Teeanagers Receive Mixed Messages In America

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An important HubPages Question about life was recently asked:

  • Any tip to help teenage girls overcome insecurities and build self esteem?

-- asked by moiragallaga

Solidarity Helps Build Self Esteem

More than ever before in the Untied States, teenagers need to find within their families and/or loyal friends, a consistent support group against which to judge the events of the world and their local community. Teenagers receive far too many mixed messages in this nation, as evidenced by national news reporting on bullying and alcohol abuse.

Bullying and Violence Are Allowed To Happen

Children and youth in the USA have been killing others and committing suicide because of bullying and abuse for at least 60 years that have been exposed by the international media.

In high school, a young man we knew was so abused that he arose one early morning, took his father's shotgun into his parents' bedroom and killed both his parents. This was before there was any child protective services in our county. School counselors could give no advice, either. The young man could take no more.

In the early 1990s, six sixth-graders in a local Christian middle school in my community all committed suicide under the increased stress of parental bullying. The school cost $400/month to attend and the parents denigrated and severely punished these six youngsters ages 11 and 12, because they were earning B+ averages instead of straight As. Self esteem was hammered to the point of major depression in these youngsters.

The school did a strange thing -- The administration created a separate 6th grade school building that provided no extracurricular activities, filed trips, events, or celebration for the remaining youngsters and families, and placed a McDonald's restaurant inside for a lunch room. I can't agree with the action of the administration, but no other child committed suicide in their 6th grade.

Bullying and child abuse are horribly larger problems in this nation. As found by a study I helped to conduct in the early 1990s. The Number One Problem in education in my area of 1,000,000 residents from preschool to 12th grade was, and continues to be, violence. Just this morning, a student at a suburban high school fired a gun outside the building, demanding the school shut down. It went on lock-down at 7:30 AM for two hours.

This time last year, two eight-year-old boys squared off in their school parking lot right beside a 6-lane highway and pointed loaded and cocked handguns at each other. Fortunately, a teacher stopped the shootout, saving several children and motorists as well.

Surely, eight-year-olds should not be having a gunfight in the school yard. Why were the children allowed access to handguns?
Surely, eight-year-olds should not be having a gunfight in the school yard. Why were the children allowed access to handguns? | Source

Mixed Messages

A Massachusetts volleyball captain was called to a party to rescue a friend who had been drinking too much alcohol. She cheerfully went to pick up her friend. The police arrived shortly and in the spirit of 1970s drug raids, arrested everyone in the house.

The cheerful young woman was released, since she had no alcohol in her blood system, but her high school took disciplinary action with her, because she was in the party house.

She was demoted from Captain to player on the high school volleyball team and suspended for five games. She was punished for attempting to drive a drunk friend home as 100s of public service announcements, the school system, and parents preach.

Teens must be thinking, How are you to have high self esteem when you are told to absolutely do something and then punished for doing it? How are you to survive if the adults are all acting crazy?

The former volleyball captain and her family stand united in believing that the girl did the right thing in being a designated driver for her friend. They sued the high school, even though the lawsuit may not have been successful. Teens need their families to back them up when they have done something positive.

The location of the party house.

A markerBoxford MA -
Boxford, MA, USA
[get directions]

More Mixed Messages

A 12-year-old in Florida recently committed suicide, because a 14-year-old girl began dating the younger girl's former boyfriend.The older girl did not like the fact that the boyfriend and the younger girl had a history.

The older girl convinced other girls, especially a 12-year-old female henchman, to gang up on the first girl online and harass her. They threatened to beat her up and told her to kill herself. She killed herself.

Where are the parents? Sheriff Grady Judd called the parents of the older girl and her main henchman and told them to bring the girls into the Sheriff's Office. The parents refused, saying the girls were not doing what they were accused of doing. However, Internet records were clear. The Sheriff sent detectives to the homes and arrested the girls.

The two girls were charged with Felony Aggravated Stalking. However, both girls are allowed to freely access the Internet on home detention. The older one posted on Facebook that she did not care that the dead girl committed suicide at her urging.

The families of these two girls should be investigated for child abuse and drug use.

Lakeland FL, scene of the 12-year-old's suicide.

A markerLakeland FL -
Lakeland, FL, USA
[get directions]

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Anti-Bullying and Anti-Abuse Laws

Some school districts around the USA are enacting anti-bullying policies. I have always thought that when bullying begins to happen, that teachers and administration should step in and stop it. I taught youth ages 13 - 24 for a decade and never once failed to stop a fight or an instance of verbal abuse. I called police each time that a call was warranted.

One of the school systems in our local suburbs punishes children that stand up for themselves and fight back when physically attacked. That is another case of mixed messages. How can self esteem be built when a child is required to allow another child or children to beat him?

Anti-abuse programs are beginning to take hold in America as well. As always, certain professionals are under the duty to report abuse to children and the elderly. However, in some states, it had become the law that EVERYONE is required to report a case of abuse of a child(ren) or the elderly. Check your state legislation to find out if your state is one of these.

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Comments 9 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Great Job. I always scratched my head at punishing both parties in a fight. It was that way when I was a child -- crazy. I think it made me pick more fights with bullies. Because no matter what they got punished too. See how strange a mind can work? But our punishment was more violence -- swats, of which I was king of for two years. Now that is self esteem!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I like your thinking here, Ericdieker - get the bully punished too.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

This hub should have been written long ago. I was the one being bullied. That made me a loner. But mom and dad traveling every year, I went to different schools, that did not help.

I just heard about the 14 year old who was raped and then she was bullied into dropping charges then their house was burned down -- the male said the sex was consentual and nothing is being done, What happened to statutory rape???

Voted up, UAI, shared, liked on fb.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

A very well written hub on a very important and sensitive issue.

Bullying must be taken seriously and the offenders must be punished. I believe bullying of an individual, if unreported leads to low self esteem, which can be fatal for a sound psychological growth.

Great hub, voted up!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Shyron E. Shenko - I am sorry to hear about your beihng bullied and I am also angry that the man abusing the 14-year-old was not charged. Then the house was burned down! Where is the criminal justice system in that town?? Some friends in Michigan are having some problems, because both the police and fire departments just went through layoffs. Things are getting bad. I hope sharing this info helps - Thanks!

ChitrangadaSharan - Bullying is bad for everyone, to be sure. Thanks for the vote up!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Thank you for dealing with this important issue. Kindness is punished; cruelty escapes punishment. The bullies are mostly acting out their frustration on those weaker than they are. No one thing will solve the problem, but it would help if adults would take time to interact, to question, to listen to the young ones express themselves. Quality time in communication would certainly lessen the mixed messages.


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Great article. I hate hearing about a person getting bullied- so sad. Thanks for bringing this to light.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC

Well-written and cogent article. As a teacher, when I hear/see instances of any sort of "put-downs" or any kind of harassment, I actually stop my class and we talk about it. You're right about mixed messages, too. I do think schools go overboard in adhering to their own policies - like the six year old boy who got suspended because his mother put a plastic knife to spread peanut butter in his lunchbox - this happened years ago and I don't remember the details, but yes, it's aggravating that we don't use common sense sometimes.

It's also good to see you - I've been hard at work teaching and finishing my graduate degree, but I definitely love and miss HubPages and will hopefully be back soon!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Much success without your graduate education, cclitgirl. It can be rough going, but worth the costs.

I like what you do to handle put-downs and such; that action goes a long way toward changing that type of behavior imo. It's great to hear from you!

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