On the first day of classes last week, we received a very unwelcome reminder that bullying is still very much a problem in our schools.
At Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County, a student walked into the cafeteria and allegedly opened fire, striking a student before being restrained by school guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer. Robert Wayne Gladden Jr., 15, was arrested and charged as an adult with attempted first-degree murder and assault in the shooting 17-year-old Daniel Borowy. Police have said that Borowy was not targeted in the shooting.
Following his arrest, people close to Gladden have said that he was intensely bullied. Clearly, this is no excuse for bringing a gun to school and start shooting students. However, it is a reminder to us that bullying can have a dramatic impact on people and many can end up hurt in the end.
Parents should use this as an opportunity to talk to their kids about the dangers of bullying. This can also open up a line of communication if their child is the one being bullied. Oftentimes, children take drastic measures because they feel there is no other option. Let's show them there is.
* As of press time Borowy was still listed in critical condition at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.