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Old 10-29-2011, 07:42 PM   #1
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Bullying - What Can Be Done?

I watch a lot of CNN and this whole month the station has been having specials on bullying, especially in school. CNN has been exploring why bullying takes place, how it happens, and what can be done about it.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up

Now I might be cynical, but I don't think there's anything that can be done to stop bullying. First off, principals and teachers do very little to stop it because they don't have the backbone to deal with it, they're bullies themselves, or they don't want to be bothered. Second of all, as long as someone is sensitive, weak and/or lacking in confidence, they'll always be targeted. And also, bullying doesn't end after high school; it can easily happen in the workplace.

I do think something needs to be done about the suicide taunts, Facebook pages aimed at hating someone, and other forms of tech bullying. I also think when the bullying gets physical, someone should be arrested just like in the real world, and also when rumors destroy someone's reputation, lawsuits should be filed. I believe that form of bullying should be treated as it is in the real world and not shrugged off as "kids' stuff".

But I truly don't think bullying would ever go away. It seems there is some sort of mission to end it once and for all. That sounds naive and silly to me because there will always be that one bully, that one group of kids who go along with him or her to avoid being taunted, that one kid who is taunted, and the one school who turns a blind eye to it all.

I'm curious as to what others think about this issue.

And I speak - with great bravery - as someone who was bullied both at school and in the workplace, and is still healing from those scars.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:26 PM   #2
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I don't agree that teachers and principals are bullies and don't want to be bothered. Sometimes they are the MOST bothered, more than the bullies and their peers or the parents, but can't do anything because the only consequences they can use are not ones that really matter. Phil had to meet with his principal one time because a kid accused Phil of manhandling him and the mother was furious. The kids he was dealing with were not just bullies but would bring weapons to school, push girls around and grab at them, in fifth grade. What is a teacher to do when the worst punishment they have is keeping a kid inside for recess? Often the parents just don't care until they think the teacher is the one overstepping the line, then they will come up to bat for their kid but won't take responsibility for the kid's behavior towards others.

I do not subscribe to the "let boys be boys" attitude but I do feel that in general kids these days are emotionally immature and lack coping skills. That is just in general, bullies included. I think the bullying and its effects are symptoms of how kids these days seem to be raised and how they can cope. I know that is a generalization and oversimplification but that is just what I observe having a husband and family members who are teachers and even working in a college (same thing seems to be true for many college kids, we get some in a work that leave me wondering how they even dress themselves).
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
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The reason why I say teachers can be bullies is because my fifth grade teacher certainly was one. He would humiliate, taunt, and insult us. He even made some kids cry in frustration, including the class bully.

I agree that some parents don't want to believe that their kid is a bully, because I knew a lot of parents who were like that. Those parents I don't understand.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:00 PM   #4
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"First off, principals and teachers do very little to stop it because they don't have the backbone to deal with it, they're bullies themselves, or they don't want to be bothered."

~Pearl



I am a teacher in a public middle school.

I agree that bullying has increased in schools, but I disagree your assessment
of principals and teachers.




More later >>>
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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I don't mean to offend anyone, but my assessment comes from my experience.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
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The reason why I say teachers can be bullies is because my fifth grade teacher certainly was one. He would humiliate, taunt, and insult us. He even made some kids cry in frustration, including the class bully.
Yeah, anyone can be a bully, but IMO taking this experience and ending up with...

Quote:
First off, principals and teachers do very little to stop it because they don't have the backbone to deal with it, they're bullies themselves, or they don't want to be bothered.
....is quite a stretch.

I can agree that sometimes they do very little I just don't agree with the three things listed as being the only reasons why. I think ultimately it goes back to parenting (and I'm not saying that a bully means bad parents, but that parents are the ones that need to intervene) and that parents set the standard for what teachers and administration can get away with as far as punishment and consequence for bullying.

Last year Phil had a kid in his class that had some major issues and was often a danger to himself and other kids around him. Phil went (IMO) way above and beyond for this kid, kept records of everything they were doing and dealing with, regular meetings with parent, aid, social worker, etc, he'd come home at night and talk to me about this one kid for an hour several nights a week...certainly not a situation where he just "didn't want to be bothered." It bothered him a lot more than I felt it should have and without his reports and recommendations I doubt the solution that was implemented would have ever come about (and in this situation, it was the best thing for the school, the other kids, and this particular kid in order to get the help he needs so he doesn't end up in some serious trouble).
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
I don't mean to offend anyone, but my assessment comes from my experience.

No offense. We both stated our opinions.


I do see this as a real problem in schools today.


Interested to see what others say.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:40 AM   #8
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When kids have these problems it is best to tell them to live and plan for the future and not for the present.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:43 AM   #9
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I'm really hoping you don't have kids, or anything to do with kids...
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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Without adequate punishment there is no reason to stop bullying. Bullies enjoy power and schadenfreude and won't give that up unless the pain is more than the pleasure. All I can say to the victims is that you can't wait for a better system to arrive. It's best to learn to protect yourself and if that requires changing schools, learning self-defence and (for adults) improving your skill sets so you can start a business or improve yourself in the workplace, then do that now. If bullying is supposed to be intolerable then law enforcement has to reflect that otherwise nothing will be done.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:12 PM   #11
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A good start is for parents to raise their children to have empathy. Alas.


Eta - this video came out earlier this week. It's Rick Mercer, a Canadian comedian/TV personality. It deals with gay kids (Rick is gay as well) and bullying/suicides, but I think the principles can apply to any bullying. Adults have the power to stop it, and as a society, it's time we did.

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Old 10-30-2011, 03:32 PM   #12
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Bullying will never stop because it's just the darker side of human nature. Other animals do it too.
I don't agree that it's getting worse. That seems to be the knee jerk reaction for everything these days. We just hear about it more
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
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We just hear about it more
And now there are whole new formats in which to perpetuate the bullying, so I can see how it may have gotten worse.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Bullying will never stop because it's just the darker side of human nature. Other animals do it too.
I don't agree that it's getting worse. That seems to be the knee jerk reaction for everything these days. We just hear about it more
I agree that it's always been around, but I also think that some bullies are more extreme in their behaviour and level of cruelty, and some of the bullied react in more extreme ways as a result. I also think that there is probably more of a blind eye toward it now on the part of adults than there was a couple of generations ago.

Still, let's say for arguments sake that it's the same as it always has been. Does that mean we should sit back and accept it as part of life? I'd like to think we're capable of becoming a bit more enlightened.

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And now there are whole new formats in which to perpetuate the bullying, so I can see how it may have gotten worse.
And this.
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:48 PM   #15
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And now there are whole new formats in which to perpetuate the bullying, so I can see how it may have gotten worse.
Stop cyber bullying me, Cori
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