THAT the family of a teenage boy are too scared to publicly discuss the horrendous bullying their child is enduring for fear of repercussions is a shocking and harrowing reminder of how serious the issue of bullying has become.
Despite being terrified that their son may see suicide as the only way out of the daily abuse he is being forced to endure, they still cannot name and shame the bullies because they know it's their son who will ultimately suffer.
This is not the script for some horror film. This is a family's unimaginable reality - knowing that not only is their child the victim of cruel, daily abuse, but that if they speak out he's only going to suffer more.
To hear that the parents of some of these vile bullies appear to be brushing the matter under the carpet is as disgusting as it is utterly unbelievable. Of course everyone wants to think the best of their children, but when the reality is that your child could be the cause of another taking his own life, then it's time to get your head out of the sand and take some action.
It is difficult to imagine the heartache and anguish being inflicted on these parents who are watching their son in tears on a daily basis, his life absolutely ruined purely so others can get their kicks. There is nothing more dispicable than a bully whose only way of feeling good about themselves is to make another young person's life a misery. How absolutely pathetic.
Many will argue that the only solution for these imbeciles is a good hiding - and after sitting down with these distraught parents, it's hard to argue against that approach. But we all know that's not the answer.
What we need to do is highlight bullying for the disgusting, cowardly and pathetic act it is and hopefully, just hopefully these idiots will finally get the message.
If not, then shame on them and shame on their parents, who are every bit as guilty.