It’s happened again.  Then again it happens everyday, in schools all across the country.  In a world where I keep getting inspired by kids who do things like electing the Downs Syndrome boy as homecoming king, or reaching out to the mentally handicapped kid who manages their sports team and letting him play an inning, I also keep waking up to find stories like this one…

Bullying Attack Victim in Induced Coma

bullying

There are people who will tell you that schoolyard fights are normal, and just something everyone has to deal with.  I heard a comedian the other day saying that bullying shouldn’t go away because it’s what helped him to be so funny.  And sure, most people that succeed in an artistic field will tell you that at some point in their lives they were ostracized, picked on, or even beat up.  Pain often does inspire wonderful art.  I also believe that the things we struggle through in life can work to polish off the sharp edges, making us better, stronger people.

But a punch in the face can put a boy in the hospital.  It cause him to have such severe seizures that the doctors treating him feel the only way to prevent possibly further brain damage is to force his body into a coma, until they’re sure he’s safe enough to simply be conscious.  When does it stop?

I read an article the other day about a family of 5 who was shocked when a restaurant they were dining at provided them with a Well Behaved Child discount.  Admittedly I would have been, too.  The thing is, at what point did it become shocking that someone’s kids were well-behaved enough for other people to take notice?  Believe me, I’ve worked retail, and some people’s kids are beyond out of control.  It’s one thing when the kid is 3, and you can see the parent is doing the best they can.  It’s another when you watch an 8 yr old intentionally pushing the stack of sweaters you just folded onto the floor, and the parent who witnesses it does nothing to address the issue.

It’s true, I don’t have kids.  Yet.  But I would like to think that when I do it becomes  my responsibility to teach them.  How to thirst for knowledge, why they should eat the vegetables, how to drive a car, why Funyuns don’t count as a food group, and that it is never okay not ever, to make someone feel like less then they are – especially for the sake of making yourself feel better.

I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of being meaner to someone our lives than we had any right to be (especially in Middle School), but surely we can all say that we’re always striving to be better than we were at age 13.  And surely we can teach our kids better than this?

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