Children have killed each other and committed suicide after having been involved in a cyber-bullying incident.
You and me, we’re gonna have a fight. Today. After school. Three o’clock. In the parking lot. You try and run, I’m gonna track you down. You go to a teacher, it’s only gonna get worse. You sneak home, I’m gonna be under your bed.
– Buddy Revell
Sixth grade was a rough year.
You see, up until then, I got along with the majority of my classmates, and had very little in the way of trouble. But then a boy named Bobby Guido moved into town, and suddenly I was persona non grata. It was awful. I was taunted, ridiculed, harassed, and even pushed to the ground at one point. Like a gaggle of reef sharks, my male classmates smelled blood, and either spurned me, or actively participated in the daily torture that became my school day.
Why the animosity you ask? It was simply because his new girlfriend at school just happened to be the girl who had a heavy, and rather undisguised crush on me, for several years. Once he learned of this, he quickly set about making my elementary school experience a lesson in misery. He met with great success for much of the school year until my older sister was informed of this by the younger sister of one of her classmates. She promptly marched down to the school and threw the boy into a chain link fence. Problem solved. Laugh all you like, but I had no issue with it. The boy resembled the bully from ‘A Christmas Story’, and had an eerily similar way of sneering that would literally freeze me in place.
“She loves ME, not you, pip-squeak!”
That certainly was a trying time for me. But I found ways to cope. Athletics, books, and Nintendo all contributed to making life somewhat bearable despite the daily erosion of self-esteem I was being subjected to.
I read incessantly as a child, but after reading a newspaper article the other day on ‘cyber-bullying’, I almost wished for illiteracy.
Has it come to this, people? That we are not content with merely raising a generation of undisciplined, buttery-soft, darwin fodder, we must also cushion them from the ‘threat’ of ‘virtual’ teasing? Yes, I have seen the stories as well. Children so unprepared to tackle the social challenges that accompany later school years, that they would rather end their lives than simply approach said online ‘attackers’, and swiftly make seated computing very uncomfortable. Lawsuits fly faster than thrown fists these days, and so do disproportionate school-age punishments for natural adolescent behavior. So perhaps the violence could be skipped, but violence isn’t the point.
It’s the little angry dwarf in your head that says, ‘bite his fucking kneecaps off!’
It’s that pissed off kid holding a bag of sugar and a gas cap.
It’s Bill Gates knowing every dickhead who ever broke his glasses has paid their debt to him a thousand times over, whether they like it or not.
By not ALLOWING kids, ‘to be kids’, we are denying them the basic right of every social creature that has ever existed on this planet. The right to know their place. It might not be a good place for them. Perhaps other kids will pummel them, and perhaps they will be teased and taunted. At some point, the child will either accept this role and work with it (and around it), or, heshe will take on a new role.
But how John? Who knows. That’s the beauty of it. Necessity is the mother of invention, and if you participate in your child’s life and teach them self-respect, they will emerge from the forge of public school persecution stronger, smarter, and better able to cope with the biggest and baddest bully of them all. Life.
Has it escaped everyone’s notice that as the laws dictating adolescent social behavior become more draconian, the stories in the news increase, along with the severity of the offenses? Anyone care to guess why that might be?
Because the seemingly never-ending flow of ‘crackdown’ legislation is less, “you kids better behave”, and more, “go have a cocktail mom or dad (or in rare cases now, mom and dad), the LAW will make sure your children do the right thing!” I wish to be clear about what I mean by ‘the right thing’. That means either A. acting appropriately, or B. re-acting appropriately. “B”, is what the situation requires in order to be resolved without causing major injury or death, “B” is what a child with half a brain and even a sliver of self-respect will come up with in order to set shit straight.
But I digress.
“Watch out son! Here come the Cyyyyyyyyber-Bullieeeeeeessss!! Wahhh, run!!!”
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. YouTube. Etc. Etc. Etc.
NONE of those things are necessary. NONE. A child could simply use a computer to do their school-work if necessary and then go play some Xbox. Better yet, perhaps that child could go socialize with some flesh and blood peers.
If I caught a fist in the face every time I walked into the bakery I’d learn to like celery real fast. Has this new generation been born without a simple sense of self-preservation? Perhaps there is some Darwinism at work in this after all. Because if you finally drop dead from all the concussions obtained eating pastries, welp…