There has been a lot in the news lately about bullying and I am fed up with it.
Bullying isn’t new. It’s not novel. People have been mean to each other throughout history. It is, however, easier now with technology and social networking. People get awfully “brave” when they can launch cruel words at others without having to witness the effects. Trolls comment and leave hateful messages on blogs and articles all the time. There are websites designed to allow you to text messages to others from anonymous numbers so that you can’t be identified. There are pages on Facebook and accounts on Twitter that are dedicated to making fun of people. It’s very easy to create a fake handle and post anonymously all over the Internet. Bullying from behind a keyboard is easy to do–if that interests you.
There was a recent article I read about kids in Texas sending harassing text messages to a girl with a disability. Even when the girl’s mother changed her number, the bullying messages continued. You have to be a really special kind of asshole to pick on someone for having a disability. Normally I would have labeled them an Asshat and included them in my You Might Be an Asshat series, but honestly, that kind of behavior goes beyond that. If only I could think of a word that could express Scum of the Earth in a single word, that would be about right.
Today I read a different article that after posting a message on Facebook that said “Yes IK [I know] I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a fuck],” two girls in Florida were arrested and charged with stalking. Their persistent and long-term bullying of twelve-year-old Rebecca Sedwick led to her suicide. All of it over a boy they both “dated.”
The 14-year old who was the primary bully and the person who spearheaded the drive to torment Rebecca doesn’t care that her actions contributed to someone taking her life. She doesn’t give a fuck. That pisses me off. But not nearly as much as the parents’ reaction to this. They are defending her and DENYING that any of it happened. They’re saying that her account was hacked and their daughter wouldn’t have posted anything like that.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??!!
Was her phone hacked for the last two years too? Is that how we can explain all the vile text messages she sent over that time?? It was someone else using her phone? AND her Facebook page?? Someone needs a little lesson in technology. And parenting.
What kind of fucked up person do you have to be to defend your kid when they’ve been such a mean and despicable asshole to another person that she killed herself. How can you possibly rationalize that behavior as even remotely ok.
If either of my kids was ever involved in any type of bullying behavior, I would OWN them. They would be so sick of hearing me talk about their horrible actions and what behavior is acceptable that they’d want to jam an ice pick in their ears. Their fingers would be raw from all the work they’d be doing–in my house and in every charity I could find–especially those that help and serve victims of abuse. You can be damn sure that they’d never ever hear me defend them.
“She’s a good girl.” How does that even come out of someone’s mouth in this situation????????
No, she isn’t a “good girl.” She’s a mean, cruel, abusive girl.
The girls who bullied Rebecca–and people who participate in any type of harassment–are awful. They should be held accountable for their actions and the subsequent actions of others as a result of their behavior.
Any person who excuses or downplays the involvement of a bully doesn’t deserve the air to breathe to be able to verbalize that. The parents who are defending their daughter’s actions are deplorable excuses for a human being.
When you don’t call out your kid for their atrocious behavior–YOU are the problem.
When you hear that your child is a bully and you sweep it under the rug–YOU are the problem.
When you say that your child would never do that–YOU are the problem.
When you dismiss the suicide of another child as the result of a misunderstanding–YOU are the problem.
When you say that your daughter is a “good girl” even in the face of all that is revealed–YOU are the problem.
When you make excuses for someone who is tormenting another person (based on bad home life, poor role models, absent parents, tragic background, whatever)–YOU are the problem.
There is NO EXCUSE for bullying and abuse. Not ever.
I am so over hearing the background on all these ‘poor kids’ who are just ‘lashing out’ because of this or that or the other thing. I DON’T FUCKING CARE!!
Yes, I definitely think we should get these kids help because there is clearly something wrong. But can we PLEASE stop using any of that as an excuse?! No more of these:
“I know that was bad, but–“
“S/he shouldn’t have done that, but–“
“I understand that those were horrible things to say, but–“
“It’s not ok to act like that, but–“
NO!! Just. Stop. There. No “but” necessary. Anything said after “but” just negates all the suffering and pain of the VICTIM in the situation. “But” implies that the bullying and abuse were justified.
How about we acknowledge the abhorrent and despicable behavior for what it is?!
How about we stop sugar coating what’s going on?!
How about we don’t minimize the feelings of the victim?!
How about we say in no uncertain terms “Bullying is unacceptable!”?! No matter what–bullying is not tolerable behavior. It doesn’t matter if you’re sad, scared, hungry, hurt, lonely, afraid, rejected, jealous, or insecure.
None of those things makes it reasonable or justified for any person to abuse someone else. Not ever.