There are no words

I don’t get it.

I just, don’t get it.

At all.

I’m mad.

Bullying has gone from a simple “yo’ mama” joke and a shove on the playground at recess to catastrophic, life-or-death scenarios. It spans the ages from pre-schoolers right on up to working adults. But the more advanced technology becomes, the more sneaky and strategic this act of terrorism becomes.

I have a lot of friends who are moms, and I know their teenage kids. Good kids, too — ones full of love and as-yet-untapped brilliance and amazing amounts of potential. And they’re facing the repercussions of terrible acts on the parts of others.

Right after the Virginia Tech shooting, I heard of one of these good kids being called in to the principal’s office because his asshole peers spread vicious rumors that he had brought a gun to school. So he’s introverted and isn’t a typical captain-of-the-football-team type. So what? I celebrate his individuality, I understand him for all the things he’s gone through in his short life so far. I celebrate him for the man he’s trying to become.

And for kids to prey on the nerves of an already-frantic administration and embarrass this poor child in front of his peers and teachers? Ludicrous. This is a time when, even if you can’t ask everyone to band together and be there for each other, we should at the very least not exclude people. We’re all going through this life, these tragedies, these times together — to not only ostracize someone, but to do it in a way that there are formal investigations being done and reputations being ruined, damn. Makes the case for home-schooling, doesn’t it?

Then another kid I know got the scare of his life today. His mom is a teacher at a local high school, but she has to start her day about 45 minutes earlier than him. So, they drive in together and he waits in the car, playing with his BlackBerry until it’s time for homeroom. He’s a senior at that school — and graduating from it in less than three weeks. Meaning, he’s shown that he’s a responsible citizen.

But remember the sitting in the car thing? He got hauled into the principal’s office and was told that he is to never, ever sit in that car again on school property because it creeps people out. The HELL? Someone made claims that he’s shooting videos from his BlackBerry — read: stalking people and recording it. Yeah, sure. Whatever. He’s sitting there surfing the Internet, killing time.

The clincher is that he was told to not sit in the car but to walk to the local store (which is closed when they get there at 6 a.m.) or to go walk around the local park. (Yeah, that’s safe. I know he’s a boy and all, but I’ve heard too many scary stories about people being attacked there to list THAT as a viable time-killing option.)

What they’re basically telling him is to not use his phone. No text messaging, no nothing. And they demanded to see his list of recently dialed calls, recently sent text messages and recent Internet use. And here’s the fun part — when he handed over his phone (as asked, because he’s a good boy like that), they told him to show them how to use it. He laughed and said nope, I’m not enabling you to accuse me of something lewd that I didn’t even do.

Almost makes you miss the days of having someone throw gum in your hair or steal your lunch money or call you a stupid name, eh? OK, not really of course, but how freaking insane that people think you’re a terrorist or a perp just because someone out there has a problem with the way you look or how you spend your free time.

I hated high school. I couldn’t wait to get the fuck away from it. And that’s my advice to them both — life does go on, and it gets better. Everyone who bothered me in school is now shitting out babies every nine months and living in poverty while I’ve got a job (and maybe even a life) that they’d give anything to have instead. You don’t have to go back … you don’t have to LOOK back. It’s all onward and upward from that moment on. Leaving high school is the ultimate do-over — you don’t have to be the person you leave behind, and you don’t have to associate with the people who did nothing but waste your time.

I feel bad for these kids, though, in the interim. Individuality is anything but celebrated, and the torture is more intense than any of us could have imagined dealing with at that age. And now that torture comes from not only those in your age group, but anyone in power who can make your life miserable. Which, I suppose it always did, but I mostly stayed out of trouble so I was spared of the latter.

But yeah, my mom had her fair share of “Harper Valley PTA” moments when she was called in to rescue me from school because of something or another that I’d said or done. But what I always loved about her was that she was always on my side — no matter what others did to make me hurt or to get me in trouble, she always believed in my rationale, my reaction, my right to react (or to not).

I know it sounds hokey, but love is what gets us through the insanely impossible times. And I hope it will be enough to heal them and make them forget these terrible events that are being forced upon them to deal with at such young ages.

Lots of people don’t get over stupid shit like that, or they grow up and take out their aggressions on the people they date or end up supervising. Every day, I’m conscious of not making people feel small and unloved. (Unless they REALLY deserve it, and even then, it’s not worth my aggravation.) Just goes to show, though, that even though people might have some authority, they’ve never really actually grown up enough to handle it.

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