Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Don't Understand Bullies

I don't understand the motivation of bullies.  Is there motivation?  Is it really something a "simple" as the bullies themselves are hurting, so they're projecting the hurt onto others?

If this is the accepted reasoning behind bullying, why isn't more being done to acknowledge that and step in?  Why is it that the bullying an sadistic natures of the bullies isn't truly addressed until they have killed someone - actively or passively.  On that note, why is bullying (that results in death) only looked at as a minor crime, if at all?

I was watching Anderson the other day; the topic was about bullying spurred on by Jamey Rodemeyer's recent suicide.  Jamey was bullied for years and finally, at only 14 years old, he reached his breaking point and hung himself from the swing set his parents got from him and his sister when he was 3 years old.  His 16 year old sister found his body.  His bullies were without remorse, and continued to bully him even after his death saying they were glad he was dead at a homecoming rally.

Why was he bullied?  Because he was self aware enough to know, at around the age of 12, that he was gay and was open about it.  Instead of being allowed to live his life, he was tormented to the point where he believe he had not alternative but to end his life.  Despite the support he had from his family, and some select friends, he honestly thought it doesn't get better.

My kid is about to start school, and I sometimes really worry about how bullying will affect him.  Will he be a bully?  Will he be bullied?  Will he take a stand against bullies?  I really hope it's the latter, but I also really hope that if it's the former two, that I will be aware enough as a parent and take steps to stop him from bullying and/or protect him from the bullies.   Already I know that my kid's school professes to have a pretty strong stance against bullying, and believe me when I tell you that they will hear from me if they don't. 

Jamey had a right to feel safe at his school, just like my child does.  His orientation shouldn't have had any affect on his ability to learn, to grow as a person, and to feel acceptance, not only from his peers at his school, but also from the faculty.  Too often, when you hear of yet another heartbreaking story of a child who's committed suicide as a result of bullying, you hear of faculty members that turned a blind eye to the tormented child's struggles.  Teachers and principals are reported to have told the children to just ignore their bullies.  They tell the children to pretend they're straight so that the bullies will leave them alone.  They go on about how awful the bullies lives are, making excuses for why the bullies behave abominably. 

If a teacher/faculty member at my kid's school makes excuses for why a bully/bullies are treating him like dirt, the staff will have a holy reckoning brought down upon them the likes of which they have never seen before.  If a bully creates any issues for my kid, that kid's parents are going to wish they never enrolled their child to my kid's school.  They're going to wish that they actually took the time to parent their child so that this mama bear doesn't make their life suck.

Bullies and their parents will be given no quarter* from me.

That's a promise.

*Authors note:  This is metaphorical, obviously.

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