Rebecca Black may be getting invites to the Teen Choice Awards and cameos in Katy Perry music videos thanks to her quasi-hit "Friday," but her latest revelation proves she's still more like the average teenager than a Selena Gomez or Justin Bieber. Back home, the 14-year-old is just a joke to the high school bullies. And the teasing got so bad that Black is going the "famous teen" route -- she's being homeschooled.
That's right, Black's mom yanked her out of school to protect her from bullies who would constantly ask Rebecca what day it was or walk down the hall singing "Friday" in a "nasally voice." It seems a bit ... reactionary?
Granted, I wasn't walking the halls of Rebecca Black's high school. And I'm hip to the fact that bullying is the pits! I was there in a past not so distant that I can remember having my headbands stolen by kids on the bus, who passed them around, usually snapping them right in half. Try explaining to your mom why your headbands are always broken, and it's not because you can't take care of your stuff. And that was just a taste of what it was like to be a klutzy geek in a small, rural school where sports ruled.
The difference between then and now is that bullying is being recognized as a national epidemic. Some 77 percent of teens have been subject to at least some kind of bullying. There are horror stories of the aftermath: kids committing suicide, kids devolving into eating disorders, etc. But along with those horror stories, there is tremendous good: a heightened awareness, programs for kids to turn to, administrators who are more in tune with the needs of their students.
Today we hear bullying, and we rush to help the victim. That's good, right? We should always help kids in need?
Of course. But that doesn't mean taking a kid out of school because somebody made fun of her. I can't judge how MUCH torture Rebecca Black went through, and her mom's reaction may well be right.
But let's not make this a trend, shall we? If every kid who has dealt with some jerk in the halls were taken out of the school system, we wouldn't have high schools left. It's part of being a hormonal teen to be a moron sometimes. And part of going to school is learning to be socially appropriate.
Not every mean kid is a bully. And not every kid who is bullied needs to have Mommy come help them out. Kids need to learn, sometimes, to stick up for themselves. To roll their eyes at the guy who is calling them a stupid nickname, showing him that it really isn't getting the reaction he wanted. To tell him (or her) to knock it off. And if that doesn't work, they need to learn to go to a teacher or administrator when appropriate, just as they'll need to go to a supervisor when a jerk at work is playing games. Pulling a kid out of school doesn't teach them how to live in the real world.
Would you pull your kid from school like Rebecca Black?
Image via YouTube