Teens Will Be Mean

I’m sick over the suicide of Phoebe Prince and the teenagers that bullied her. From what I’ve read the school ignored the bullying, the parents of these teenagers just figured “it’s what kids do” and another teenager was pushed too far. How many kids need to die before bullying is taken seriously?

I’ve said before that I was bullied on and off for years. It’s traumatizing and you never really get over it. The worst of it for me was the sexual harassment I had to endure and I considered suicide several times. Did I ever go so far to take my own life or anyone else? No, but I can empathize where they came from. I had my moments where I wished that those that continually tortured me would just die.

Nobody wants to take responsibility for this but the new way to handle things is to blame someone else. I heard that the teens that bullied and raped Phoebe are upset because they are being threatened. I’m sorry but, karma IS a BITCH and in this world you have to pay for your actions. Until you yourself have been bullied for days, weeks and months on end you can never know what it feels like. I can’t imagine what kind of soul can do that to another person.

I feel very fortunate that back when I was bullied in school there was no such thing as cyber bullying because I’m pretty sure that could have pushed me over the edge. I can’t imagine, not ever being to escape it, not even at home.

I’m not a parent but please talk to your kids about how to treat others and to speak up if anyone is being mean to them. I think many kids are too embarrassed or just don’t think their parents would understand. Just reading this article about one of the parents who insists her daughter isn’t to blame makes me want to vomit. As a country we need to start taking responsibility for our actions.

RIP Phoebe Prince.

29 Comments

  1. Sarcastica

    April 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Hear hear!!! Amazing post; you hit the nail right on the head.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 8:34 am

      @Sarcastica: Thanks! It’s something I feel very strongly about, as you can tell.

  2. Jennifer

    April 8, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Such a sad story. I feel strongly about this also. I was bullied too as a child.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

      @Jennifer: Too many were, too many of us have really sad stories that have stuck with us in some way or another.

  3. Crystal

    April 8, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Between this incident and the Mississippi “secret prom”, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

      @Crystal: I couldn’t agree more. It’s very unsettling.

  4. Amanda

    April 8, 2010 at 9:47 am

    I guess I was never “bullied” in the strictest sense, but I was definitely sexually harassed regularly, and didn’t really know how to stop it. I mean, I didn’t want to tattle, and be uncool, so mostly I just put up with it. They definitely need to work on better anti-bullying programs

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      @Amanda, I know, I’ve been there too. Those years are, I think, the most torturous of your life. I wouldn’t go back for anything.

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    April 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

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  6. Grant

    April 8, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Yet another reason why cats are superior – no cyberbullying.

  7. Maureen

    April 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I have been semi-obsessed with this case for the past week (right now I have two other tabs open on my browser with posts and news stories re: the whole thing).

    And, I have talked to my kids about it. I hesitated to talk to Shel about it, because he feels so strongly, but decided to do it anyway. When I was a kid, I was mostly the one being teased, but there were a couple of times where I had the upper-hand in the social strata and, feeling my own loss of control and self-esteem, I regret to say that there were times when I wasn’t nice to others. It was never a three month mob campaign against someone, but I still feel awful about each incident to this day.

    So, I wanted to let the kids know that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone gives in to social pressure sometimes. Everyone lashes out without thinking every once in a while. The important thing, the thing that shows that you have a soul, a conscience, a respect for everyone else’s right to be & have their own dignity, is that you recognize that you made a mistake, when you make one, accept responsibility, stop doing it, make amends & try not to do it again.

    The teens in this case *did not* show that they had consciences or respect for others at all.

    I keep seeing people saying “What about the school staff that saw this? Where were they? Why didn’t they do anything?”.

    And, I keep thinking… What about the teens parents??? Where were they??? Not only while this was going on, but throughout their childrens’ entire lives, when they were supposed to be teaching them how to be decent human beings in the world?

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      @Maureen, We can only hope things start to change, right?

  8. Katie @ Why Bother?

    April 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Ugh, this makes my stomach hurt. Makes it hurt like it did when I was bullied. Pisses me off that things have gone so far these days. And I agree, thank goodness there was no Facebook or Myspace to be bullied through. I can’t imagine having to go from school and the pain there to home where it’s continued through the internet.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      @Katie @ Why Bother?, There are very few issues in this world that upset me as much as this but it really hits home.

  9. Pauline

    April 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    “How many kids need to die before bullying is taken seriously?”

    I absolutely agree! I hate how many adults just shrug and say “Kids are cruel” and let them run around and behave like savages. Children need to be taught right from wrong, or else society will have to bear the brunt of their future actions.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      @Pauline, a lot of people are saying this is not a criminal act. Well a kid died because of actions of another person, that’s criminal. Plus, if parents and teachers aren’t willing to step up then let’s let law enforcement take control.

  10. Maureen

    April 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    And, bullying *is* a criminal act. If it was adults doing the same things to Pheobe that happened to her, they could be charged with criminal harassment, stalking, etc.

    If the bullies’ parents aren’t teaching them how to treat other people, then I think that parents of bullied children should start pressing charges more often.

    I’m also going to be doing some research in these next months, to see what programs I can facilitate bringing to our school district, to help teach children self-respect and respect for others, in case their parents have not done so by the time they get to school.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      @Maureen: I think teenagers have too much power these days and they need to be reminded that just because they are not technically adults does NOT mean their actions do not have consequences. Good for you!

  11. Miss Britt

    April 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Unfortunately, I don’t think many people realize how horrible bullying is until it goes too far. Too many times I have heard adults say “you know, kids will be kids” – and if you would try to mention a case like this, they would say “well, it’s not THAT bad.”

    We need to create a society where bullies become outcasts. Where teachers and staff and parents and other children say – hey, that’s not cool, or funny, and I’m not afraid of you turning on me because all of these other people say it’s not OK either.

    People keep saying “where are the parents”, and I can’t help but think of how many adult bullies I’ve known.

    1. Robin

      April 8, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      @Miss Britt: The main thing is it has to stop being overlooked or even accepted. It has to be wrong every single time no matter how tame it seems to be. Those that continue to do it as adults need to also not get away with it either, I refuse to have anything to do with people who will do that to another human being. Also I forgot to mention that the one time I did say something about the kid who sexual harassed me he was spoken to by the principal…he ended up missing one hockey game and went right back to torturing me. We go out of our way to protect kids from sex and violence and swears but what about each other??

  12. Maggie, dammit

    April 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Bullying has long been incredibly damaging, but you hit it right on the head when you mentioned how much worse cyber bullying can be. It’s viral, relentless, and permanent. There’s a great website with resources called WiredSafety.org . I just downloaded a kit about how to talk to your kids properly about this. We all need to step up. My heart just aches over this. I’m so sorry you were a victim of bullying, too.

    1. Robin

      April 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

      @Maggie, dammit: that’s great, next time i write about this i will try to remember to include that website. more parents need to get proactive like you.

  13. Tug

    April 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    A lot of bullies were raised by parents that were bullies as well. Look at how abuse, racism, etc. is passed down generation to generation. Parents either “don’t have time to be there”, are bullies themselves, or are truly just oblivious. Some think their children can do no wrong. Parents need to be held responsible as well, IMHO. At least until the kid is of legal age.

    I just ‘saw’ a girl I played softball with for YEARS – good kid, jock – get found guilty for killing 2 people. Driving… drunk @ 11 a.m. She’d had previous DUI’s, arrests. I remember this little jock, good kid…and then, as I was talking to my daughter about it? I remember being at her brother’s wedding. He & the bride were late because they’d been in jail the previous night. for cocaine. The parents? Embarrassed, but laughed it off.

    Scary world we’re living in.

    1. Robin

      April 9, 2010 at 9:32 am

      @Tug: I couldn’t agree more, this world (this country) has gone to a very bad place and I just hope we can find a way out of all of this. Parents need to wake up, get real and get involved.

  14. subWOW

    April 12, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Most of the news media and other reports blame the schools and the teachers for not “noticing” anything or for not taking any actions. How about the parents? I have been obsessed with this whole story and it is now finally getting national attention. Frankly I’m a bit pissed at the national news outlet’s lateness to the game. Srly? How bad does it have to become for them to pay attention? I srly don’t care how many girlfriends Tiger Woods has. The man made 100 million last year. Consenting adults. Elin’s willing to go back either for their child or for the promise of more money or both. Who cares? End of story. But Phoebe Price’s story needs to be told. Can you believe the part where the bullies wrote on her Facebook memorial page AFTER she killed herself? WHAK?!

    Sorry. Watched The Boy With Striped Pajamas today with my boys. So I am a bit emotional about the atrocities human beings committed against other human beings. Not to equate the scale of these two crimes of course. But you wonder: what happened to a person just so they could be so callous towards another human being? What kind of damage was done to them? Or is it really like Lord of the Flies? That we were not born good, but inherently destructive?

    1. Robin

      April 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

      @subWOW: I couldn’t agree with you more, I’m so disgusted with humanity on so many levels right now that I can barely stand the day to day. Sounds over-the-top but this kind of thing just angers me so much and has been since I was bullied as a kid.

  15. jen

    April 16, 2010 at 5:46 am

    I was also bullied, ugh, girls can be such mean bit** !

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    October 7, 2010 at 7:56 am

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