"Where do they get these ideas?"
October is Anti-Bullying Month and I've heard some version of that question repeated over and over in different environments. Adults are shocked and shaken when they find out the magnitude of bullying that takes place in schools, on civic campuses, and in cyberspace. The latest trend is suicide by bullying. A number of young people have taken their own lives because this form of terrorism is so unbearable.
We just lost another youth to suicide here. The person was bullied in school and in her social life and she took her own life because she was discovering herself and her sexuality and found her budding affections were for the same gender. She was called “fag” and teased and “outed” by peers.
This scenario has repeated itself all over the United States and has prompted many professionals, teachers, legal analysts and leaders to develop materials for youth to combat bullying. The materials are coming from reputable sources like the Southern Poverty Law Center and Voices Education Project and accompany a new movement called “It Gets Better” which gives youth a forum and hope that life is better after high school. It is designed to let kids hang on while being battered with words.
Of course the communities are aghast at this trend. Neighborhoods are shocked. Schools and educators and clergy are outraged by this behavior of children terrorizing other children. They are concerned about the predator mentality and cruelty exhibited by youth. They wonder how youth can have developed this aggression and cruelty at such a young age? They are confounded, dumbfounded and are at a loss to understand it. Shock and outrage accompany the trauma and drama of it and prevent a real examination of this trend toward human indifference and lack of empathy for others.
Something really important is being missed in this movement...