The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Editorials

October 16, 2013

Who’s a bully?

It’s not just the playground jerk who is hurting other kids

The Associated Press reports that two Florida girls, ages 14 and 12, were arrested Tuesday and charged with third degree felony aggravated stalking after 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick hurled herself to her death from a tower after being repeatedly bullied at school and online.

Police say the two and perhaps at least a dozen others were responsible for the bullying.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he moved to charge the girls now, more than a month after Rebecca’s death, because the older one posted Saturday on Facebook, admitting that she bullied Rebecca but she didn’t care that the girl killed herself.

“We decided that we can’t leave her out there. Who else is she going to torment, who else is she going to harass?” Judd said.

People used to think bullying was just a part of growing up. Today, more people see bullying and cyberbullying for what they are — physical violence and mental torture.

We cannot understand why the adults who surround these bullies don’t work harder to stop them. The elder girl’s father has said he is “100 percent” sure what the police say about his daughter is untrue.

That is the attitude —even when faced with proof of the child’s actions — that helps keeps the bullying cycle alive.

Children often say hurtful, hateful things one minute, then innocently take them back the next. We get that.

But we are afraid that when those who have the ability to instruct their child on the difference between such innocent reactions and a bully’s willful mental or physical torture, don’t teach the lesson.

We suggest that parents pay closer attention to what their children text, tweet, Facebook and otherwise digitally say.

We also suggest that they sit down with them and have a serious conversation about what bullying is, its possible consequences, if they know anyone who is being bullied, if they are being bullied — or if they are bullying someone.

A website, stopbullying.gov, holds a wealth of information about what bullying and cyberbullying are, who is at risk, prevention and how to get help.

Parents and children alike should check it out.

Don’t think the old stereotype of the mean playground kid reflects what bullying is all about. It doesn’t.

Take action and help stop the bullies.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Court ruling

    Freedom of information won’t be so free any longer

    April 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 19, 2014

    April 18, 2014

  • New thinking

    Best way to address past financial failings is to look for alternatives

    April 17, 2014

  • Continuing the fight

    Solutions for drug war may need to be as tough as the problem

    April 16, 2014

  • Take me home

    You can go home again.

    April 15, 2014

  • Team work

    There is no doubt that last week’s announcement by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority of plans for a 500-acre Mega-Site development is one of the most visionary ideas we have seen in southern West Virginia.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 12, 2014

    April 12, 2014

  • Concord

    Impressive achievements in higher education reflected in quality of finalists for president

    April 10, 2014

  • Service

    In West Virginia, we often measure our “wealth” by all the things we can generally do without.

    April 9, 2014

  • Nutrition

    How much can we trust government to advise us on food?

    April 8, 2014