Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
April 24th, 2009
09:56 PM ET
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    It;s a terrible thing how we teach our children to be strong and tough in the world we live in today without teaching them how to have love for one another!

    April 25, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  2. Darlene, Pasadena California

    School districts such as mine, are cutting counselors. The counselor to student ratio is often one to 450 or 500 students (middle and high school). Elementary does not even have counselors! This is absurd and does not provide the services that are needed to help our youth and promote healthy mental health and how to deal with bullies, let alone gender issues. Shame on our country for a lack of concern.

    April 25, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  3. Michele

    I think they should start prosecuting or disciplining the bully. It would make them think twice about bullying a kid. Early childhood bullying turns into some type of harassment later in life, whether sexual or physical abuse, stalking, etc. If the parents won't nip it in the bud, then the law needs to.

    April 25, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  4. Tom

    Hi there everyone. I want to talk about this Bullying!! I remember very well when I was a child and having a problem with this. It was relentless!!! every single day I had to go to school and put up with it and the sad thing is that NO ONE dose anything about it. They think if it is not happening to me then I am not going to get involved. I told my teachers, I told my parents, I told everyone who was supposed to be in charge and I got nothing. Some people think it is because of self-esteem but that is not it, it could be a hole host of things that can make a bully come after you. As for me I was the shortest kid in my class and I became a target for them, they would flick my ears so much during the day at school that I would go home with them blood red. It could be anything if you are too short, be of a different color, a different race, or even if you are to smart, it happens to most of the kids weather if they want it or not. Most of the time it comes from kids that come from bad homes who come to school in anger that take it out on others and it can even come to them threatening you with your own life. What I did see is that there were only a few that were bullies but it seemed to me that no one was willing to stop it, it was as if the teachers were in fear of them. One thing I will say is that I have small children at this moment and they are getting at the age soon that they will start school and I am not about to let my child go through that at all. I am prepared to do something about this and I hope I don’t come completely unglued on the teachers or who is in charge that is sitting there on there butts doing nothing. Children go to school to get an education and not to be bullied period!!!! It seems to me that it is just as bad today or worse and the only thing I can see is that it needs to be stopped now before anymore children are damaged for life. Thanks for you time Tom

    April 26, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  5. Trevor

    Michele is absolutely right, we need to start handing out penalties to these kids who think they can do whatever they want.
    They need to start learning that if they want to bully people, they can face it as assault charges, either from physical attacks or from emotional abuse.
    There's also precident to prosecute these particular bullied for murder...maybe they should go ahead with that, show that zero tolerance actually means ZERO tolerance.

    April 26, 2009 at 1:43 am |
  6. Jigna

    Truth behind the incompatibility of many to continue through such ordeals that lead to consequent suicides of our youth, is that they lack strong foundations of endurance. Yes, the schools are to blame and reform is long overdue but no one can say they have not been bullied or the bullier. Children our core advancers of democracy, and our only inheritors and leaders of the future need our help, especially from their fathers. The truth behind why succumb to sch vices is their lack of force of will, which is instilled and weaved into their soul by their forefathers and parents. If a child cannot see himself in the light of an idol, a past leader, he cannot resurrect himself from the fire and subsequent ashes, dealt to him by the circumstances in life such as bullying, isolation, and even failure. Fathers, more specifically stability in the home, are essential to the future of a child, as guides.

    April 26, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  7. Charles L. Morse Sr.

    I think Schools are over handeling these problems of bullying in the wrong way . When I was a kid in school . The PE / COACH would take us out back and put gloves on us . We were made to fight until one won or gave up . Then we got the paddle . We were told if this happen again . We would have to fight and get the paddle again . That seem to solve the problem . Not much fun taking a chance of getting whipped twice . You know something . We became freinds most of the time . Problems grow when you try to protect one side or other to much . You have to face them and get it over with on a level plain and safe control enviorment . With a consiquences with no good ending . You see them in a better light . We baby our kids to much and if you do that they never learn to face problems . They expect us to face them for them .

    April 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  8. RacialVictim

    At least they have a DA looking into this.
    Here in Delaware, white kids can be harassed, threatened and assaulted by african american kids in the public schools like my son and his friend were. After two years of monthly meetings with the districtic staff they decided my son was not allowed to go to his classes if a substitute was in the room due to the open threats when a regular staff member wasn't around. He was also told, in writing, that he was to only use the nurse's restroom because he reported several threats and attempted robberies in the hallway restrooms. Why is it ok to have seperate bathrooms if the kid is white and not when the kid is african american? Why should the victim be denied an equal education by being told not to go to any of his classes? If this was the other way around, I would have the NAACP after me and the school.
    Now I have to move to another state at twice the mortgage because my son threatened suicide if he had to go back to a Delaware school.

    April 26, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  9. Msingh

    This is a unbelievable story about a 11 year old kid committing suicide because of another kid bullying him. I agree with Michele, there should be some sort of discipline. This may not phase some people but this will put into perspective for some people if their kid was in this situation.

    April 26, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  10. Jim

    This begins in the homes and that's where it needs to be addressed. Kids are hearing their parents speak in negative ways about other people who are different such as what is said in homes about gay people, mexican people, black people, white people, muslim people, Catholic people, Jewish people,etc. etc. When parents stop speaking negatively about others at home than their children will learn respect for others. The schools need to teach the parents and the children.

    April 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm |
  11. fed up mother

    My heart breaks for this mother, this could be my son, everything was the same, except for one thing, we removed him from the school. I live in montclair, where they think they have one of the best school systems. Bullying is everywhere. Schools must be held accountable. Children are taught by the media and Madison that to be mean is to be hip. Everywhere we look bad is good. Look at the countless reality shows, look at the role models. Children who strike out and kill are being called the bad ones, what are they supposed to do if there is no help anywhere for them. As a mother of a bullied child, I hated some of those children as much as my son did for hurting him. She must sue the school system, it will not bring him back, but it will hit them where they understand.

    April 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  12. Jean

    Anger comes from frustration. If children at a very young age – such as Pre-K or Kindergarden age – aren't taught to UNDERSTAND and IDENTIFY their feelings and emotions, other horrendous acts will happen again like what happened to 11 year old Jaheem. Understanding what is going on within your mind and body is difficult enough for adults, but for a young person who has not had any guidance when upset, irritated, angry, enraged, etc it can keep building and building. If we understand why something works the way it does, we face it, deal with it and move on. Maybe our children need to undersand why and what they feel so they can move on.

    April 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  13. 1st hand

    The real "bullying" is when you see a guy (or girl) crying and getting beat on at school, some don't cry – just take it, and it goes on EVERYDAY. You know when someone is being abused whe you raise your and (as in a high five) and they back into a protection stance.

    *For all of you who want to know what it feels like, YOU CAN'T unless you've lived threw it yourself!!! I compare it to what I've learned about African American slaves.

    ***TEACHERS ALWAYS KNOW ABOUT IT AT SCHOOL!!! When I went threw it the teachers would say it is the normal process of weak -vs- stong. I even had a teach Mr. B threaten to kick my ass and fail me. He failed me and another teacher got to him before he hit me. I got 2 weeks of detention too. Another teacher apologized for him the next morning and said he was going threw a divorce. A couple of years after graduating, I bumped into a guy from school (everyone changes after high school) and somehow it got brought up. He told me how the teacher would do pot and swap porno’s with him and a few other guys in our school. It sounded like they thought he was just another kid that they hung around with.

    I am and was a "normal" white boy, just liked learning and using computers back when people only knew what an Atari was.

    I was abused at home and at school. It use to be that Sunday school was the only "safe" place, until the day the merged several ages into 1 class.

    I use to be afraid to go ANYWHERE to walk anywhere. I thought all people wanted to hit me.

    I see postings about how people say they were bullied, but they were just teased. There was not a day from 6th to 12th grade that I was not covered in bruises on my arms and legs.

    Another guy I went to school with got it worst than I did. They did things to him that were life threatening almost everyday. The worst time of the day in school was before, during gym in the locker room, and after school on the way home.

    I actually wrote an auto biography that I started when I was still in school because I watched a TV show where the kid was killed. I wanted everyone to know what happened to me and how I felt. I still have it on CD somewhere.

    It was just me and GOD as I was growing up because not only did I not have any friends, I was not allowed to have any until I was in high school, and then only 1 approved friend at a time. At times I would think of ways to stop the people from hurting me, but even when I was about to get "killed" with a 2×4 and had a chance to stop it, I did not, my religion was too strong and it is not right to kill anyone.

    So, just an FYI to everyone out there that there are different levels of bullying and it could be a 24 hour torture that a kid is going threw.

    People post things like "they went too far" and "no matter what the kid went threw bla bla bla".

    You beat someone down 24 hours a day, they have no spirit, they are like a slave and the torture they get put threw is the same thing as killing them. You take their life from them when you are beating them down each and every day. They are afraid of everyone and everything.

    The reason why I was bullied was because I never fought back and a wimpy coward. If I got in trouble at school I would get unbelievable punishment when I got home. I was never allowed to lift weights or exercise in any way. I was not allowed to wrestle.

    I've heard many times that I get beaten all day-every day because I would hide it and be smiling afterwards, so nobody every got in trouble and the day continued. When I was about 5 my mother told me and my brother that we had to smile and tell the people at the door that everything was OK..... it was just a mask. She kept telling us that if my father ever went to jail that he would kill the whole family when he got out and anyone else who's fault it was that sent him there.

    I guess I have said too much already for a "comment". I just want people to know that sometimes, it is not just teasing – when it is really bad it is torture – every day – all day and that the teachers know about it. Ever since 6th grade the teachers knew about it and they always say it is the normal way people (animals if you ask me) get rid of the weak and the strong survive.

    *** I had one of the most popular guys in the school stand up for me one day and told everyone that they would have to hit him if they wanted to hit me. He actually saved my life that day, because it was going to be my last day.

    ***Also, it was the 1st day of 11th? grade and the same thing started in, except I let the guy have it and then as he was coming back after me the largest guy in our grade picked him up and threw him down to the floor and told everyone that it is not going to happen anymore.

    These 2 guys really helped me out. Things never stopped, but they did lighten up on me. I wish someone would have stood up for the guy that got it worst than me. I heard he had a good home life though. They did things to him that absolutely cross the line of life\death desicions.

    Class of '88

    April 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  14. Ami

    Until the physical and emotional well-being of the children and young adults who have been entrusted to the school system becomes more important than their test scores, bullying will continue.

    A 'program' or sensitivity training will never work until the adults in charge begin to pay attention to what's going on.

    Sad but true.

    April 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  15. LT

    Bullying at school is something that can be prevented by the staff. Open your eyes and say something. Schools don't want to admit that there is a bullying problem at their school. This poor little boy and his mother both went to the school asking for help and nothing was done... as always.

    April 26, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  16. Cole Thomas

    Bullying is a public health CRISIS! These are OUR children who are going to school and imposing hostile beliefs fostered – in some instances AT HOME – onto unsuspecting peers. These suicides are an outrage. And there are certainly more catastrophic consequences of gay-bashing that we never even recognize.

    You might take the homophobic response to this news, or even the "hate-posturing-as-religion" stance of the 1980's (remember the old "HIV is a gay disease,God's punishment, so why should I care" rhetoric?). You might stick your head in the sand. Regardless, sooner or later, bullying will still creep up to your doorstep. Heaven forbid it will be in the manner that Carl's and Jaheem's families have had to confront it.

    Just know that if you're part of this problem, this mentality (even indirectly), you could have a child's blood on your hands.

    Be proactive. "No place for hate" has to begin in our hearts.

    Sidebar: Anyone know of studies regarding homicidal adults' (like the professor accused of taking out THREE INNOCENT PEOPLE in Athens) histories of school bullying?

    April 27, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  17. Paula, Arkansas

    The main concern with childhood bullying is that the parents need to teach their children at home how to act in public and be respectful citizens. I was bullied in my elementary school years by one specific person, and that has affected me my whole life and she had followers that thought it was cool to do this. Well, it is not cool to bully anyone if you have any respect for yourelf and others. The problems that arise from this kind of treatment create self-esteem issues, and possibly can create a stereo type such as physically abusing their own children or other issues that affect a family. This starts with the parents and if they cannot do anything with their own children, then the law should have the authority to pursue this hands down! Laws should be created just like everything else in this society, that would put juveniles in special schools or treatement programs along with their parents, that think they can bully and harrass others. Perhaps the main problem is at home with the parents and that is why these juveniles are acting out and bullying to begin with, so maybe the parents need to be assessed as well. Either way everyone looses when someone takes their own life because of people who are not secure enough in themselves so they have to make everybody else miserable.

    April 27, 2009 at 2:17 am |
  18. sparkmatter

    Lets call it what it is, abuse. It has pervaded our school system since its inception and people are only just now getting a clue, that's sad. I'm a survivor of at least half a decade of peer abuse, verbal, emotional, psychological, and physical. Even those who survive can be considered tragic because oftentimes they are scarred for life.

    We are the LIVING dead, and we walk among you every day, food for thought.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:07 am |
  19. Pam Blizzard

    As a 7th grade teacher, I have seen bullying at it’s worse. The kids bully for a reason, it makes them feel strong, superior, even good at something. The reaction that they get from the child they’re bullying gives them the results they want. They have the power to evoke strong emotions on another person; emotions that include anger, and pain. Feeling that “powerful” is a strong motivator to continue the behavior. Unfortunately, the consequences of bullying in school sometimes don’t override the benefits as seen by the bully. Getting sent to ISS (in school suspension) can be a sign that they are succeeding; they are one of the bad (tough) guys and ISS confirms that. The limitations put on schools for handling bullies makes it very difficult to eliminate the problem.
    Bullies have the right to attend school just like every other child. They can’t be kicked out for being mean, if they could, the problem might be solved. By kicking the kid out of school, you are taking away the majority of his or her audience and therefore, the motivation to bully. Public reform type schools might solve a lot of the problem. Bullies could be sent to a military school type setting where they would have to behave in such a way as to earn the right to return to ‘regular’ school. Unfortunately the expense of something like this would be way beyond what the average public school system could handle.
    This leads me to what I call my “Life lesson on Bullying.” First, I talk to the kids about why a person bullies. This includes the fact that the bully doesn’t feel good enough about themselves. Their weakness comes through in their bullying. I stress to my students just how pathetic this is. Then, I do some roll playing. I have a student come up and say something to me that is meant to hurt my feelings. I pretend to react with anger the first time they say it. We then discuss how my behavior is exactly what the bully is hoping for. I then ask the student to repeat the same taunt but this time my reaction is indifferent. That indifference removes the power the bully has over me and in turn, takes away the incentive for the bullying to continue.
    Some examples I use are:
    Bully- “You’re gay”
    Response – “You wish”. Or even “ Sorry to disappoint you, but no.”

    Bully – “fatty”
    Response –“ and happy”
    Following the response I have the students practice walking away. The kids love it and it gives them a tool to use against the bully.

    April 27, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  20. Donna

    My daughter sometimes gets picked on in school. They have peer mediation, BIG DEAL. After you leave they just make it worse. PEOPLE STOP TALKING AND START ACTING. ACTIONS DO SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS, IF THE KIDS GO TO THE COUNSELOR OR PRINCIPAL THEN THAT MAKES IT WORSE TOO, THEY THEN BECOME THE TATTLE TAIL. Parents need to tell these kids that it is not COOL, NOT FUNNY to be picking on someone else, they are the ones that need the help with esteem issues and, my daughter who had very high self esteem, is falling behind, it is my job as a parent to make sure that doesn't happen, please talk to your kids and don't ignore even the littlest thing they are trying to tell you. In my day if you got picked on. You kicked there butt and they never bothered you again. I wish I could be my daughters age just for 2 minutes kick there butt the old fashioned way, and then be my age again when their parents come knocking on my door. Oh what a day that would be. My Heart feels for the child and his family.

    April 27, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  21. Charles L. Morse Sr.

    When I was 14 a group of guy's from the football team got after me . I was in compitition with the center on the team for his job and new in town . They sent the team tough guy to kick my tail and tell me not to go out for the team . He jumped me in the school bathroom . I stuck his head in the toilet and flushed it . The guy was a lot bigger then me . After that they left me alone .
    My oldest daughter was attacked by some gang banging gal's . I sent her to Karate classes . They came back later and attacked her again months later . She broke one's arm and beat the "H" out of five of them . If you or your child is being abused by bullies . Help the to learn to deal with the problem up front . Teachers and others are not going to be the answer . I told my 6 kids if you are in the right defend yourself . Never hit first , and never start a fight . I will stand up for you if you don't start the fight . I will take hide off you if you start one . Nothing wrong in teaching kids to defend them selves . People / kids feel safe and good about them selves when they earn the respect of bullies . Bullies only attack those that tell them their weakness . All my 6 kids , 13 grand kids except a 3 week old #14 , and 3 great grand kids , know the art of defence . They never have fights in school . You can only stop bullies by making it a unhealthy practice and a threat to their pride . Bullies are the real cowards living off the fears and weakness others see , or think they see in them selves . We need to teach our kids to fight their own fight . Not fight it for them or they never will learn how be their own man or woman .

    April 27, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  22. Charles L. Morse Sr.

    1st hand
    I don't think anyone can make a law to keep a child from being a bully at the age these kids or make a parent , teacher , school fix the mind of a bully stop . Put a bully in juvenal hall just teaches them to be a mean bully . Bully's never attack those that they feel they can win with . Poor baby doesn't help the child being bullied . Teach the child to deal with bullies . Size dosen't matter , 99% of your bullies are just that bull . You don't have to even hurt bullies in most cases just embaress them with their aggression in front of their bully gang . The art of defence is something every child getting bullied should know .

    April 27, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  23. Tom

    Moderator will you please delete the too post above this one I have made some changes thanks

    Hi Charles, I mean no disrespect but I have a different opinion about your statement above. I found myself in a similar situation one day when I was in school. I had this 6 foot tall 280 pound bully one day that started picking on me and I was about 5.5 foot tall at 98 pounds. This guy would pick on me everyday and flick my ears to the point that my ears were blood red. One day I had about enough of him so when we came to class he walked up to me and flicked my ears and I stood up and told him to leave me along. He just laughed at me and came up and flicked my ears again. At this time the teacher was just sitting there doing nothing and I was so very angry. Then he walked behind me and said I hit tom like this and he then flicked my ears again, so I stood up and punched him in the chest as hard as I could and he did not move at all. Then he flicked ears and turned his back to me and walked away. I waited until he was about 5 feet from me and I picked up my desk and when he turned around to face me I through the desk at him and knocked him out cold for ten minutes. When he came too we started to fight then and only then did the teacher finally stop the fight. I had blood running down my face from were he hit me in the nose and broke it, but I did at least black both his eyes. The teacher sent us both to the office where we were both suspended for 4 days from school. After the for 4 days we were back in class and he walked up to me and I said here we go again, then he stuck out his hand with both of his black eyes and said sorry Tom you are a very tough guy. After that I had no more problems out of him but what I did see is he just took his frustration out on others. My point is that it should have never gotten to the point were there was an all out fight in the class room when there was a teacher sitting there watching. For years I had this problem and I ended up on drugs and other things that got me into a lot trouble down the road. There was so much anger in me that it took me years after I was an adult to clean my head out from the abuse I had suffered in school. The kids that are in these schools are getting nothing but torture from these bullies and it can take them years like me to see the world normal again. That is why I am so against any kind of violence in school, school is a place were children are supposed to get an education, and it is not a place were you learn how to defined yourself from bullies. A karate school is were that kind of defense should be thought. Thanks for your time Tom

    April 27, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  24. 1st hand

    Wow, I decided to Google "laws against bullying" and what turned up is that it happens all over the planet in school and in the work place. I had always thought it was me and the other kid who where bullied in the entire school. Some states have passed laws against it, but what actually happens is when a person reports that they are being bullied they are told to go somewhere else, just like in school – if you tell then you are the "problem" and nobody likes a problem. My 3 nieces go to a public school and that school finally expelled a female bully after she bashed a kids face into the ground – almost killing the kid who was about 140 pounds smaller. The school (all grades from kindegarden and up) started teaching all the kids self defense (karate) as a requirement. They decided to level the playing field from bully's and gangs.

    I got nocked out one day while 20 other classmates stood by. The 2 guys who did it turned the whole thing on me and I ended up getting in trouble because they said I always picked on them!!! 2 to 1 and they won! I was shocked when the 3 of us and our parents were in the principals office and their parents thought their kids were angels and told the principal that they get bulled by me all the time and got sick of it!! These 2 guys were a thousand times stronger, meaner, and tougher than I was...............

    There's nothing a victim can do to stop it legally. I also see know that the teachers were correct that it is just a part of life where the strong survive and the weak do not, just like animals.

    Realistically, what can we do about this problem? Change the human race? There are kids out there that need saving and nobody cares enough to do anything about it. Interesting that they know kids that get bullied might get to school early and leave late. I use to get to school about 45 minutes before everyone else, but I always tried to get ahead of the others on the way home.

    Yes, it takes YEARS to get over it after school is over. You have to find your self asteem and ways to fit back into society. Time heals all wounds, but I often look back and thing how things would be so different if I was actually allowed to live without fear my 1st 18 years of life.

    I bet a creative attourney could take Vermont's law and make an example out of a few bullies by throwing dozens of felonies on them and even attempted murder charges. kids that commit suicide from bullying are actually murdered. They are told to kill themselves by the bullies either directly or indirectly.

    I never knew the problem was so common! I wonder if there is anythign that can be done about it????? You can teach YOUR kids right -vs- wrong, but not everyone has parents that would do that.

    April 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  25. Amisha

    he absolutely has the right to defned himself and regardless of the consequences the school dished out if he were ever bullied, or hurt by anyone, he had my permission to knock that person out. I would deal with the school, or the police, or anyone who had a problem with it.Bottom line, you are absolutely right, Tarif raising your child to be submissive is no good. No good at all. Who would want a weak child? Who would want a bully for a child? To prevent either scenario, all the parents out there need to actually start raising their children, instead of ignoring their responsibilities and letting society do it for them. Though not a big fan of the Bush clan, one of my favorite quotes, that hangs on my refrigerator, is by Barbara Bush: Whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and Mothers, if you have children, they must come first. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens at the White House, but what happens inside your house. Sorry I was so long-winded as a parent, this is a subject I feel very strongly about. Great blog!

    July 24, 2012 at 9:33 am |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.