Step Forward.

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I came across this story today while on my normal internet grind. The story of 13-year old Daniel Fitzpatrick , a young boy who took his own life because of being bullied. This story makes me sick, another young child helpless to the people who are supposed to be there to support him and protect him from this type of behaviour. The whole “it’s part of growing up” mentality is bullshit. The world is tough, no one said things are meant to always be peaches and roses, but let’s be honest here NO ONE should ever have to live a life where they a) fear for their safety b) wake up sad to be alive c) made to feel excluded. It’s time people take responsibility for the actions of their children and it’s time administrators step up to curb the problem.

We are in a whole new generation here, the speed at which things can spread has grown enormously with the invention of social media and the internet. As a society we need to be more proactive in educating and protecting our children from these behaviours. Administrators need to do more to get involved when a child comes forward. I’m sure many of us have been bullied at some point, that seemingly “harmless” joke or shove growing up. I know i’ve been there and it sucks, but I know I never had it as bad as many people out there. There’s a difference between “having fun” and being “tormented” and I feel like many people are quick to judge. This child is not weak, how can you expect ANYONE to tolerate what he likely did on a daily basis. A human is only made to take so much, growing up shouldn’t be this difficult and it’s sad to see even when he did reach out, people still failed him. How many other children do we as a society fail on a daily basis? How many children do we need to lose before people take proactive steps?

Kids can be cruel and heartless, do we blame the parents of these kids? I wouldn’t go so far to do that, but how we are raised does play a part in how we act and interact with others. There’s likely so many factors that go into this, take into consideration the social dynamics of families for example.  It’s sad to know that there are two young children out there who have the blood of this boys’ life on their hands. Is that what it takes to change people’s behaviours these days? I hope these children learned a lesson, it’s sad to think they will have to live with their actions for the rest of their lives.

13 is so young. As someone who has struggled deeply with depression and thoughts of suicide, I can understand where this young boy is coming from. But it’s important children realize there are alternatives out there to such a drastic and permanent act. We need to do more to advocate for youth support. No child should have to go through this alone, and no parent should feel helpless at the mercy of a school and fight their battles alone.

My heart goes out to his loved ones during this difficult time. No parent should ever have to bury their child, especially from something that was so preventable. One person stepping forward to protect this child could have gone a long way to saving his life. This child had the potential for a full life ahead of him and now it’s gone.

– M