Bullying is an issue that is close to my heart as I was bullied in elementary school because I am disabled. Although I now realized it was also due to jealousy, my peers were financially not as fortunate as I, not only did I always have the new light-up shoes first but I’d get the lead in the school play, parts in the music concerts, I was also one of the nicest girls in the grade so got the student of the month award several times in each grade and my mom was an avid volunteer. To a ten year old I’m sure it looked like I had it all.
I remember once, I tried to stand up for myself and later another student told my teacher I was being bullied as I looked upset. She pulled me aside and instead of telling me that was wrong and the problem would be addressed she told me to let it go and lay off the girl as she was having a hard time at home, I think she said her brother had just committed suicide. I thought even then how fucked up that was, it was horrible what her home life was but that should not have given someone a free pass to tease a person just to make themselves feel better. I remember feeling that my action had backfired on me and never stood up for myself again. Kids are mean but adults can be even meaner. I am not trying to make excuses, but children are not always mature enough to realize the hurt they are causing but adults should know better.
The suicide rate has gone up substantially due to the increase in bullying and now through the internet a new form of lowering others self-esteem has taken hold. This is just sad and almost chicken on the bully’s part, feeling like they are too insecure to say it to your face (not that it should happen at all). This isn’t happening just through blogs, but also social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. It is a feeling of helplessness. Having been through this issue before I really feel for these people and can only imagine how much worse it could be in 2012 with all these new outlets, a crime of opportunity.