The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

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Ashley's Avenue

Time to Stop Coddling
the Guilty

by Ashley Murphy

Kids these days. God help me if I ever have a child. I'm just not sure I could handle it in this day and age. They're so dang mean! And no one seems to deem it necessary to try to get it under control. It's a bit ridiculous. Not only are they becoming bullies at school, parents are being bullied at home, and many probably don't even see it as such.

This day and age, as sad as it is to admit, everything revolves around money, power and technology. Kids now live in a "I want it and I want it now" world. If they don't get it, they pitch a fit. As for the power, they attempt to gain that in any way they know how.

At home, they bully or guilt the parents into new, shiny, would-be unattainable things. The sad part, parents nowadays want to be seen as a friend to their child, so they give in. Spend obscene amounts of money they don't have or agree to allow less-than-becoming, and sometimes downright, immoral behavior. All because they don't want lose their child's friendship.

Reality check. You're a parent, and a role model, not simply a "friend" to be walked all over. No one said parenting was easy. If the easy road is the one you prefer to take, then quite frankly, you aren't fit to be a parent.

In public, outside a parent's (clearly not-so-watchful) eye, they torment those around them. Trying to gain the upper hand. Even if that means debasing fellow classmates or "friends." Name calling, picking fights, throwing their books, spreading gossip, trying to embarrass them in any way possible and not relenting until that goal has been accomplished. And a majority of the time, it doesn't stop at one. They will continue the assault, whether verbal, emotional or physical, until correctly reprimanded or until something far worse happens to their victim.

Bullying today has become a big problem, and you don't need me writing an article about it to tell you how wrong it is. First off, I'm not innocent. I'm not sure anyone on God's green Earth is innocent. Bullying comes in a variety of forms, and I'm sure everyone has had experience with it. It almost seems inevitable. But the reason for this article is several recent news stories as of late about kids, some as young as 10, committing suicide due to bullying.

TEN! The only thing on your mind should be Barbies or Transformers. Playing dress up or helping dad with projects. But instead, you're ten years old and you have other kids your age tormenting you to the point of wanting to end your life. You want to leave your parents, your grandparents and all of the other family and friends who love you, because a few disturbed young peers feel the need to torture you to feel better about themselves.

And no one wants to take responsibility for their actions!

The kids doing the bullying have no sympathy. They say those tormented got what they deserve, the world is better without them or they needed to end their miserable life. And the parents back their kids up. Saying they are great, they would never do anything like this. Even after video, audio or eyewitness proof is shown, parents will continue to defend their kid with their every breath, because they have the sweetest, most perfect child on this planet. Umm, no, sorry, you sure as heck don't.

The most recent that gave me this month's article idea, a 12 and a 14 year old girl bullied a fellow classmate to death. Quite literally. Their assault was so brutal and so lasting that this young girl felt that jumping off of a building and ending her life was better than dealing with the torment these two girls placed upon her every day. She was only 12 years old.

Authorities in Florida, where this case is pending, have filed aggravated stalking charges against the two girls. The parents are outraged and one of the girls' lawyers is accusing the local government of bullying his client. The same lawyer who helped Casey Anthony escape prosecution, I might add.

This whole thing makes me sick. You are outraged that your daughter/client is being charged with a simple felony that only include a "maximum penalty of juvenile probation OR placement in a residential-commitment program for either five years or until they turn 19, whichever comes first."

That is a very light slap on the wrist for a crime I see as far worse than just stalking.

The parents have been on the national news and have done interviews saying that their child couldn't have done this, they wouldn't, it's impossible, blah blah blah blah! Please. During or after, it was never made clear, the lead tormenter, being the 14 year old, was caught saying, "it was best for everyone that she went to hell, no one with ever know the truth." [sic] And also, "Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF." For those of you that aren't aware of how kids these days talk, the latter sentence is: Yes, I know I bullied Rebecca, and she killed herself, but I don't give a ****.

That's just despairing. I don't care about the victim's past or her home situation when it comes to this particular case. The direct actions of these two "bullies" have nothing to do with their victim's home life. They tormented and degraded her outside her home. They were her classmates. If their torture was only a piece of the darkness that led this young girl to suicide, they need to take responsibility for the part they played in making her life a living nightmare.

I agree with what the authorities have done. I want to slap the ignorance out these parents for essentially, looking the other way. I hope more law enforcement agencies will continue to go after the tormentors in these cases. I believe it needs to be done. If the parents can't step up and teach their kids right from wrong and can't properly discipline their children when they are clearly out of line, they deserve the consequences.

It's time people start taking responsibility for their adverse actions that impact those around them. Especially parents.

My disgust for witless, asinine parents and their insolent, ill-bred offspring is about to its tipping point.


Ashley Murphy
People News Assitant Editor

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