I found this story on Drudge Report this morning. I just cannot believe that a 7 year old could truly want to die; his mind is too undeveloped to appreciate the finality of death and I can’t help but think the idea was implanted in his mind somehow.
Take the Spotlight Off of the Morbid
I think the media should stop covering teen suicide brought on by bullying so extensively. Intense media coverage almost never enlightens the discussion of an issue in this country. We need to remember that this issue involves kids and teenagers who feel isolated and hopeless – lost at sea with no shore in sight. Some trouble kids in the audience may already feel helpless and alone, why show them stories of teens committing suicide because they feel helpless and alone? Troubled kids see themselves in those portraits. This plants a deadly seed in fertile soil. They need to understand that they are valuable in and of themselves and that their life matters. Many of them have undiagnosed depression or bipolar or are misdiagnosed as ADD. They are suffering and they can’t see the full scope of the causes. Many troubled youths believe their dispositions, and thus the bullying they incur, are innate or the result of their social ineptitude and that the existing state of affairs is inalterable. Heavy media coverage of bullying related suicides augments an already volatile situation with morbidity – which is, in my opinion, scandalously irresponsible. The answer is more counselors, social workers and advances in early detection and treatment of both, potential and actual, bullies and victims.
In Defense of Bullies
Bullies are often troubled kids themselves. Some are not; some bullies are just sadistic. But most bullying is the result of distilled anger, blind insensitivity or is motivated by ignorance and prejudice or some combination thereof. These kids need early intervention and help lest they become the sad caricatures of adult bullies portrayed in many It Gets Better videos. I have been both bully and victim in my life and I can assure you that neither made me happy nor fulfilled. Angry children are the ones who get no attention at home, the children they victimize often get negative attention at home. A taste of bitter irony; the children who get no attention have a wealth of attention to devote to others via bullying while the recipients of their wrath in fact want nothing more than to be left alone. Both running from situations they have no control over and both feeling helpless. Again I say the answer is more counselors, social workers and advances in early detection and treatment of both, potential and actual, bullies and victims.