Stuff like this just bugs me. In San Diego, a 14-year old boy committed suicide after a classmate took a video of him masturbating in the school bathroom and posted it online. It wasn’t long before it went viral and everyone knew what he had done. It also wasn’t long before Matthew Burdette killed himself because he couldn’t take the constant torment. His parents are suing the school for not stopping a student from filming in the bathroom, although I can’t see how that’s even possible, much less expected. In the day of ubiquitous cell phones, there is nowhere that you can be assured you’re not being filmed, even in the bathroom. Of course, the student who made the film and posted it has been arrested, but there’s one thing in all of this that just isn’t being talked about at all.
Why was Matthew Burdette masturbating in his school bathroom in the first place?
Yes, I am sympathetic toward the family, it sucks when someone kills themselves, I understand the pain and the anger at what happened, but why is nobody pointing out Matthew’s part in this? Who didn’t teach him that masturbating in a public place was inappropriate? Why isn’t anyone recognizing that Matthew did something unacceptable and had he controlled himself and waited until he got home, this never would have happened?
Because I’ve heard tons of reports on this on the radio and online and I have yet to see anyone even dare to suggest that Matthew’s actions were ultimately to blame. I’m not saying that those who took the video and ran with it aren’t guilty as well, but this has turned into a very one-sided affair, largely by parents who apparently didn’t teach their child what inappropriate behavior in inappropriate places happens to be, or at the very least, he didn’t listen.
Oh, I’m sure I’ll get a lot of “you’re blaming the victim!” nonsense, but in this case, the victim is, at least partially to blame. He did something that is illegal and pretty damn stupid to begin with, and his age is no excuse or defense. Yes, he was filmed (there was no film but damn, I hate “videoed”, what’s a better term?) and that was put up online and that is certainly wrong and needs to be punished and I can understand where the embarrassment must have been awful, but again, Matthew made a personal choice to kill himself instead of man up and deal with the situation that he helped to create. Again, age is no excuse or defense. Lots of people get embarrassed and don’t kill themselves and while I have no problem with suicide at all, pointing fingers at everyone except the one that metaphorically “pulled the trigger” is a bit silly too.
This is yet another case where nobody wants to expect responsibility and doesn’t want there to be any consequences whatsoever for wrongdoing. There’s lots of blame being thrown around and none to the person whose actions started the whole mess. Maybe we, as a society, need to rethink how we look at things, but first, we need to stop being so touchy-feely emotionally-coddling liberal. That’s where this mess truly comes from.