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I am sick and tired of hearing about school bullies. There was Michael Brewer (15), the Florida kid who was set on fire over a $40 video game. Chatari Jones (12), the young girl who had a nervous breakdown because she was bullied relentlessly on the school bus -- poked and spit on and viciously made fun of -- because she has cerebral palsy.  The many LGBTQ students across the country bullied because of their sexual orientation -- there have been six highly publicized gay teen suicides in the last few weeks and months: Tyler Clementi (18), Seth Walsh (13), Justin Aaberg (15), Raymond Chase (19), Asher Brown (13), and Billy Lucas (15).

And now,
Tyler Wilson (11), an Ohio boy in the 6th grade, was attacked by two jocks from school because the boys didn't like the fact that he was on a youth cheerleading squad (he likes tumbling). They broke his arm while he walked home from school. On top of that, they're now threatening to break his other arm during the assault because he a) hasn't quit the squad (good for you!) and b) he told on them (again, good for you!). Says Tyler, "It feels horrible that they can't accept me for who I am. It's my choice if I want to be a cheerleader."

This in unacceptable. Where are the parents? The school administrators, the teachers? Why aren't the police involved in many of these incidents? Verbal bullying -- name calling, harassing, etc. -- is not a laughing matter and should not be tolerated. Even worse are the physical assaults resulting in broken bones and, worse, disfigurement or even death. Complaints by too many kids are shrugged off and ignored every day: kids are told to deal with it, to just tell the bully to stop -- as if that will ever help. So the bullies continue bullying and the kids lose hope as the system continues to fail them. Just going to school every day has become a nightmare to so many of our nation's children, and that is not right.

It's time for these bullies to be punished in a court of law, instead of simply being spoken to or given a time out. More parents need to take a stand and show their children that there are people in this world who will fight for them. Micheal Brewer's assailants have been charged with attempted murder. (Micheal
has since recovered from his injuries.) Chatari's dad was so enraged when his daughter admitted that bullying on the bus made her life a living hell that he boarded the bus and threatened the kids involved as well as the bus driver (he's now being charged with disorderly conduct for his actions; no word on the bullies). Tyler Clementi's tormentors are being charged with invasion of privacy after secretly taping and broadcasting a romantic encounter with another man on the internet.  Wilson's mom filed criminal assault charges against the jocks who broke her son's arm, and made a t-shirt that reads: "Yes, my son's a cheerleader; GET OVER IT."

I love that parents of the victims are stepping up to say, "Enough is enough." But that's not enough. Children need to learn that it's wrong to pick on and attack others in the first place. That kind of education is not only the province of the schools, but the home environment as well. Parents of the bullies need to be notified and tell their own children to knock it the hell off, but instead they make excuses and try to protect their children from the consequences of their actions. If the bullies themselves are not taught that their behavior is horribly wrong, how are they supposed to improve? What will happen when they grow up? Today's parents need to take responsibility for their children now. It could save a life tomorrow.

Edit: Have you ever been the victim of bullying? Were you the bully? How did you handle that situation? I would love to hear others' personal experiences with this. I for one was lucky: I escaped middle school with minimal experience being bullied, and that was mostly kids kicking my stupid "rolling backpack" (which was actually luggage since I had to bring so many heavy books to school every day), and that stopped as soon as I reverted to using a normal backpack. I was picked on in high school, but only by one really stupidly annoying girl on my water polo team. I repeatedly told my coach about what was going on, but he didn't do anything to stop it, so I just dealt with it as best as I could (including throwing the ball at her face to vent some of my anger with her) and moved on with my life.
nohanii: (Default)
I just read the most appalling thing on the Humane Society website. Two teenagers in New York put an eight week old kitten in an 500 degree oven and left it there to roast to death. The older of the two got a year in prison. One measly year. And she's not allowed to have pets for three years. How is this justice? How does this in any way balance out the heinous crime that she committed? We need much, much harsher punishments for people who treat non-human lives so callously.

Oh, and her reasoning? She doesn't like cats.

nohanii: (Default)
NY Governor Paterson introduces a bill to allow gay marriage

Diaz also said it is "disrespectful" of Paterson to introduce the legislation in the same week that Catholics celebrated the installation of New York City Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

Paterson attended the ceremony Wednesday at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

"I think it's a laugh in the face of the new archbishop," Diaz said Thursday before the start of his meeting. "The Jews just finished their holy week. The Catholics just received the new archbishop. The evangelical Christians just celebrated Good Friday and resurrection. He comes out to do this at this time? It's a challenge the governor is sending to every religious person in New York and the time for us has come for us to accept the challenge."

Ummmm ya... I don't see that. I'm pretty sure Paterson didn't introduce this bill because of or in spite of the new archbishop; he did it because gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and protections under the law as everyone else. People like this... *facepalm*

At any rate, let's hope New York does the right thing! Fingers crossed!

nohanii: (Default)
Guys, this is great news: First Iowa on Friday, and now Vermont has legalized gay marriage! That's the second state in one week to decide that gays have the right to marry, just like heterosexuals. Exciting times are now! I can't wait to see what happens in other states within the next few months. Hopefully California will keep the trend up!
nohanii: (Default)
Wow I haven't been here for awhile. Sorry about that, I got pretty busy in the last few weeks. For now, new update!
-I think everyone can learn from
this. Bravo for thinking of that solution, and bravo to everyone who supported it. These people are incredible.
-They said it couldn't be done, but one surgeon managed to save
a little girl dying of cancer. He had to remove six vital organs to do it, but she survived! Amazing.
-Chuck Norris want to be President.
Of Texas.  This is rather worrisome, because he apparently has a ton of support. 

Real update later, right now is study time for finals. 


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