Over the last few weeks, the Canadian media has been full of stories of the very tragic story of Rehteah Parsons and I have been hit with this overwhelming sadness. Of course, I feel horrible for this family and for the loss of a precious life. I also feel so sad, however, that we have lost our way so badly in the way that we are raising our children. How could not one but an entire group of boys so degrade a classmate and commit rape and even worse, film it and publicly share the footage of this horrible event? I even heard interviews with other students from the school saying that "the boys are having a hard time," heavy with the implication that the boys might be misunderstood or that this was just an adolescent mistake. It makes me feel so sick that we could be raising children so lacking in empathy and so able to disconnect when they watch the horrid and the cruel. I can't even being to contemplate that this poor girl was subjected to bullying afterwards AND that the authorities did not act to protect her. It speaks to me about the fact that we NEED to raise our children in a different way - our girls need to learn to value themselves, to protect themselves and not to put themselves in harm's way (which is in NO way a blaming of this girl, nothing justifies this but I would hope that I could teach my daughter that being in a large group of drunks without any sober supervision is an unnecessary risk). Especially, though, we need to learn to parent our boys differently - to teach them compassion, empathy, courage to stand against what is wrong and wisdom.
I just thought I would share a link to this post of Ann Voskamp's, which actually helped me to feel like there is hope for raising our sons differently.