This week Glee started a storyline covering the topic of Bullying. In the episode the bullying of Kurt, the show's openly gay character, goes from simple taunting to full-on physical attacks. The story was inspired by the recent string of suicides caused by bullying. The episode, titled "Teenage Dream" shows the teenage nightmare that many of the nation's youth deal with every day.
It Gets Better, which boosts testimonials from people, both homosexuals and straight, encouraging those being bullied, specifically LGBT teens, that it gets better as you get older and to plead with them to not turn to suicide.
The problem with bullying isn't limited to LGBT teens although the fact that 4 young men have committed suicide because of bullying should be enough to cause a public outcry whether they were gay or not. The fact is that teachers, faculty, and even other students turn a blind eye every day to the bullying of teens for being different in any way and then wonder why someone comes to school with guns loaded and goes on a killing spree. The way to handle it isn't through more violence, but there are some teens who see death as their only way out, be it their own or that of their tormentors.
It doesn't matter if someone is being bullied because they're gay, perceived as weak, nerdy, etc. We as a society need to step up and do something about it. We already have drug free and gun free zones for schools, why can't we have a bully-free zone? We need to do something to stop it from happening. Whether that means setting up a series of increasingly severe punishments for bullies, or starting zero tolerance policies, I don't know. All I know is something needs to be done.
As someone who was bullied in middle school I know how these kids feel. I used to dread going to school, and some days I would come home and cry in the bathroom. And for me it was only 2 or 3 jerks who picked on me every chance they got. I never wanted to kill them or myself, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope someone or something else would take care of them for me. I was a kid with a good amount of friends, and enough sense to turn to self-deprecating humor to get through it, but I can only imagine what it must be like for someone with few to no friends who is alienated because they're different.
So I'm proud of Glee for taking the effort to shed more light on this subject. I don't know where they are going with the plot, but I'm hoping it's somewhere positive. I also hope bullies who love Glee as much as the rest of America get something out of it, and don't just laugh and go back to destroying the lives of those they see as lesser people.
Watch Chris Colfer's It Gets Better video below: