I just read this disturbing article regarding a band teacher in BC:
Delta private school band teacher suspended after telling student to “go kill yourself, it won’t matter anyway”
People say stupid things all the time. Sometimes there is more weight behind them than others. A teacher telling a kid they can go kill themselves; that is well past the line.
We want our youth to learn how to work through the wrong messages sent by others, and not own the thoughts and judgements people around them may have. It is the age old developmental scenario of becoming a self-confident and self-aware free moral agent, while still living in healthy community with others. But we expect more of those positioned in authority, and this is a case in point.
If you are leading, and chances are someone is looking up to everyone reading this, then remember your words are powerful. They carry weight. They can lift up, or tear down. And we do not know what the other person is hearing in our message. It does not mean we will always say the right thing at the right time, but we can try.