Friday, January 6, 2012

About Bullying

A young woman committed suicide by stepping in front of a bus. Her family says that she was harassed and bullied by her school peers until she took her own life. They want to find the perpetrators and prosecute them. While I have every sympathy for the family and the pain that they must be suffering, placing blame on anyone will not bring her back. If she was suffering to the point of taking her life, then shouldn't her family have seen her distress and intervened prior to such a drastic act?

Bullying may be tougher than I remember, and certainly everyone has a different level of tolerance. But my feeling is, if you can be bullied to death--you have more issues than just the abuse of your contemporaries. And, the family searching for responsible parties should look closely at themselves when placing blame. If this abuse was so intolerable why didn't they seek out these culprits before? Why wait until some disaster falls before confrontation of, or mediation with, these kids? Responsibility for her act surely cannot fall on the bullies alone. but it won't help the family to be overwhelmed with guilt..

Perhaps the family would be better served looking for forums and arenas to discuss the warning signs of suicide. To look for measures to prevent this kind of incident by focusing on the ones that commit the act and how to help them, not the bullies. Bullies are a menace, no doubt, but families need to learn to build trust with their children, coupled with an awareness of who their children are, to prevent this type of tragedy. Instead of looking for bullies, look for organizations that build kids up, help them to find what makes them worthwhile, unique, lovable. An organization like that might even weed out some bullies.