If you’ve read my About Me page, you know that I’m from Western Massachusetts. Chicopee, to be exact.
If you’ve watched the news in the last couple of months, I’m sure you’ve heard about Phoebe Prince and the bullying that occurred prior to her suicide. Her family moved here last summer from Ireland because her father’s company sent him to work locally for a year or so.
I work in the town where she lived with her family. In South Hadley, one of the most talked about topics since her death.
Bullying is also a major topic.
Many people are upset about the fact that prior to Phoebe’s death there was no anti-bullying laws or that the school districts had no anti-bullying rules. (Heck, I think people even question whether or not anti-bullying rules in school would be enforced by the faculty and administration.)
Today, however, something major happened. A grand jury in the Northwestern Hampshire County District has indicted 9 – you read that correct, 9 – teenagers in her death. More so in response to their actions that led up to her death as opposed to her death specifically. (Click here for a report on today’s indictments.) No faculty or administrators are being indicted.
For me, one of the hardest things about what happened to Phoebe and the actions that occurred from the day Phoebe started school at South Hadley High is how different yet how similar teenagers are today from 10 years ago when I graduated from high school.
Teenagers were mean then but they are a lot meaner NOW. Teenagers don’t just use words and actions but they also use technology, too.
Young people today know so much about using the internet and computer programs like Adobe Photoshop. And with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s so easy for everyone to know where you are every second of the day.
If this is how teenagers treat each other at this age, before they go out into the world and have to take care of responsibilities, how will they act when they are out in the world – when they have jobs and families. Will they raise their children to treat other people that way?
These are the questions that I’ve asked myself, that people I know have asked.
My other question is this:
Is this how these children are being raised? Because if their parents aren’t raising them this way, how are they learning that it is okay to treat other people that way?
Any thoughts on this?