Editorial - 4/23/12 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Editorial - 4/23/12

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There's an active virus in our society, in need of a cure, heavy-handed if need be.  This chronic ailment is called bullying, a repugnant act, whether in its traditional, physical-intimidation form, or more recently, the trendy, emotionally-destructive, cyber-kind.  Either way, there is hurt for both victims and families; in too many cases, tragically-so.  Although generational, this problem has escalated in both use and consequence, by today's voracious-appetite among young people for social-media connection. In times past, bullying was largely an at-school issue , with home, as comforting-sanctuary.  Internet, mobile and social sites have now removed that protective barrier, allowing badgering, bullying, meanness, and humiliation to be on the prowl, at home or away, 24/7.  As the problem has increased, so, too, the research.  Recent findings include the reality that over 50% of middle-school students say they've been bullied; an average of 160,000 students a-day stay home from school, due to bullying; bullying has been a factor in most school shootings;  and, more-so than boys, 26% of young girls report being cyber-bullying targets. 

It gets worse.  According to the CDC, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people.  Victims of bullying are up to 9-times more likely to consider suicide than those not-bullied, with girls,10-to-14, the most at risk.   But it's not just young women.  One tragic story, of the five, featured in a new documentary titled, "Bully," is that of a 17-year-old male with learning disabilities, the victim of continual bullying, who one day read this message sent to him:  "You're worthless. Go hang yourself." He did.  Next time, more on the  consequences and possible solutions for this hurtful, unacceptable behavior.

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