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Scoot: Bullying - A Media Trend or the Real Problem?

Have you noticed how much bullying comes up in the news?  It’s almost as if bullying is a new phenomenon that is suddenly plaguing a young generation.
Bullying has probably been part of human encounters from the origin of our species, but now that it seems to be a recurring element in an increasing number of news stories, we should analyze whether it is a new concern or a new media trend that has been instantly adopted by society.  There is always the danger of new media trends creating hysteria that actually disguise the real problems.
This week there was another school shooting – it occurred at the Sparks Middle School near Reno, NV.  A 12-year-old student brought his parents’ gun to school and shot and injured two students, killed a beloved teacher and then shot and killed himself. What made this tragedy so shocking was the 12-year-old boy was described as a “nice kid,” and one student said he was the kind of kid who would make you smile if you were having a bad day. She also said she witnessed the young student being bullied on several occasions and she believes that his actions were an act of revenge. Another student said the boy pointed at a group and said, “You ruined my life and now I’m going to ruin yours.”
Last week, a high school student in Austin, TX posted on Facebook that he was going to take his own life, and later that same day he took out a gun during lunch and shot himself in front of other students. Bullying was part of that story.
Also last week, there was a story about two teenage girls who were arrested and face a felony charge for constantly bullying a 14-year-old, who committed suicide in Winter Haven, FL.
And bullying was even part of a story this week about the father of a high school football player in Ft. Worth, TX who has filed a complaint accusing an opposing coach for bullying his son’s high school football team, because the final score in the game was 91-0.
These stories are just a few of numerous recent stories that include bullying as a contributing factor in senseless tragedies – or in the case of the football game – severe humility.  But is bullying really to blame – or has it become a marketable tool that’s being used by the media to attract attention to stories by creating panic in society?
Asking the question – which came first – the public’s new belief that bullying is suddenly a new factor to explain tragedies, or is the media creating that new belief in the minds of the public – is like asking which came first – the chicken or the egg? It really doesn’t matter since we now have both chickens and eggs.   If we can determine that a media trend is the result of the instincts of the media to attract attention by instilling hysteria and panic, then we are more certain to focus on the real problem rather than media hype.
In a recent Scoot Blog titled, “Is Bullying to Blame for Teen Suicide,” I wrote, “Since it is estimated that 90% of the teens who commit suicide suffer from a mental disorder, it may not be easy to determine how much episodes of bullying contributed to teen suicide.” Mental health issues are vague and complicated and the media loves stories with easily understood reasons for tragedies, but it’s just not always that simple.  We want to know the definite reasons for tragedies and that makes us feel as if we understand the problem and therefore can prevent future tragedies. But that rarely leads to real solutions.
Bullying most certainly contributes to tragedies, but should not be blamed as the direct cause as so many stories seem to imply. When the father of a high school football player uses the term bullying in a complaint about an opposing coach whose team beat his son’s team 91-0, you can’t help but consider that bullying has become a new and convenient scapegoat for tragedies and human humiliation.
To put this in further perspective – the winning coach in the game that ended 91-0 actually pulled his starters after 21 plays and began to let the clock run uninterrupted at the beginning of the 3rd quarter. It doesn’t seem as if the coach was trying to bully the other team. And yet, because of the word bully in the story – it will attract much more attention as it feeds the new hysteria over something that isn’t really new.
Bullying is serious and with the ability to emotionally bully someone through social media – phones, computers, tablets, etc. – escaping the constant presence of bullying has become more of a challenge today than it was in the past, when you just walked away from the source of bullying.  But there are ways to block and ignore bullying on phones and through social media that essentially amount to walking away.  But the new panic over bullying is rendering a society that appears helpless to react.
As bullying has risen to the level of causing tragedies or humiliating situations, we should ask if society is too quick to embrace bullying as an excuse for failure. And if bullying is a new excuse for tragedies – then we, as a society, continue on a path of diminishing the importance of personal accountability, which is the foundation of a civilized society.
The biggest problems in America can be solved by returning to the time when individuals were held accountable for their behavior, their decisions and their actions without instinctively blaming another person or outside influence. Today, when something tragic happens, we are quick to deflect any blame from our children, or from ourselves as parents and adults.
There are now consistently stories in the news about groups that are promoting the idea that we must stop bullying.  Since bullying exists everywhere – on the playground, in school, in the workplace and even in social settings like parties and bars – it would be better for us to focus on teaching a young generation to deal with bullying rather than naïvely think we can somehow make it disappear.  And when a new young generation is taught to deal with bullying, as we were when we grew up, we will be teaching them a valuable lesson they will take with them throughout their lives.
Attempts to completely erase human actions that are inevitably part of the human psyche demonstrate our desire to find simple solutions to deeply complicated problems, when the real solutions are complicated and present greater challenges.  And doesn’t this desire fit perfectly into the instant gratification mentality that is now such an integral part of America?

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Topics : Social Issues
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Locations : Austin

10/23/2013 12:35PM
Scoot: Bullying – A Media Trend or the Real Problem?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
10/23/2013 7:27PM
When you have a BULLY in the White House ...
what do you expect? Gee, Scooter be the good liberal you are. Nothing is ever Obama’s fault. Certainly Obama is not responsible for anything. You would be the first to say we should respect him and bow to his every wish .... I mean Obama supports þuttsex and changing the name of the Washington Redskins ... that is all that matters ....
10/23/2013 7:30PM
Liberals are hysterical all the time. Their lives run on emotion not logic. Yet,
you will be the first to step up and support the hysterical clown Obama .... LOL ....
10/23/2013 7:34PM
Senate Dems Up For Re-Election To Back Mandate Delay...oh, no!
Seems the liberal WH0RES fear they might pay at the polls ... I thought Scoot said that those that oppose ObamaCare are hated by the American people ... ??? who knew ...
10/23/2013 7:37PM
Millions of Americans Losing Health Plans...
more have lost plans than have signed up for Obama-FÙCK-YOU-CARE.
10/23/2013 7:52PM
At the end of the day it is safe to say that Obama is an economic terrorist.
Obama is terrorizing small business and individuals while bankrupting the country as fast he can print more funny money. Texas needs to send a special forces unit to DC to contain Obama and his whole crew and lock them up in Gitmo ... would be fun to see... LOL ...
10/23/2013 8:08PM
Obama is saying FÙCK YOU! ... and blacks still worship this clown...
funny to watch ... Democrats are STUPID.
10/23/2013 8:11PM
Obama say he finds out about major events and issues on the local news and
never knew anything prior ... does this ásshole know anything? Was he not billed as the smartest person in the world?
10/23/2013 8:37PM
The Fat Cow Mary Landrieu is now afraid .... LOL ....
The Democrat B!TCH is feeling the heat ... LOL
10/23/2013 9:02PM
Obama Administration issues threats to anyone opposing ObamaCare ....
The tyrant is raging .... hope the B!TCH keeps smoking .... LOL
10/23/2013 9:25PM
Scoot you support political correctness so ENJOY!
10/23/2013 9:28PM
Scoot there is NOTHING to respect about Obama and the Washington
establishment ... they should be mocked and cursed ... they deserve all the hate they get ... Washington is replete with liars and leeches ... they are SCUM ... MOCK them spit on them is you can ...
10/23/2013 10:04PM
This is too funny. If Scoot did not have detractors he would have few listeners at all.
Scoot says others in the media repeat his deep thoughts and try to be like him. Wow, the delusions continue.
10/23/2013 10:18PM
If a white man was as incompetent and arrogant as Obama he would have all but
already have been run out of office. Obama survives for one reason. He is black and he is not held to the same standard as whites.
10/23/2013 10:21PM
Congressman Alan Grayson, the Democrat Hate-Monger, perhaps should be
bait for an NRA Convention Man Hunt ... LOL ... at least his life would finally have some purpose and use.
10/23/2013 11:54PM
Well, the aging beatnik, Scoot, had another funny night.
Poor Scoot
10/24/2013 12:05AM
The Washington crowd from Obama on down are a bunch of liars and abusers.
You wonder why people pretend to respect them and others act all self-righteous when they are called what they are--scúm is scúm. Refreshing to see these sléaze bags called what they are and spit on with words since we cannot likely do it in person.
10/24/2013 7:39AM
How about WJ
Most people on here sound right wing so why not turn on Walton & Jonson!! They have their own app., Google them.
10/24/2013 9:41AM
"How about WJ" ... seem you hae been up all night dancing around a trash can fire
chanting praises to your Lord and Savior Obama ... you still believe the ásshole Obama ... "How about WJ" you will die a fool.
10/24/2013 9:44AM
Obama is the worst lying piece of SH!T in the modern era ...
the Oval Office must smell like hell.
10/24/2013 9:48AM
"How about WJ" most people do not wake up every day with a hard-on for Obama
... we get it that you believe that those who do not wish to suck Obama’s pénis like you do are racist.
10/24/2013 10:30AM
Obama, Harry Reid and the corrupt media have set a very nasty tone in how
they deal with those they hate. Great to see that more and more citizens are following their example and spewing hate back at them. Congrats.
10/24/2013 10:59AM
Well, Obama is a good leftist so perhaps if he were bullied enough he might
cash it in ... LOL ... well, one can dream.
10/24/2013 1:11PM
Obama supporters would EAT Obama’s feces if he told them to ...
what an ignorant, stupid bunch of people.
10/24/2013 2:01PM
Well, the old hiþpie Scooter Boy was WRONG again ....
he said Ted Cruz was nuts for opposing ObamaCare and now Democrats are wanting the law delayed. I guess that makes them terrorists too. Even Obama has broken his own law again by delaying it six weeks. Obama is now a terrorist. Gee Scooter Boy you are NOT cutting edge. You just repeat the same old propaganda of those you worship in big media ... LOL
10/24/2013 8:43PM
Well, we will enjoy seeing the Obama voters SUFFER and lose their insurance
and their jobs ... these ignorant clowns DESERVE all the PAIN that Obama’s policies have brought ... LAUGHING AT THESE MORONS ... LOL
10/24/2013 9:24PM
It is funny but also sad that despite the Obama incompetence and lying on
clear display ... stupid blacks will still line up to worship and follow Obama to their ruin.
10/24/2013 9:35PM
End of the day Obama is a lying piece of human debris.
Obama has committed crimes against the country and should be shamed and deserves to be SPIT on ...
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