Bullying. When this word is brought into discussions, I have heard the following responses: "Kids will be kids." "We all went through it; suck it up." "I was just picking."
If you believe those above statements, I want you to walk up to the family of Jon Carmichael, the family who weeps because their young 13 year old committed suicide because he was bullied to his breaking point. An article by Vivian Kuo for CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/29/texas.bullying.suit/index.html) states the boy was repeatedly bullied, and "just prior to his death he was stripped nude, tied up and again placed into a trashcan."
Jon Carmichael hung himself in a barn near to his family's home.
Even if you don't read the article from CNN - it includes horrific details of his bullying, enough to bring tears to one's eyes - please click the link to atleast see the face of this boy, a sandy-haired, blue eyed child who could be your son, your child's playmate, your nephew...
Bullying needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. Too many children and adolescents are pushed to the edge through actions done by their peers, peers who do not think of the repercussions of their actions before it is too late.
Recently, many suicides have been occurring due to the bullying of LGBT students. Children of any sexuality, but especially those who reside outside of the "normativity" of heterosexuality are trying to figure out WHO they are as people, which is hard enough to do without having people bashing them all of the time.
The time in a child's life when he or she is being bullied is the time when he or she needs support the most. Please, talk to your children, your cousins, your nieces and nephews. Bullying is not normal, it is not just kids being kids.
Our school systems need to take Bullying Prevention Programs seriously. Where was an adult when all of these horrific events were occurring AT SCHOOL to this child? We send our children to school thinking they are in safe hands and in a healthy environment where they can learn; we never expect to find our child hanging in a barn because the school system turned a blind eye. And parents. Dear, dear parents. Please educate your children. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? "Do unto others as you'd have done unto you." Your child probably would not want their head shoved into a toilet - another disgusting act of bullying which occurred to Jon Carmichael before his death - so tell them it's not right to do it to others. And if your child says they are being bullied, please, please, please take it seriously. A death of a child is always traumatic, especially one which could have been prevented. One death like Jon Carmichael's is one too many.