I was thinking of this,when I heard about the young girls (13 years old) in Donegal being questioned by Gardai in relation to the suicide of Erin Gallagher.
Thats an awful young age to have the death of anyone to carry on your shoulders.
It made me think of my schooldays, pre internet and mobile phone of course, so there was no cyber bullying.
The bully was in your face, toe to toe.
There was a pecking order, with one bully picking a weaker kid, and that weaker kid picking an even weaker kid etc.
Hand on heart, looking back now there were kids in my class I did bully, and there were times I also felt bullied.
Not violently, but I did make fun of them, mock them and generally made them feel small.
At the time it was not a big social discussion, there were no Counsellors and child psycholigists. It was seen as part of growing up.
On reflection, and as a father now, I feel horrible when I think back on this.
I often met these fellow classmates in later years, as adults. And we greeted and chatted and said goodbye and went our ways.
I often wonder if they still hold animosities from childhood days.
When I think of those young girls who now have to carry the burden of living in a small town like Letterkenny, and being blamed for the death of a classmate, I can't help feeling sorry for them.
I think very few people can look back and say they didn't bully or pick on someone at least once.
Were you a bully? Were you bullied?