Bully for you

Anita was one of my best friends in junior high and high school. She was brilliant in math and a generous person. Unfortunately, she also had a terrible acne condition and was overweight.  I say unfortunately because the cool kids would make fun of her, which was crummy.  I don’t know if she ever knew.  I hope not.

Even nice kids can be mean occasionally. Maybe some teenagers are so insecure they have to poke fun at others to feel better about themselves.  I’m sure there are hundreds of books on the subject. The TV show Gossip Girl isn’t popular by accident.

A 15-year-old high school freshman in Massachusetts hung herself in January after repeated bullying by classmates. The prosecutor brought charges yesterday against nine teenagers, saying their taunting and physical threats were beyond the pale.

Where were the parents and the school administration?

Grownups can be bullies, too. Maybe a better word is abusive. Model Naomi Campbell flew into a rage when she couldn’t find a pair of jeans and tossed a cell phone at her maid.  Linda Stein, New York real estate honcho, bullied her assistant, who killed her.

Bosses can be bullies.  Friends can be bullies (Did you ever watch Housewives of New York?) Parents can be bullies. I’ve been bullied and I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve probably bullied a few people myself.

There’s never an excuse for conduct this unbecoming.

5 Responses to “Bully for you”

  1. LPC says:

    Great story, Susan. And I believe that the Internet has made bullying even more possible and even more insidious. Wide access, insults make the insulter seem cool, etc.

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  2. Duchesse says:

    I admire institutions (schools, workplaces) who post a code of conduct and enforce it. Why is this so difficult? If people who resort to physical or emotional abuse think it will be tolerated (or worse, admired) they will continue it, at least until they mature or heal enough to abandon these sad weapons.

    I have seen the damage bullying does and am not willing to support organizations who turn away from the issue.

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  3. Susan says:

    I was devastated by this…I just knew from your post title what prompted it. The mother did report it (acc. to friends living in the area. I know very little personally.)

    I tire of hearing adults pooh-pooh this as “stuff” that happened when they were kids. No kidding. It wasn’t acceptable then. When I was a little girl, the first phone call I made (without help–I was not authorized, ahem) was to the parents of a boy who was bullying another little boy in our school. I cannot imagine what the parents thought when they heard my little voice delivering the news of their son’s terrible behavior. Nothing like a righteously worked-up 6-year old. (I was still polite, though.) Ever after, my mother asked me to please report to her so that she could make the phone calls. I make no apologies for “tattling” on bullies. Then or now.

    BTW, Ms. Campell made the news again recently for conduct most unbecoming (& illegal).

    Cheers.

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Maureen and Susan,

      Thank you for clarifying that the mom did report it.

      Your story, Susan, is wonderful.

      Geri

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  4. Maureen@IslandRoar says:

    Yeah, apparently the mom did report it to the school. I think some administrators need to be held accountable as well.

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