The Local Parents Of A 12 Year Old Bullying Victim Are Suing The School – My Thoughts On The Subject
If you went to work today and someone berated you with racial epitaphs or homophobic slurs you could go to Human Resources and have them fired and probably have a solid lawsuit on your hands. If you went to a supermarket and some random thug grabbed you and put you in the freezer next to the ice cream because they thought it was funny, you could have them arrested and charged with assault. If you were being stalked and threatened on the internet by an ex, you could get an order of protection from them and have them arrested if they violate that order. We have laws that protect us from being abused as adults and we have no problem using these protections if necessary. And yet when these same things happen to the weakest and most vulnerable of us, our children we hear things like "Kids will be kids" and "It's just a little child's play".
I have always said that you can best judge a country, society or organization not by how well the richest and strongest of them live but by how well the weakest of them live. If we use that as a rule, how well are we doing here people? The answer, sickens me.
The fact that in our great State of New York we have an Attorney General that can use his full force and resources to stop me from betting on fantasy football but yet our children are being robbed of an education by bullies, sickens me.
The fact that as a social society we can mobilize millions to pour ice over their heads in the name of charity and yet still have our children committing suicide to escape the torment that is going to school in the morning, sickens me.
I say all this because I can not get the words written by a 12 year old boy from South Glens Falls out of my head. The boy, Jacobe Taras this note for his parents on April 13, 2015 right before he shot himself and took his own life.
"Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm sorry but I can not live anymore. I just can't deal with all of the bullies, being called gay, asshole, being told to go kill myself. I'm also done being pushed, punched, tripped. I'm sorry for all that I put you through, by. I LOVE YOU."
These words have made me feel sick all day, but much less sick than the words, "Kids will be kids" makes me.
It seems to me this is the one area of life where we as a society do as much to protect the abuser as we do the abused and this needs to stop. I'm sorry if you think your kid is "just playing" or "trying to be cool" your kid is a criminal and an abuser. It is your job as a parent and a citizen of a country built on the right of all its people to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to stop them. I'm sorry if you think as a teacher or administrator your job is to just teach and you don't want to get involved in "kid drama", when you see it, stop it. I'm sorry if you are a policeman or elected official who has more important things to deal with than a kid being called names at school, it's your job....STOP IT.
Let's all not look at bullying a "character builder" and call it what it is cruel, disgusting, life inhibiting, sickening abuse. Then maybe we can stop it.
I wrote this article after reading about the parents of Jacobe Taras in the Times Union. The parents are filing a law suit against the school for allowing the bullying that they contend the school knew about to continue unabated. You can read that article and actually see a picture of the note that Jacobe wrote here.