Being fairly young myself, I've never been one who was quick to bash teenagers and the absolutely stupid things they sometimes do (especially considering technically I'm still wanted in three states for that "little" prank I pulled when I was 15...if you're reading this Officer Hannigan, tell your wife I hope her hair has grown back by now).
But recent events have prompted me to say something I thought I'd never, ever have to say: What is wrong with these kids today? (Man I hope that line doesn't read as cheesy as it sounds in my head...oh crap, it does).
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about all of them. In fact, I'm only talking about a very, very small percentage of them. I'm talking about the kids who have been picked on who think they are perfectly entitled to get back at this big, cruel word of ours by shooting their peers down in cold blood.
As if the Virginia Tech shootings weren't bad enough, two more cases have just popped up recently in Cleveland and Pennsylvania. If you haven't read them yet, here are the links.
Now, when I was in fourth grade, I was given the nickname petunia butt after wearing a pair of floral pants to school one day. In sixth grade, I was called pizza face by the class bully. In 7th grade, my crush asks me out but only as a joke (which he informed me only after I said "Yes, yes, oh God, yes, I love you. Let's get married). And in high school, I was called Chunky Bob (nothing like a nickname like that to make a girl feel slim and beautiful, eh?)
But during that entire time, I never once felt the urge to...um...kill everyone. Yes, it sucked but..um...that's kids. They have the potential to be soul-crushingly mean. You have to deal with it and just take solace in the fact that those are the kind of people who peak in high school and end up fat, balding and pumping your gas at the age of 30.
Maybe we aren't teaching our kids the coping skills they need to put up with this kind of stuff or maybe these kids are just complete and total nut cases, but either way it has to stop. Bullying has been around since the first caveman turned to a smaller caveman and boinked him on the head so he could steal his saber tooth tiger loin cloth. And since it doesn't appear human nature is going to change anytime soon, we have to teach these kids how to deal with this stuff.
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