Bullying needs to stop now, and it's everyone's responsibility to stand up and make a difference.
Four weeks ago at Darby Township School in Pennsylvania a 6th grade honors student, by the name of Baily O'Neil, was bullied and beaten up on the school playground by a fellow classmate. According to reports from his parents and doctors, Baily was struck repeatedly in the face resulting in a fractured nose and concussion.
The student was quickly taken to A.I. Dupont Hospital where doctors treated him and and released him shortly after. However, this is not where the story ends. After Baily returned home, his family noticed that his moods were sporadic, he was lashing out, and began suffering from seizures. Mr. O'Neil returned to the hospital with his son and, due to the severity of the seizures, the doctors medically induced a coma until they can figure out the situation and prevent further self-harm.
Since then, no further reports have been released from the medical team due to privacy, however information has been released concerning the follow up from the school and police.
To begin with, the boy who attacked and bullied Baily received a horrible punishment of 2 DAYS suspension, while the police have not filed any criminal charge at this time.
Let's review the situation in a nutshell, 2 days suspension for punching a kid in the face, causing a fractured nose and concussion which led to severe seizures and a medically induced coma.
Honestly, this makes me sick to my stomach. Bullying is an epidemic that is causing severe emotional and physical pain for the youth in our school system. It is, in my personal opinion, a crime that needs appropriate punishment and police follow up; not just sending a kid to play with his video games and watch cartoons for two days at home to see the error of his ways.
Bullying is a damaging act upon a child regardless of the severity. On a personal note, when I was in high school it was clear that I was different. By Sophomore year, I began to tell "close friends" of my attraction to other boys, and honestly thought those secrets would remain hidden. It's sad know that even close friends can turn their backs on you and help in bullying when you open yourself up to them in confidence.
The years that followed were full for verbal harassment and physical punishment from other boys in the school because they were scared of my sexuality and wanted me to know I was not welcome. As with many other kids who have been bullied, I kept majority of this from my family because it was easier than getting them involved. I would hide the bruises on my chest and back, and would plead with my bullies to not attack my face so the cover up would be easier. To this day, my family still do not know the reality of my past years at Maine South High school in Park Ridge, IL.
As adults, parents, older siblings, teachers, or whatever role you have in society, it is all of our responsibility to stand up against bullies and not leave it to the kids who are being beaten on the playground or empty hallways. It is clearly evident that school principals and teachers are not doing their part, even though they should be the first line of defense. As in the case with Baily O'Neil, Southeast Delco School District Superintendent Stephen Butz thinks that two days off is enough punishment.
America prides it's self over our education system and the future leaders we have in our schools. Honestly, how proud can you be when some of these future leaders are leaving school each day being told they are "nothing", "a piece of trash", being punched in the face and ribs, and ending up hospitalized. I ask this question of you America.