I've always said that while I still think it was horribly wrong, I could understand where the Columbine shooters were coming from. I know how you can feel so helpless at the hands of bullies that all you want to do is do something extreme. Something to make them pay.
I was the weird kid growing up. I had the weird parents, I lived on a commune, I was smart and showed it off, and I was odd. I was a vegetarian when I was in elementary school, I wore second hand clothes, I had a hyphenated last name. My parents weren't married, and I was poor. There was next to nothing about me that fit in. I was bullied by my peers.
I was bullied by my teachers.
Yes, my teachers. I was teased about what I ate, my parents, my name, by the people who were paid to teach me and protect me. The responsible adult in the room was my worst enemy.
These were the teachers that people listed as favorites, that won the popularity contests. The teachers that if I had ever said anything about no one would have believed. Yet they did it. Some of them could still be doing it.
There is no punishment I can think of other than firing and revoking a teacher's license that would be appropriate for the two teachers who publicly bullied a teenager for their perceived sexual preference. The small money that the district paid out is not enough. It will never be enough until it stops.
I don't care if even a small part of it was true. I've been there, I've had a principal tell me that being bullied by jocks was acceptable. I wear the scars of that. It is the emotional baggage that I carry.
I hope that M never has to deal with that. I hope that she has the same great relationship with her teachers that she has now. I hope that she can always respect and look up to the people in charge. The people we trust to take care of her and teach her. I hope they don't teach her some of the lessons I learned.