my treatise on bullying and torture, in which i offend everyone

This is the post in which I piss people off.


Lots and lots of talk about bullying these days.

Because there has been a rash of suicides by kids who have been TORTURED by their fellow students into despair.

Please note that I chose to use the word TORTURED.

I’m going to put this out there:


Bullying:  “You smell like cauliflower.”

Torture:   “I’m going to beat the crap out of you after school.”

Bullying:  “Toad face.”

Torture:  “I’m going to rape you with a broom handle.”

See where I’m going here?

We seem to have a movement afoot to equate asshats with psychopaths.


Because then you have school administrators who yawn when parents come in to complain about a seventh grade pervert who pulls their son’s underwear up over his head every day after school in front of the entire junior high doing severe injury to his gonads and causing him to be such an outcast that no one will look him in the face. After all, it’s just a little bullying.

Conversely, perhaps Priscilla Jean and Martha Lou don’t want to play tiddly winks with Yolanda Jane, who happens to cheat. OH MY GOD LET’S WRITE THEM UP AND PUT IT IN THEIR PERMANENT FILES BECAUSE THEY ARE EXCLUDING HER FROM PLAY AND THAT’S BULLYING.

This happens, believe me. Because administrators don’t want to hear parents whining at them.


I read a blogpost recently that I will not direct you to because ARGH. The lady posted a large picture of her daughter and invited us to look upon the face of the victim of bullying. Because the popular kids didn’t want to play with her.

Excuse me?

Since when does her child have the God-given right to be included in everyone else’s plans, just because she walks upon the Earth?

Her mother called the mothers of the popular kids, saying if their children would just come over and play with her kid, they would like her. The other mothers asked their girls, and they didn’t want to.

She was incensed the mothers didn’t FORCE their daughters to come.

Oh, she got a lot of sympathetic commenters. I would not be one of them, because like it or not, we parents don’t know everything. That kid might be a schemer, a whiner, a stick-in-the-mud, a tattle-tale, a baby, have a terrible temper, or any number of things that parents don’t know. Or she might not. IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Because kids should have the right to choose their friends, as long as they are not dangerous influences. How else are they going to learn about people? They have to fight, break up, make up, learn who true friends are…it’s hell on them and us. But that’s the way it has to be.

And the little girl who’s being excluded? Well, she needs to find other people to be friends with. People who WANT to play with her. Mom is the one chasing the popular kids. If there’s nobody at school to play with, then I guess her mother needs to find after-school activities with other children who don’t have a preconceived notion about her daughter. Yeah, it’s work Mom. That’s the way it goes when you’re raising kids.

If the popular kids tell Yolanda Jane she smells like cauliflower, her mom needs to coach Yolanda Jane to snap her fingers and tell them they smell like dog doo doo, then walk off. Geez. Kids should be taught to withstand that kind of crap without interference from teachers. The Constitution does not guarantee the right to not be offended

But if a kid is threatened with a broom handle, that is TORTURE. And by God, that school better intervene the first time it’s brought to their attention. No more dead kids.

No more excuses.

No more.


About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on November 9, 2010, in life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hmmm. Powerful post. First of all, kudos to you for being bold enough to say what a lot of folks (like me) are thinking but don’t have the guts to say (yet).

    I can’t say I’m offended by what you wrote because so much of it was dead-on. Our kids have an absolute RIGHT to get their education without having to fear for their safety and well-being. Torture is inexcusable. End of story.

    That said, I’m not sure I’m with you on the bullying side of things. Maybe in some rare cases, kids have good reason for excluding other kids from their playgroups, but most of the time it’s out of spite. Little girls, in my experience, are especially skilled at this sort of thing. They may not threaten to beat you up, but they’ll trip you in the hallways, leave ugly notes in your locker or send you hateful messages on Facebook. Things that have the same effect as torture.

    As a child, I was a victim of both bullying and torture, and for me, the most damaging was the bullying, the vicious, ugly comments kids made towards me that didn’t “technically” threaten. The problem is, the two often go hand in hand. Name-calling and exclusion are often just the precursor to torture. If you ask me, both are unacceptable. It’s too hard to draw lines and separate them.

    Sorry to take up so much space with my rant. Didn’t realize how sensitive I am about this issue, I guess.

  2. L.C.,

    First, I’m so sorry about how you were treated as a kid. I acknowledge that it wasn’t fair, it hurt like hell, and it damaged you mightily. NOT THAT I’M SAYING YOU’RE DAMAGED NOW. I’m saying it was something substantial in your past that should not be swept away as unimportant.

    And that’s a very good reason to not trivialize your experience by lumping it in with little girls who aren’t invited to the popular kids’ parties.

    Torture is when one little girl is ostracized by just about every other girl in the grade, systematically beaten down with brain-washing techniques designed to drive her self-esteem into the abyss. Teased and name-called into a black place she can’t crawl out of, because no one is on her side. She’s a scapegoat. A pariah. The leper. Yeah, torture doesn’t have to be physical.

    But bullying is a pack of mean girls who pick on other kids equally. And what the hell, if you all would just band together and stand up to them, they wouldn’t have any choice but to stop.

    One consequence of bully-sensitivity-training is raising a generation of kids who think they will live in a world where no one will ever hurt their feelings. AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN. And when it DOES happen, are they just going to freeze like a rabbit confronted by a coyote?



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