Ten-year-old Theo Reed was attacked by two same-aged boys as he watched a youth league baseball game at the neighborhood field. According to Theo, they threw objects at him until, eventually, one boy held him down as the other one twisted his arm until it broke.
"I was laying down screaming, crying for help and nobody would come,"Apparently, young Theo didn't know his attackers as his mother is pleading for someone to come forward with information about the two boys.
This raises the question of how is it that incidences of bullying are continuing to escalate at a time when bullying, itself, has national and worldwide attention? Within the answer lies the problem: We're seeing this issue continue, and even escalate, because it still isn't being taken seriously. The "boys will be boys" mentality still breathes within our society. Reports of bullying are still being swept under the carpet. Worse, too many people are seemingly waiting for somebody else to step up and do something about it. No one wants to get involved. In some cases, school administrators at the teaching level are threatening with termination if they report bullying incidences. Get the picture? The problem is so pervasive, so entwined in who we are as a society, the people who can make a difference are steering clear of it. Hence, the constant blank party-line response, especially in the cases of teen suicides, of "our investigation has shown that no bullying has occurred."
So, where do we go from here? How do we rid ourselves, our society of the menacing "boys will be boys" mentality as it pertains to bullying? When we see in the media where people who are held responsible for bullying, and bullying that have led to suicides!, criminally charged only to get their wrists slapped by the justice system, we see how this issue perpetuates. The clear-cut message that sends is that bullying others is alright. And, guess what? The young people who do the bullying are definitely watching. They are getting the message loud and clear. And, the beat goes on.
Theo is mending well and will be just fine, no thanks to the boys who attacked him. Our focus has to be on finding a way to prevent this from continuing to happen. The next "Theo" may not be as lucky.