Monday, October 18, 2010

The Hard Truth From Orlando

And the bullying horror stories go on --

Two sets of parents are suing Mentor High School in Ohio for
the bullycide deaths of their children. Four children from that
high school have committed suicide, and while there are
questions regarding the allegations of bullying in the one
child's death, there's not much doubt that the other three
were very harassed, tormented and threatened to the
point that they committed suicide rather than continue trying
to live in the community -- a community once voted as one of
the "top 100 places to live." The reporter quoted one student
as admitting that the school practiced an exclusive culture of
athletes and cheerleaders. If you're not one of those, you're
free meat for the bullies -- I'm paraphrasing, but you get the

I remember the Columbine shootings and the victims. There
wasn't a lot said in the earliest days after the shootings about
Klebold and Harris, the perpetrators of this mass murder.
What did come out fairly quickly was that both felt bullied --
and whatever their psychopathic proclivities might have
been, there was evidence that they had been pretty
consistently targeted for bullying by the jock-culture
of Columbine.

But none of those caught my attention like the Columbine
funerals. There were something like five or seven of the
murdered students' funerals in the same church. Candidly,
that told me what I needed to know. This is a closed
community. This is a cliquish community. This is not going
to be a community of tolerance, acceptance or assimilation.
All these kids went to the same church, knew the same
people, attended the same functions, belonged to the same
social organizations. They'd be pals inside and out of school.
Everyone who didn't fit their standard would not be someone
they'd feel obligated to include -- or protect.

There was a forensic psychiatric group that evaluated
Columbine and said it was the worst case of the "insider"
culture they'd ever come across and that it undoubtedly
contributed to the anti-social ideations and actions of Harris
and Klebold. In short, it created marginalized children who
morphed into monsters.

I have no doubt this is precisely what's occurred and
continues to occur at the Mentor High School in Ohio. Thus
far, the children who have been targets have turned their
negative feelings inward, blaming themselves, while the
bullies continue to congratulate themselves on their vicious
successes and the school continues to turn a blind eye. The
parents of the bullies aren't going to see anything their child
is doing as wrong -- your kid just can't stand up for himself
or herself; your kid is weak and a loser. The administration
is trying to keep a lid on their negative statistics -- and there
is NO external oversight group to appeal to for the parents
of the bullied children. It will be the expensive, time-
onsuming legal battle every step of the way.

But I will say it again, and again, and again. If you want to
win against the bullies, you have to go outside the school
and to the State Attorney's Office and file a sworn criminal
complaint against the bullies. You have to file it above the
law enforcement agency (sheriff or police department) that
works hand-in-glove with the school administration to keep
the victims quiet and the school looking good. You have to get
your child to NAME the children who calling names, harassing,
hitting and NAME whatever teacher or administrator
witnessed the action or that you complained to and file
specific charges against them; criminal negligence against
the administrator or teacher and criminal charges of
harassment, intimidation, assault or battery against the

Only then does the message get through. And your child,
and the other children, will know you as a parent aren't
messing around. The bullies and school administration will
threaten, cajole, and do their best to derail your child's
nerve (and yours). Stay the course. Take the charges all
the way to court. Get the bully and the parents tagged in
the legal system and give the next victim a legal edge the
school can't ignore. If you can shake up a school so that
protecting bullies is going to cost jobs and funding for the
school, then -- and only then -- will you see a change in
the "insider" culture.

Sympathies to the parents of the children.

Florida Cracker

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