Bullying in America – Why Do Kids Carry Guns Anyway?

There once was a bucket.  It was never full.  No matter how much water was poured into it, it was always either running low or empty.  What was the problem?

It had a hole in it.

Many kids today are growing up with “holes” in them.  They exhibit all kinds of behavior wherein they try to “warn us”.  We simply aren’t looking for these particular signs.  We’re so busy looking at the top of the bucket, filling it with the proper food, education and what “we” as a society think needs to be in there, we fail to check for leaks.

And we have some big ones.

Abraham Maslow outlines a person’s “hierarchy of needs” as fundamental to our survival, health and general well-being.  They are physical survival (our basic needs), safety & security, social and relationships, success and achievements and self-actualization.

If any one of these “buckets” is empty or leaking, problems ensue.  Big problems like the rampant bullying that is going on in America today.  1 out of 4 kids are bullied and every 7 minutes somewhere a child is being bullied.  The bullying is escalating to violent proportions.  Every day we read about kids who are bullied to the point of taking their own lives, or worse, beaten up because they are “different” than their peers.  Children bring guns to school and in 2000 a six-year-old was shot and killed by another child in her class!

We have some leaks.

The real question is – who is checking the buckets?  Our classrooms are filled with students of diverse learning abilities and disabilities and with over 16 million kids diagnosed with some type of learning issue; the “average” child is merely non-existent.  Education budgets have been slashed, standards have been raised (“No Child Left Intact” as some have called it), and teachers are strapped trying to meet the needs of many different children.

Parents are typically both working; some even more than one job.  Kids are in after-school programs, with babysitters or some even on their own.  Televisions and technology have become our new “watch dogs” and our children are over-exposed and under-protected.  Doctors have been called in – but with 20 million prescriptions of Ritain being written each year –  its known side effects and ineffectiveness (effective in less than 70% of the cases), the problem is still not resolved…and it is continually growing.

We have some leaks.

We gasp in horror when rampant school shootings occur (and thank God, we still do – we have not become despondent about this horror), and the rise in bullying is alarming!  Yet, we look around for someone to blame and realize – we all have blood on our hands.  This is a societal problem.  We fail our children in many, many ways.  We fail them when we force them to grow up too soon.  We fail them when we rob them of an education that could be rich with experiences, but end up being driven by test scores.  We fail them when we force two parents into the workforce so that no one is there when they come home so they must consult the Internet for their deepest problems and questions.   We fail them when we tell them they can be anything they want when they grow up when we are not ensuring that that actually happens.

We have some leaks.

Wanna stop the leaks?  There is no “one size fits all” or a cure-all.  That’s for sure.  But, we start but by looking for leaks.   The answers are closer than we think.  They’re under our feet, grabbing at our pant legs – vying for our attention.



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