I grew up in a refugee camp to begin with, and since my parents didn't speak German, I was not able to pick up the language very quickly, so I went to kindergarten and was picked on for not knowing German. Not just by fellow kids, but also the teachers, who isolated me and never included me in anything.
I was back at home in Vancouver, B.C. for the start of this trial, and after arriving in Amsterdam, I was able to sit and listen to the trial in person. Sitting in the courtroom and hearing what he allegedly did not only to Amanda, but others throughout the years, made this horrible story all the more real.
While the joys of parenthood are many, it's natural to worry about the inevitable milestones that shape a child's independence, such as their first solo walk to school, first sleep-over or first teen party. In our technology-driven world, parents must now consider a new growing-up moment: their first smartphone.
Our kids have only been back in school for a short while and thus far, I've heard of many children being the victims of "social bullying." Yes, we've all heard the term Cyberbullying but that expression makes it seem so random and out in the "online world," while social gives it more of a defined meaning: A social group using their digital devices to express hatred, threats etc. My true wake up call to this epidemic behavior was after a recent incident involving my daughter.
Free speech, we say, is a principle we will defend to the death. Until perhaps we don't agree with what has been said. Then, suddenly, we are able to find very valid reasons to rationalize ourselves away from a supposed absolute value. Cases like Yiannopoulos' push our proclaimed moral positions up against the wall, compelling us to confront our human tendency towards personal bias. And that's why they are so interesting.
Lessening bullying requires a societal effort. No single institution can prevent the circumstances that lead to a young person fearing hateful comments online. Humanity has proven we have the capacity to improve the well being of others -- we should plan to make giant strides in minimizing bullying, too.
The interaction of girls towards one another where they are nothing but mean. I'm left wondering why this is something we're found to be okay with. It's not funny. Girls are becoming more and more belligerent towards each other, and for some reason it seems like the world is okay with that. I've been wondering why girls, of any age, are so cruel towards each other.