It’s not ironic that a bullied teenage girl in Canada committed suicide during a month dedicated to dealing with and discouraging bullying. It’s just tragic and a sign that no matter what we do, bullying will always be around until both parents and children learn to take personal responsibility for the world around them.
Because earlier this year, we also found out that teenagers who tried to stop bullying got in trouble, like in Florida where a girl on a bus stood up for a mentally disabled student and was then herself called a bully. And what about another case, this time this month, when a mother forced her 13-year-old daughter (here in the Houston area) to beat up another girl?
Do we really have no idea of what makes someone a bully?
The girl shot by the Taliban is just another example of bullies. Just like the Texas mom, they’re grown up bullies out of the school yard, but still trying to control other people’s actions through the use of violence, fear, and intimidation.
And I know I’ve said it before, but I know where this comes from. I spent five years in a Catholic school where the officials had no idea how to deal with bullying, other than blaming the victims or pretending it wasn’t happening. The parents of the bullies didn’t care, either. Their precious little snowflakes would never do such things. It didn’t matter that their precious little snowflakes were actually precious little bastards. The parents closed their eyes just as the school did, and my sister and I both suffered for it, along with anyone else who got in the way.
Now I wonder, just like I do when I see these news stories, how do the bullies feel? Do they feel justified? Do they feel proud of themselves? Are they honestly that devoid of humanity?
What about my now-grown-up bullies from 20+ years ago? What would they say if they met me on the street? Would they apologize? Would they justify their actions out of embarrassment? Out of a true belief that they’d done nothing wrong? Would they understand what they had done? What if their own children are being bullied? Are they outraged at the lack of response?
I can’t always blame children for doing childish things, but when it gets adults involved, and when it goes on for so long, I have to think that there is something going wrong out there…