Written by Pat Grace Friday, 13 November 2009 00:00
Last week’s letter on bullying needed to be published anonymously. Papers in the Anton group do, under special circumstances, publish letters without providing the name, although the name must be on file with the paper. It was a judgment call and we decided to publish it.
The schools have brought in speakers to address the general problem of bullying; the letter illustrated the effect bullying has on a child, and the heartache it causes the family.
The anonymous letter caused a stir in the community. Some, who missed the point, cared only who might have written it. Others agreed with the sentiment, and that it needed to be said. A caller said, “Many moms are mean and nasty and it is wonderful and brave to have said it, but I’m not sure she did herself a favor in writing the letter.” Another spoke for many saying that bullying takes on many forms and that entitled students bully others for not having the right shoes, bag, etc. So many said, “Manhasset is a tough town” it became a refrain. And more than one parent said they cried because their child had been excluded; one saying mean children are apples that did not fall far from the tree. If just one parent sees his/her bullying offspring more clearly after that letter, it was well worth it, said another.
Without question there are many dedicated volunteers in the school system who are to be applauded for their critically needed support. Their untiring efforts are appreciated by the community, and that is clearly understood.
In addition to the buzz in town and the calls received at the Manhasset Press from residents relating their own experiences with bullying, two individuals emailed letters they requested be forwarded to the individual who wrote the letter.
Interestingly, only one gentleman wrote a letter to the editor supporting the writer and one couple each wrote a letter expressing their reasons why the letter should not have been published.
A letter about bullying that was “the talk of the town” inspired only one person to sign a support letter. What does that say?
- Pat Grace