Friday, April 16, 2010


Earlier this year a nine year old boy hung himself at the same school my kids used to attend. Montana Lance ended his life because of bullies at the school.

My heart broke when I heard.

This could have been my son. He was not bullied to the extreme, but he did suffer some taunting. I remember dropping him off at a school dance and heard the loud ridicule projected towards my son like a deadly missile, "What are YOU doing here, Brice Cakes?!" The words dripped with sarcasm and meanness. Giggling ensued.

My poor boy's face! I wanted to rush over to those kids and smack the crap out of them. Tell them what rude, insolent, little brats they are. Don't you dare talk to my child like that. Then I would mercilessly point out all of their flaws and expose them to everyone in the room. I wanted to annihilate them. I was fuming and heartbroken all at the same time.

Instead, my son choked out, "Let's go", and we left with sad, heavy hearts. My daughter tried to console her brother on the long car ride home, even though moments before he had forbade her from using the school bathroom because he was afraid that she would embarrass him.

This was about 18 or 19 years ago, and I remember being completely blindsided by the situation. That these kids would do something like that with all the parents around seemed surreal. And not one parent stood up to make it better. Not one. They watched my son's crestfallen face and then watched as we left the building. Not one word. That was hurtful, too.

How have kids become so hardened and cold hearted? And when did parents stop giving guidance to their children? If my child had spoken that way to another child they would be pulled to the side and reprimanded.

The second greatest commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself." Why is this so difficult to do? Even if one is not religious, what about karma? And if you don't believe in karma, you must believe in nothing or have a dog-eat-dog mentality. How sad to be without some sort of inner compass that helps steer you in the right direction.

It's time to stop standing on the sidelines saying you don't want to be involved. Please, for the sake of humanity, let us TRULY LOVE ONE ANOTHER, teach it to our children, and demonstrate it to those around us. Amen.


Nadine, Chewy and Lilibell said...

That's a sad story about your son Gail. I too was tormented in grade school by this one girl who had a vendetta against me, at one point, my whole 4th grade class, except for 1 girl, was not talking to me. I hated everyone so much that I asked to go to a private high school to get away from everyone.

There have been many suicides lately of young children due to bullying and I think what it all boils down to is today's lack of morals in society, and parents just being too damned busy to take an interest and role in their children's lives.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Public schools are a breeding ground for despicable behavior. Besides the part the parents play, or don't in some cases, the television teaches children that the snappy comeback, the opportunity to make a hurtful judgment is not only acceptable, but wins points in what they see as the game of life. I believe, if parents controlled the use of TV and computers, life would be more pleasant for all of them. IMHO.

Hula Girl at Heart said...

The story about your son breaks my heart. I just don't understand why parents let their kids get away with that kind (and other kinds) of behavior. I live in a city where bullying prompted a school shooting several years ago that left three girls dead and five wounded. And I still hear kids say awful things to each other.

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, dear God! My heart sank. None of this had to be. But it was, dammit, and it is, dammit. I've taught in both public schools and Catholic schools. From my experience, public schools are a boiling cauldron and Catholic schools are a simmering pot. Bullying exists in both, but is far, far, far worse in public schools. Bullying is learned behavior. No child is born a bully. Psychiatrists say by the time a child is 6 yrs. old h/s has formed his/her character traits. (Some shrinks say as early as 6 mos.) I fault parents for not spending time with their kids, for accentuating what money buys and, often, for being bullies themselves. I fault teachers and schools for not being decisive enough. I fault society in general for being too caught up in greed. Gail, I wish I could reach thru the Internet and give you a big hug for, as a mother, how it must have pained you to write this incredible post...but a mother's love also spoke out and your courage is a true blessing.

Malu Silverman said...

I could so relate, for myself and for my daughters too. We've been bullied many times.

I agree, if the teachers and parents of those bullies would not lift a finger to teach these children, we owe it to our children to teach those bullies how to behave.