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Good Enough Mother Makes A U-Turn

One of the hallmarks of Good Enough Mothers everywhere is our ability to admit when we are wrong. And I was wrong. Maybe it was the raw emotion, maybe it was the recent rash of suicides among teenagers, whatever the case, I have done an about face on the recent story of the Florida father who stormed onto his daughter’s school bus to confront the kids who were bullying her.

When the video first surfaced of James Jones and his actions that morning, I was outraged. I thought he should have let the authorities handle it and I worried about the unintended victims, like the other kids on the bus.

But today, I saw Jones in a different light. I stopped my normal routine to watch him and I CRIED as he, his wife, Deborah and their daughter Chatari Jones detailed in heartbreaking detail on The Today show the bullying Chatari had to endure day in and day out…

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Good Enough Mother has just been reading more about the lives of three kids who committed suicide within the last several weeks because they were gay and subjected to unimaginable bullying.

Asher Brown, a beautiful 13-year-old boy out of Houston shot himself after being teased unmercifully by school kids. He had told his stepfather the morning of his suicide that he was gay. Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old from Tehachapi, California, hung himself in his backyard after another bullying incident. His mother found him (can you imagine?) and then had to endure watching her beloved boy linger on life support for a week before dying. And then there’s the tragic story of Tyler Clementi, the bright, musical student at Rutgers University who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate taped him and another man in a dorm room sexual encounter then put it online. Seriously, what the hell?

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You know it takes a lot to make Good Enough Mother to stop in her tracks during my morning routine of getting kids up and off to school but I saw something on TV that did just that. A student at Rutgers University jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly videotaped him in an intimate moment with another man – and then put the video online. Here’s the background…

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Good Enough Mother is scratching her head over a couple of incidents in the news of late that have me wondering if the old tried and true lessons that I was taught and have worked hard to pass along to my kids, still apply to society today.

See, I have, in Sigmund Freud’s view of psychosexual human development, an overdeveloped Super-Ego. That is the moralizing, rule following part of the personality. In other words, I have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and it chaps my fanny when I see people not only getting away with bad behavior but profiting from it.

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20 years ago when Good Enough Mother was just starting her TV News career, I had a conversation with a woman in the news department of the station I worked for. She said, “You are lucky you’re black.” It sort of took me by surprise because I wasn’t sure what she meant; the legacy of slavery, the civil rights struggle, the subtleties of racism. She went on to explain, “ Well at least when you send out a resume tape for a reporter’s job, you have a good chance of getting it. At this point I said, “ Look around here. How many people who look like me do you see in this newsroom? One? That’s right, just one.” What I wanted her to understand was that being black did not automatically get me the job, especially if they news department already had one black reporter. Yeah, I went there.

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