Thursday, September 29, 2011
Murder by Gaslight
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making them doubt their own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
So, perhaps you heard about the gay teen who killed himself last week. I'm referring to Jamey Rodemeyer, however if you typed in gay teen suicide I'm sure his is not the only name that will pop up. Or perhaps bullied teen suicide. I bet Google would have a lot of hits for that. If you'd typed that in a year ago, or the year before that, there would still have been a lot of news articles to read. So this is not the first time it's happened, nor will it be the last. We need to stop sweeping it under the rug when the sensationalism has died down.
I feel bad for the kid, and worse for his family. Especially considering that even after his death, the bullies continue to harass his family. What really bothers me, though, are the bully apologists. It's not their fault. He was mentally disturbed. He would have done it anyway. Well, you know what? I'm not interested in helping murderers sleep better at night. I've seen the videos this kid made, and I don't think he would have. I think he was gaslighted by bullies who were enabled by their parents and their school to kill him. Those bullies are murderers, and they're being allowed to get away with it. More than that, they are being allowed to brag about it, and perhaps turn their murderous intentions on that boys family.
I believe that we need laws in place to prevent this kind of thing. Perhaps children and teens who harrass each other at school should be considered juvenile offenders and given public service sentences. Perhaps three strikes and you're kicked out of public school permanently, having forfeited your right to a public education. You wouldn't allow rabid dogs to roam your school, and bullies should be seen in that light, viciously tearing at other students and turning a place of learning into a torture chamber. Why is it the bullied who is generally pulled out and homeschooled, not the monsters who hurt them? Why is it the innocent who lose their future and not the criminal?
As laws are slow, I have some ideas. Your phones have video capacity, don't they? If you see another kid being bullied, film it. Surreptitiously, if possible. Then email that video to kid's parents, the bullies parents, the school principal, your congressman, anybody, and everybody. When people talk about bullies, they look at that young, smiling face in the yearbook and they think, it's just a kid. He's not evil, he's a kid. They need to see how ugly he or she looks when they are psychologically torturing someone. The profane look of glee as they hurt someone, as each word tears a spiritual hole. The smug look that says, if I can hurt you, I can feel superior. I'm not talking about those obnoxious fight club videos that kids post to show they kick ass, even though those show evil pretty well too. I'm talking about capturing and showing the true faces of bullies so everyone can see.
For those who don't know what I'm talking about.