On school bullying

I'm deviating a little today.  This post isn't college admissions related.  But I'm going to forge ahead and write it anyway. 

The story of Phoebe Prince has been in the news a lot lately.  I don't think anyone needs me to chime in about how pointless and tragic her death was, or how unforgivable it will be if we learn that the school administrators really did sit by and do nothing to help her.  I think a lot of people are in agreement about that.  

But I do want to say this.  Every high school has at least one student who gets targeted, certainly not as mercilessly as in Phoebe's case, but I think you know what I mean.  There's always at least one kid who gets laughed at, harassed, and maybe even bullied.  The kid may not be that different from a lot of other kids, but once the laughing starts, it gains perpetual motion and doesn't stop.  High school is an awful place for that kid.

I'll bet there are students who want to help that student but worry about becoming targets themselves. If that's the case for you, if you'd like to do something to support that student, here's a suggestion. Pull that kid aside, or send him an email, or find some other way to discreetly say something to the effect of,

"Those kids are as*holes.  I'm sorry about what they're doing.  Keep your chin up."  

It won't end the bullying.  It probably won't dramatically change that kid's life at school.  It's not even the most you could do.  But it's something.  You'll be throwing a show of support his way when he might feel like nobody else wants to offer any. 

It's so easy to do, you risk nothing by doing it, and it will probably mean the world to a kid who needs it.