Bullying: Harsh Words, Harsher Realities

                Upon entering secondary education, every child fears the worst; getting picked on. Images of being chosen last for dodge ball or being stuffed in a locker used to correspond with the word “bully.” Today however, bullying leaves a much more lasting effect on teenagers, causing serious emotional and physical issues. Bullying destroys lives long after the bullying stops.

                The modern bully is a lion, pouncing on its prey at the mere scent of weakness and attacking any flaw of character or lifestyle. The trouble with this lion is that it hunted its way out from the confines of the classroom jungle and into the open world of the internet.  While we’re all familiar with the tragic tale of Jamey Rodemeyer—a 14-year-old boy from Williamsville who cut his life short in the bloom of his youth due to years of psychological abuse both in person and online throughout middle and high school—his story is one fish in a sea of recent teen suicides at the hands (and words) of bullies. Even more disturbing is the account of Ashley Billasano. Huffington Post reported last week that Ashley, a victim of molestation and forced prostitution by her own family, tweeted 144 cries for help before killing herself, receiving not a single response from any of her 500 Twitter followers. And if you think it can’t get much worse than that, Huffington reported just days ago that 10-year-old Ashlynn Connor hung herself with a scarf in her closet after being called a “slut” by her elementary school classmates. Amidst these tragedies however, peeks a ray of sunlight.

                Parents are beginning to turn to the justice system to combat this incessant wave of bullying.  After their son suffered a traumatic brain injury, the parents of David Osama Hadaad pressed charges against Lake Central School in Indiana for not intervening while David was brutally attacked in the hallway due to his Middle Eastern descent.  According to the Huffington article that ran last week, the family has accused the school of not only failing to intervene, but of violating David’s civil rights as well.  None of the attackers faced punishment and David was suspended 10 days for the single defensive punch he threw.

                Don’t let your children be victims any longer. It’s time to stand up against bullying. Call the Law Offices of James Morris now, 716-855-1118.

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