After another tragic school shooting in Chardon Ohio, the growing issue and extremity of school bullying is once again being brought to the forefront of social issues today.
Is it enough that in the dark of tragedy to issue special reports that tout how wrong bullying is when most mainstream American Cultural cues support bullying? In other words there aren’t a lot of examples in pop culture today that encourage our youth to “play nice”.
I was 11 when teen relations took a turn in 1999. This was when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a trench coated rampage and killed 13 people and injured 24 others at Columbine High School in Colorado. Some local high schools where I was living at the time even prevented students from wearing trench coats to school some time after the tragedy. You would have thought such an incident would be a wake up call, but here we are in 2012, and several incidents later, I see that it wasn’t.
Most of the time adults are shocked when they find out their kid is being bullied or is doing the bullying. Some gasp at the possibility of a parent not knowing these things but I reflect back on my teenage years and know that, yes kids are crafty, and most project an image when amongst their peers that is different then when around their Parents. Some take this difference in behavior to extremes.
When I was in Jr. High I knew this one kid who was just an a**hole, there is no other way of putting it. He constantly sought to demean and pick on people. This kid lived on my street so we saw each other outside of school too. He was a different kid at home, at least when his mom was around. In the presence of his Mother you could distinguish this kid from an alter boy. This kid was two people, and he had the wool completely pulled over his mama’s eyes.
I doubt that there is a solution to bullying. All households are not created equal, and every child does’t have parents cloned from the Cosby Show. Given human nature, I don’t believe that bullying can be alleviated, but I do think a better focus should be on teaching teens how to react to a bully, and administrative processes in our education system should be altered to handle bullying more effectively then it has been.
Mama always said you can’t control the world, but you CAN control how you react to the world. Showing teens that there are peaceful solutions to any problem is key, but hard to reiterate in a world filled war and violence.
Hear what some kids have to say about bullying in this video “Kids React To Bullying”. The dialog is very informative and a testament to how intelligent, and aware our youth really are.