Jan and Bill Mohat, of Mentor, Ohio are suing the school district. Their son, Eric, committed suicide one day after a bully taunted him in class. The Mohat’s believe that the school district was responsible for his death.
A bully taunted Eric many days. He looks to be a skinny kid, affectionately called “twiggy” who his mother described as a “kind soul”. He was bullied in school, and was often found crying by administrators. The lawsuit not only names the school district, but the teacher that overheard the supposed statement that drove Eric to his death, the school principal, and the superintendent of schools.
Ahh, bullying. “The act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something”. Everyone in their life has been bullied. Your parents bullied you into behaving, lest you lose your television privileges, your teachers bully you to do your homework, otherwise you will fail the test, won’t get into college, and end up on the street. Maybe that is a stretch. But, everyone has been bullied, for one reason or another. They can be too skinny, too fat, too geeky, too dumb, etc.
What exactly is the root of bullying? A bully can be someone who has low self esteem and picks on someone else to make themselves feel better. They might be stronger or bigger or smarter. However, they are doing this to make their own self worth more than that of the person they are taunting.
How do we fix this bullying problem? Have an open door policy for the bullied kids to come in to talk to a mentor? Oh, then the mentor goes to the bully and tells them to stop because it makes “skinny” feel bad. That never solves problems-it makes it worse. Have a course on bullying for every kid, define it, explain it, and tell every kid that everyone is special in their own unique way? Oh, yes, that goes far with high school students. That hasn’t worked either. Or, we can tell teachers that they have to interfere in the bullying, stop it, and mediate the situation between the kids. Yes, the teachers have nothing else to do but manage behavior in their classrooms.
I say-give the parents the responsibility of monitoring their child. The schools can offer seminars for the PARENTS to go to, to understand bullying. Parents can see if their child seems upset, anxious, withdrawn. And the parents! The parents of bullies are usually bullies themselves! A learned behavior! The parent puts the child down, makes fun of them, and the child continues this behavior because they think it is a natural way to relate to others. It gets them attention, after all.
So, the Mohat’s are suing the school to make their point. What point that is, I’m not sure. Do they realize that by suing the school, they are taking tax payer dollars away from a fund that is probably minimal? That by suing the school district, they are taking money away from 1) Hiring more teachers, 2) Hiring more guidance counselors, and 3) Taking away programs for kids, among others. Suing the school district is only going to make a bad situation worse.
I do feel bad for the Mohat’s for their loss. I’m sure it is never easy to lose a child. However, I wonder if they ever brought their child to see a psychologist/therapist. Although the bullying might not have stopped, Eric might have been able to develop strategies for dealing with it. Did they intervene-speak with him, take him places to make him feel better, work with him on dealing with his feelings?
Was the school responsible for putting the gun in Eric’s hands? Did they put it in his house, give him access to it? Did they teach him how to shoot the gun? No, it was his father’s gun, in his parent’s home. So, I say to the Mohat’s-use your time to build up the school district and help them prevent another senseless death, instead of tearing down an educational institution that is already at its knees. I’m sure your son, the “kind soul” that he was, would rather have you fighting for other kids health, than trying to avenge his death.