Thursday, November 29, 2007

A worthy discussion that we need to stop dancing around Part I…

A bitch has been following the case of Megan Meier, a young Missouri woman who took her own life after being harassed online. It was later revealed that a grown ass woman…a so-called friend of Megan’s mother who lived down the street…had initiated a farce, created a faux teen boy on-line who pretended to be interested in Megan and then facilitated the end to that relationship. Megan killed herself shortly after cruel messages were posted on-line by the faux young man.

Pause…sip water…continue.

What seems to be lost in the mix is the issue of bullying. I understand why it is getting lost. Hell, it’s hard to get past an adult conspiring with her daughter to torment a peer on-line. But Megan Meier killed herself and never knew that her on-line tormentor was really the fiendish adult down the street…

…and that is why I see this as an issue of bullying and hope that this tragedy inspires some support for the Comprehensive Anti-Bullying legislation currently pending in Jefferson City.

Blink.

The Today Show featured Megan’s story again this morning. They had a Missouri parent, who supports one of the many new anti-cyber bullying measures, give a statement about how this is about parents protecting children from harassment no matter what form it takes. Gawd, that sounds nice…so decent…but I just don't buy it.

What?

Oh come on! This isn’t about the protection of children…this is about the protection of some children in some circumstances from some bullies.

LGBT youth are not protected from bullying in Missouri schools and the attempted suicide rate among LGBT youth is 33%.

Sit back and let that settle on your brain and then ask yourself why we are horrified when an adult taunts a teen to death but are unmoved by a 33% attempted suicide rate among LGBT youth that is too often related to bullying.

Or are we?

Are we really unmoved?

Maybe this is all just a matter of educating the masses and legislators that bullying is a damaging thing no matter who the victim is or who the bully is.

The on-line protection measures are a good start. So let’s keep going and make Safe Schools legislation about what that Missouri mother said it should be about…protecting children from harassment no matter what.

For more information about Comprehensive Anti-Bullying legislation pending in Missouri and how you can help make it law visit PROMOonline.org.

6 comments:

proudprogressive said...

This is such a serious subject. In this computer age. They way we all can get so sucked in, into virtual relationships that feel so very real and are real. Real enough for this poor woman to take her life. That is heartbreaking. And then there is the issue of Kids , who are even more fragile. We must, must get bullying in the school yard, on the internet - under some kind of control. Its all too tragic. Of course too, the internet brings out the cowards as well - those who would never say mean ass shit to face to face , but let lose vitriol at an obscured distance. Disgraceful cowardly sick scrum !

Dusty said...

I agree this is just as important an issue as the Megan Meier story..I do not however have any answers. It goes back to educating the public and tearing down the homophobic wall that has been put up..so that ANY child that is being bullied is just as important as the next child.

Of course as all know that tearing down that homophobic wall will take a concerted effort by local, state and federal governments. This bitch isn't holding her breath on that happening any time soon.

I would like to point out a good friend of mine who has taken it upon herself to right the wrongs done to her dear friend in Montana..please read this blog post from Mel where she lights the fire of equality in a red state:

http://melissamsw.blogspot.com/2007/11/so-proud-i-could-burst.html

Here is the result of her hard work:

http://melissamsw.blogspot.com/2007/11/what-night.html

Will any of us take the time to put forth an effort of this magnitude? Few, but sadly..including myself..not many. We are first and formost"armchair activists". If more of us become real activists perhaps we can affect true change regarding homophobic hysteria.

Hahn at Home said...

If ENDA makes it through its challenges and Gay-Straight Alliances keep popping up in schools, we have a chance. I think once we put such things in the hands of the children who are children today, thing will be different, but we have to lay the groundwork and keep laying as we have for the 38 years since Stonewall.

But, there will always be bullies.

Maya's Granny said...

Sadly, there will always be bullies. But, we do not have to accept their behavior as kids being kids. Society can change behavior in a relatively short time. It was not that long ago the MADD formed to combat drinking and driving and there has been a major decline in drunk driving accidents. We can change bullying if we try. And we can extend protection to all children, as well as acceptance.

sexysmart said...

as a victim and former bully I do belive there needs to be an overall program that identifies bullying and counsels parents teachers and students about the detriments of bullying. The problem is people still perceive bullying as "teasing" or "kids just having a little fun". Children of these parents learn that bullying is accetable. When a child sees their parent making fun of a coworker or alienate a relative they learn this behavior.Bullying is an issue that is serious and this culture may be too immature to effectivly do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

There is so much work to be done. There are so many damaged people out there who are damaging others. It really is time for more compassion.