By Geraldine Marquez: Guest columnist
I woke up recently with a heavy heart, and shortly into my daily routine, our beautiful Tucumcari sunrise was covered by a looming rain cloud.
I was watching the “Today” show. Meredith Vieira recited the story of a teenage girl severely beaten over a text message, and Vieira and the law enforcement officer relayed utter shock that this teen’s attacker showed no remorse. Apparently the teen girl didn’t agree with something said or some behavior and she voiced her opinion about it in a text to the boy.
It scares me how different times are now, how numb everyone seems to be to violence, even in my small hometown that I love so much. Talking to people in our community, I have heard shocking opinions about bullying. One of the most common is:
“A kid being bullied is just a teenage phase, a right of passage that everyone goes through.”
This teenage bullying/violence weighs so heavy on my mind because my children have all been severely bullied.
The schools’ political attitude seems to be speaking the language of the same careless and lethargic propaganda I’ve been hearing: Well it happens … Every child is to blame … …There’s nothing we can do about it.
I can’t change a school policy/mentality that’s been in place for years, but what can I do? What is right for our kids? Why is violence so cool all of the sudden? Can we effectively change it for our kids if we start an awareness program? Is it too late?
I guess I could say we are all numb because of what we see on TV or because of the music we listen to, but that would just be another excuse to grant permission for sociopathic behavior. It would be just another way to transfer the blame from the guilty to some unchangeable object, or monster so we can all feel better.
Every time we allow bullying behavior to exist by essentially doing nothing, we are to blame collectively as a community.
Every time a fight takes place at one of the schools or on the city softball fields and we do nothing, we are to blame collectively as a community.
Every time we excuse the behavior by rationalizing violent behavior, we are to blame collectively as a community.
What happened to getting involved? What happened to doing what is right?
Bullying is not the victim’s fault. It’s a disease we are all responsible for curing.
Geraldine Marquez is a Tucumcari resident. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org