The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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
  • Doughnut holes

    Annexation benefits outweigh the taxes

    July 29, 2014

  • The play’s the thing

    TWV twins reveal local riches that can’t be found anywhere else

    July 27, 2014

  • Primary care

    DHHR program weans folks away from the ER

    July 24, 2014

  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014

  • Showcase

    For White Sulphur Springs, there’s hardly enough time to catch a breath.

    July 17, 2014

  • Bon appetit

    Agriculture and farm products can help diversify state economy

    July 16, 2014