it's not just a lack of discipline, though God knows that it's lacking in a lot of kids lives. Honestly, the thought of speaking like that to someone else would never have crossed my mind. Now, growing up, I knew that if an adult (teacher or other authority) was in the wrong in their treatment of me, my mother would back me up. If I was in the wrong, however, she would take no excuses from me. And if I had ever decided to lie about how they were treating me, then my punishment would have been doubled.
I raise my kids the same way. They don't have to sit quietly and take mistreatment from authority, but they do have to always treat them with respect. I also expect them to be respectful in how they treat other children. Again, it's not just a matter of discipline, it's a simple matter of being a civilized human being.
One of my daughter's classmates was buried last week. He was 17 years old, committed suicide. It wasn't the first time that he had attempted it. This time he had broken up with his girlfriend. In the weeks since, he received a dozen pages worth of texts and facebook messages from her and her friends. His parents went to the police but were told that kids will be kids. She told him "if you really loved me, you'd kill yourself and not just talk about it" "are you going to kill yourself and save the rest of us from having to deal with you?" "geez, do we need to buy the rope for you?" "you're worthless. a failure. you can't even manage to die right" she even made arrangements to meet him in person to make up and then ridiculed him for showing up.
Yes, he had a history of depression. But doesn't that make it worse what they did? I hear a lot about "sticks and stones" and that a healthy person wouldn't commit suicide because someone was "mean" to them. Society used to say the same thing about rape. If she wasn't dressed like that. If she wasn't in a bad part of town. If she...... and women felt ashamed of what happened. They didn't go to the police, not because they were afraid of the criminal coming after them, but because of what their neighbors would think of them.
Bullying today is at that same point. Yes, some of these kids are depressed; they may have mental issues or other factors that cause them to think of killing themselves. But society's response to the bullying just tells that the bullies are right! "You're not normal. Something is wrong with you. Normal people wouldn't be upset by someone's words." Why would they come forward to seek help that isn't there? Instead, of punishment for the bullies we have ridicule of the victims. Until that changes and we make these kids responsible for the outcome of their actions nothing will ever change.