Op-Ed: Bullying starts at home


Ken Morse
Ken Morse

We as a society are facing a situation that gets worse everyday.

Two weeks ago in Stamford, a 12-year-old girl was arrested for disorderly conduct in connection with a bullying incident at a private school. On the first day of class at Greenwich High School, sophomore Bart Palosz committed suicide after enduring years of bullying by his peers.

Turning a blind eye to a social problem that is getting worse by the minute solves nothing. It continues to put youngsters in peril of doing something beyond the realm of understanding, taking their own life. 

I’m probably preaching to the choir, because anyone who resorts to bullying probably doesn’t read a whole lot, so why would they waste their time reading this column. If they did read, they would be shocked that seemingly everyday in the news someone, somewhere who is a victim of bullying, is contemplating or has contemplated suicide as a solution to a problem that plagues our society.  

I find this behavior inconceivable that someone could actually feel that belittling or even downright threatening another individual is a sure way to make one feel superior. Have we lost the very last thread of our morality, that infringing on someone else is a normal way to act towards one another?

What I find most disturbing about all this is the fact that behavior like that has to be taught, or at the very least encouraged, and that my friends would start at home. Any behavioral pattern good or bad is taught at a very young age. If you see your 3-year-old pulling someone’s hair there are typically two responses.

“Little Johnny if you do that again you are going in the house and not be allowed to play with the rest of the kids.”

That would be the normal response.

Then there is the response that sends chills down my spine because I know people are out there doing this.

“That’s right little Johnny, now punch them in the belly and spit in their face.”

You think I’m crazy for saying that? There are adults out there actually saying stuff like that and we all stand around and wonder: Where do bullies come from?

They come from dysfunctional homes. They come from parents who abuse their rights, abuse their neighbors and abuse anyone who gets within an arms length of them, including little Johnny.  

As if you didn’t already know this, there are people in our society that we meet everyday that couldn’t care 2 cents about anyone else but themselves — most likely because they too were raised without any common decency.

The next time a child is brought down to the office in school for bullying maybe they should go home and arrest the parents. Because little Johnny had to learn that behavior from somewhere.

They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. But sometimes the apple falls directly underneath the tree, creating a generation of people that couldn’t care less about anyone, and that is where bullies come from.  

Ken Morse is a contributing writer to the Citizen’s News.