Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Bully, Another Death

He suffered taunts and threats from other students who made fun of him, insulted the way he dressed and called him gay since he began attending in September, she said.

Bullies. You can't live with them, but you can certainly live without them. Yet they keep on...and on...and on. If we were bullied, we were told by our parents "Well, that's life." Sometimes our parents intervened, but that was only in extreme cases. After all, shiners were part of growing up. When I cried to my mother that I was being bullied by a kid on our block all she said was, "Well, for crissakes, stand up for yourself!"

Yeah, we survived.

But some kids didn't. We never heard about them, of course. Stories of child suicide were hushed up very, very quickly. But now, parents of casualties and suicides are speaking out against the bullies of neighborhoods and school grounds.
SPRINGFIELD [Mass.]- Two days after the worst day of her life, when she found her 11-year-old son had committed suicide by hanging himself, Sirdeaner L. Walker said on Wednesday she wants the bullying to stop.

She found Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover hanging by an extension cord on the second floor of their 124 Northampton Ave. home Monday night after he had endured another day of taunting at New Leadership Charter School, where he was a sixth-grader, she said.
"I just want to help some other child. I know there are other kids being picked on, and it's day in and day out," said Walker, 43.
Bullying is boys against boys, but girls participate too. Anyone who is "different" and vulnerable is fair game.

So happens to victims and bullies? Victims as adults suffer from depression and poor self-esteem, while 60 percent of bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24.

And what about the bully pulpit?

Just a thought.

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