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Parents do part to help end school bullying

March 29, 2012
Salem News

AWellsville High School student was hospitalized, in a drug-induced coma last week, as doctors fought to save his life. Reportedly, the boy took an overdose of prescription drugs in an attempt to kill himself.

Some of his fellow students have said the teenager was distraught about being bullied - because he is gay.

Students who had the courage to come forward after the boy was hospitalized deserve credit for complaining not enough was done to protect him from bullying. School officials have been looking into the matter. Many students at the school seem to be taking it upon themselves to act against bullying.

Again, good for them. None of them could have known the boy had become so upset he would attempt to take his own life.

But the episode is a reminder of the danger in bullying - and of the necessity to act quickly and decisively against it.

School administrators and teachers throughout our area work hard to prevent bullying and stop it when they become aware. But all too often, bullies are devious enough to do their evil work out of hearing of adults. Often the first school officials know of serious bullying situations is when the victim - or other students - alert them.

That places an enormous, unfair responsibility on the shoulders of students. Many fear the consequences of coming forward to report bullying. Some are simply too timid to do so. Others don't understand how much damage can be done to victims.

The Wellsville situation makes the peril of bullying quite clear. Students who know of it should report it. If you are the parent of a school-age child, urge - don't just encourage - them to help victims of bullying. If for any reason they do not feel comfortable talking to teachers or school administrators, they should tell you.

Then, you should not hesitate to contact the school. That could very well save a life.



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