School Bullying’s Chilling New Front

(CNN) — Can cruel words really kill?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Recently, a teenage boy killed himself in Connecticut. Bart Palosz was just 15 when he took his family’s shotgun and decided, apparently, that he had no other option but suicide. Last year, 12-year-old Joel Morales of New York hanged himself in his family’s home. Earlier this year, 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons of Nova Scotia, Canada, died from self-inflicted hanging injuries.

What did these two boys and one girl have in common?

They appear to have been bullied to death, friends and family members have said. For Bart, it was his size and Polish accent that the bullies repeatedly targeted. With Joel, bullies targeted him because of his small stature and stuttering. Joel’s mother said she reported this to the school, but the bullying merely escalated.

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5 thoughts on “School Bullying’s Chilling New Front

  1. Bill Duke

    I believe bullying is a cultural endemic in our country with everyone responsible for it. We see our President, politicians, sports referees and local leads all of whom are faced with an out of control society that are bullying people on and off of the internet. Until we uplift the intellectual mindset of our collective peoples I can only see it escalate to all out anarchy and civil unrest.

  2. Paul Coughlin

    As an anti-bullying advocate, I commend you for this most recent article, especially how you explain that parents of bullies need to be more aware of what their children are doing to others. Parents, not teachers, are the first line of defense against bullying.

  3. elder student

    Many years ago as the 60’s continued, at my school many incidents of bullying were from the teachers. One classmate was now thinking of trying gather info and write a book in presnt day. Lots of students got roughed up, etc.

  4. Ted Kaiser

    I find from a public perspective, the press identifies the causal factor “bullying” …but lost in the presentation is “who” are the predators and who, just as importantly, enabled the series of events. (e.g. “Wall Street is to Blame”….WHO is “Wall Street”??). Sadly, most folks I talk to are surprised to hear teachers, coaches, and adults under the guise of “kidding around”, “creating motivation”, “getting attention” et al, are much in part beside their passive ignorance, TO BLAME for this epidemic in AND on the way to school. Oh my gosh, see the explosive reaction of any of these “dedicated” educators when you suggest they are either part or all the problem. It’s not hard to find to the superintendent level and school committees who believe a “Platoon” 1960’s era bootcamp experience should be the code for all HS varsity sports. Or the secret “mentoring” of kids, female students by oft male teachers/coaches, who inadvertently slide conditional messages and pics into texting. Get a candid report from a school committee member and you’ll find your jaw on the ground. Most committee mtgs have a closed session where as many as 10 extraordinary staff/student events weekly are “privately” dealt with to protect the individuals involved. While this in part prevents the destruction of the lives involved, it conveniently protects a system and individuals who continue to perp regardless of the outrage of parents and students. Union tenure protects teachers and much like the Catholic Church crisis, superintendents shuffle teachers and their responsibilities. And a new situation brought to my attention by a 18 year old “escaping” her “neighborhood” by going to college: bus and bus stop “monitors”, “dedicated” parents standing day after miserable day to ensure their kids “aren’t perp’d”, but innocently grinding helpless kid’s egos into the ground. “I cried every day going to school”, H. said, “he found something bad to say about me in front of his kids and the others…and they (the kids) continued it on the bus”. Wanna stop bullying? Teach kids to identify bullying and the source before it builds, teach standardized feedback that anyone who understands language will understand, “say NO to Bullying”, and encourage instant reporting at home or school. Make whistleblowing protected by law and force schools to become transparent retroactively. Open up those minutes. If your son/dau is assaulted by his/her coach in front of a “home” crowd, should it be your kid’s call to you hours later….”Dad, something weird happened today”. Wake up world. C’mon writers, get some zeal!


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