direction & she would grab my hair at the back of my head & yank me backward & I would go flying down the stairs. I was truly frightened of her - I never did anything to provoke it, she just chose me to pick on. I never told, for I feared the retaliation would be worse. It went on for a whole year - then 9th grade (7,8 & 9 was middle school back in my day) came & she got pregnant & dropped out. At the end of 9th grade she came in with her baby & stopped me in the hall. She apologized to me for everything she had done & said that having a baby made her grow up in a real hurry & she knew what a bitch she had been to me. I forgave her - but I never, to this day - have forgotten. 90% of the kids I went to school with went to the south side high school, the rest (including me) went to the North side. I was thrilled! I was able to be away from those kids - start fresh - make new friends. High school was a turning point for me. I came out of my shell & started to LIVE! I can only imagine what I would have done if I would have had to endure another 3 years of torment from those kids.
I have had a few find me on FB - and have apologized, saying people grow up etc...I know thats true - BUT...its still hard, some 30 years later - to get past it.
I am teaching my daughter that we accept everyone, we treat everyone the same. We dont EVER BULLY. I have told her (in lesser detail) some of the things I went through - and asked her how she would feel if she eitehr did that, or had that happen to her. She said - Mom, I would never do that to anyone! And if anyone ever does that to my daughter - well, it wont be pretty! =)
Sorry for the length - kinda felt good to vent that!

To DEC and Valerie - my heart goes out to you. I understand - I really do. You are both beautiful to me.

I can see with my 14yr old daughter how just an offhand remark or supposed slight can crush her spirit. I can't imagine going through what these kids went through day after day. How heartbreaking if faculty just stood by and did nothing to stop this bullying.

Bullies have been around forever - I was lucky that the worst I endured was a name in junior high that I am NOT repeating. It took me years to outgrow the name and I am never going back there. Kids are mean, that's all there is to it, and until parents take real responsibility and schools mete out real punishment, (ie. JAIL, EXPULSION) it will probably continue long after we are gone. Too bad - it makes me really sad when I hear that kids are killing kids.

You could have been writing my experience! I didn't "know" I was a misfit and unworthy until I moved to live with my dad and began attending school there.

Just the year before I was a "popular" kid in my 5th grade class, was a cheerleader, "went with" several boys (you know...when holding hands and passing notes was the biggest deal ever) and had tons of friends. I sometimes wish we had never moved from there...I wonder how my life might be different had we stayed in Vicksburg MS and not moved back to Washington state.

It's funny I haven't thought of that till now. And never realized how it did 'stick' with me. And how the emotions just came pouring back, after 30 years...So weird!
But I was lucky we moved right before 9th grade and high school was awesome. Not that I would ever go back!!

My brother was bullied in middle school and high school until he put on some muscle and looked like he could kick butt (he probably could have but he's just not that type of person.) My sister was bullied horribly throughout high school. We went to a small high school (200 kids) and she was one of the 2 overweight kids; the other girl was willing to make fun of herself, my sister, not so much. After a guy punched her in the leg in the middle of a band practice hard enough to leave a bruise the principle told my mother that she "needed to get a thicker skin." My mother explained that if the principle did not deal with the situation appropriately then the police would be called and THEY could deal with it appropriately. The verbal harassment continued but no one dared to touch her. The thing that really gets me is that when we go to our town picnic (small town, everybody shows up) and see the people we went to high school with all of them has said that they never realized how bad it was for her and that had they known they would have stepped up to help stop it. I was the lucky one... I kinda floated along, managing not to make ripples in the water.

Makes me sick. Where the hell are the parents of these bullies? Sorry I was always taught to treat others as I expect to be treated.

Not only was Josey beat up by that jerk, her classmate was set on fire about 5 months ago over a video game or DVD or something that trivial. The sherriff of Deerfield Beach was on the news when this happened and he was just astounded by all of this. He thought he saw the worst when the boy was set on fire and then Josey got beat up. Oh and if my facts are straight, the 13 year old friend she was trying to protect is the one that pointed her out to the boy as he didn't even know who she was or what she looked like. Nice.

OK, I'm done ranting for now. Sorry!

I threw away my junior high yearbooks because someone had gotten hold of them when someone had it to sign and wrote mean, hateful things in them about me.

I am one of those who carries scars to this day due to the treatment I endured at the hands of classmates in junior high and high school. I am "friends" on Facebook with several former classmates but I still have trouble thinking of them differently than they were in school.

I read a wonderful book by Jodee Blanco about the bullying she endured and she has a new book out that I want to read as well. It is called "It's Not Just Joking Around - A Survivor's Guide to Bullying and Peer Abuse".

My experiences are part of why I went back to school to do therapy - I want to help kids before they are scarred for life or worse, end their lives.

http://www.jodeeblanco.com/book.htm

to DEC: Real beauty is from within. When people are 'good', they are beautiful. When they are bad, they could look like Miss Universe and they'd be 'ugly'. External beauty fades with time but inner beauty shines forever. I sent Linda an article recently about a spoilt brat of a beauty queen and I assure you, she looked ugly to me.

I'm just left with WOW. And it is exactly this kind of bullying, and the kind that DEC described above, that does stick. It leaves a scar on your heart, a tear in your soul that never goes away.

This just makes me sick to my stomach! Having a daughter in 10th grade I hear about the bullying that goes on as her high school. They do have a zero tolerance for it and seems they take care of a problem before it can escalade into something like this.
My heart goes out to their parents also, having lost a precious piece of there heart and lives. I can't even imagine it.
When I was in 7th grade we had to ride the bus with the high school kids. Where we got off the bus was a trailer park and I had to walk, by myself, 4-5 blocks to my house. Well this POS trailer trash, yes I said it, decided she didn't like me. She was in 10th grade. And every day I was spit at, called every name in the book till I would run past her. Until one day she decided to beat the living shit out of me. Nice. I hobbled home and my mom was, well how to describe it is hard. First she called 911 then the police. Then she and all 90 lbs. and 4'11" of her walked do to the trailer to talk to her mother. I only got some of the story but, they opened the door mother and daughter proceeded to call my mom every name in the book and kick and hit her as the police pulled up... Both arrested! So after going to the hospital with a fractured jaw and many bruises, I'm not really sure what happened after that. But I never saw her again. And her sister just avoided me.

I can't tell you how sick this type of story makes me. I'm 45 years old and still live with the emotional scars of middle school. I know, I know, it's time to "get over it." But at that age the brain is still forming and mine was hardwired to believe the comments I heard on a regular basis. I was called ugly, ugly critter, dog, dog face, wicked witch of the west, etc. I even had a teacher who saw a picture of me when I was little and she said, "You were so cute--what heppened?" (Real funny, huh? I still remember it more than 30 years later.) I thought about killing myself EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. The feeling hasn't gone away, and I know that if not for what happened in middle school, I would have been a successful, happy adult.

And lest someone think I would have taken the same path in life regardless of the taunting, I disagree. In elementary school, before I found out that I was ugly, I was extremely popular and self confident. We had what amounted to a monthly popularity contest which I won the first month and then overall for the year. Ah, those blissfully unaware first 10 years of my life!

I know many kids experience much worse than I did. And I know I am blessed with what I have now, which is soooo much more than what most people on earth have. But I can tell you that all the counseling in the world has not changed how I feel about myself. Short of cosmetic surgery, I will always see that I am not beautiful or even a little pretty, and it will always color my outlook on life.

I feel so sorry for kids who go through this because for many, it will stay with them always.

We live outside of Houston, TX. The elementary school my kids go to have a very strict bullying policy. The kids have had a lot of anti-bullying training, as I see my kids using it when they play with neighborhood kids. My daughter's going into 4th grade next year. We'll see how well it works then. In the meantime I am so glad they have charged those 9 kids in Phoebe's death, but what about the teachers/administrators/principal???

I am just appalled that the school did nothing to help this poor girl. I teach in a HS and we see bullying behavior all the time, unfortunately. The difference is, we are trained to handle it and bullies are not given a chance to continue their behaviors. We have a VERY strict bullying policy here. Our administrators are tuned into this issue and will personally handle any issue without hesitation. I have seen our principal take on a parent full of excuses and it was simply a thing of beauty.

These are the times that I'm so thankful to have a boy. I know he's not exempt from this type of behavior, but it doesn't seem quite as bad for boys.

Our school district is pretty strict about bullying, and have anti-bullying signs all over the schools, as well as a program that started in Kindergarten, educating the kids.

This is just so sad.

I remember the taunting from my teenage years, and I would NEVER want to relive those times. But you're correct - it seems as though teachers and administrators are too concerned with staying out of it and focusing on things like TAKS instead of intervening. Kudos to you for stepping in and doing something about the mean girls when it seemed as though no one else would - THAT is truly what parents need to do.

I love living in the digital age, but I wish that it wouldn't be used so frequently as a substitute for parental responsibility and teach your children not to be bullies. Maybe then we wouldn't see tragedies like this.

I saw this story today on GMA. Absolutely inexcusable on every level - apparently the town's parents are pushing to have the investigation taken further so that several of the faculty can also be charged with crimes for allowing the bullying to take place.

Of course, the saddest part is that we can't do anything now to bring these kids back. I just hope they rest in peace, and that their parents ultimately find some measure of peace here on Earth - I can't even imagine the mental torture they are now going through every single day.

And I sincerely hope every single bully and enabler gets their just due!

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