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Cooper and Sheldon Can't Stop the Bullies!
By Moira McMahon, Researcher
In episode 404, "A Better Place to Be," Kenny says he has a stomachache to get out of school. Cooper knows when a kid is lying and gets him to fess up. Kenny is being bullied at school.
Bullying is never right, and there is no excuse for it, but if kid learns to stand up for himself, it passes.
Unfortunately for Kenny, it hasn't been that easy. As Cooper and Sheldon learn more about Kenny, they discover that this isn't the first school that he's attended. His mother, concerned about her son's safety, has moved him from school to school to avoid bullying. Not only has Kenny been subject to the cruelty of his peers, he's been the endless new kid at school. Her solution has caused the situation to be even worse. How is he going to find friends that share his interests if he's always changing schools?
Cooper encourages him to look to his favorite heroes for a solution. But Kenny misinterprets the advice and takes it too far when he brings a knife to school! His mother is furious that Cooper didn't tell her what was going on. Kenny shuts down, unable to talk about his feelings with anyone. By keeping his pain to himself, it only got worse. Kenny actually attempts suicide because he can't take another day.
The worst and best part of childhood is that everyone grows out of it. Bullying is always temporary, but when you're young, it can be hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Kenny's support system wasn't perfect, but hopefully from now on, Kenny can say what he needs. He can work with a Sheldon to resolve his social issues. He'll stay in one school and over time, he'll find his friends. His life will change.
Kenny's mother thought she was protecting him by moving him from school to school. With Cooper and her son's urging, she's agreed to keep him at the school where bullies have already hurt him. Is she making the right decision?
What would YOU do?