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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bullies - Teen Suicide

High school can be a hard time for anyone. The unpopular kids are trying to be popular, the popular kids are trying to stay popular, kids are trying to just simply keep under the radar, or some kids are trying their best to study/work and get the future that they want. To simple put, High School is tough.

But as tough as High School is, it is still shocking to hear about all these high school teens committing suicide and what is more shocking, is the lack of parenting/patrolling that goes on with some of these kids and students.

The first story that I can really remember is Eric Mohat's; a quiet, sweet boy that took great enjoyment is drama, music, and theater. Unfortunately for Eric teasing and bullying quickly came his way. What first started off with name calling escalated to teasing, shoving, and even hitting.... most of this taking place in front of school officials. A good chunk of the bullying took place in Eric's math class, in front of his own teacher, which also happened to be the school's athletic coach. At one point another student actually told Eric that he might as well as go home and shoot himself cause no one would miss him.

Eric took so much bullying and received such little help from his school that he finally took his own life as an escape; he was only 17. Not only did Eric commit suicide, but apparently 3 other classmates are linked to committing suicide due to bullying at that school, a term that is now being referred to as bullycide. Eric's parent have filed a lawsuit against the school, not looking for money, for the lack of control at the school and for knowing what was going on with out helping the situation.

Another sad story is that of Phoebe Prince, a 15 year old girl that has just moved here from Ireland with her family in 2009. Apparently 3 girls at Phoebe's high school were mad at her because she dated an older boy that was a football player, he may or may not have been or linked to one of the girls. The 3 girls stalked, name called, shoved, and harassed Phoebe at school and online, even after the relationship ended. 3 weeks after the relationship Phoebe hanged herself, that was just last month.

Her parents also have filed a lawsuit against the school and the girls. The parents are upset that the school did not do anything about the situation. The school was aware of these 3 girls that were bullying because they had bullying and even beaten up another girl at the school.

One of the saddest stories that I just read about was Alexis Pilkington, a beautiful 17 year old girl that was a star soccer player, a good student, and well liked by many. She was graduating early from High School and even had a sports scholarship to college.

The reasons for her suicide have not been completely revealed, there are still some questions, but her suicide is believed to be because of bullying because even after her death, teens were still bullying..... no, you read that right, even after her death the kids didn't leave her alone.

Alexis's friends created a Facebook memorial page for ever to go to and see pictures and posts memories of their friend, only to find some anonymous people had posted, rude, sexual, and even violent comments. Some people even went as far as to post pictures of someone hanging them selves and people who had shot themselves in the head.

Alexis's father has not filed a lawsuit and has not blamed the school, he feels that their is more the story and that there was more affecting Alexis then just bullying. But either way, bullying was going on.

I hate to ask the obvious questions, but WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE KIDS!? Who is to blame, how do we fix this, and who's responsibility is this to make sure that this doesn't happen again? How much is the school to blame, since a good chuck of the situations took place in the
school. Teachers see what is going on, security guards are in the halls patrolling, and parents contact the school telling them what is happening, yet nothing seems to really change. But is that the schools fault when we live in days when teachers can bairly discipline children without the risk of lawsuits them selves or their jobs being at risk. Are teachers and school hands are tied so tightly that is there really isn't much that they can do besides an after school detention?
Is it the parents of the bullies fault since they have such cruel children and they are not patrolling their actions. Are the parents absent or did they simple under estimate the problem. Was it just too hard for these parents to realize that their children are bullies? It is parents responsibility to raise their children, but how liable are parents for the children's choices... only if they are aware of what is going on and do nothing or are all actions parents' responsibilities?
Also, what about the parents of the children that are bullied? Did they ignore a child's cry for help, where they too busy to listen, did they not take the situation to the right people for help? I would hate to blame the parents that have already lost their children, but could they have fixed the problem if they had listen to their children more... been more in tune with them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is their fault, just asking ... what if.

Obviously, the bullies are to blame.... simple, easy, no question about it. The bullies are to be blamed and they should be held liable... but, who else? Are these just situations to prove that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, that violence/sex on TV is really affecting children more than we can even imagine, or that it truly does take a village to raise a child and everyone needs to help?

All I do know is that no one wins in a situation like this, everyone looses. Families shattered, lives lost, some lives are in jeopardy of being flushed away by their actions, and everyone is hurting. Does anyone have a fix for the problem or is it too late? Can we fix the damage that has already been done to the children of this generation that are so busy trying to grow up too fast... with material items being a must, sex at such a young age, children getting pregnant, school shootings, and so much more. What is a parent, a school, a government suppose to do with all of this?

5 comments:

  1. I also want to know where the parents of these teens who are being bullied are. My brother had some issues with being bullied in middle school, and when my mom couldn't get the administration to do anything about it she pulled him out and switched his school. She drove him to and from a school that is 15-20 minutes away everyday for 2 years because nobody would help him but her. Seriously, there definitely needs to be something done about the bullies themselves, and on that note, where are these kids parents too? I think that the issue has come about mostly because parents don't take the time to properly teach, love, and discipline their children. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but when parents are involved but not overbearing, the result is usually a well adjusted essentially kind kid who just won't get into stuff like that.

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  2. Wow a very thought provoking post.
    It's such a sad situation- and my 2 cents is that schools (and parents) need to start talking about Bullying and being mean spirited more often.
    The old saying...if you don't have anything nice to say- don't say anything at all- should be a daily mantra.
    There needs to be more pressure on these "bullies" to be held accountable and to start thinking about what it really feels like to be picked on, ridiculed or excluded.

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  4. Ashley I completely agree with your comment. And petite gourmand you make a really good point.

    However I wonder if these bullies' problem isn't so much that they don't know what it's like to be treated unkindly...but that they only know it too well? maybe.

    I strongly believe IF: parents/moms made it their "job" to teach LOVE to children, to kindly guide them & AVOID "bully" like behavior in their own parenting as they "discipline" these moldable children... THEN: these little individuals will become secure, happy, individuals who will generally be kind to others.

    Something tells me these "bullies" are unhappy and that's where the problem begins. But what do I know? All I DO know is that I believe happy people like to see/make other people happy as well.

    Anyways, Thanks for this post. Could be a difficult issue to address. So controversial. And also a sensitive topic to the many people sadly affected by this issue. But ignoring it probably wont change a thing. Increase awareness and the brainstorming solutions begin :) It's never too late. These sad stories can't be rewritten but we CAN try to learn from them!

    I'm hopeful

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