In recent weeks, we've heard about two newspapers who have taken the unusual step of printing front page editorials against bullying, following the suicide of a young victim of bullying in their communities. On April 22 the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal devoted its whole front page to the editorial, after a gay teen committed suicide following intense harassment, threatening cell phone calls and nasty online comments after he "came out" to friends and family.
On May 2 the Rochester Post-Bulletin also printed a front page editorial after a rural Mantorville girl, a popular student athlete, took her life after several months of online bullying.
We don't want to wait until someone in our area takes their own life to escape the bullying. We are asking our readers to please, stop the bullying before that happens.
Maybe you have attacked someone, verbally or physically, online, or to their face, or behind their backs in a way you know will get back to them. You need to know that your actions can hurt someone, hurt them so badly that they can no longer deal with it. You need to know that if you are the cause of someone hurting themself, it is a pain you will have to deal with the rest of your life.
Maybe you know someone who is being bullied, and don't know what to do to help. Maybe you know someone who is a bully, and are afraid to call them on it for fear of being attacked.
If so, tell someone who can help, a teacher or a counselor, or a parent.
If you are being bullied, please tell someone who can help you through it.
We can learn from the examples of the people in Sioux Falls and Mantorville. If it happened there, you know it can happen here. We can stop the bullying if we really want to, if we are willing to try.
Let's not wait until it's too late.