How many lives, lost and destroyed, will it take before the school officials and authority figures in McLean County start to take the effects of bullying seriously? They are allowing these children to destroy others, and in some cases, ENCOURAGE IT. How should I know? How about the fact that as a child, I was constantly bullied? How about the fact that some teachers PARTICIPATED in it? However, whether it was a ‘willing’ participation, or perhaps ‘circumstantial’, I don’t know, but I do know that I was affected by bullying as a child.
Bullying has become a major problem over the years, especially with the widespread adoption of the Internet. Children have been given a new outlet to make others lives a nightmare. Sites such as Topix.com has become an outlet. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and various social media have given them the ability to slander one’s name with their peers more easily, albeit not anonymously. These tools were originally created to connect people, and to spread news and information. With the good, comes the bad. It’s a fact of life.
So how could we go about fixing the problem of bullying? There are many ways that we really need to look at, and utilize them all at once to start creating a positive impact. For starters, parents should actually start doing the PARENTING that they should have been doing all along. Raise the children, teaching them that bullying is not only wrong, but it’s cruel and downright hateful. Schools need to start being more responsive in regards to bullying. I have heard, and experienced countless times, students going to a teacher or figure of authority to report bullying, be told that they will do something, and yet nothing ever happens. Misery just continues, nothing less.
Now it’s time for my to turn my attention to the ineptitude of McLean County schools and police officials. How can the SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT claim that they do not believe it was a case of BULLYING when the family found a NOTE WRITTEN BY SHAY?! I mean, really? You are literally given some of the most condemning and VERIFIABLE evidence, and you completely disregard it? This is a failure for the entire county. Is it not bad enough that drug use and production is at an all-time high (no pun intended) in McLean county, and yet, they can’t even use the most damning piece of evidence and open a case regarding bullying? I hate to say it, and stoop to this level of language, but it seems to be the most understood thing of all. FUCK YOU MCLEAN COUNTY OFFICIALS. You have done nothing but prove to me, and your entire populace, that you are a rotten, dirty, cruel and hateful county, and the only people who the officials care for are themselves and those that give them money.
Now I turn my attention to the school system. Is it not bad enough that you all ALLOWED HAZING TO HAPPEN LAST YEAR IN YOUR SCHOOL?! Is it not enough that it hurt the poor kid severely then, and yet, you all did next to nothing over it? You make me ASHAMED to call myself an alumni of McLean County High School. I am VERY ashamed. It’s disgusting. The hazing, and now this child’s SUICIDE does not bode well on you. There are signs teachers can be taught to recognize in students that are being victims of bullying. Signs such as the student becoming increasingly withdrawn in class. A student attempting to avoid another student, or shows a strong feeling of disdain toward another student or group of students. Even if the student is in proximity of the bully, you can notice it with both of them. The bully will focus efforts, and sometimes even attempt to be subtle, in how the bully will pick on their victim. The victim will attempt to avoid the bully, even by getting as far away as they can in a class. How can a teacher NOT notice these signs? Surely the student would have friends that would notify a teacher of a situation coming to a head. IF they were notified, why did they not act upon that information?
As you can see, this county is condemning itself. These words written here are not based on an opinion. They are based on fact. Sure, people will want to blame the parents, others would like to solely blame the school. I would like to lay the blame on ALL OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED. The parents should be doing their part, the schools should not be an enabler and allow this kind of thing to happen. Schools used to be a safe place… what happened to that?