étude 31: Florida school shooting : underneath the obvious

This article is not about the gun regulations in the USA, it’s about another problem that surfaces even before guns become an appealing option to some. For some it starts right at home, others have to enter the big outside world first. But at some point, (and it’s quite sure to say): everyone experiences bullying in some kind of way.

Now let’s remember Jesus and his cool attitude bailing Mary Magdalene out when some dickheads thought they had the legitimacy to sanction her for her acts. So here goes:

“The first one who never intentionally or unintentionally bullied someone, shall throw the first stone!”

That’s what I thought.

So bullying is still a popular thing and here we are, hearing stories everyday about those millennials finding new ways to fuck up each other’s lives “for fun”. By this I don’t mean that millennials are a problem. I think it’s quite the opposite, they are reflecting what we messed up on our way here.

They are the symptom of the problem.

Bullying is the raw expression of weakness: too weak to figure out another way to cope with insecurities, too weak to communicate without including passive or direct violence, too weak to even try to become better at any of those two things.

There is also this other thing when it comes to bullying which is vulnerability. The game (because yes there are inexplicit rules) revolves around hiding your personal vulnerability by exposing those of someone else. This action takes different forms: humiliation, threats, physical and mental violence and even explicit cases of cyber intimidation.

In this moment in time, being far from the high school environment, I do not know how professors and schools’ administrations are handling these issues in this new era of Snapchat, Instagram and all the kinds of apps that popped up and went viral among high-schoolers. What I remember though were the innumerous attempts of bullying back the bullies by teachers that just led to more violence and rejection. It was always the same class-clown that got put aside, got the most severe punishments and eventually ended up continually falling his/her academic years.

I never saw any of those “former” bullies showing progress after those punishments. What I saw was a lot of resentment and intensified misbehaviors afterwards. Was this the wanted result? Some of them even ended up having pretty shitty lives after dropping out of school because well, no diploma means no decent job. And no decent job leads to various non-decent consequences.

Well, after all they were bullies, so who cares? They got what they deserved

Really though? How much do we really know about the ones that are causing all of this harm? Not much actually, since they can’t express it themselves without holding up their fists. They themselves very clearly do not understand why the hell they’re acting like idiots and most probably don’t even want to answer to that (remember vulnerability?).

In the worst case scenarios, events such as mass-shootings by mentally unstable teenagers happen and this is on another scale of violence, one we do not really experience here in Europe compared to the USA.

But it could happen. And it’s important to keep that mind.

On the news they talk about mentally ill teenagers, pointing out all kinds of reasons that could explain the phenomenon. All we hear is stories about is these kids who have become unreachable, stuck behind their screens, consuming their weird drugs and ending up living a double life. If only we could focus on the reasons that lead teenagers to create their personal safe zone. One that can be either helpful or quite damaging for them and others.

It seems like those who are actually the closest to these teenagers (parents, teachers, school staff, etc…) are the ones that understand them the least and sometimes even worsen their situations. And what’s the point of focusing so much on the bullies? Well, because they are the root of the problem.

All they see are fingers being pointed at them, when they actually need a helping hand instead.


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Hanna Martins

student in her twenties with a lot of opinions

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