I keep telling you that I say things you're not going to hear from most people, including the media. I'm not going to sit here and condone the behavior, but what I will say might tick you off. Let me just run through some recent history for you. You've got the shooting at VA Tech and Columbine. There's that fight between black students and white students in Jena. Even more recently, a student at a junior high was killed. He was described as an outsider that came to school in some feminine clothing and make up. The 14 year old that killed him is getting charged with both premeditated murder and a hate crime. Now you've got a very smart young man at Northern Illinois shooting people. You rarely hear the side of things I'm going to talk about. The news always likes to portray these shooters/victims as troubled young people with a history of violent behavior, substance abuse, or mental illness. Let's hear about the side of them that was ridiculed their entire lives by the "in" crowd.
This will serve as a warning to every parent with a child involved in athletics, cheerleading, or any other socially popular crowd. They treat anyone different like crap. The mean jokes and sick humor these young people are capable of creating set the stage for another similar event. One of these days, the guy or girl you ridiculed is going to get pushed over the edge and act on all that anger and abuse they've felt. Whether or not killing is right or wrong isn't going through their mind at that point. What they're thinking is revenge will make them feel better. How do I know? Personal experience. I know those thoughts all too well.
If you don't want your kid to beat you to the grave, then teach them how to treat people with respect and kindness. You could argue that the kids that get picked on just need to get thicker skin, but the reality is thicker skin only covers up the real problem. It doesn't address the root of the problem. Here's what I see in our future if you don't get serious about this. There is going to be a lot of acting out as a result of rejection and ridicule in adolescent life. You're going to see a lot more school shootings. You're going to see a lot more hate directed at gays and blacks. The fat girls are going to develop eating disorders or kill themselves. The guys who get rejected over and over again are going to end up registered sex offenders after venting their frustration through sexual assault.
You can't blame Hollywood on this one. You're going to have to smack some sense into your snot nosed uppity teen before they turn into someone who makes fun of anyone that is different. Video games and music don't start the fire. Some of it may feed the flame, but the spark is your little snot of a child.
The more time I spend in the workplace, the more I'm beginning to notice how much adult life resembles all the bullshit we went through in high school. If you want things to change, it has to start with you, mother and father. No solution cooked up in government is going to make a damn bit of difference. Religion isn't going to solve things either. The responsibility is in the hands of the parents. Just get off your butt and do it. Otherwise you'll get no sympathy from me when your son or daughter gets a bullet in the head because they or their friends treated someone like crap.
Are you a motivational speaker? Are you a church leader? Are you a youth counselor? You need to break it down this way. Respect and kindness is going to get you a lot further than lectures on ignoring bullies and talking to someone if you feel depressed. If you can't get down and dirty like I told you, you're just wasting a lot of time.