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Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Scoot: Is Bullying to Blame for Teen Suicide

It is unfortunate that I regularly talk about teen suicide on “The Scoot Show” on WWL, and this week there have been new tragic stories of teen suicides in the news.

A 17-year-old student at Lanier High School in Austin, TX wrote a post on Facebook announcing he was going to end his life and wondered if anyone would really care. He also said he was sorry for bringing pain to his mother.  A girl, who witnessed the suicide, said the teenager took out a handgun during lunch and shot himself in the head, falling to the floor.  Did anyone pay attention to his Facebook post?

The story of a 15-year-old high school student in Alabama who committed suicide was another sad story mentioned on the show this week. The Alabama teen committed suicide after he learned he was facing possible expulsion from school and criminal charges for streaking across the field during a recent football game at his high school. The school took the streaking incident seriously and it was reported. If convicted, the teen would have been registered as a sex offender.  Was suicide his only escape?

And then there was another story this week about a teen who committed suicide after she was bullied for months through social media.  Two of the girls who bullied the girl have been arrested in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the country.

Teen suicides continue to increase and the tragic stories cause most of us to ponder – how could life seem so hopeless to a teenager that suicide was the only option? Suicide at any age is tragic, but when we hear about teen suicide and think about how hopeless and distraught someone must feel to take their own life at such a young age, we are lost for an explanation.

I know what it is like to be bullied and to be made fun of and to be the last person picked to be on someone’s team. I know what it feels like to be rejected by girls and snubbed by peers. But I don’t know if bullying today, through social media that can be difficult to escape, is harder to cope with - or if young generations today have not been taught the basic survival skills we learned in the past.

It is imperative for every parent to teach their children the coping skills to deal with bullying. The first simple lesson is that nothing anyone else says to you, or about you, can actually change who you are.

We now live in a society that has developed the collective belief that we have a right to go through life and not be offended by anything or anyone. There will always be things that offend us in life and no one should expect, or demand, a world that is free of things we find offensive.

Teaching children to live in a world that can be offensive at times only prepares them for the real world. When I think about the times I was constantly bullied and rejected, I realize I am using those skills today, when I feel bullied.  Bullying doesn’t stop after you leave your teen years. There are bullies in the workplace and in social settings – bullies are everywhere. Failing to teach teens to handle bullying is failing to teach them a lesson they will take with them throughout their lives. And trust me – I use those skills nightly when I deal with some of the texts that come into the show!

I don’t know whether it was taught to me by my parents or if it is something innate, but I never allowed bullies or rejection to define me. In fact, when I was young and to this day, I take being bullied as a compliment. If someone is going to the trouble to bully me – then I must be a threat to them on some level. The truth is…no person is liked by everyone. Acceptance of that fact goes a long way toward understanding how to put bullying into perspective. Forty-nine percent of this country can hate you - and you can still become president!

Our quest to achieve a politically correct society has contributed greatly to the idea that we have this right not to be offended. Younger generations have been protected and coddled by their parents’ generations to the point where they are no longer taught the emotional survival skills we learned.

Dr. Keith Ablow, a FOX News contributor, wrote in his op-ed piece at FoxNews.com that the word “bullying” originated as a term used to describe aggressive actions on the playground at school, and he believes the term for what occurs every day in social media should be elevated to the status of “psychological assault.” The two girls arrested in the case of the teen who committed suicide are being charged with “felony aggravated assault.”

More important than updating the term “bullying” to better fit in a world dominated by social media, is the focus that should be placed on teaching teens to cope with the bullying they will inevitably encounter in their lives.

We are also witnessing the application of existing laws and the introduction of new laws in response to the ways social media is changing the world.  If someone who is bullied commits suicide – should the person or persons who bullied that person be held accountable? That’s a legitimate question, but a question without a clear cut answer.

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 a teen suicide.

A teen who commits suicide may have mental and emotional issues that go beyond being bullied. It’s important for parents to stay in touch with their children on every level and probe their minds to see where there are and what they are thinking and how they are processing life.

Over the years, certain music has been blamed for encouraging teen suicide. Today, bullying is being blamed. The inability to cope with listening to certain music or to cope with being bullied may actually be the symptom of the problem – rather than the problem.

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Topics : Social Issues
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Locations : AlabamaAustin
People : Keith Ablow

10/17/2013 7:42PM
Scoot: Is Bullying to Blame for Teen Suicide
Please Enter Your Comments Below
10/17/2013 9:49PM
Scoot knows about bullies. He is one ....
perhaps he will commit suicide ... LOL
10/17/2013 9:51PM
Obama is a bully so it starts at the top ....
would be really great if he committed suicide ... LOL ....
10/18/2013 7:51AM
Excellent commentary
This is so very true: "We now live in a society that has developed the collective belief that we have a right to go through life and not be offended by anything or anyone."
10/18/2013 8:15AM
Bullies? Let's talk about the biggest one ...
An excellent tutorial on how to be a bully has been on display for the past two weeks in Washington. The BULLY IN CHIEF went out of his way and spent about 500 million dollars just to BULLY the American People. Perhaps an this bully should be treated asany other bully, especially since he taught our young people a lesson on how to excel at being a BULLY.
10/18/2013 10:44AM
Bureaucrat's 1st Email On Return To Work: Request For Vacation Time...
Government workers are lazy SH!T!
10/18/2013 10:46AM
Obama is Marxist Human Debris ....
a real piece of DOG SH!T.
10/20/2013 1:36PM
Scoot supports massive government spending and debt, Obama, and þutt sex ...
Scoot is a typical leftist clown.
10/21/2013 5:16PM
Well, Scooter Boy your Lord and Savior Obama is not that popular, but I suppose we are still supposed to worship him and let him do anything he wants unopposed. The country is toast with this ásshole in the White House.
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