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Published: Sunday, Dec. 2 2012 6:45 p.m. MST

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gdog3finally
West Jordan, Utah

Bullying has always been a part of life. It comes from children, teens, and even adults, and it's very harmful. For anyone out there who participates in any form of bullying, please check yourself and make this lesson applicable (that is the sadness and loss of life/David Phan).

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Bullying is terrible. We all need to counteract it by being kind and taking interest in others. And stop or at least report bullying.

I'm so sorry for the family.

Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT

The kids who bullied MUST be held accountable. No excuses of "they're young," or "that's just the way junior high is." Children who are bullies often grown up to be adults who are bullies, abusers, and all-around thugs. This is where it begins, and this is where it MUST end.

Find these kids. Get them psychological help. Make them face the consequences of their bullying. Show them the grave. Show them the grieving family. Then find out what's going on the bullies' lives. Kids who bully often have parents who bully them. Let's get to work on them, too!

Yes, this happens all the time, everywhere. So when do we get fed up enough to take the drastic measures needed to stop the bullying cycle?

Yes, it will be painful. Yes, it will cost money.

But isn't all of that worth it to save a child's life?

gdog3finally
West Jordan, Utah

@Mom of 8

Most everybody wants bullying to stop. Be fair and realistic with your comments though. How does this rounding up of kids and parents start and end? I mean accusations fly. There are different degrees of what can be seen as bullying.

Yes, you are right, this idea of yours would cost money, but a huge concern for me would be those in charge (flawed individuals) stepping in and infringing into families' homes to counsel kids and their parents about bullying after their kid got into some minor scuffle with multiple sides of the story at the playground.

I think kids need to be encouraged to speak up if bullied, or if they witness someone being bullied. If there is a definite issue there, stepping in and taking appropriate action is needed. But as sad as these stories are (David Phan here), we can't stop the struggles of our youth by turning our schools into a police state. I absolutely don't want that.

Mistakes are sometimes made when suspecting bullies. Last year a teen sent a video and bully story to the news. The other side of the story was later viewed as justified (innocent teen hurt).

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Are these bullies going to be made to be accountable? What about school officials? Thes bullies should not be allowed in public school. They should be fined heavily and made to spend time locked up.

DeepBreath
West Jordan, UT

A few questions: One, why did this boy have access to the gun in the house? Two, Why did the parents, who were just sent home with the boy, allow him to return unsupervised to school?

Laura-dora
BROWNSVILLE, OR

Such a tragedy! I'm so sorry for David's family and friends and the grief and loss they are suffering. I hope and pray that bullying will stop and that students will have the courage to report bullying when they are aware of it and adults will respond and protect the victims. Let David's suffering and sad premature death be a reminder that he did not receive the help and support he needed.

catcrazed
Eagle Mountain, UT

How can the school be held accountable for something that they did not know? Schools have bullying procedures in place, but cannot deal with things they know nothing about. This is a terrible tragedy. I would also be unwilling to hold this family accountable for anything. To the bullies....how do you feel now?

Champ72
logan, UT

I feel for the family. From one who was bullied alot I can only pray that something is done to help lessen the effect of bullying so something this sad does not happen again

JWB
Kaysville, UT

Bullying exists in various forms, methods and techniques in familiy, community and within organizations such as school. The school system, especially public schools, are more vulnerable to bullying due to the large number of students, parents, and teachers in a variety of settings. Students walk or ride to school. When on the bus, bullying exists, even when there is a bus driver and in some cases even a supervisor or aid. However, when walking in an unsupervised condition for a mile or two, there is only personal, family or group self-policing. However, when students go to a counselor for matters relating to student performance and social problems, bullying should be a part of that discussion and documented. Student performance, whether as the perpetrator or victim, is affected by the attitude that comes from bullying. The impact of finding the vulnerable student the perpetrator hunts for and the vulnerable being the victim and impact of their schooling efforts is horrendous for them and their families.

School districts need to read between the line with students that come in to a counselor, teacher and administrator about problems. Students knew about this student being bullied. His life and schooling impacted severely.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

I don't know that any of my children were bullies, although they encountered bullies. It is a sad story.

wapple12
Lehi, UT

@catcrazed

Does anyone really know if the school knew of the bullying? All we have is their statement to that but it isn't always the truth. I have a friend in FL who reported the bullying of his son to administrators several times and they did nothing. Finally, he told the principal that if the bullying continued then he was going to allow his son to defend himself. Of course the bullying didn't stop so his son punched the kid and that ended the bullying. However, the principal then suspended my friend's son for three days for fighting. This after they were repeatedly told that there was a problem and they didn't put a stop to it, so he took care of it himself. He ended up being the one administratively punished and all the bully got was a bloody nose. That is ridiculous and more needs to be done by administrators early on in the process.

AZRods
Maricopa, AZ

I think both sides are well expressed here.
I saw alot of bullying in Jr High in a small eastern Utah town.
Lots of the guys were rough and tough farm boys with the typical bully attitudes.
I hated it when they would push me around or taunt me, but the thought of taking my life never crossed my mind.
So another question is where the notion of suicide comes from in this generation.
Especially in this case where this boy seemed to have a large loving and supportive family.
All questions for people who understand today's youth better than I.

But putting all of the liability on the schools is a dangerous reaction and will not solve the problem.

God bless this family.

DEW
Sandy, UT

DN you should have not shown those pictures on paper which was very persnonal to them. So sorry that they have to go through this.

"The best safety and security system we have is the eyes and ears of our students," You really think any kids would text or go to the office of what they witness? They FEAR to become a victim.

Bully will continue to young kids AND ADULTS as well. Sorry to say this which is true.

Itsme2
SLC, UT

I wonder if it might help if students were trained that when they witness bullying they should report it to administration, and that those students would have no fear of getting in trouble or any kind of retaliation. It seems that the one who is bullied doesn't always speak up. I know when I was bullied, I didn't tell anyone out of fear and embarassment. And, of course, we know the bullies themselves won't turn themselves in. Teach kids to stick up for their fellow students. And, if it could work, it would be great to create a buddy system for kids that have been identified as being bullied, so that others could watch out for them. I'm not saying like the movie "My Bodyguard", but why can't we enlist others kids to help?

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

There are still plenty of great kids around. But a society of children that are all about entertainment, entitlement and self-indulgence is much less likely to get involved when they see bullying. Kids need to be better educated and given safety plans on how to deal with it. It is true that kids will be kids however we need to distinguish between what are sometimes very serious issues.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Junior High School is a tough time.

I was bullied.
Most of my fellow "geek" friends were bullied too.

One day, of them finally shot himself with his dad's hunting rifle, so this story has personal meaning to me.

The truth is there really isn't much a victim can do.
Hopelessness can lead to acts of despairation.

My Dad told me to "stick up" for myself.
That didn't work, I just got in trouble for fighting.

Teachers wouldn't do anything.
Pricipals only looked out for the popular kids.

BTW-
I was a White Mormon kid.
I can't even imagine being "different" in ignorant hickville Kearns.
[Like a sad Little House on the Prarie episode].

I can only hope,
little David did it in front of his "Bullies" so they can live with it the rest of their lives.

whatnext
Clearfield, Utah

I just want to say I work in Jr. High and see bulling going on alot. Part of the problem I see is often times students will not tell people in authority they are being bullied. They are to afraid of the retailiation that will happen if they do tell. They also don't want to be looked at as a tattle tail, which would bring on more problems. If bulling is to be stop in our schools, the punishment that goes along with the act of bulling should be much more strict. Students today who bully others do not respect nor fear those in authority because the consiqueses for their actions have know teeth. Its like a slap on the wrist and that is it. In my opion when a student is found bulling they should be susppended for a week and not allowed back in school until they write a 500 word essay on why it is bad to bully others. And lastly appolgize to the individual for what he or she said or did in front of every one that was present during the incident. If it happened again the the student is expelled. No tollerance allowed.

IndeMak
South Jordan, UT

Bullies should be named as is done in most countries. I realize kids make mistakes but at what point should the kids that continue down this path be allowed to be protected as kids?

Parents of these kids (that bully) need to be more involved in their kids' lives.

I feel horrible for the family of this boy and his friends as well. This is so tragic.

jeffallen786
westvalley city, UT

Everyone keeps saying it was bullying. I wonder if it wasn't sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a federal crime and if it was harassment then the student perpetrators, the school, and the school district are going to have a lot more questions to answer than if it was merely "bullying."

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