The tragic death of suicide from bullying of a young school girl from bullying illustrates again the failure of society to address the issues that affect young people in what can only be described as a dog eat dog world. The young girl in this case was left messages telling her she was fat and other assorted messages to try and demoralise the girl and create an insecure being who can then be used as a lever to propel some insecure bully whom more than likely projects his or her insecurities in the hope of feeling better if somewhat only temporarily. Teenage years are the most tumultuous for a young person growing up and the biggest influence in these years more often than not tends to be our peers (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/11/health/la-he-the-md-teens-friends-20110411 ) so we see them as being mort important in society than family and other older figures, some of whom may have been revered when teenagers were children.
Not often that I open up about my own school years but as someone who suffered at the hands of bullies for years , its easy to feel an affinity to the victim mentioned in the article. For years I was bullied because of my weight and this was justified as I remember someone telling me “I deserve it” and could not provide any justification what so ever. There was a dark cloud over me for a while which clouded me as a person and nearly drove me to suicide but it was thanks to my parents and support that I came through the other side . Compared to others I had a relatively easy enough recovery and after finishing school in 1999 I worked for two years before going to college in 2001 and eleven years on I have not looked back. There was an image in my head that I did not belong, that my whole existence in my formative years was a burden on other people but all this changed. Society means we have to either fit other niches created by other people or create our own, we all form part of society in its system. I found friends, a place in the world and to this day Im now happy.
How do you solve a situation like bullying? Invariably kids are going to be kids and kids are going to bully, that is a behaviour that has become a societal norm and we need to change this attitude, attitudes can be changed. There are a number of initiatives I have seen in schools to fight against bullying and addressing the issue but we need to be more pro active. Often children in school will have a hierarchy of peers, these are people whom children will look up to and form alliances, if you are outside this alliance then this is when the issues occur. Target these peers whom are at the top of the group, give them some awareness and show them the consquences of their actions, if necessary organise a school trip to visit the families of those afflicted with suicide because of this. This will have a trickle down effect over the school year and while a child may not fit in certainly he will not be targeted as much I believe by his peers. It will take a lot of work with the authorities, school, parents and pupils but it can be done.