I wrote the following October 5th, just after the 5 gay young men committed suicide. I am so, so please to see the "It' Gets Better" videos. That message is truly something to live for.
It was only a few weeks ago when James Jones, the dad in Florida boarded the school bus to curse out the brats who'd been taunting his daughter unmercifully. The story became major news. He was arrested. He later apologized. I remember wondering why he felt the need to apologize. What is wrong with our society that a father defending his daughter is somehow "out of line"?
Unless you have had a child who has been bullied, you have no idea how angering and frustrating and deeply painful it is. You'd love to confront the sadistic little monsters and curse them out and then some. Personally, I would have enjoyed slapping the mess out of each and every one of the evil scumbags who picked on my child. And no one can tell me that a good scare and a thorough tongue-lashing is not exactly what they need.
When my child was bullied, this was before the advent of cyber-bullying. I was able to call and repeatedly write the school principal and see my efforts go to waste. With cyber-bullies, there is no authority figure available to make sympathetic noises and describe their utterly useless zero tolerance policy for bullying. Kids are sneaky about their bullying. Teachers are busy. I never saw enough commitment to the so-called zero tolerance policy to make any difference in my child's experience.
Now we're confronted with five young men, despondent victims of bullies, who have committed suicide in rapid succession. They were bullied to death. And yet James Jones felt the need to apologize. Can anyone else see the irony? It's not just ironic. It's complete and utter idiocy that a parent was arrested for doing what needed to be done to protect their child from what could easily have become suicidal depression. Bullies aren't just annoying now. They are lethal weapons, essentially free to destroy all the lives they wish to without any repercussion.
I don't care if kids are bullied because they are gay or disabled or black or fat or poor or merely different. If bullies are allowed to continue unchecked, the parent of the victim should have the right to curse them out. Forty years ago, James Jones would have been able to bawl out the demons on the bus, go home, have a cup of coffee and go on with his day in peace. Misbehaving kids were often chastised by the nearest adult, generally a neighbor, and all was well. Now we've become politically correct to the point that we're supposed to allow hate filled, heartless brats to push our children to the brink of suicide because to do otherwise is.. what? Rude? Going too far? Crossing some line?
If parents can't defend their children and teachers or principals or school bus drivers can't or won't stop the bullies, who will? If rotten parents are free to raise cruel brats without repercussion, when will the suicides end? If the people raising these bullies don't care enough about the victims to reign in their monsters, there needs to be some legal consequence to motivate them into humanity and decency. A parent should be able to report a bully to the police and the police should be required to take action. Older victims, like Tyler Clemente should have the option to report their tormentors with confidence that the torment will end and justice will swiftly be served. They need to know that society understands who the real villain is.
As it stands, we live in a society where bullies have pushed five young men to suicide, yet James Jones was arrested for defending his daughter. Apparently we're still too stupid to know who the villain is.