Emma Watson

Wow, it seems no one is safe from bullying, including big movie stars!

Britain’s Daily Mail reports today that it was actually BULLYING that prompted adorable Harry Potter actress Emma Watson to put her studies on hold at the prestigious Brown University. When Watson made the announcement, she said it was because she couldn’t handle BOTH her studies and acting commitments but now come stories that students would heckle and taunt Watson in class and around the campus.

So did Emma make the right decision? I’m not so sure…

Okay, technically this is bullying under the strict definition of the word but it hardly ranks up there with what that disabled Florida girl had to go through every time she got on the school bus. Did it present some uncomfortable moments for Watson? No doubt – but when do we as parents have to tell our kids to keep plugging along and consider the source?

If I were to have a conversation with young Emma, I would tell her this; some people are assholes.  Insecure, frightened, jealous, manipulative jerks and the longer we live, the more we will come into contact with them, unfortunately.  College is a dress rehearsal for life; the names will change, the faces will change but for many, the inner asshole will remain. So it’s on us to learn how to deal with those people.

What I teach my own children is that people tear others down to make themselves feel better. If they heckle or tease you it’s because of their own insecurity. When I was a kid, I was teased for my long, thin legs and big brown eyes. Guess who did the most teasing? Yep, those with stumpy legs and eyes so small they could barely see where they were headed. I know it’s a difficult concept to grasp; especially when we’re young and think that human behavior is an easy thing to decipher.

I’m curious about what you think – so here’s today’s GEM Debate

Are we all getting caught up in a bullying epidemic – and is bullying becoming something of a catchall phrase? Are we confusing behavior by plain stupid people with potentially harmful bullying? Are there times when we have to tell our kids to buck up?

Lemme hear ya – fire away!