There is much talk today about bullying. Who's responsible and why, there seems to be a consensus in the media and with many parents that bullying is a new and terrifying phenomena that has not been going on since the beginning of time. They use big words like "Cyber-Bullying" or some other domestic terrorist like reference. Even the President of the United States has found time to weigh in. It's now a threat to national security and it's all a sham.
I'm sorry, I really am, that your kid decided to take their own life as of the result of being bullied. However, every kid that is bullied doesn't kill themselves. Teen suicide is another phenomena that has been troubling the youth of our society since the beginning of time. Suicide cannot be stopped, just like murder cannot be stopped. It's terrible and we should make every effort to see that mentally ill children get the help they need, but they are mentally ill. When you take your own life, it is your actions, not others, that are to blame. People are going to be mean to you for the rest of your life. Teaching children to cope with stress more effectively is a far better idea than trying to stop human nature.
I will not deny that bullying can take it's toll. I should know, I was quite heavily bullied for most of my childhood and teen years. My friends and family can attest to that. I've felt very very down before, but I took steps to cope with what was effecting me. I cried in the guidance counselor's office over and over again about how kids were always making fun of me, assaulting me, spitting on me and just generally being mean to me. It hurt very much and I was sad a lot. The guidance counselors did what they were supposed to do, try to make feel better about who I was and attempted to get the offenders in trouble for what they were doing to me. They never got in trouble, because when they were asked about it they always denied it. I was angry that nothing could be done, but I knew that you couldn't punish others without evidence.
What kind of society would we be if we just let people point a finger at someone and say "He did it!" and then they are summarily punished/executed based on the tears and complaints of another?
Bullying is a life experience that is necessary to teach children how to deal with adversity. How do we learn to stick up for what is right if we've never had to before? When someone is bigger or smarter of whatever than someone else they will find a way to use that to their advantage. This country was founded on kicking the biggest bully in the world out of our lives. In an amusingly cruel twist of fate, England is now an anti-bully and burglar loving socialist hell.
Case in point: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/outdoors/8318985/Shed-owners-warned-wire-on-windows-could-hurt-burglars.html
The government getting involved in trying to "solve" the bullying "problem" is teaching kids that you don't have to stick up for yourself, Uncle Sam will do that for you. They are teaching kids that it's OK to be a victim, you just have to tell the teacher/police/mayor and they will handle it for you. What about when they aren't there? Can I tell a home invader that my guidance counselor will make them pay or should I put a swift end to them with my Mossberg 500? Which would be more effective? They are teaching kids that the only ones that take action are bad guys and the government. Is this want we want? A society of sheep that do as they are told and are left to the wolves?
I let kids get away with torturing me for years and then one day I decided that I wasn't going to take it anymore. In 11th grade, yeah it took me a while, I addressed a bully who had been harassing me since 6th grade. He made his last threat to me and in the end it was brutal and effective. No one else wanted to bully me anymore. In fact, I had other former bullies try and mend fences with me to keep themselves from receiving the same swift justice.
I'll admit, maybe I didn't use the best tactics in overcoming the bullying that was affecting me, but it was effective and I was left alone. We must teach our children to stick up for themselves.
Trying to stop bullying at the national level is as laughable as dropping smart bombs on a 3rd grader for pulling other kids hair. If you want kids to stick up for themselves they have to have some degree of earned self confidence. There can be none of this "every person is special and unique" shenanigans anymore. Self confidence is earned, it is not intrinsic, an entitlement and nor can it be included for no additional fee. An entitlement society will not stop the bullying, it will just create bigger bullies at higher levels.
Teach your kids to stick up for themselves and have them take part in activities that make them proud of who they are. It's not the government's problem, it's yours. A child with their own sense of identity can never be kept down.