Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HOW CAN YOU ASK YOUR 8-YR-OLD TO SIGN A NO-SUICIDE PACT?

My heart is so heavy this morning after reading this article over at CNN about an 8-year-old boy in Texas who tried to commit suicide because of excessive bullying, and the school did nothing except require his parents to have him sign a no-suicide pact, per their standard policy.

Seriously.

And yes, of course the poor child should have counseling. And yes, there's likely more going on at home than the article reveals. But the school and the teachers are equally responsible and should be held equally accountable for the health and welfare of a child in their care.

I mean, nevermind the fact that that term shouldn't even be in a child's vocabulary yet (or ever), but that this is the school's first line of defense -- that they evidently don't insist on no-bullying pacts or keeping-our-students-safe pacts or any other kind of pact that doesn't just perpetuate this horrendous movement in our society to continually victimize the victim, is just reprehensible.

And I'm looking at the school pictures of my own kids -- my 7-year-olds -- on my laptop, and can't even believe this is the kinda shit their having to face now. Kids setting other kids on fire -- for a video game. Kids beating other kids to within an inch of their lives -- over harsh words. Kids sexually assaulting one another -- just because they can. Kids stalking, and torturing, and ruining other kids' lives -- as well as their own -- with little to no sense of right or wrong, no remorse, no comprehension of the gravity of their crime -- here, here, here, and here.

These are moral and ethical crimes against humanity.

And I'm not saying I didn't pull my share of mean girl crap. I have my own little skeletons to deal with. But every single day it seems like there's something more unbelievable, more jaw dropping, more repulsive than the last.

How did we become such a barbaric society? Why is it only getting worse? How do we turn the tide before it's too late?

Or maybe it's just Florida.
...

4 comments:

Kim said...

Interesting that you chose this topic today. Have you had a chance to read this story about a 15-year-old girl who was stalked and harassed nearly constantly from September until she killed herself Jan. 14?: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/29/phoebe-prince-cyberbullie_n_517403.html

So sad. And so hard to be a kid today.

DavValerio said...

I see it everyday in the school environment. The more unfortunate thing is that I know the parents of some of these kids and I remember them being the same way. So, how do we as educators fix it? It seems that these kids are products of their environments. They learn what they live with. Can it be undone?

JO ANNA GUERRA (of The Adventures of Saia and Chago) said...

i actually did, Kim. I just couldn't bring myself to write about that in the context of my children. The fear it instills in me is just beyond belief.

AC360 is supposed to have Dr. Phil on tonight talking about bullying. Not a big Mr. Oprah fan, personally, but I would imagine it's gonna come up there, too.

So pathetically tragic.

JO ANNA GUERRA (of The Adventures of Saia and Chago) said...

David, I totally agree. It's not up to just the educators to fix. It's a societal problem. It's a cultural shift. I don't even know where we begin to diagnose it, let alone try to find a cure.