Reports of young kids being bullied to the point of suicide are distressingly common. The most recent case to grab the nation's attention happened last month in Lakeland, Florida, where 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death from a concrete silo after being mercilessly ridiculed by two classmates on Facebook.
This is clearly a problem, one that educators, policy makers and parents have begun working to crack, but it's no easy task. Certain kids seem to be hard-wired to be assholes to their classmates. Social media extends their reach into their victim's home life while simultaneously making it harder for adults to detect.
Luckily local conservative noise-maker Mark Davis can teach you how to "bully-proof" your children in just two easy-to-follow steps, wisdom he drops in his column in this morning's Dallas Morning News.[jump]
Step 1: Obsessively monitor your child's social media accounts. Better yet, ban them from social media altogether.
"Our kids cannot be bullied online if they are not on the sites where it occurs," Davis writes, going on to add that, "Since we know where threatening content comes from, we may have to slide onto our kids' pages to inform any little snot-nosed stalkers that they need to back off or taste some consequences from grownups, some of whom might wear police uniforms."
Step 2: Stop letting kids be such wusses.
[M]ost importantly, we must raise tougher kids. We cannot allow the thickening of a narrative that begins to naturally lead from online bullying to suicide. This cannot become a familiar progression seen by countless victimized kids who think, well, this is what usually happens.
We must tell our kids not to feel defined by the online cruelty of their hoodlum classmates. Before things even begin to get out of hand, we should surround them with the certainty of parents who love them, and in households of faith, the comfort of a God who loves them.
With that, it's safe to say the bullying scourge is behind us.