Fifteen-year-old Christian Love was ostracized for being bullied.
Surprising as it may seem, this was the case, unfortunately, when Christian recorded his bullies and reported to the administration of his school. Astonishingly, instead of taking proper action against the bullies, the officials forced Christian to delete the recording. Moreover, he was convicted of disorderly conduct and fined $25 plus court costs.
Christian’s mother Shea Love stated that her son, who has been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, comprehension delay and ADHD, hasn’t been the same since the alleged incident. He has lost at least 10 pounds, requires additional therapy sessions and has missed many days of school.
The story of the victimized mother and son gives rise to several critical questions, with the most important of them being: should teachers deal with bullying by just looking the other way?
Apart from the bullying itself, there are two things very wrong in this case. First, the administration’s attempt to cover the whole thing up is absurd, to say the least. Second, Christian conviction by the court is primarily unjust and will further traumatize the hapless victim.
Christian’s attorney Jonathan Steele, who plans on filing a civil suit, told FoxNews.com, “The damage is done. In terms of an apology, that’d be great, but the student has already suffered psychological damage, emotional trauma and increased therapy, which he truly needs because of what happened to him. He feels like a criminal.”
Incidents like these represent all that is wrong with America’s approach to bullying. This issue becomes even more pertinent when it comes to debating gun violence in the country.
But how are these two related?
Although bullying is not, by any means, the primary cause of violence, several research reports have suggested a link between bullying and violence. According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, “Both childhood bullies and their victims are more likely to engage in more serious violent behavior like frequent fighting and carrying weapons.”
Another report correlates bullying and gun-carrying, “About 50% of boys and 30% of girls who had bullied others in school weekly reported weapon carrying compared with 36% of boys and 15% of girls who had been bullied in school weekly.”
The 1999 Columbine High School massacre, one of America’s most high-profile spree killing incidents, made the debate even more relevant as both of the attackers were allegedly victims of bullying. Furthermore, a year later, an analysis by the US Secret Service of 37 premeditated school shootings found that bullying had a major role to play in more than two-thirds of the attacks.
On the upside, there have been several public instances of bullies serving punishment. For example, Ohio man Edmond Aviv, who was made to sit with an ‘I AM A BULLY’ sign.
To sum up, although a lot is being done in America to prevent or deal with bullying, we need to accomplish a great deal more in order to substantially reduce bullying for a better future.