Rocky Mount found itself at the center of national attention last week after CNN.com published a story about a situation involving bullying of a student at Rocky Mount Preparatory School.
An 8-year-old boy named Ryan wrote a letter to Santa Claus, asking Santa to help his twin sister, who was a victim of bullying. It’s unfortunate this situation occurred. We hope the response it has spurred will help generate awareness and attention for an important issue that is not just a school-age problem. Bullying happens everywhere, but it is most damaging to young children.
Being a victim of bullying can leave children with deep emotional scars. Every child deserves to feel safe and comfortable at school. We must work to ensure that no child fears going to school and that every child has an opportunity to develop self-confidence.
The responsibility falls on everyone. It starts at home with parents teaching their children to respect everyone and share the world around them. It continues at school, where teachers and staff are responsible for showing the importance of teamwork and reinforcing lessons of respect.
Finally, children, like Ryan, who see bullying first-hand, must have the courage to speak out. We’re glad to see the approach Rocky Mount Prep has taken to the situation. The school responded last week by issuing a statement indicating school officials had addressed the bullying incidents Ryan’s sister had experienced.
This incident serves as an important reminder that we must all strive to put an end to bullying at all ages.