Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bullied Teen Kills Self

By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network


When my daughter was in high school she was subjected to unrelenting bullying tactics - to her face and over social media sites like Facebook. When her mother called the police, the juvenile officer assigned to the case said she gets complaints like this every day. Every single day.

Fortunately, my daughter has unbelievable self-esteem (anyone who has seen her stand up to me on principle can attest to that). But not all kids do. And in the case of Phoebe Prince, the bullying has brought tragic results.

It's not just that the 15-year-old Massachusetts girl was driven to suicide - allegedly by nine teenagers who have been indicted in her death. It's that there were responsible people - adults as well as her peers - who were aware that she was being bullied. And did nothing about it.

When she was first lady, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaimed that it takes a village to raise a child - and even wrote a book about it. There were those, then, who scoffed at her. But she was right. And it's certain that Phoebe Price's parents aren't scoffing today.

We all have certain responsibilities in life when it comes to others Especially when it comes to children and the elderly. But it seems that dozens of people abrogated their responsibilities with Phoebe. And today - she is dead.

Ever since the September 11, 2001 attacks, you hear this on New York City's subway system. "If you see something, say something." The message is clear. If someone leaves a package behind, or acts suspiciously, report it. But this prudent policy should be expanded to the bullying of our children.

If you see something, say something. Don't put yourself in the position of feeling regret that you didn't get involved after it's too late. Because, once a child takes her life, there's no bringing it back.

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Talk to Gary at 5 PM New York time weekdays on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network at www.joinchatnow.com. There is no charge.

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