Written by Jenn Sadai
I’m embarrassed to admit the horrific level of bullying that is happening in my own backyard. I’m from a relatively small city in Canada that only makes the national news when we do something awful. Our most recent shame was a viral video of teenagers verbally and physically abusing a nineteen year old woman with special needs.
If you’re not aware of the video evidence of this particular bullying incident, it went viral due to the extreme violence and callousness of the teenagers’ attacks. If you did watch it, you’re heart sank and anger rose in your chest at the despicable behavior of the teenagers involved. People were pissed off with good reason.
Unfortunately, so many responded with their heated emotions and began threatening the bullies involved. The teenagers, who are already being charged with assault, are now receiving thousands and thousands of death threats from all over the world.
These insensitive and ignorant teens made a horrible decision that will follow them around for the rest of their lives. They will have criminal records, public scrutiny, and other life-changing consequences as a result of their actions. I will never try to justify what they did to that innocent woman, but I also cannot accept threats against their lives. These are fourteen to nineteen year old kids who made a terrible mistake.
How many of us did something as a teenager that we regret?
Peer pressure, raging hormones and a not fully developed conscience is why bullying is so common among young adults. Many teenagers don’t know how to channel their frustration in healthy ways. Instead of responding to the attack with threats of violence, we need to tackle the root of the problem. We need to teach future generations the consequences of their actions, how to respond to peer pressure and the importance of treating others with respect.
If we use this incident as a teachable moment and talk about the consequences and impact on the victim in a calm, rational manner, we can prevent future bullying. If we continue to respond with our raging emotions, we’re teaching every teenager watching that it’s okay to get angry and threaten someone else.
We won’t stop the bullying epidemic if we start bullying the bullies. Yes, they should be charged with assault and receive a punishment determined by law enforcements. They need to realize the damage they’ve caused and make amends to the woman they attacked. Let the police, lawyers and parents of the accused balance the scales of justice.
Our only course of justice is to explain to our children what happened, why it shouldn’t have happened, and how that woman and the bullying teens’ lives will forever be damaged because of their cruel behavior. The only way to break the cycle of violent attacks is to combat it with love, acceptance, and education. Two wrongs will never make it right.
Permission to post by author Jenn Sadai
Jenn Sadai is a Canadian author and advocate who’s just crazy enough to think she can change the world. Jenn shares her stories of surviving domestic violence, depression, and workplace bullying in hopes that it will help others cope and heal. She is the author of Dark Confession of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman, Dirty Secrets of the World’s Worst Employee, and Cottage Cheese Thighs. Website