This entry deals with issues that some may find upsetting. If violence, bullying are triggers for you, please be forewarned about today’s entry.
As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to avoid the news. The whole, ‘ignorance is bliss’, idea.
Part of it too, is at Wolf’s request. I get so worked up about some articles I read, rant, cry, and generally have a bit of a freak out, that he’d prefer I don’t do that to myself…or him, no doubt. I don’t tend to let go of things gracefully, but want to stomp them to death, verbally. Especially when it involves a child victim.
So, I stumbled upon an article yesterday, that haunts me still. I’ve debated, and still debate, posting a link to the story. Part of it is, I don’t want to hide what was done, that the perpetrators of this crime should be publically identified, denounced.
Part of it is, I know there are others like myself that won’t get this story out of their head for a long time.
And I wonder…perhaps that’s a good thing.
So, here’s the link. Please be aware that it is graphic and disturbing, and make your choice accordingly, as to if it’s something you’re willing to read or not.
For those who choose not to read the article, the very basic and sanitized version is, teen girls decided to prey on a 16 year old boy who has Autism. Physical assault, and forcing him to walk on a partially frozen pond, refusing to help him when he fell through more than once are among what they did to him.
The girls arrested are 15 and 17 years old.
Let that sink in for a moment. FIFTEEN and SEVENTEEN years old.
And, it wasn’t a single incident. It was several.
Which they recorded on their cell phones.
What is wrong with these children? And, at 15 and 17, they’re still legally ‘children’. I would also say that there’s been something wrong with them for some time, it’s not a sudden urge of, “let’s go torture a disabled peer!” moment. There has to be something wrong, that has roots from years prior, that would have someone do such a thing.
Some folks would be pointing at their family life, parenting, prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol. Some would look for evidence of them being victims themselves.
And some have a simpler idea. Evil. These girls are evil.
I struggle, myself, with labels. Part of me really doesn’t care what this stems from. I want these two individuals punished, severely, and the rest of society protected from them. Because, frankly, if they can perpetrate such acts of horror at their young ages, what might they be capable of with age and experience?
I struggle with anyone thinking that they have the right to cause harm to another human being. I struggle with the fact that these girls obviously thought that this was amusing, or brag worthy, because for what other reason would they record such things on their phones? Who do they think they are, to have done this to another person? Where did they ever get the idea that they could amuse themselves by torturing another person?
There’s something seriously missing, here, in both of these people. Call it a conscience, call it a soul, call it a seed of humanity, but something is terribly, horribly, tragically missing in both of these teens.
What do we as a society do about it? Is there anything at all that can be done? Or, are we resigned to the fact that there are monsters that walk among us, and hope that they won’t identify us or our loved ones as prey? And that we can catch them soon enough to stem the flow of their victims? That they’re caught on victim #1, or #2, rather than #302?
What do we do? What can we do? What should we do?
I’m truly asking this, because whatever it is we’re doing now obviously isn’t working. Cases like this keep happening. And happening. And happening.
Look into the eyes of a parent who’s child has been tortured, or even killed due to bullying, and tell me that things haven’t escalated in recent years, that bullying has always happened, and it’s just ‘one of those things’.
No. No. No.
Something needs to happen. Something needs to change. As a society, we owe it to ourselves, our children, and children to come.
And, in the meantime, I weep for the victims and their families. Useless tears, that change nothing, because I don’t know where to start.
Actually, that’s a lie. I have started. I’ve started with my own children. I teach them to respect everyone, that every single person is as precious and loved and worthy of kindness and respect as they are to me. I teach them to stand up if they see someone being bullied. Not to join in. To tell someone, anyone.
And, I also realize that by doing this, I’m potentially putting a target on their backs, to become bullied themselves. But, I feel like teaching them to stand up for what is right is essential.
It’s not a societal change. I can’t figure out how to change the world, or even the community I live in. Not yet, anyways. But, at least I can do my best to ensure that my kids don’t contribute to the Hell other children go through, that is labelled merely as, ‘bullying’.