Recently two big stories in the news has me thinking on bullies again. One is the Florida teen who has had all murder charges against him dropped for the stabbing death of a classmate due to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, and the other is the Texas teen who was shot and killed for brandishing what was believed to be a pistol in the halls of a middle school.
The first instance in Florida, the teen was being bullied by his peers at a bus stop. Apparently this had been going on for quite awhile because the court states it had documents the bullying had been going on for months! Apparently the threats and violence became so bad the teen felt in fear of his life and was carrying a knife for his own protection! Finally the main bully and his cohorts attacked the teen again while they were all waiting for the bus and the teen stabbed and killed the bully. Originally charged with Manslaughter, the teen is now clear of all charges thanks to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. Most states have some sort of law saying you can protect yourself with deadly force should someone break into your home or try to car jack you, but here in good old Florida, we have extended that law to include anywhere you are legally allowed to be, and that now has been proven to be a simple bus stop. What makes this so sad is that someone had to die for this problem to come to a head. If it had been documented for months like the courts said, why hadn't anyone at the school or the police department done something to stop it? Now this kid, who still looks like he is shaken and mentally fragile, has to live with the knowledge he killed another human being. He has to go back to school where there will be whispers and pointing, stories and memes,... it's just sad and unbelievably tragic, but also frustrating for all the other parents who are trying to help their kids deal with bullies. We as the adults should be able to protect our kids from this crap. Now I see a future filled with more violence as kids who no longer see any other options start arming themselves.
The second incident is Wednesday's shooting in Texas where a middle school student was brandishing a weapon in the school hallways and was shot by police. The boy had what looked to be a semi automatic hand gun and was roaming the hallways with it out in the open. A teacher called the office, who in turn call school officers & local police. The boy was given several chances to drop the gun, but began to raise it at officers instead. The officers fired and killed the boy. Later it was discovered the gun, (which looked extremely realistic) was a co2 pellet gun. It did not have the dayglo orange tip on it designating it as a pellet gun, so there was no way the officers could have known it wasn't a real hand gun. No reason has been given as to why the boy brought a gun to school, but I am just betting that it had to do with bullying. Too bad we can't ask him...
Bullying is just getting worse. Supposedly all these programs are in place in school and communities to keep bullying from happening, but apparently it isn't doing much good. It's like having a restraining order. It does no good until someone walks right through it and violates it! Pretty soon kids are going to all be armed and no good can come of that! We have GOT to reverse the thinking that bullying is ok. Kids are still doing it. Adults still do it. It has to stop.
I've armed my kids with high self esteem & the ability to defend themselves with out weapons. I wish I didn't have to do that. We shouldn't have to do that.