Dalton's mother says that she had met with school officials on several occasions to discuss the problem of bullying as it pertained to her son. According to his half-sister, Dalton had been teased regularly at school, and it just became too much for him to handle.
The issue of bullying has caught national, and even international, attention. That's a good thing. However, the problem isn't going away. It's not as if I'm foolish enough to think that it will disappear overnight. Of course it won't. At the same time, I still don't see where it's being taken seriously enough by the people who can really make a difference for it to truly start making a difference.
In a day and age where children have instant access to the world 24/7, via Internet, bullying has become a 'round-the-clock phenomena. Potentially, at least. And, here's the most important part of that: these young people are NOT just witnessing bullying on a personal level, from their attackers. They're also seeing it from adults. That's devastating on two levels:
- the kids who bully see the politicians, religious leaders, and other heralded adults doing it, and doing it in a public forum. It's like handing a 16-year-old his Driver's License. He's now allowed to drive; they are, by virtue of what they are witnessing on a daily basis, allowed to bully.
- when at-risk youngsters see these public figures essentially sanctioning bullying through their own actions, it sends them the message that no one is going to give a rat's ass about them being bullied. Jacob Rogers voiced such concerns before ending his life in December.
Hatred, meanness, intolerance: these are not things we're born with. Our innate emotion is love...and, acceptance. Beyond that, those who hate, those who are intolerant, are taught those emotions, either directly or indirectly. And, most of the time, the "teacher" is an adult.
Dalton's bullies were not adults: they were his peers. Kids at Princeton Middle School who thought is was okay to tease and bully Dalton until he couldn't take it anymore.
I will note here that there was no reason given for Dalton's bullying; therefore, we cannot speculate. It doesn't matter what he was bullied for. What matters it that he was bullied, and now he's gone. May you now find peace, Dalton. And, to the family and friends of Dalton, we send our heartfelt condolences and love.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING BULLIED, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY!! DON'T STOP SEEKING HELP UNTIL YOU FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL LISTEN AND TAKE ACTION.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW ARE SUICIDAL, PLEASE SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY!! THERE ARE MANY, MANY RESOURCES AROUND FOR YOU.
STOP Teenage Suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline