I'm currently working with a group of teenage girls, none of which are gay, but many of which are experiencing bullying in some fashion. Bullying can be a difficult thing to identify. When trying to discuss with other leaders, a comment was made that if you look for it, you'll find it. Another was made to the effect that they are teenagers, and don't necessarily know better. I don't agree with those comments though.
This book is about a mother searching for the reason behind her daughter's death. She wasn't looking for bullying, but she found it. She learned more of her daughter, and learned of more bullying. Using the excuse that they were just teenagers and didn't know any better? Isn't that why teenagers have parents? To teach them how to behave? How to treat others? Teenagers can be a reflection of their parents. Just as we learn political beliefs from our parents. Religious beliefs. We also learn behavior. As you read the story, and read about the parents behaviors, you can't doubt the behavior of the youth. You can't help but feel sorry for many, feel encouragement for the characters trying to break from the ill example of their parents, feel sorry for the ones who are too pressured by their friends even when they know they are doing wrong.
I'm learning how I can help in these situations, situations where youth cannot use the excuse of age for their behavior (remember how young kids are the most caring and friendly? how sad to think it can completely go away in a few years.) I'm learning how to truly teach unconditional love and acceptance and friendship.
If you read this book, I'd love to know your thoughts. The situations are definitely different, but what a great discussion could be had per this book.