the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight

the news today was full of stories about children bullying children. one couple opted to homeschool their teenaged daughter who was told repeatedly that she was a slut and a whore. but that didn’t stop her peers from finding other avenues by which to deliver their abuse. they found her online. she’d block a user. they’d create another profile.

thirteen-year-old asher brown took his own life so that he wouldn’t be bullied anymore.

and a rutgers university student set up a webcam in his room, recorded his roommate, eighteen-year-old tyler clementi, having sex with another boy and broadcast the video across campus. clementi, an aspiring violinist, updated his facebook status with jumping off the gw bridge sorry and ended his life.

here’s talent the world has lost. here’s love. here’s hope. and you’ve killed it, you who cannot appreciate and respect another’s differences. this breaks my heart.

and let’s not forget (or did you even know of?) fifteen-year-old phoebe prince, formerly of county clare, ireland whose family had relocated to massachusetts. her presence in south hadley was not so well-received. she hung herself. her twelve-year-old sister found her. the taunting continued even after her death on her memorial facebook page.

or thirteen-year-old megan meier of missouri who also hung herself after being bullied through myspace by the mother of one of her peers.

a mother did this.

and there’s tale of nine-year-old montana lance found dead in a bathroom at stewart’s creek elementary school.


what will happen to those who caused these individuals such pain?

to brown’s tormenters? nothing. to clementi’s? maybe five years in prison for invasion of privacy. maybe.

they’d probably say it’s the boys’ fault for being weak.

i say it’s the bullies’ fault for being so.

17 responses to “the streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight”

  1. Working in a middle school, it is unbelieveable how cruel kids can be. No matter how hard I work to change the few that I work with, there is such a culture of disrespect and violence that it seems impossible to change.


  2. There have always been bullies, but it seems that they have become alot more vicious. And they have so many ways to attack now. Kids can be so incredibly cruel. If you need some hope for the future, please read my latest post. It shows that kids can also be incredibly loving and compassionate. Hugs, Kat

  3. Such a sad post…I can't believe kids are so much more cruel these days. I guess the internet social networking thing really takes it to a whole new level of bullying. I live in Japan where bullying in schools is a common occurence. It's so common that they have a term for it and they make tv dramas and manga's about this topic. It's pretty bad. However, I never knew that the US has become just as bad as it is here. I was bullied a little bit when I was in elementary school but never to the extent that I would feel the need to end my life just to escape it. I just don't get it. I just don't understand why kids are doing this to other kids and where they are learning to be mean like this. It's really horrible…

  4. Bullying makes my blood boil. And it is becoming more and more pervasive due to the immediacy of electronic access.

    There is so little accountability among people that it both sickens and saddens me.

    I saw it this week. I was waiting at a lab for blood work and two boys were sitting there using horrendous language. There were several small children in the room. It was really uncomfortable.

    Finally I said to them "Look, could you take that language outside? There are kids in here."

    And one boy looked surprised. "We weren't swearing, were we?"

    I told him that they were and he looked ashamed.

    The other boy just looked at me quite nastily but I just smiled back him.

    But at least they stopped. I've been in that situation where they didn't stop and actually became confrontational.

    Where are manners? Where is decency? Where is compassion?

    Your post made me sad from the aspect that people expect the schools to protect the kids being bullied. What happened to the parents of the bullies being slapped up along side the head.

    Thanks for this thought provokoing post, QP. I think I'm going to take a blood pressure pill now.


  5. My oldest son was a victim of bullying when he was in middle school. One time some boys jumped him and hit him in the head until his ears bled. I screamed and yelled at the principal and he just told me that he had no control over the bullies. I find it hard to believe that in this day of enlightenment towards the differences in us all, that such things still exist. But, obviously, painfully, they do…

  6. Boy, this is depressing. I just don't understand how kids can be so vicious to one another. There is a growing lack of common respect and decency towards others in our culture. It saddens me.


  7. I've been so disturbed all day by this boy from college and the other kids that have taken their own lives recently. It just makes me sick and so angry. I've been thinking about writing a post about it too.

  8. It's been a tough week in the news. Too many gone way too young. The bullies have taken it to a whole new level with the interwebs. And what of the parents who raised these bullies? What do they have to say for themselves? It boggles my mind how this keeps on going around and spiraling so out of control.

  9. I can only believe that this epidemic of bullying is rampant because not enough of us stand up like Jenny did and call children on it. We allow our children to spend hours in front of TVs that spew ill-concealed bullying (all the dance and talent shows that make fun of contestants) and idolize the one with the sharpest tongue. You, in the US and we, in Canada have made heroes of the rude and mean and have led our children to believe that it is more important to be first, be loudest, be strongest and get our needs met than it is to be kind, thoughtful or just plain decent.

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