Over and over again, we read about children committing suicide after being bullied at school. We see fathers getting on their children's buses to confront the kids that have tormented their daughters. We see people being prosecuted for cruel, cruel invasions of privacy--the result of which leads to another person taking his life.
Here in Florida, you have a university where hazing is so ingrained in the culture that the marching band is on hiatus for a year and multiple fraternities have had to cease operations because of physical assault on pledges.
This has all got to stop.
When twelve-year-old children hang themselves after being tormented for being intelligent, we see the terrible depths of bullying in this country. My heart aches for Joel Morales. My heart aches for his family.
And the anonymous buttholes that hounded this kid go, seemingly so far, unpunished.
As a father, I sympathize with the man who boarded his daughter's bus. Kids these days face different pressures than when folks in my generation were young. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for little assholes to set up hate-pages on the Internet to rip into their classmates.
At Florida State College, we recently focused on the nature of civility for a full term. We had workshops and speakers at the school. We debated the topic at the Socrates Cafe, a philosophical forum. We wrote about the lack of civility in the public sphere. We debated the future of the term in a culture that is increasingly cynical and crude--a world in which people are more self interested and insulated from each other than ever before.
This is a fundamental flaw in our society. A large percentage of adults simply don't give a shit, and it trickles down to their children. They're raising miniature versions of their own asshole selves...
Look, I'm a nurture guy. I think our environment shapes our behaviors, and I think most kids are, fundamentally, good (so I'm also a nature person, I suppose). Kids are optimistic and kind, until they see so much negativity around them that they mimic those things, to the detriment of their peers.
Take the time to love, people. That's all. Be kind to each other, and take some damned time to love and treat others with respect.
Sheesh...so sorry, Joel...