Being a teenager sucks, but that's the point. - Harry, Pump Up The VolumeBeing teased sucks. Being bullied sucks. Being teased and bullied while trying to figure out who you are and your place in the world really sucks. I know, I was teased and bullied badly when I was young. I find this to be a true statement about many of my friends, and many of the more successful people I know in the world. The fact that we rose above that as we grew up, and got our revenge by living well does not make the moments we went through any easier or better.
There are a lot of kids who do not survive their bullying and teasing. And with the advent of cyberbullying, there is no escape in going home. For some kids, the only escape is ending their own lives.
I strongly recommend taking the 90 seconds it will take to watch Ellen's appeal on this issue, below.
Pump Up The Volume, the movie I referenced at the beginning, is about the awfulness that is being a teenager. The disconnection and craziness of trying to figure yourself out. That movie remains a touchstone for me. It's message of survival, unity among misfits and even opposition to top-down media transcends time and place. If your kid is an outcast, it might be worth finding and showing him or her (warning, it contains boobies!).
What is remarkable about Pump Up The Volume is that it was made in 1990, and three of the key storylines are about a disconnected "strange" kid who kills himself, a pregnant girl betrayed by her guidance counselor and a teenager coming to terms with his homosexuality. In fact, this movie was the first thing I ever read or saw that treated homosexuality as something other than "icky" and wrong.
The problem is that the message of "survive it" and "ignore it" only works most of the time. For some kids, the awfulness is too much, and they take their own lives.
I do not know the answer. I can only sympathize with the victims of bullying, and their parents. This is a problem that has always existed, and isn't going away. I wish I could say more, do more, than "hang in there, high school isn't reality." But I honestly don't know what more to do.
Kids are sent off to spend six years memorizing meaningless facts in a world ruled by a caste of giants who run after an oblong brown ball, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. And if they balk at this surreal cocktail, they're called misfits. - Why Nerds Are Unpopular