A Summary of Two Articles
Los Angeles Times- via the Internet 9/3/2013
CNN (US.) via the internet 9/3/2013
The Los Angeles Times explained how Parents worry about ailments that happen to their children from experiences at school. The main part of the article focused on bullying. Bullying is awful for children and can lead to the likelihood of becoming depressed to the point of being suicidal. Susan M. Swearer, a professor of school psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and co-director of the Bullying Research Network was quoted “parental involvement both regarding their child’s treatment at school and to monitor their children’s interactions on the internet. She continues to recommend that parents watch for symptoms which may be a result of bullying. These include depression, anxiety, or medical symptoms such as chronic headaches and/or stomach aches.Dr. Swearer also urges that parents who suspect bullying speak with the school administration and insist upon interventions so that children are safe at school.
The CNN Article Posted on The Same Day
On the same day, a story online (CNN) was posted about a tragic situation about bullying. There was a story about Friends of a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun after he had suffered from bullying. The actual event occurred on August 27th.
The adolescent boy living in Connecticut was from Poland. He was a tall boy who spoke with a Polish accent. The friends told the reported at CNN that the boy was bullied because of his height and accent. It seemed he was a kind boy who had friends who cared for him.
The family told reporters that the boy had been bullied for many years. As in the psychologist in the article in the Los Angeles Times recommended, the family had informed the school and district many times.
The Communications Director of the school district told reporters that an investigation of the entire history in the school district was being examined.
Both the school district and police did find posts on google plus and other sites. At this point they have found several postings by the fifteen-year-old that he was suicidal. The investigation is continuing.
Conclusions and Commentary
This family did much of what the expert in the article from Los Angeles suggested especially about their contact with the school.
As a mother of grown children, it is hard to check up on what your teenage child is posting. At times, a kid’s friends will tell a parent if something is being posted on the internet.
This happened to my son at age 18. A friend of his was suicidal and the friend sent him a picture of a noose that his friend had made threatening to hang himself. I was lucky enough that my son told me because he knows that I have dealt with people who are suicidal. We arranged for his friend and me to text anonymously and we were able to get him the help he needed.
These articles, however, leave me with many unanswered questions that I would like to understand better. What makes certain kids the target of bullying? In this case, it seems that one of the issues was that this kid was perceived to be different. What are the other characteristics?
Another question I have been what are the characteristics of kids that bully? What makes them bully? I can see peer pressure as being one of the aspects of this. What makes some kids go along with peer pressure? What are other personality characteristics or other factors happening in a child’s life that might make him or her prone to bullying?
This is an especially important topic and hopes to learn more about it.