To think of your child being bullied by other children is horrifying enough, to think of him or her being bullied at the hands of an adult is enough to spark violent thoughts of rage in any parent ... or decent human being, for that matter.
Two recent cases do just that.
The first occurred in the UK where two nursery school workers have been found guilty of bullying a 2-year-old boy in their care after dragging him across the floor by his feet and encouraging the other children to poke him. According to the Daily Mail, he also had his pants pulled down and his socks and shoes removed.
The not-so-bright and obviously mean women, Lisa Wymer, 22, and Rebecca Robins, 21, were caught in the act on the nursery's camera. They were fired from their jobs and are out on bail awaiting sentencing.
I can't imagine what kind of punishment would be fitting enough for doing such irreparable damage to a child.
Nor can I imagine anyone being able to bully their own child as in the recent case of a Nebraska couple who used duct tape to help them do so.
Jayla Hamm, 19, and her boyfriend Corde Honea, 19, taped her 22-month-old son to a wall after a night of partying.
Supposedly for their own enjoyment they watched him cry, then furthered their entertainment by taping his cup out of reach and laughed while he tried to get it. They were dumb enough to post pictures of their exploits online, which got them caught.
Hamm was sentenced to at least 10 days in jail and two years of probation. Honea was sentenced to 36 to 60 months behind bars. His sentence is longer, because stand-up guy that he is, he was also given separate sentences for burglary and possession of a firearm. The boy will remain in his mother's care, under state supervision -- but still under the same care of a woman who did this to her own child.
While these are extreme cases, children are actually bullied by adults much more often than we'd like to think.
According to a 2006 study of urban grade school teachers in the United States, 40 percent admitted they had bullied a student! Three percent said they did so "frequently." I hate to image all those who don't admit it.
Bullying can be subtle, it can be hard to name and especially difficult for younger children to even recognize it as something that shouldn't happen. And that's what's most disturbing -- that they can be made to think they should be treated in such a horrible manner.
The effects of bullying can be severe and long-lasting, including a lowered self-esteem, increased risk of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.
I have no idea what I would do if I found out my own child was a victim of bullying of any kind, especially at the hands of an adult. I hope I never have to find out because it wouldn't be pretty.
Has your child ever been bullied by an adult? Have you ever seen a child being bullied by an adult?
Images via Daily Mail