The little 11-year-old girl in London, Ohio, frequently came home from school crying, her parents told police this week. She was teased for her appearance and because of her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder both in and out of school.
Then last Sunday, she hanged herself in her bedroom. Police are investigating whether bullying drove her to suicide.
Officials in her school district have emphasized they do not tolerate bullying. How many times have we heard that, from school officials across the country? After all, how many school officials are going to admit to anything else?
We know of no teacher or school administrator who tolerates bullying - when it is apparent to them. But youthful bullies know that and often are careful to conceal their behavior from adults. Other children know, however, whether they want to or not.
Bullying is not as much a school issue as it is a societal problem. If you have children, ask them about bullying. If they or anyone they know is a victim, do something about it.
Like so many problems in this or any culture, bullying won't go away just because we know it is bad. It's roots are deep. Passive resistance won't kill the beast. An aggressive campaign will be needed to dig out bullying forever. Are you ready to help?