Bullies Are Here to Stay...School Shootings...What's Going On?

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                                             ( Rules For Being Human jmoree·)  (Video from YouTube )


Another sad day was etched in the memory of parents and students of yet another school in America. Students were shot down in the early hours of the school day at breakfast in the cafeteria at Chardon High School in Ohio.

“The attack left ‘friends laying all over the place’ in puddles of blood, one student told ABC News.” … “The alleged shooter who killed two and wounding three others has been identified as xxxx” According to ABC News, “Classmates described xxxx as an outcast who’d been bullied.”

The key factor in all of the school shootings by students of their fellow students is that the students that lost it and began shooting had been “bullied” “outcasted” or otherwise ostracized. Bullying is nothing new. Physically bigger students or more “popular” students have picked on or bullied other students since the beginnings of public or private schools and gatherings of children at play in neighborhoods everywhere.

My aunt went to school during the Depression era and was bullied by girls at her school. They settled their differences at the end of the whole school term with fist fights. I was bullied by girls at my school from the time I started first grade until junior high. I remember hearing “She’s so short,”whispered behind my back and laughing and pointing and being made fun of. I got picked on for being “mixed” and being from more than one ethnic heritage.

I stayed after school to meet my tormentors for a fist fight on more than one occasion. We all went through some sort of childhood hurts from other children, but no one shot their classmates. What is going on now?  Why are students who have been bullied resorting to using guns to solve their problems?  

The shootings of students precipitated by bullying is a symptom of deeper problems in our society that is deeper than just bullying. Commercials calling for students to stop bullying are not speaking to the deeper problem. Bullying has always been around and it will always be around even if people are told not to do it. Wherever humans are interacting with others some form of bullying will exist because the darker side of human beings causes some of them to want to feel superior or better than their fellow humans.

Society reinforces this idea of superiority in the media with commercials promoting being "better" than others having more than others and in popular culture, peer pressure telling us to “outdo” our neighbor. Make him envious of your “better phone, car, house, looks, children, wife, clothes," etc. The list is endless. Make him feel that he is less than you are. This has been around since the beginning of time. The difference is becoming a tragedy versus overcoming through coping.This depends on how the one on the receiving end of the bullying, belittling or oppression reacts to these attempts to “put you down.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.

The deeper problem is that our society does not have in place the support from friends and family or extended family and neighborhood that we used to have that helped us cope with the bullies of the world in previous decades.There have been bullies since there have been people and there will always be bullies. Instead of standing on our soap boxes saying "stop the bullying," we have to face the realities of life. Sure we should always encourage bullying to cease but the reality is that it will not. There is and will always be someone that will hurt others verbally and emotionally as well as physically. This is the darker part of human nature.That's why we have laws and law enforcement to protect us from this darker side.

What we need to emphasize is how to cope with bullying and teach children that they are valuable and it is the bullies with the problems who are taking out their frustrations on others as a way of dealing with their inadequacies of life. There is no stable dependable resource teaching children how to deal with an unfair, and often cruel world. Many families are broken, scattered from their relatives and plagued with dysfunctions. There is not an example in the home for children to follow when dealing with anger and aggression.

No “crew” to stand with you when you face the bullies after school. Often the answers for hurt and disappointment are found in movies and television shows that portray eliminating your problem or distress by killing it or disposing of it out of your life with violence. Just do whatever it takes to make them pay and make the hurting stop.

Of course, we cannot totally blame society for violence in media and lack of stable homes for the sad phenomena of school shootings. After all, there is personal responsibility for one’s actions. No one should kill others because they were bullied. One does not have to meet hurt and bullying with more hurting and violence. But when you are a little child fresh and open to the world… who is there for you to teach you the lessons of dealing with the pain from cruel remarks and treatment from others? You grow up not learning what is right and wrong. Who is there? This is where the deeper problems lay… no one there to teach you about life’s lessons.

Children need someone there to talk to and go to for encouragement and support. We as adults can be the one children can turn to for support and a listening ear. Share your own stories of how you dealt with bullying, difficulties and disappointments in life. The lack of a support system for our children and young adults is the deeper problem we must address.This is where the symptom of student shootings finds its roots and is perhaps where we should start the healing process by providing an attentive and caring ear. Being the support system for our children can be the starting point from where cessation of violence is to begin. 


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