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A lot of people are up in arms over the apparent suicide for the 14-year-old from Ursuline in New Rochelle.  It's a tragic event and I'm happy to see so many people joining in the effort to stand up to bullying on Facebook.  I do find it hypocritical though, when I see people who bully themselves making these posts.  I'm not trying to call anyone in particular out, but if you discriminate because of the color of someones skin, it's bullying.  If you are against a gay person's right to marry, it's bullying. If you feel that someone who is poor doesn't deserve the government's help to have health care, it's bullying.

We all grow up grabbing toys away from our friends. If our parents do the right thing, think we are scolded and we never do it again.  We then move on to teasing people, and if our parents do the right thing, we are made to apologize and we never do it again.  Then we get to high school and/or college and we haze, to do allow someone entry into our "club."  If our parents DID the right thing, it would never have gotten to this.  Then we go into the real world and we work along side people and some of us are in charge or the boss and we treat our subordinates with disrespect.  If we're doing the last two, our parents have failed us.  Our parents made us the bullies we claim to hate. 

I am completely against bullying, but lets' not blame the schools.  Let's not blame the Internet and social media.  Bullying is a learned process, not an innate one.  Bullying is learned through a pack mentality and it's due to insecurities in the bully themselves.  Bullies are the kids who can't think for themselves, because their parents never asked them too.  The bullies I went to HS with were the kids who played football and called everyone a fag, but struggled secretly with their own sexuality.  The kids who were cheerleaders because their mom's were cheerleaders and that's what you did.  They were the really smart kids who belittled other smart kids, because for them the competition was Ivy league schools.  There were the rich kids, who looked down on the kid with the hand-me-downs.  They were the people who picked on everyone who wasn't like them. 

Bullying is out of control.  It is great that so many people posted about this girl and her tragedy, but the fact is the biggest problem facing this epidemic is not recognizing it.  Saying it "isn't your kid" doesn't make it go away.  Thinking, because your boy is small, he isn't a bully is wrong.  Thinking girls don't bully, is ridiculous. They are worse.  Thinking all bullying is physical threats is also wrong.  very little bullying is physical. 

Please don't think I'm being righteous or holier than though.  In sixth grade, I picked on a kid because it made people laugh.  I remember one time he was joking with a friend and I kicked his chair out from under him.  He fell and hurt his arm.  Everyone laughed.  I was a star.  My mother found out and when I got home.  I was grounded.  My mother looked in the school address book and after about an hour of me sitting in my room.  She threw open the door and said, "let's go."  She made me go to his house, apologize to him, apologize to his parents and promise I'd never do it again.  The next day, some other kids started teasing him.  I told them to stop. From that day forward, he and I were pretty decent friends and nobody ever bothered him again.  I may have lost some "cool points," but it turned out we liked the same things and had some good laughs together.  My parents did the right thing and at least one kid, wasn't tormented into the dark place that so many kids find themselves.

RIP - All the children and adults who felt there was no way out, because of the actions of someone else.


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