Were you a bully or were you bullied? Most people were one or the other at some time in their life, and sometimes being one led to becoming the other.
When bullying is added to the stew of hormones and transitions that is junior high, there are some tough outcomes. A bully egged on by peers with the whole performance captured and processed through social media becomes especially ugly.
How can you make the situation worse? Well, the adults in charge could minimize the situation in the face of the video evidence. They could berate concerned parents. They could blame the media for paying attention.
That’s what we saw from Granite City School Superintendent Jim Greenwald.
“It’s a shame parents take negative exaggerated news to the media. Especially after we spend time problem solving with them. I’m not pleased with the media sensationalizing a case which was prompted by a parent call sight unseen,” Greenwald wrote on Facebook.
Excuse us, but there wasn’t a lot of sensationalizing required. The video spoke for itself.
Bullying will not stop just because we announce “zero tolerance” policies.
But as with any negative behavior, the better path is to send a clear message that adults expect better from our youth and to draw a line that cannot be crossed without consequences.