Day 193–Emotional Health

This has been another busy summer week and I have been thinking a lot about health in a different way. For the first time, my daughter shared with me a Facebook post that was clearly cyber bullying and hate speech (not about her, but about a classmate and it upset her). Fortunately, she still feels comfortable enough to share these things with her parents. Because the post included a teacher’s photo and involved other students, the principal of her school got involved quickly. But, the girl’s family will not respond to any phone calls from the school. So they sent a letter urging the parents to pay attention to their daughter’s Facebook page. Wow. I’m sure she will learn something from that (sarcasm). The whole incident really has me thinking. What in the world are we doing about the emotional health of our young people? And what happens to the victims of these posts when there are no real repercussions to publicly wishing someone dead because you don’t think they are pretty?

Since the offending posts are still out there and apparently no one is able to reach the family, I broke a cardinal rule of mine not to engage in correspondence with other people’s children. I sent this message:

Dear xxxxxx,

You should be aware that your Facebook postings about xxxx are considered hate speech and cyber bullying and they are not ok. In fact, they could be illegal. In life, xxxxxxx, you do not have to like everyone, but you should at a minimum respect the rights of others to exist as they are. You seem like a smart, pretty and creative girl. But when you wish someone dead because they aren’t pretty enough, the one who looks ugly is you. I hope you will show everyone at xxx Middle School that you can be better than what you posted. We will all be cheering you on for a better and more mature 7th grade. In the meantime, you should probably delete the posts about xxxxx. That would be the wiser–and kinder–thing to do.

A Mom