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When Bullying Turns Criminal


Bart Palosz and his older sister.

In Greenwich, CT last week a 15-year-old high school sophomore took his life with a shotgun after his first day of school, apparently in abject despair after years of vicious bullying and tormenting by fellow students with little or no intervention or help from anyone.

You’d like to think the bullies, especially those who on three occasions actually egged the boy on to kill himself, will feel horribly guilty and remorseful for driving a classmate to commit suicide.

They won’t. They and their parents, usually the source of their hate, will somehow justify it, as all humans do in order to live with themselves — protecting their own butts, spreading the blame or pinning it on someone else, even the poor victim himself, and be done with it. This, make no mistake, was a homicide. The tormentors should be criminally prosecuted.

The high school will blame the middle school, the middle school will blame the elementary school, and the elementary school will say “but that was years ago.”

Greenwich High School officials will decline comment “pending an investigation,” shrink from the press and culpability, and no one will say boo about who’s responsible for fear of being dragged into court by lawyers who are no doubt already salivating at how much they can rake in on this one.

Interesting how the crisis and support groups spring to life after the tragedy, not to support victims, but to help the bullies and all the silent onlookers and the enablers to “cope” with this. They shouldn’t be coping. They should be experiencing the raw horror of it.

This is the age we live in. People will grieve, feel genuine sympathy for the family, and move on. In a week it will be forgotten and we will deceive ourselves into thinking someone else, the imaginary “they,” will be doing something about it.

Rest in peace, Bart Palosz.

September 2, 2013 • Posted in: Uncategorized

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