A very serious story leads our news coverage in today's newspaper.
The story is about two subjects — bullying and suicide.
Actually, the story is about more than those two subjects. At its core is the issue of how the community can get involved to prevent bullying, which leads to suicide.
Debbie Gallipani has endured a pain nobody should have to go through — the death of her daughter. Julia was just 12 when she took her own life. All indications are that bullying led to her death.
This is a very serious issue.
Today's youth are so connected to the outside world it is almost scary. That is part of the problem.
Social media has allowed bullying to go to a new level. It is very easy for someone to get on the internet and begin spouting hate.
It seems the days of the good, old fashioned playground fight are fading, only to be replaced by cowardice via the electronic media.
The results, however, are worse.
It used to be a black eye and some hurt feelings were the result of a playground scrap. In some cases today, cyberbullying can lead to suicide.
The death of a young person is always very difficult. When that person takes their own life, a feeling of helplessness and despair comes over the entire community.
Debbie made a good point when she said the entire community is impacted by bullying. That is a fact.
When one child takes his or her own life, the community suffers. The future suffers. We all suffer.
A big take we must get from this is the fact the issue can no longer be swept under the rug.
School districts, especially, have to take this matter head on and make things happen. Education is the key to any problem, and that is magnified in this case.
If students, teachers, administrators, coaches, support staff, bus drivers and others are aware of the signs, maybe a life can be saved.
It's not easy to come together as a community and take on such a huge problem.
But it is necessary if we really do care about our children. They are our future and they deserve to be here when it comes.