Bullied to Death: The Failure of Modern Moral Education There are two issues at stake in the rise of bullying of the type that drove Phoebe Prince to hang herself that reveal the “moral quality” of the forthcoming society: the brutality of those doing the bullying and the “cowardice of non compassion” by those who stood by and did nothing to help the victim. -- Michael Craven
Educational psychologists describe a new kind of bullying. The perpetrators are attractive, athletic and academically accomplished — and comfortable enough around adults to know what they can and can't get away with, in school and online.
If it's not low self-esteem, what causes the new bullying? "That's the $64,000 question," she says. "There are a lot of ideas":
•Less play time in kindergarten and pre-school. In the past, children spent much of their time in programs playing with, and learning to get along with, other children. Now they spend much more time on academics and tests.
•More electronic communication. If you can ask someone out and break up with them via text or instant messaging, you don't have to develop the social skills necessary for face-to-face encounters. This produces socially maladroit kids who are fodder for bullies.
•TV and movies with the wrong message. A study by one of Englander's graduate students found that kids' entertainment programs so full of situations in which teenage meanness is rewarded that the project's parameters had to be adjusted.
•Parental ignorance. This takes two forms: obliviousness to what their kids do online — in a survey of Bridgewater State students, half said their parents never supervised their online activity in high school — and a denial about bullying.
"But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely." Galations 5:22 The Message