Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bullying

There is probably much that we will never know about the tragic situation that led to the recent suicide of fifteen year old Phoebe Prince. It is pretty clear that the cruelty of her peers led to the destruction of the young girl's morale. Phoebe's family is grieving "the loss of the incandescent enthusiasm of a life blossoming."

Dr. Keith Albow discusses the phenomenon of bullying, which cyberspace has given a new dimension for harm:

It’s very likely, however, that Phoebe's bullies knew something more about her than the fact that she was a pretty girl. They may have intuited that she was more sensitive than they were or that her sense of self had yet to fully develop.

Bullies are good at detecting victims who feel things deeply or who are unsure of themselves because, underneath it all, they are on the run from their own feelings and uncertain of their own worth. That’s why they band together and go on the offense as a group. They can pretend to be more valuable than their targets and less vulnerable.

Make no mistake about it: The suffering of Phoebe Prince had to have been sport for these teens. Dehumanizing her had to have been intoxicating. They were getting high together. Hating another person, like any drug, has the effect of distancing people from their own deep doubts and despondency.

In the age of the Internet and Facebook, more teens than ever are busy getting the surface of their lives to look good, while their inner, emotional lives are built on the most fragile ground imaginable. Bullying, like all drugs, can become epidemic in such circumstances.

More HERE.
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9 comments:

CelticLady said...

Bullying is a terrible thing. I was bullied when in school because I didn't have the right hairstyle or clothes. It did not help my selfestime at all. This was in the sixties...so it isn't a new thing, just more publicized. Such a sad waste and welcome to America!! I really feel for her family..

Julygirl said...

It has escalated because the powers that be themselves feel bullied by these students, and have not taken the steps to extinguish the behavior. Of all the problems encountered in the shcool setting this is actually one of the easiest to nip in the bud if the proper steps are taken and the bullies experience immediate consequences for their behavior. I speak from my experience in dealing with the problem. A zero tolerance policy must be put into action and complied with by all personnel. I, myself experienced bullying behavior for about 5 minutes and the word soon got around that I would not tolerate it and no longer experienced bullying during the rest of my school experience.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

This is such a tragic story. I can't imagine being that unhappy as a teenager - nor being so mean as to make somebody else that unhappy.

Gareth Russell said...

This story really has filled me with sadness. What that poor girl's parents must be going through! My prayers are with them.

elena maria vidal said...

I feel so sorry for that poor girl and her family, too, and I think that the breakdown in discipline and manners at school has led to some of the students being free to give vent to their cruelty. I feel so sad that that lovely young girl came to America only to die.

Doreen McGettigan said...

My stepson died of suicide at the age of 17..my brother was murdered by eight 17-21 year old's that were out looking for someone to kill. I do not know what the answers are but this teen generation seems to have zero value for human life, no manners and a horrible case of entitlement..it is so frightening..this is the first generation of toddlers that were put in time out, given trophies for just showing up and the first generation where the teachers fear the wrath of the parents..I fear we have created monsters..

elena maria vidal said...

Oh, Doreen, my heart goes out to you. We have had people in our family attacked in a similar manner but nothing that horrible. May God bless and protect your family and please accept my deepest condolences.

Christina said...

What a sad and terrible story. Elena, I agree with you that the callousness and coarseness that seem to be the order of the day in our culture, has caused this in part.

These teenagers appear to be monstrously selfish, with no regard for this poor girl as a human being. It all goes back to having no distinction between people and objects. They used her as a plaything and any sensible person could have predicted the sad result.

elena maria vidal said...

That's true. And where the adults were in this picture, I'll never be able to figure out....