Nate Bronstein, now dead because of a mob’s lies, and the
willingness of The Latin School of Chicago to ignore them.
They’re coming for you next: A 15-year-old boy, Nate Bronstein, hung himself in January after months of cruel and ceaseless bullying at his private school — which the school, the Latin School of Chicago, apparently refused to stop — based on the false rumor that he had never gotten any COVID shots.
The boy’s parents, Robert and Rosellene Bronstein, are now suing both the school and the instigators of the bullying, demanding $100 million in compensatory damages. You can read their complaint in all its horror here [pdf].
This story illustrates two terrible but fundamental components of today’s blacklist culture. First, that mob is quite willing to oppress the weak and helpless based simply on lies. From the Chicago Tribune report of this story:
A student at the school, whose parents are named in the suit, spread a false rumor that the boy was unvaccinated, the suit alleges. Though he was vaccinated, the boy was harassed about his perceived vaccination status.
Even though the Bronstein’s met with this student’s parents in an attempt to end the bullying, nothing changed, and in fact it worsened, so that the boy even started receiving text messages saying he should kill himself.
Second, the mob’s emotion-driven and hateful conduct often means that those who could stand up to it and stop it are generally unwilling to challenge those lies, and will often instead team up with the mob to encourage the oppression.
Nate met with a school administrator at that point, but none of the students involved in the cyberbullying were disciplined, his parents allege. Rosellene Bronstein had also contacted a counselor about the bullying, saying she feared her son may hurt himself, but the school downplayed her concerns as “family issues,” the lawsuit claims.
Nate’s mother contacted the school more than 30 times in October and November alone, but administrators allegedly turned a “blind eye” to the family’s pleas for help. The teen also reported the bullying to a school dean, but was disregarded, according to the lawsuit.
Worse, at least one teacher, Andrew Sanchez, added to the bullying by attacking Bronstein in front of his entire class, saying that Bronstein “was going nowhere in life.”
A full reading of the complaint suggests that this bullying was not solely because the others believed Bronstein hadn’t gotten any COVID shots. According to two surveys of the school’s students in 2014, bullying was apparently common at the school, with the second survey finding that 92.3% of the respondents saying they had been bullied at the school. Despite this evidence, the school apparently did little to address the problem.
Essentially, the root of this tragedy is the willingness by everyone everywhere now to allow bullies to rule. Fear rules all. Fear of COVID. Fear of attack. Fear of the mob. Adults who should know better and have the courage to act properly on that knowledge are instead afraid to act. Instead, these adults conclude it is better to let a helpless 15-year-old be driven to suicide than risk bringing the mob’s hate down upon them.
Though lawsuits such as this will certainly help by making it clear that the long term consequences of such cowardly behavior might actually be far worse, lawsuits are not the real solution. What must really begin to happen is that for everyone everywhere to no longer sit back and “go along to get along.” People have got to begin to stand up and say, “No more! This must stop now!” Until we all do this, in every situation, no matter the risk to ourselves, the blacklisting and cancelling and bullying will continue, until all of civilization is lost.
Have you seen a friend or neighbor blacklisted? Have you sat back and done nothing to stop it or correct it? Then you are an accessory to the blacklisting, little better than the bullies who did it.