Thursday, September 22, 2011

High School bullying

I thought this was a good message on high school from channel 4's Melissa Holmes...

A lot of people are talking about the events that preceded the death of Williamsville North student Jamey Rodemeyer. I feel bad for his family and the whole Williamsville North community. Teen bullying, especially cyber-bullying has gotten way out of hand in this culture. Adolescence is such a tough time already. There is no need for it to be made worse. I would encourage parents and teens to speak out against this behavior and bullying in general and really monitor what their kids are posting online.

Having said that, I disagree with the popular opinion that the online posts exclusively led to Rodemeyer's death. I'm sure they didn't help, however, it appeared that he was a very troubled and confused teenager. I'm not condoning the actions of those who bullied him. Unfortunately, it seems common for high school students in this country to pick on those they perceive as weak. High School can be such a difficult time for many. We should work on changing this to make the transition from childhood to adulthood easier for all teenagers.

We also need to tell teenagers to stand up for those being bullied (as apparently many of Rodemeyer's friends did do.) This story reminded me of an old episode of Cheers from the 1980's. (Of course, everything in this world reminds me of old episodes of Cheers from the 1980's.) One of Sam's ex Red Sox teammates writes a book where he comes out of the closet. The local press publishes a picture of the two of them at the bar. The regulars fear that the bar will become a magnet for gay customers. They try to convince Sam to discourage gays for coming to the bar. It's a very funny episode about standing up for your beliefs and accepting everyone and (like everything else) it happened to be on YouTube...

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