Carol Smaldino is a top psychotherapist with a column in the Huffington Post.
She devoted her latest blog to a defense of the bullies in the death of Irish school girl Phoebe Prince and asked us to understand their motivation.
This is the second such influential column in the past few days that claims that the bullies are just misunderstood and lack parental guidance. Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post wrote a similar column last week.
To both of them I say bullshit.
The bullies who made Phoebe take her own life were sadistic and pathological in their pursuit of Phoebe. They slammed her into lockers, taunted her in packs, sent her death wishes on facebook and after she died, they acted out her hanging at the school dance and degraded her memorial page on facebook with chilling insults.
These people do not deserve our sympathy they deserve prison.
Yet amazingly Smaldino and Marcus seem ready to forgive and understand.
Here are some examples of what Smaldino writes ;
"Our mandate, I feel, is that we listen to our own intolerance and prejudice and to the hatred that kills through taunting. We won't learn anything about any of it unless we understand why we hate and from where it comes....
"And what might begin to make a difference is to realize that bullies need understanding as much as the rule of law. We have long known that those who abuse are victims of abuse. There are many kids who can be reached if they are heard. And we need to say out loud that bullies are not merely cool or "in" or bad or mean, they are troubled.
I will tell you from long experience in counseling troubled children and families that if we merely blame the bullies' parents (who are already bullied by society and judged based on their capacity to "achieve" a child who proves them to be decent people), then they will only go further into hiding and fear. Or they will go further down a path of punishing their children who instead need to be listened to and known. Likewise, if we simply blame the schools, then we will do the same thing to school counselors, teachers and principals. As a result, there will be no one will be left to listen to the pain and hatred of the kids because the adults will be too afraid of getting into trouble."
See it simple, bullies need to be listened to and their parents too and all will be fine with the world.
And Freudian pigs will fly.