I’m a passionate anti-bullying advocate. Fellow Americans who think bullying is fine, or it isn’t a problem in our schools, are turning a blind eye to the harsh realities. In a civilized society, Americans would take far better care for the future generation whether they were a parent or not. They would willingly spend money to give our children every chance at a better future beginning with the wellbeing of our students in public educational institutions. School should be a safe, healthy place. It should never be understaffed or look like this.
Children should not be faced with the harsh realities of life, they should be made aware. Most children aren’t lucky enough to view life from a distance. Some are surrounded by it in their homes. A few are aware their world is wrong and attempt to make others feel their pain through bullying children who are weaker. The rest remain unaware, and think that’s the way the world is. They bring the wrongness of the world to the sanctuary that should be school or to the homes of their unsuspecting peers.
Worse, adults physically teach children how harsh the world can be through violent abuse.
When I read about rape, I’m horrified that someone could do something so fundamentally wrong to another person. I continue to read these articles, and there’s more I don’t understand. Why do communities feel the need to cover up the crime, shame the victim, and celebrate the perpetrator instead of being enraged?
There are two articles that come to mind as I write this post. The most recent involves a girl in Missouri.
At the time of the rape she was 14 years old. She snuck out of the house with her 13 year old friend and they were picked up by a 17 year old football star who was the son of a prominent family.
He took the young girls back to his house where he plied them with alcohol until they were inebriated. They were obviously unable to give consent (not that they could even if they weren’t intoxicated since they were juveniles) yet the boy and his friend of the same age sexually assaulted the girls.
The boys left the 14 year old, Daisy Coleman, for dead out in the cold in front of her house. That’s how her mother found her.
While the Coleman’s went to the hospital and pressed charges, the case was dropped. In the time between Daisy being left in the cold and the case being wrongfully dropped, Daisy was maliciously shamed through social media. Her peers, community, and strangers were so vile that the Coleman’s moved away.
What makes Daisy and her mother so extraordinary is they are willing to fight for justice. Daisy is willing to live through more ridicule and cyberbullying. Perhaps more heroic than facing a society gone wrong is the bullying by media gone wrong (Fox News).
As I read Daisy’s story, I couldn’t help but wonder how people could be so vicious, vile, unrepentantly evil to someone who needed justice. Why did they defend her rapist(s)?
Who cares about his background? I know from experience that the popular kids in school are not angelic, that they’re often masking their evil personalities. I know that teens coming from a prominent family, or a family that seems perfect, doesn’t mean that they’re perfect specimens of teenage personhood.
Daisy’s story is the same throughout America. The only things that change are age, gender, and institute.
Jerry Sandusky was a football coach at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). Sandusky wasn’t just a celebrated football coach, he had an affinity for young boys.
The story gets worse, Sandusky was allowed to rape several boys over the expanse of roughly ten years (maybe more). The University at least knew about some of his victims, but proceeded to burry the accusations. He was such a good coach and a valuable asset to the University. Who cares if he touched a few boys the wrong way?
It took years and Sandusky’s victims are finally receiving justice. Sandusky is behind bars, high ranking Penn State officials took early retirement or fired, the school’s sports team was historically reprimanded, and the victims will receive reparations from the University.
While there seems to be a happy ending to Sandusky’s victims and Daisy’s receiving support on the state level for her case to be reopened, everything seems like cold comfort. The rape that happened years before should have been stopped, or at least prosecuted in the year that the crime occurred. Daisy and Sandusky’s victims coming forward to garner support outside their respected communities is wrong. I’m happy most Americans back the victims yet I’m ultimately saddened that the victims’ communities supported the rapists.
I will never understand the mentality of people who support rapists. It’s hard to get into the mind of someone who says they’re religious, yet supports a priest who rapes and alter boy. How can a person shield a prized sports player or coach from rape accusations they want their beloved team to be the best? It all seems so shallow and apathetic.
Helpful Links for Victims