Roberta M. Helming: Romney's Prep School, Hair Cut Actions "Smell" Criminal

Roberta M. Helming: Romney's Prep School, Hair Cut Actions "Smell" Criminal

In recent days, Mitt Romney has apologized for incidents described in a Washington Post story about his prep school years in Michigan. In addition, he made some insensitive comments about his mistreatment of fellow students while in prep school.

It must be nice to classify doing life-long emotionally damaging things to other human beings as "pranks and dumb things." We who were picked on in school have lived with it every day of our lives, to the present moment. It changes who we are. It leads to no self-esteem and can cause depression and the loss of the realization of dreams and goals. As recently as earlier this month the death of a 13-year-old from Minnesota girl, who couldn't stand the "pranks and dumb things" being done to her, killed herself. Last year "pranks and dumb things" as Romney would call it, caused a precious boy from Upstate New York to kill himself. His main issue - he was homosexual.

And whether now, the 1960s or whenever the “pranks and dumb things” occurred or occurs, individuals who are victims of bullying are human beings with feelings who will fight the resultant demons the rest of their life.

With all due respect Mr. Romney, what you did was not "pranks and dumb things." Placing a fart cushion in someone's chair is a prank. You were participating in bullying. And bullying is not something to "write off" as something that happened in the 1960s - as if people weren't people in the 1960s.

And according to the Washington Post, Romney participated (with other classmates) in holding down a fellow student and cutting his hair off – all while this victim was screaming for help. This was an assault and certainly far from a “prank or dumb thing.”

I write this as a victim and sufferer every day from bullying that occurred in the sixties and seventies. Any act you did, such as cutting someone's hair - anything that would have been hurtful to you or offensive, in words or actions, was bullying Mr. Romney. How would you have liked to been held down and have your hair cut off?

From my own first person perspective, my “bullied” years have resulted in daily torment and regular nightmares that never end. Bullying and assault-based behavior has to stop now. When children are teased and abused by fellow students so badly that they kill themselves, it means we as a country or even world are not doing enough to stop bullying. This may be a cause to consider undertaking if you are elected president.

Often when people bully others, there is something broken inside of them. Is there something broken inside of you Mr. Romney? Something that may impact your ability to be an affective leader of this country?

Roberta M. Helming

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