Despite the publicity, bullying is still rampant in Maine schools

In a rural Maine school, an attractive young girl, with a genuine smile, bubbly personality, and beautiful long hair skips her lunch, because some of her rotten classmates tell her she is fat.

What’s more, they tell her she is ugly, and that she should become a lesbian because no man would ever want her. They call her names like “carpet muncher”, and “dyke whore”. They trip her, throw things at her, and walk down the heels of her shoes, but even worse, they tell her that she should kill herself.

Her parents have been dealing with this for years. And each year it gets worse. The school wont do anything about it, and what little has been done about it, has only made things worse.

So what DO we do about situations about this? Well I know what I would do, if I found out my son was treating anybody the way this girl is being treated!

First of all, he would find himself in his room for a very long time, with nothing but books to occupy his time. There would be no going out with friends, no after school activities, no TV, no telephone, or video games. He would eat his meals in his room, and he would return to his room after using the bathroom. He would certainly know what it is like to feel isolated an alone, because he had made another human being feel isolated and alone. But that’s just me.

That is a hardline approach, and many parents are not willing to take that line. Maybe the parents were on the giving end of such behavior when they were in school, otherwise, their children wouldn’t DARE treat another child like that. Maybe the parents consider that “kids will be kids” and bullying is just a part of going to school.

To some extent that is true. But still, something needs to be done! At the very least parents, you need to talk to your children! Find out who the unpopular kids are. Your child WILL know. Ask your child how they treat this child, and if your kid is telling you the truth, you should know.

Encourage your child to go out of their way to be kind to the less popular kids, especially if they are still in grade school. By the time they reach middle school, and beyond, it is too late. In most cases the damage is done, and it will not come undone.

Lastly, if schools claim to have a zero tolerance policy, then children that bully, should be removed from the learning environment! Let the parents finally take some control over the lives of their children. If they failed to teach basic human decency to their children, let THEM take control of their education!

When a bullied kid finally looses their grip on reality, and the pent-up rage, and pain is no longer something they can control sometimes they lash back violently.

When this happens, on the news, you see the popular kids all crying, and sobbing hysterically. The kids on the fringe can be seen going about their business as best they can. They are not panicked or hysterical. They knew something like this was possible. And while I in no way condone the actions of a school shooter, you have to wonder if playground justice had been served?

The slain and injured students are often the popular kids, good at sports, part of the student body leadership. You have to wonder…How many other children did they mercilessly taunt? How many girls cut themselves with razors, or binge and purge because of the cruel things their classmates say? How many boys turn to drugs and alcohol to hide from the taunting they endure?

Just understand parents… It is YOUR fault your children are bullies! It is YOUR fault when a mother finds her daughter’s arms all cut up because of something your daughter or son said to them day in and day out. Its your fault when a father walks in to his son’s room and finds him passed out drunk, because your daughter or son called them a loser every single time they saw him.

And even worse, if God forbid, a child snaps, and kills your child in a rampage, it was probably your fault too, because you failed to teach your children that they are no more, or less important that anybody else!

Think about it the next time the headlines in your town talk of another teen tragedy!  Teach your children to respect their classmates, and reign them in when they don’t, or make sure you realize some of the blood is on your hands too!


Doug Alley

About Doug Alley

I grew up in Bath, Maine in an upper lower class family with 3 step sisters, a step brother, and a little sister. After high school I spent 3 years serving in the USAF at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. I've competed in, and won, demolition derbies. I've competed in, and never won, stock car races. I am the 47-year-old father of an 11-year-old boy who is pretty sure he is smarter than I ever was. We live on a little less than an acre of land in a 1973 mobile home in Stetson with my wife Jen, some cats, a few chickens, and rabbits, and a couple of goats. I hunt, fish, camp out, dabble in photography, gardening, and I cook in variable degrees of near success.