I've been following the Phoebe Prince story with a heavy heart for a while. That poor, scared 14 year old girl in South Hadley felt she could never escape the torment of her peers so she took her own life. So incredibly tragic.
Now I'm reading that the accusers are receiving death threats. I'm also reading comments by people saying "Good. Give them a taste of their own medicine. Now they know how she felt." What?? What?? What??
We are talking about CHILDREN. Children who may or may not have know the consequences of their actions. Children who may have been bullied themselves into participating in this horrible ordeal. Children who need the support of family and the community to help right this wrong. I don't believe this is a time for "an eye for an eye". I don't think bullies should be able to walk away, but counseling, discussion and support seems like a better idea to me. Just sayin'.
Then another argument started to bubble up that really caught my attention. What are the parents on all sides of the issue doing? They are screaming for resignations. They are showing aggression and teaching their children that it is okay to shout and point fingers and BULLY the administration. Are they coming up with solutions or just trying to be sure they can place blame?
Then, the kicker...Are parents so disconnected from their kids that they don't actually see, hear or know what is going on and maybe they need to be held more accountable? And can that lack of connection be blamed, to a large extent, on technology?
When I was young, the only distraction my parents had when we were out in the car was the radio. No phone calls. No twitter. No email. No internet-on-the-go. When we went out to dinner no one whipped out their cell phone to check-in to foursquare to tout their location and win fake badges. No laptops came on vacation, or to the park, or to the beach. It didn't mean every time the 4 of us were together we had a kumbaya session, but the distractions were a minimum in comparison to today's society.
Were we more connected as a family because of fewer interruptions? I'm not sure, but boy that connection argument got me thinking. When do I disconnect? And should I do it more often to be sure I am connected to the most important job I have and that is to raise respectable, kind, compassionate kids who value human life above most other things?
I also heard a quote recently that smart phones have led to a new technology addiction. He compared it to a slot machine for a gambling addict - will the news/tweets/email/call on my phone be good or bad? The only way to find out is hit the button to find out. Let 'em roll...
Thinking....thinking hard about it all....
See you all next week!