There is no frase more frequently thrown at bullying victims than, «tHeY WerE jUst KiDs!»
What these apologists are saying is that the bullies were too young to be able to identify with other individuals and recognise all people around them have the same range of emotions as them. That the bullies simply didn’t understand that they were hurting their victim. That their lack of empathy was due to a not fully developed brain, not because they enjoy cruelty and seeing other people in emotional or physical pain.
Which of course is nothing but bullsh*t. Bullies knows perfectly well what they are doing. They know they are tearing apart the very soul of their victim. They know they are causing irreparable damage. And they still do it. Because they think it’s fun.
And they never change. People who bullied other children, will continue to do so as adults. They become the tyrant in the office, the Karen harassing hospitality staff.
People who use the «just kids» excuse, do it to absolve themselves and society of any wrongdoing. It’s just something kids do!
No, bullies never change. They will never grow empathy or feel shame of what they are. I have a personal example:
The people I went to school with were organizing the 10 year reunion. I was the only one not to receive an invitation.
I would never attend of course – I have no wish to see any of these demons ever again – but that’s not the point. The point is these people are still excluding the bullying victim. And they were all adults in their 20s at this point. It was already a long time since they could in any reasonable way be referred to as «just kids».
Some apologist will probably argue they simply forgot about me. There was nothing personal. Oh really?! The girl they tormented on a daily basis for their own personal entertainment, the girl they gossiped about and made up rumours about, the girl they stole from and sexually abused, the girl they were still gossiping about years after graduation, just happened to slip their mind?
Naw, it was fully intentional. But I’m glad they did what they did because it proves my point. The 20 year reunion is coming up. For some reason I doubt there will be an invitation waiting for me.