UNITED STATES—Just this week I heard two tales about bullying incidents that shook me to the core. In one case a young girl decided to cut off her hair to highlight those fighting for cancer and to donate, the other case a young boy who had a bully stab him in the eye with a pencil.

In both cases, the victims seemed traumatized by what has transpired. People not willing to show some sort of emotion or care for those in need is just so troubling. It’s worse to think people have this theory that bullying is a right of passage. Yeah, most of us have encountered some level of bullying in our lives, but just because it has happened does not make it okay.

We seem to live in a culture where things that happen outside of our inner circle are of little importance to us and that is quite problematic. Under no circumstance should a child be afraid to go to school because of a bully or bullies. Rather it is in the classroom, on the school bus, in the cafeteria or during lunch time, it’s not acceptable, and adults supervising those children need to be a bit more proactive and take a stance.

A bully acts out because it’s allowed. If they are able to get away with it at home, then they will attempt to do so at school. Teachers and administrators have to take a stricter stance. Punishments need to be inflected for those who have the notion that it’s ok to bully another student. The behavior is not acceptable and if it’s nipped in the bud early, it can lead to a more productive student in the long run.

One of the biggest issues with bullying is the fact that the parents of the bully appear aloof to what is transpiring. Be a parent; don’t act like you care once the child gets into so much trouble that nothing can be done. By that time, it’s too late and the punishment that you suffer for it will be quite harsh.

The parents become emotional wrecks blaming the problems on everyone except for themselves; you allowed this to happen, you let your child get away with bullying and torturing others and now that the tables have turned you want to cry wolf. Well guess what, it’s too little too late. Where was that same sympathy when your child was making another child’s life a living nightmare? I will tell you it was no where to be found.

I guess I have a soft spot for victims of bullying because I know the emotional fallout that bullying can impact on a child, a person. It takes a devastating blow to your self-confidence, which takes time for a person to regain.  It affects your social setting and how you interact with others. It makes you overly emotional to all forms of stimuli. It impacts your life in more ways than what one can expect.

I can’t tell you the number of stories of people who have committed suicide as a direct result of being bullied; and what is worse nowadays is the fact that social media has become a major source of the bullying epidemic. What is worse are companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and so many others are not taking more action to halt those evil tactics from coming front and center.

We constantly have this conversation once or twice a month about the bullying epidemic just continuing to expand with no avail, when are we going to bring the issue at hand front and center to find a resolution? Perhaps we should implement some sort of legal ramifications for bullying. Perhaps some jail time, an encounter of the dark path that a bully could be venturing into if he or she doesn’t change their ways? There are ways to counter the problem, but when are we going to stop being silent voices, allowing things to happen without taking action to prevent the epidemic from growing into larger proportions.