In bullying news this week…

Students participate in a candlelight vigil at South Hadley High School Friday for freshman Phoebe Prince, who was found dead at her home on Thursday afternoon.

This weeks news tell of a nine-year old boy and a fifteen-year-old girl who both committed suicide in January. 
Both stories are sprinkeled with references to bullying.

Fifteen year old Phoebe Prince committed suicide on January 14, 2010.

As her death is being investigated, the details of relentless misogynistic bullying make their way to the surface.

The bullying included disagreements over teen romances at school, school officials said. And it continued with taunting text messages and harassing postings on Facebook, the popular social networking site.

Of course these are not labeled misogynistic hate, but rather “cyber” bullying.

“The real problem now is the texting stuff and the cyber-bullying,’’ said South Hadley School Superintendent Gus A. Sayer. “Some kids can be very mean towards one another using that medium.’’

Yea, the medium is the problem.  Technology is to blame.  Come on people can we take a minute to consider the topic of the bullying or the timing of her suicide…..This kid was dealing with sexist hate and sexual harassment… And she committed suicide two days before a school dance ?!?!  Is the ipone really the problem?

Meanwhile last week down in Texas….Montana Lance, a 9-year-old boy, was found hanged in the bathroom of a Dallas-area elementary school in an apparent suicide, police said.

  Friends and those who knew the boy said that he was often teased. “He was just bullied too much,” Blackwell told KTVT-TV. “Some of the things that people would say were harsh.”

The school district denies that.

It isn’t too hard for me to guess what sort of harsh things might have been said to Montana. The school district of course denies that Montana was bullied. The pathological portrait they are already painting of this boy is quite amazing.

 About 90 percent of people who commit suicide have some sort of psychiatric illness that can be treated, Kennard said.”What this says to me is that it’s not an isolated event,” Kennard said. “These kids typically have other things going on that need to be evaluated and treated.”

Yea, there you go, this kid just needed to be treated for something or other. I mean any ‘normal’ kid can just take daily fear, abuse and isolation without breaking. Read the comments on either of these stories to have your heart further broken.  The mix of  ‘this is what happened to me…’ comments alongside the ‘take it like a man’ comments is just tragically ironic.

GLSEN   hosts  No Name Calling Week this week.   The timing is bitter – but everyplace school should start this kind of daily discussion about community values at some point. Maybe this news will push a few more educators to consider the school setting itself pathologic and start doing the treatments at that level instead.


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Filed under Bully, Gender, Harassment / Bias, Heterosexism, Misogyny, School Violence, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Orientation

One response to “In bullying news this week…

  1. Pingback: A prank gone too far ?! « Schooling Inequality