Bullying at School: Any Connection to Connecticut Tragedy?

We grieve for the innocents slain in Sandy Hook.

Make no mistake about it.  Those children were NOT responsible for what happened to them.  Neither were the adults.  Adam Lanza was solely responsible.

But more and more we hear about school bullying, and as the grandparent of children with Asperger’s, I often hear first hand about bullying in schools.

My grandson was beat up at the ripe old age of six, with other children chanting, “kick him in the head! Kick him in the head!”

When he fought back, school officials forced him to apologize to the group of boys who attacked him.

This is not only the case for kids in the Autism spectrum.   A young man with Tourette’s syndrome, told me “high school was hell.”

Another grandmother told me about her grandson, Carter** now eight, who has battled cancer since the age of two.  Because he is bald most of the time, sometimes bloated from meds and treatments, he is often ostracized by his school mates.

Tiny in comparison to his tormentors, taunted and attacked, Carter fought back.  School officials insisted he apologize to the bullies.

My grandson was fortunate.  His mother decided that if things didn’t change for her son, he would most likely end up in the court system.  So she spent every day at school with him, running intervention for him at recesses and lunch time, until he went into middle school.  For most parents?  This is not an option.

In high school, he lived in a densely populated area with 3 different high schools.  When he screwed up socially so bad he hated to show up in class, he went anyway, encouraged by the fact that in the fall, he could change schools.  He did.  Three times.

For most children, this is not an option.

Most children, no matter how traumatized at school, do not go on a shooting rampage.

I cannot even imagine the emotional pain of being beaten up by your peers for 12 years with no relief in sight.  Of having to show up every day in class feeling at best, out of place, and at worst, victimized, despised and rejected.

I don’t know if this was the case with Adam?  Probably I am way off base. Reading Adam Langham’s blog on typical shooters, I believe bullying may or may not have been a factor in the situation.

As Shannon A. Thompson points out in her blog*, “Even though I personally believe we cannot logically understand the illogical (situations like this), I still think we can try and/or cope.”

There has to be some logic to these attacks and we have to figure it out before more children die.


** not his real name.

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