Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bully For You!


Ten years ago yesterday, in a suburban high school in Columbine CO, two young men shot and killed scores of their classmates and a couple of their teachers before they finally shot themselves to death. It is said that they were bullied because they were different.

One of them, Eric Harris (who I believe was the ring leader), had just been rejected for enlistment by the U.S. Marine Corps. If he had known what was coming (the second Gulf War), I believe he would have been thankful. His high school years were coming to an end, he had not chosen to go to college, and the one thing he really wanted to be, one of those "few good men", was now out of pocket. He was also rejected by the one girl he wanted to take to the prom. I imagine at 18 years old, he had to feel as if his entire life had just gone down the toilet.

So, he and his one good friend, Dylan Klebold, took up arms, went to school, and the rest is history. It wasn't the first school shooting but, at the time, it was the "worst" school shooting in American history. I'm not going to say that what these two kids did was justified... of course it wasn't. They shot innocent people who they didn't even know at random. They also killed a few that they did know but, that is still no excuse.

What bugs me about them (and others like them) is that both of these kids were bullied, teased, and shunned and no adult or administrative figure intervened or tried to put a stop to it. The same was true in a lot of the other cases of school shootings. The shooter had gotten to a point where they felt they had no other recourse... no one and no place to go... so, they did what they did.

Carol Joseph Walker-Hoover

Now, just a week ago, I read the story of a young Massachusetts boy, who hung himself just days before his 12th birthday because he couldn't take being constantly bullied. He too had complained to school administrators and just like the other cases, not one person stepped up to help this boy.

You can talk to a lot of "so-called" adults and they will tell you that bullying is "a part of growing up." They may even tell you that they took it and that they got through it. The thing that bothers me is that none of them will say that it is wrong. I've actually met people who have bragged about being bullies when they were younger, which has made me give them the side eye. What is there to be proud of? These people are actually proud that they made another human being's life a living hell!

The people who do the bullying never consider how bad they are making another human being feel and how their hurtful words and deeds can cripple another human being for life. They never think about that and it gauls me when people just write it off as "You know, children can be cruel... tee-hee."

No, it's not a laughing matter and it certainly isn't funny when it's your child that is being bullied or your child who is going to jail because he shot up his school or your child that is being punished for being the bully (provided THAT actually happens).

People are dead who might be alive if Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had somebody, some adult, who could have reached out to them, gained their respect and trust, and told them that it wouldn't be so bad. An 11 year old child is in his grave because, once again, the adults and people that were supposed to look out for him failed to respond as they should.

Columbine has taught us nothing... the death of Carl Walker Hoover just proved it. I don't feel good about that at all and neither should anybody else. I feel like going out and kicking a bully in the rear end!

27 comments:

Sean said...

Keith,What can I say? You hit the nail on the head here...This was incredible.

Captain Jack said...

Such a sad state of affairs in our public schools. I was bullied growing up because I was gay..It got worse the older I got.. We have lived in such an intolerant enviroment.

Toni said...

Soemthing about you and Tuesdays..
You come out swinging on Tuesday
Keith..Good Post.

Angie B. said...

It doesn't seem like it's been ten years since Columbine...You're right though, nothing has changed.

Sunflower said...

You are on point with this Keith.
We get shocked by these horrific events and then we just move on to the next event...Having never learned anything from them.

James Perkins said...

A Very Timely Post Good Brother...Very Timely.I was heart broken when I heard about that kid hanging himself last week.

Simon Bastion said...

Good Post....It's good that you and some of the other bloggers are shining light on this bullying...It's a shame a kid had to kill himself to get people to focus on it again..Columbine should have been enough.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Good Post..That's a shame about that kid.

Lisa said...

Great Post Keith, I was surprised that you didn't speak on this earlier..but I'm glad you did.

Halo said...

Incredible post...I liked the way you linked Columbine and the case of the little boy..both cases of high school bullying gone wrong.

Vanessa said...

I was sickened by the news of that little boy hanging himself. You are soo right...some adult should have been looking out for him..The poor child didn't have anyone to turn to. Glad you commented on this Keith.

Swaggie said...

I read about this case and I read
some other posts on this on other blogs..I'm glad you put your unique take on it..That was messed up that they teased him and picked on him to the point that he had to take his life..I wonder if the bullies feel any remorse?

Tate2 said...

Man, I read about that kid..That was messed up. The School Administration and everybody involved failed this kid.

Brenda said...

Hi Keith, You keep me coming back with these great posts.

Cheryl said...

Good Post Keith. Bullying is a part of American Culture..sad to say,It continues even in Adult life..The strong always think it's their right to pick on those they perceive to be weak or different.

Jazzy said...

Good Post Brother!

Oyin said...

You know I walk on both sides of the street...I was bullied too when I was in elementary school....but got tired and then became the bully. I was a nice bully though..cos i didnt go around picking on people.. Everyone just knew I didnt take not one once of mess before I start swinging.

Yes this bullying is serious and I know so Im first to go to the schools and do something. Hey what about the parents...its not just the schools. If someone is bullying your child you need to take appropriate measures. First talk to the admin, and then start writing letters to the board of education. Sometimes words mean nothing...but writing means alot cos you have documentation.

My middle child was being bullied and I told her to talk to someone. These kids pulled her hair everyday, then I went to talk to them but the kids still taunted her. So I told her then the next move is to kick some ass....so she fought the very next day and got suspended...huh? Anyways, I started writing letters and threats to sue....SOOOOOO MUCH ATTENTION WAS BROUGHT TO THE MATTER THEN.

Dont know why we people just cant get along and leave people alone that just want to be themselves.

* ANOTHER THING...IF YOU WANNA DIE DO IT ALONE LEAVE THE OTHERS :)

Oyin said...

o sorry, Hi Keith!

A.Smith said...

"Columbine has taught us nothing... the death of Carl Walker Hoover just proved it. I don't feel good about that at all and neither should anybody else. I feel like going out and kicking a bully in the rear end!"

I thought the same thing. Every school says they have a zero tolerance policy against bullying, but kids are still being bullied. Kids are still hurting themselves and others and adults are still looking the other way as if we have history supporting the theory that if we don't do anything, things will be different on their own...

Strongblkwmn said...

Great post! Bullying is a huge problem and it's sad when adults don't take it seriously. My 14 year old niece has been bullied for years and it's starting to affect her. She has developed an anger problem because she got tired and decided to fight back. She hasn't become the bully, but she's definitely an ass kicker. It kind of makes me sad because she's a really sweet girl who just wants to live her life and have fun.

Jillian said...

it's sad but true..but you notice that some of these kids who are bully's are the kids of those adults who brag about being bullies too...so how can they nurture otherwise?

i am a firm believer in it starts with the home...granted there are those cases where the parents do everything possible, and still tragedy...but this 11yr old, where were the parents? did they not see this in their child? i don't have children..so this is purely my opinion...

it is truly unfortunate..

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

I'm thinking about doing a post about this because recently this happened again at a school that I went to...a little boy hung himself because of being bullied.

Angel said...

Its only when someone dies that people ask themselves 'what happened'

Parents dont understand and teachers are too overworked and underpaid to really care.

It was sad to hear about that boy and I agree with Oyin, if you want to die just kill yourself not everyone around you.

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

I've been finish my post concerning the 11 yr old but I can't. I find myself tearing up b/c I have a son. I can't imagine how his mother felt finding his lifeless body hanging on a rope.

Shorty said...

What a great post, Keith. You know, as a kid growing up I was on both sides of that fence...I bullied and at times was bullied. I was a very short kid that tried to seem tough to overcompensate. Sometimes it worked. I know I hurt a lot of feelings back then. And my feelings were hurt too at times, and being bullied definitely took a toll on my self esteem up to a point. As an adult I feel I've overcome that, and go out of my way to be nice most of the time. I'm trying to raise my son to not be a bully, but to also not be a victim. It's a hard balance sometimes, especially for young men. I appreciate you reminding me that this stuff goes on every day, and tonight will be another good time to chat about it with my son.

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I saw that on the news yesterday and my heart went out to his mom. My kids were never bullied and I'm thankful for that, because I know I would have kicked some butt (both the bully and the parents)

This is one of many tales, where the lesson goes over our heads. We see it, hear about it and it's back to "business" as usual.

Just like fighting crime. I've been locking up bad ass kids for almost 19 years now. When is it going to end???

Love, peace and blessings.

Mizrepresent said...

A very poignant and true post Keith. Thanks so much for working this out. You know how i feel about bullies and the effects of bullying, so i commend you for rising the bar and letting everyone know.




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