Of course everyone is pointing fingers and trying to find a solution. Some point at the school and the administration. Some point to teen herself. Some point to the parents of the young people. But now, (finally) someone is deciding to turn the tables and actually blame the kids who did the bullying.
Will these bullies actually be held accountable for their actions? I hope they will. I hope they wake up and get a full taste of reality. It seems like there are laws to protect people outside of the school from these incidents, but often, in the schools, things go unchecked. What grief that family must be going through!
And yet, I've witnessed it even in my small little world. I didn't even know what to call it at first. Some of you may have read: Emily @ under $1000 a month. A young gal with a husband and three little kids. Sure, she started off the way normal blogs do--kind of slow. And then things started getting more heated up as she (probably unwisely) gave details of her life that could be thought of as controversial without securing a steady audience first. The reason I say unwisely, is that her audience base was a mixed bag of Christians and non-Christians, frugal, non-frugal, conservative and non-conservative, healthy and non-healthy. When you have such a span of interests and readers, you can't expect them to give a lot of "grace" in the areas where you are still learning. (Yes, there are some people who are prone to getting picked on, and she was one of them) But still!
It was cyber-bullying. Let's call it what it was! What could have been a gradual development of ideas became a cesspoool of controversy and criticism. What could have become a gentle entry into the cyber world became a horrendous splash. And we have one less blogger now. The critics have knocked her off the wrung of her ladder. Mean words, spoken (typed) in hate by people who have a need to dominate others by putting them down.
And it could happen to anyone. It could happen to me. (It's not happening, just so you know) And it takes courage to stand up to the bad guys. It takes a lot of grace to handle criticism. It takes humility to take negative comments in such a way that helps you improve rather than get defensive.
I haven't been tested in this way in a while, have you? Have you been picked on? bullied? What did you do about it? And how can we reach out to others who are getting picked on? No, I can't bring Phoebe back. Even if I lived in Massachusetts, I'm not sure I could have helped her, except if I offered to homeschool her.. But I can reach out to the hurting right here, right now. I can teach my own kids to deal wisely with people and have compassion on those who are enduring abuse.