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Old 07-30-2003, 08:23 PM   #16
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Originally posted by oliveu2cm

I'm not sure how this relates to the teasing/taunting thread. These issues are devastating to children and I think the teachers should NOT support it (silence supports it, too) but I do think the problem can only be permanantly fixed from the home, unless they do something severe and suspension/explusion is served.. but by then isn't it too late?

I volunteer at a middle school where 90% of the students are ESL, half of them living in shelters or group homes. Although I go there to do engineering projects with them, the biggest thing I try to teach them is respect. I think that's the largest factor our society lacks- respect.
Excellent post Olive.

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Old 07-30-2003, 09:06 PM   #17
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This thread, and especially filledeperle's post, brought to mind this song, "The Happiest Days of our Lives" by Pink Floyd:

"When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers who would
Hurt the children any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
And exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids
But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night, their fat and
Psychopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives."

I had a teacher like that this year. He liked to deride the students, especially the ones who didn't do as well as the other kids, no matter if it was due to lack of effort or if it was because they had honest difficulties with the work. He especially liked to taunt two people: a (slightly) mentally handicapped girl who couldn't keep up with the pace of the class and therefore fell behind in her assignments, and a Japanese foreign exchange student who understood so little English that he couldn't do much of the work without a lot of help. He would tease and mock these two students loudly in front of the class, and of course everyone (including, admittedly, me sometimes) would laugh. The girl was so derided, both in and out of this class, that she actually attempted suicide at one point about halfway through, and once she came back to class the teacher kept on doing it.

This teacher did nothing to stop people from mocking others as well. I remember one particular day where I was in class, I had finished my work and so did the guy next to me, so we took out a pack of cards that I had in my book bag for my free period and silently played some blackjack. He noticed, took the cards from me, and proceeded to cut up one of the cards, right in front of everyone, much to their amusement. He kept the cards for most of the rest of the class, and I was pissed off, so I went to the washroom for a bit. I came back and he had given the cards to someone else, who was playing with them, louder than I was, and he did nothing. I went over and asked for my cards back, and the guy proceeded to take the deck and throw it across the classroom. The teacher, instead of making the kid who threw it pick it up, made me pick it up and got mad at me for making a mess! So I had to pick up the cards in front of the class, humiliatingly. I picked them up, sat back down, pissed off, then the guy I was sitting next to, my supposed friend, takes the cards, which I had placed on the desk in a pile, and flicks the deck. They are all over the floor again, and I have to pick them all up again. The teacher, the whole time sat there laughing while the whole class mocked and taunted me, occasionally doing the same himself. The bell rang thankfully, and on my way out he has the nerve to tell me that "David, you should work on your leadership skills"!!! I lost it, I yelled and screamed at him, and eventually he slammed the door on me. Off to math class. Half my math class was the same as my Global History class (the class previous), so the teasing continued to the point of me getting punched in the back of the head by the person sitting behind me. My Math teacher was understanding, and did her best to keep the class focussed on the Math, but 35 students and 1 teacher doesn't work too well for crowd control. Eventually I just got up and walked out of class, and the teacher and I spoke after school and we came to an understanding, and she said that if anybody tried anything more that she'd kick them out, no questions asked, and no tolerance. And she did, anytime anyone tried to do anything to me, she booted them out.

I actually came within seconds...literally seconds, of committing suicide that day. I had the knife in my hand, at my throat, but I couldn't bring myself to finish the job.

Mrs. Cameron is the kind of teacher every teacher should be. She was understanding, and respected me. It was difficult, and she went out of her way to stop it, but eventually it did stop (in that class, at least) and I will have eternal gratitude to her for that.

Teachers need to keep their eyes open and to actually respect the students they teach. They aren't a mindless name or face behind a desk, they are a person just like everyone else. We need parents who teach their children to care. We need teachers who respect students. We need administrators of schools to actually fight for their students. We need people to care. Then, not only will our schools be safer, more peaceful, better places, but the world will be too.

Unfortunately, that's just wishful thinking.

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Old 07-31-2003, 06:36 AM   #18
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Originally posted by filledeperle
The problem with schools doing nothing about kids being bullied by other kids is because some of the teachers can be the bullies too.

I once had a teacher who was a total sadist in the way he treated us. He humiliated, criticized, manipulated, harassed, picked-on us, told lies about us to our parents, whatever he could to taunt us. He enjoyed watching us get embarassed or uncomfortable, he loved it when we reacted by exploding with frustration or by blushing like hell. He would even make some students cry. Here's an idea how bad he was: he made one of the class bullies cry. Now how bad is that! And he loved it too! I remember him getting this satisfied smile on his face, and he kept on going picking on and insulting that one kid while he was practically bawling.

He's whole goal as a teacher was to sort out our weaknesses - being poor at a subject, or too shy, or too exasperative, or too passive, or whatever, and use it to torment us for the whole year.

And a lot of teachers are like this. There has to be a way for the school systems to remove all horrible teachers from the classrooms, because it worse I think, when the teacher is the bully, because when you're that young (that teacher was my fifth-grade teacher) you're not as aggressive or brave enough to stand up for yourself against a teacher - an adult- and those kinds of teachers take advantage of that. And its obvious that their only reason for becoming teachers is that they get to pick on the little guys and get away with it since young kids are too afraid to say anything because of the adult/teacher stigma.

Its a shame that there's so few teachers who really like kids and like to teach them.

Trust me, when I have kids, no teacher would dare to pick on my kids.

Good point.

I just think it's really sad that there are parents who have stopped taking responsiblity for their children. I mean, is it that hard to actually talk to a child of yours, or to read to them, or to help them with their homework, or teach them right from wrong? Why do some parents feel it's more important to go out drinking until the wee hours of the morning than to spend some time with their children and help them become better people?

When did parents start becoming so irresponsible?

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Old 07-31-2003, 09:28 AM   #19
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As a kid who was picked on, I made up my mind of two things: no one would ever pick on my kids, and my kids would not pick on anyone else. I think I succeeded in both. If any problems started, I got to the bottom of them and stopped them one way or the other. I believe bullies are sick, and grow up to be even sicker adults. Making fun of people is not funny, and if someone does it, they have a serious problem. It could be they are from a family that doesn't care, or that they need to heighten their own self esteem by feeling better than others, but there is no excuse. The damage that is done to a kid who is taunted can last a lifetime. I don't believe it's "human nature." I'm human, and my nature is to have feelings, consideration and compassion for the feelings of others. I can't understand getting a thrill out of hurting somebody's feelings and watching them react or cry. IMO people like that need to be stopped, because they are bad for society.

As I have gone through the years, it has turned out that almost every time I met someone very nice, sweet, and caring, they had been bullied as a kid. The opposite was true too, that anyone who was annoying, acted like an obnoxious asshole and thought joking on people was funny, had been the bully. I feel so sorry for the kids whose constant torment makes their school a battle zone. That should never happen. Unfortunately, I think sometimes teachers are afraid of mean kids. I have seen this happen myself. It's sad when chewing gum in class or passing a note to a friend or drawing a doggie on your test is immediately stopped and punished, while taunting is too often overlooked.

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