there have been a couple of fairly high profile suicides of some young girls that were attributed to bullying and in particular cyber bullying. Girls who were going through the angst of being a teen and all that it encompasses, clothes, girl friends, boy friends, school, parties etc. We all did it, but the difference between when we were teens and had teens is social media.
With the advent of phones, email, texting, etc everything that happens to a kid happens right now, no cooling off period, no thought given to letters, notes, texts etc. So the level of drama is extremely high. Should technology be blamed for the rough ride some kids get? Is the rough ride some kids get always bullying? i dare say not.
If i say to you i don't like you, i don't want to hang out with you, your mother's ugly and your father drinks elderberry wine does that make me a bully? It might make me an ass, but a bully? These days we want to come up with some psycho-babble crap that excuses us from being parents or frankly from being people. We suddenly want to sanitize everything in the hopes we can evoke a change that needs to start at home. And God forbid we can't handle a problem at home 'cause then we want to legislate it away.
I know it may sound trite, but if your kid gets unwanted mail or texts, remove the computer and take away the phone. Sound too simple? Because it is. If we are guilty of anything it's over-thinking everything. Granted i think schools have to take a hard and fast with kids who get physical with other kids and teachers ought to be able to address foul language, unkind words etc, but is it bullying or is that a white wash? Why isn't this behaviour really a passage of time, a learning of what's right and wrong. This is when kids need guidance, not the threat of lifelong labels or punishment.
People will say unkind things to you your whole life. Often they don't even know you took it as unkind. Language is powerful and we need to teach children the meaning of words heard and unheard. If, God forbid, a child is so desolate as to contemplate suicide, do we really think they are bullied into it? Or is it possible that we have glorified death through music, movies, books chat rooms etc and that truly some of these kids have no real concept of death's finality. Or is it possible that some of these kids have other things happening in their heads? Afterall when your kid is having a tough go, do they or 'can' they talk to you? Do we have enough counsellors at school?
i think it's way too simple to blame a bully, especially given we haven't made much effort to find out what's happening with that kid. When they say it takes a village to raise a child they mean it, but that village is comprised of adults, some of whom are parents and parents need to remember that being a kid ain't easy. But as a parent your job is to stay ever vigilant of dangers, seen and unseen.