Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sticks, stones, words and yet another teen suicide
Brandon Bitner dead at the age of 14. Trying to find release from the constant bullying at school, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a tractor trailer. He walked 13 miles to end his pain. I can't imagine his last walk, and the thoughts that were swirling through his head knowing what he was planning to do.
The school had an anti-bullying assembly that week, how nice of them. The school ass-hats claimed after Brandon's death that the school didn't have any history of bullying issues. Oh, really? Gee-whiz school officials, that's not what your current students and your past students say. Click here for the full story.
The asshats that "run" the school, kids that attend, quality or lack thereof of parenting, I'm sure with little effort, a giant list of reasons why kids bully could be compiled. But, in the face of it, reasons why kids are bullied isn't really germane to the conversation. What is germane is why we are so blase about bullying, we say kid's will be kids, etc. Well until a child commits suicide or is bullied to death, then suddenly we CARE.
Our eldest son, for reasons we never did quite figure out, was bullied, would you like to know who first started in on him? I'll give you one guess........his teacher. Yes, he was a scapegoat no matter what he did, and the kids all picked it up, and of course ran like deer with it. And because the teacher had started it, of course she didn't attempt to stop the students from picking on our son. It got to the point where he was afraid to ask to use the restroom. Why? The teacher would make fun of him, in front of the class for needing to use the restroom. Yes, we did go to the principle and complained about the teacher. We went to the school board to complain about the principle. And the only thing that came of our complaining was that the teacher ramped up the bullying, with the students following tightly in lock step. At one point we were told it was good for him, would toughen him up.....
I was chatting with Malcolm today about how little children are valued in our society. Something that hasn't changed since, well forever. Why children aren't seen as the treasure they are, has pestered me for years. One reason I think boils down as to how we view children as a whole. We see them as "owned" by their parents, rather than people in their own right. They have no rights, at all. In fact most of our civil rights come to a halt at the school doors for children, lovely huh? If GLBT are second class citizens, what does that make our children, classless?
The only way I can see to end this morass of administrations turning a blind eye to bullying, is to hit them where it counts. No, not there, but hey as a parting gift, I'm game! In the wallet. If a student loses the will to live, due to bullying, and takes their own life, I say fire the entire administration of the school. All of them. From the secretary, through the councilors, and only stopping after the principles are gone as well. As for the teachers? If they saw it, started it, let it go, then we no longer need them in the halls and rooms of our schools. As a nation we need to make this a priority when we are electing school board members and hiring school employees. Often we blow off the local elections and only really pay attention to the state and federal elections. This is the reason we have people on the school boards for 20 years. Yes, I'm sure that there are a few long term members out there who do a great job. But, how many are on these boards to grind an ax, push through an agenda, and care really very little about the students as people and not as mere numbers, or see them as wee little $ signs?
We need to get mad, we need to stay mad, and we need to slap down groups like Focus on the Family. Who are currently fighting, yes I said fighting against the "Safe Schools Act" watch and read. It's time to take our schools away from the incompetent, the lazy and the bigoted.