October is Bullying Awareness Month. Middle school years are often harder for young people than high school. If you have a pre-teen at home or have worked with junior high kids, you know they can be downright cruel. Here’s a tragic story out of Florida that is developing over the past few weeks that will be interesting to follow.
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — After 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide last month, one of her tormenters continued to make comments about her online, even bragging about the bullying, a sheriff said Tuesday.
The especially callous remark hastened the arrest of a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl who were primarily responsible for bullying Rebecca, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. They were charged with stalking and released to their parents.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time and probably won’t be the last time something like this happens. Bullying happens every single day and takes a few different forms today. It’s not limited to a certain age group, sex, nationality, religion, or sexual preference. Technology has given new platforms for bullying to spread and the scars often go deeper than physical abuse. Why? Because words are powerful. And these words are often ones you’d never say face to face. While the story includes verbal face-to-face abuse between these 2 girls and Rebecca, she also had received messages on her mobile device that probably compounded things.
Bullying is actually a symptom of deeper issues within a person. Usually bullies suffer from low self-esteem or self-worth, and have been victims of bullying at home or by someone they know. Hurting people hurt people. And as we’ve seen in this story, taking part in evil acts is contagious. We will all stand accountable before God for the words and behaviors we say and do. Each one of us needs to take a step back and look at the words we use and how we treat the people around us.
Check out these 11 staggering facts about bullying in America.