Tainted Youth

This poem is not in fact inspired by the violence post yesterday, but by a conversation I had with a few students in my class. Who  informed me bullying was not a big deal because if someone bullies you, then you just hit them until they stop. They continued to say beating someone up is always the best answer to your problems.


My heart is


for you

how do you

manage to stay

so angry 


Your soul





How do you

manage to



When all

I see is


coming out of

your mouth

Keep looking



maybe one day

you will catch them


“those people”

out to get





warned my friend

if you












22 thoughts on “Tainted Youth

  1. Good post, and interesting poem. However, as someone who was bullied throughout the entirety of my school life in the uk, I’d have to concour with your students.
    Teachers, parents and everyone in between were completely ineffective at helpin me and stopping the bullying. What did stop it was me going up to the ringleaders and beating the living hell out of them.
    I will say that for several years afterwards I was angry at a lot of things (though I never lashed out) however now I find that I am rather calm and that fire within is not so hot. Though when I see someone going through the same, I do find I see red and fight on their behalf.
    It may seem that violence isn’t the best answer, but sometimes it’s the only language some people understand.


    • I totally respect that. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I think what was making me sad was that they think the only option is to hit someone every time and in every situation. Not to ever try anything else. I do know the world will never be without violence. But a girl can dream right.

      • It’s not a bad dream to have. I’d be the happiest man alive if I never had to raise my fists again (luckily, since I stopped the bullying the only reason I’ve had to fight has been to defend others). But we unfortunately live in a world where people have no fear of the law, and so feel they can do anything they want. And although there are occasionally there are non-violent solutions, they only work on occasion.
        I feel for your students, but whilst they are right in the sense of dealing with bullies, they need to be taught that there is a very thin line between beating the bully and being the bully.

      • Exactly. It is all about perspective. I think the older generation does not fully understand that what is going on with the youth today is not what they did when they were kids.

  2. Amen, sister. It starts with NOT acting (i.e. not being the fist). We had an incident at school earlier this week in 4th grade that resulted in suspension (a good friend too). My oldest son and I had many MANY long talks about “the right thing.” So very hard as a parent. I certainly hope it sticks.

    And I hope that your kids get it too. I feel for you.

  3. I honestly don’t think this subject can be given enough attention – for the sake of our children AND for the adults in the workplace who have taken the aggressiveness they endured or learned into the workplace. I ache for these kids – the victimized certainly, and for the broken, inured souls who see such hostility and consider it ok. Your writing is gorgeous; your subject matter heartbreaking yet so critical to our national conversation…

  4. Whoa, there are some interesting attitudes here. It occurs to me that bullying doesn’t always have to do with physical actions. It can be done with words and sometimes even without them. I wonder if at some point all of us have not experience or been guilty of bullying.

    • Interesting attitudes I wrote or ones in the comments?
      I do agree words can be the worst kind of bullying. I think we all have at some point been a bully and been bullied as well.

  5. Until we stop teaching our children to be xenophobes, we will never end bullying…When adults don’t stand up to one another for making racist or bigoted remarks, they are teaching children that hate and meanness are acceptable and even expected.

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