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Pasta>Cruelty 06-29-2005 07:19 PM

In your opinion, what constitutes bullying? What can be done to stop it? I don't want to lead off in a long winded fashion because I really don't know too much about the subject, but I think bullying can be very small or very large, but whatever it is, it is traumatic and should be stopped at all costs. I don't think schools always do enought to ensure that bullying will cease- for example, my the middle school head told us how bad bullying was, but one of his arguments against it was, "I don't want to have to call someone's parents and talk to a kid about bullying because it wastes my time." It made reporting bullying a bit undesirable because it almost seemed that the middle school head would rather not know about bullying (even though I'm sure he would want it reported.) Any thoughts?

GhostUser 06-29-2005 07:45 PM

Well, I think that the first step in the solution is with the parents. My earliest memory of a lesson from my mother is her telling me, "If I ever catch you making fun of or looking down on someone because they're different, I will beat you until you p*ss." For some reason, that stuck with me.



My experience in school was that the teachers (and in Bible school, the pastor) turned a blind eye. I think that adults are actually afraid of the pack mentality that kids can have, and at some level, they are afraid that the pack will turn on them if they intervene.



In my school (a very small rural one) there were only three of us (that I know of) who intervened on behalf of kids who were bullied. One was Ruth, who was there only during 6th grade. She was the daughter of missionaries who were back from Africa for a year. Ruth was a person of character and principles, and she was also fearless. The second was Jann, who had the reputation of being "loose" because she wore makeup and dated out of ton high school boys while we were still in junior high. She didn't actively intervene, but did things like take Patty, the primary female victim, home to change into some of her own clothes when some of the girls pushed Patty into the shower fully clothed.



Looking back, I don't know why I wasn't subjected to bullying; I was the "smart" kid, my family was foreign, my clothes were homemade, and my mother didn't permit me to participate in extra curricular activities or to go to parties, etc. Honestly, I think that they were afraid to try anything with me, and the kids who were otherwise bullied and ridiculed were safe while they were with me.



I think it will take a combined, concerted effort by parents, schools and society at large to minimize bullying.

MollyGoat 06-29-2005 07:52 PM

My mom is a school counselor who's been doing a lot of really innovative anti-bullying stuff. The bottom line is that kids need a way to act against bullying that will let them stay emotionally safe and socially safe. This whole "just go tell the teacher" thing has never worked.

Marie 06-29-2005 08:05 PM

I think the schools go overboard with the whole bullying thing. My son has been sent home with bullying slips when all he was doing was wrestling around with his friends.

VeggieFaery 06-29-2005 08:11 PM

What Mouse and Mollygoat said.



I was bullied somewhat during grade school,but nobody really got to me.I've never taken much crap from other people no matter how bigger than me they were,even from a young age.My mom also taught me to respect other peoples differences.She also told me if someone hit me, hit them back and if they were bigger than me find a stick a wack them with it.I guess that's where I got it.

remilard 06-29-2005 08:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie View Post

I think the schools go overboard with the whole bullying thing. My son has been sent home with bullying slips when all he was doing was wrestling around with his friends.



Were the people he was wrestling given bully slips?

katt 06-29-2005 08:26 PM



Quote:
In your opinion, what constitutes bullying?

It can be almost anything... Ranging from the bigger kids tripping the first graders in elementary school, to spreading rumors, harrassment online, leaving someone out on purpose, typical name calling, violence, pretty much anything... I've transferred schools many, many times because of this. (I was the kinda fat smart kid whom all the teachers loved, so I was an easy target, usually.)

Quote:
What can be done to stop it?

Honestly, in my case... once the damage has been done, its done. Two years ago, there was a rumor about me spreading around, and to this day, people still believe it... (so what if the rumor actually turned out to be kinda true? I didn't realise it back then...) At school, if someone was threatening me, I could stop it, just because I was one of those students that the principals and teachers liked, but if my friend who teachers tend to ignore had the same problems, nothing would be done most likely.

Quote:
I don't think schools always do enought to ensure that bullying will cease

It all depends on the teachers and other staff. When I changed schools in 6th grade, it was because the school had gotten a new principal and counselor that really didn't give a **** what was going on. (I actually changed then because of bullying and because my IEP wasn't being carried out) Before that, it would be stopped very quickly, and at my new school (that was stricter) problems would be fixed very promptly and everything. I really do wish I would've just gone to the elementary school that I finished 6th grade in all along, as the environment was so much better, the students there were much nicer and I didn't have a problem about bullying there.

Quote:
the middle school head told us how bad bullying was, but one of his arguments against it was, "I don't want to have to call someone's parents and talk to a kid about bullying because it wastes my time." It made reporting bullying a bit undesirable because it almost seemed that the middle school head would rather not know about bullying (even though I'm sure he would want it reported.) Any thoughts?

Believe me, they want it reported. There is a link beteween school violence and bullying. I don't want the kid everyone in kindergarten made fun of going on some rampage next year just because no one likes him... Yes, there are some teachers that don't care if someone is getting bullied, but there are a lot that do. I can figure those out within a week or so of being in their class. I've been bullied by teachers before, and when that happens, it takes a bit more effort to stop it, but it can be stopped.



Schools are trying to stop bullying before it starts, but it is still a long way away. (One solution to this is to desegregate the schools by location and have all students in elementary school go to a different school for every grade. I say this because I saw this happen when we all transferred to one large school in middle school (7th graders go one place, 8th to the other) and the students from the "rich" schools up north would be teasing the people from the schools in the poorer part of town. If they are all thrown together at first, the whole "rich kids from xyz school stay with everyone from the xyz school" while the "poor" kids from school abc stay with everyone from the abc school thing wouldn't really exist as much, and it can cut down on bullying.) I liked having everyone in my grade being at one school because we had more of a chance to meet other people.



That being said, most of my bullying problems went away after 6th grade. If I have a problem with people now, I can get my schedule changed so that I don't have to deal with those people, but back then, I simply had to go to another school.



wow. ive heard the bullying curriculum one too many times I think... stupid parents have to be teachers and administrators that preview stuff like ths... I'm the test subject... I've had this stuff like, branded into my brain now. But, I've never had the urge to be a bully, so, I guess it works if you do it enough...

GhostUser 06-29-2005 08:51 PM

I detest bullies. In fact, I like to give them wedgies and stuff them head first into a trash can whenever I see them.







The Rev

Pasta>Cruelty 06-29-2005 09:03 PM

I've seen a lot of bullying, and I don't think the adults do their parts. Most of our bullying education centered around, "If you are a bystander, help the victim!" Great theory in principle, but from experience, it works 10 percent of the time. The other 90 percent, the bully just continues as though nothing had happened or else turns on the bystander and bullies him. The bully can't push an adult around, though, at least not the kind at my school. If the administrators actually sought the bullies and punished them instead of hoping kids could resolve things themselves, a lot of bullying could be avoided. As it is, the system fails because bullies don't care what other kids think.

MollyGoat 06-29-2005 09:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie View Post

I think the schools go overboard with the whole bullying thing. My son has been sent home with bullying slips when all he was doing was wrestling around with his friends.

The thing is, that makes no sense. I think schools are confused about what bullying is. Even serious fighting between friends is not bullying--for bullying to exist, there has to be a power differential. Equals cannot bully each other.

GhostUser 06-29-2005 09:11 PM

Katt, I don't know the severity of your situation, but, in general, the concern I have with sitching schools is that (a) the bullies aren't taught anything, but will simply switch to a different victim, and (b) the victim doesn't learn any coping skills either, and eventually, we all face bullies, whether in school or in the workplace. Of course, changing schools may be the only viable option in some cases, butI'd really like to see systematic changes.

GhostUser 06-29-2005 09:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasta>Cruelty View Post

I've seen a lot of bullying, and I don't think the adults do their parts. Most of our bullying education centered around, "If you are a bystander, help the victim!" Great theory in principle, but from experience, it works 10 percent of the time. The other 90 percent, the bully just continues as though nothing had happened or else turns on the bystander and bullies him. The bully can't push an adult around, though, at least not the kind at my school. If the administrators actually sought the bullies and punished them instead of hoping kids could resolve things themselves, a lot of bullying could be avoided. As it is, the system fails because bullies don't care what other kids think.



Actually, I think they do care; bullying gives them social standing.

GhostUser 06-29-2005 09:13 PM

MollyGoat, can you share some of the innovative approaches your mother is using?

Pasta>Cruelty 06-29-2005 09:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse View Post

Actually, I think they do care; bullying gives them social standing.

Right- I mean, they don't care what the victim and bystanders who don't approve think. All they care about is how their friends react.

MollyGoat 06-29-2005 09:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse View Post

MollyGoat, can you share some of the innovative approaches your mother is using?

Sure! I am having a hard time remembering specific examples right now, so I will e-mail her and get back to you.

Marie 06-29-2005 10:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post

Were the people he was wrestling given bully slips?



The teachers didn't know what was going on. The kids hang out all the time.. sometimes they get them and sometimes he gets them. It depends on who's winning when the teacher walks by.. I guess.

Marie 06-29-2005 10:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MollyGoat View Post

The thing is, that makes no sense. I think schools are confused about what bullying is. Even serious fighting between friends is not bullying--for bullying to exist, there has to be a power differential. Equals cannot bully each other.



Yep. Kids screw around like that.



The impression I get is that the kids who aren't liked just get shunned. That seems just as bad as bullying.

katt 06-29-2005 10:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse View Post

Katt, I don't know the severity of your situation, but, in general, the concern I have with sitching schools is that (a) the bullies aren't taught anything, but will simply switch to a different victim, and (b) the victim doesn't learn any coping skills either, and eventually, we all face bullies, whether in school or in the workplace. Of course, changing schools may be the only viable option in some cases, butI'd really like to see systematic changes.

In my case, there were several things going on, firstly, this was before my parents divorced and my mother was still controlling much of my life, when I was transferring schools (in seven years, I changed schools five times, in two different towns because I had no choice but to do what she said.) In the case of one, it was because there was some "staff issues" that needed to be resolved that ended up in my teacher resigning because I wasn't the first student or teacher to complain, apparently. There were many times when I had gone to the counselor and gotten some of those issues resolved or reduced, but in the case of the teacher, the hostility beteween me, other students (this was at school "xyz" where everyone pretty much stayed together and still don't mix that well today) and the teacher got a little bit too personal. I was an outsider. I was not welcome there. It probably was related to the fact that my mother was teaching at that school, and if she would've stayed for more than a year, (she left because of the same group of teachers) she might have threatened the job of a less expirenced teacher that my teacher liked because of teacher reassignments and things like that.



I learned to deal with bullies, when i was at school number four, I was there for two and a half years, and for most of a year I dealt with them, I could have dealt with them the rest of my last year if the principal hadn't retired and the counselor leaving the district. It was all about the fact that my new principal didn't care about that, she cared about test scores, not students not wanting to go to school. For me, I can handle a small group of people bullying me at the same time, but when you've only got three or four friends and the "popular" people all bullying this at the same time, it can get to you. I'm just a bit slower at developing social skills than most people, and there are reasons behind this. In my case, I needed out of school number four, when I went to five, it made so much of a difference because I wasn't afraid to go to school because I wasn't afraid of bullies, they accomodated my needs for more advanced classes, and then, when my parents eventually divorced, they made sure I was okay, and when I was depressed and needed a break from it all, I could go and just be in the counselor's office.. I had never had people do things like that for me at my other schools.



Yes, the bullies never really learned much back then, but now that I'm in the same school as them... The "freak" gets more positive attention and can simply ignore them because she knows that they want a reaction out of her, and they'll not be getting one... The magic of headphones and a good book is simply amazing. I've learned what to do, and what not to do. I don't take any crap from people.



And, bullying slips for wrestling? Pfft. Friends do stupid stuff like that. My friend left a bruise on my leg accidentally. Is that bullying? No. Teachers should know if they're trying to hurt each other or trying to play. Even I do stupid stuff with my friends that I wouldn't do to people I don't know.



I do believe that shunning from a social group is bullying, because it's happened to me, mainly because I was different to them. Always the new kid. Now, I'm just that one smart chick with the weird hair. I've tried to break the stereotypes that make people dislike things. I may have green hair, but that does not make me a "stupid trend following punk". People label each other much too fast and don't give each other a chance. Many people who are now friends of mine at first thought that I was really weird and didn't want to talk to me. Once they got to know me, they liked me. I have "issues" with some people still, yes. Being afraid of them does no good.



I'd say mind control chips to help prevent people from stereotyping and bullying each other would just do the job, but the government already does enough brainwashing already.

GhostUser 06-29-2005 10:50 PM

In my only experience with bullying, I tried to shove the *******'s head through a brick wall. Surprise! He never came near me again. Although, maybe if you lost a fight it would be different.

abc123 06-29-2005 11:11 PM

According to a recent documentary I saw on TV, people bully to feel powerful. There is something going on in their lives which is making them feel out of control, so they bully to feel in control again. Some examples are...

- children who are being bullied will sometimes bully other children

- children who's parents are getting divorced or fighting a lot will take it out on other children



As for what can be done about it... yes we need to work with the bullies,but we also need to work with the victims. In this world there will always be people telling you that you are inferior and that you can't make it. Victims needs to learn to stand up for themslves and stop the bullying. In the documentary I mentioned, they talked about the steps a victim can take. I think missing a step, but the last three were

- say something like "is that the best you've got?" to stop the bullying

- walk away (walk, dont run!)

- tell a teacher or adult (the victim already stopped the ubllying, but the teacher needs to know what's going on in the school and take action with children who are consistent bulliers)



Working with the victims is important to stop the bullying from happening to THEM, but working with the bullier is crucial to stopping the bullying all together. The bullier needs to feel powerful and in control. As parents/teachers, we need to recognize this, adn give them positive ways to get this feeling. (Give them a special job to do, let them be the leader of the team, etc)

GhostUser 06-29-2005 11:46 PM

Katt, it sounds as though you've come through in great shape.

katt 06-30-2005 12:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse View Post

Katt, it sounds as though you've come through in great shape.

Yeah, I consider myself very lucky, because I have access to resources and when I need help, I can get it. Some students are not so lucky. I won't take crap from anyone, and I'm no longer a target because I'm not afraid anymore. When I had a couple of minor problems this year, they were solved within a day, but when my friend had similar problems, she didn't get any help from the staff for the longest time, then when she did, she was bullied more. If the teachers and other staff at school wouldn't play favorites and just treat everyone equally, then bullying would happen much less because the bullies know that something can and will be done if someone has a problem, right now people just ignore it and try to go on with their lives because they're afraid that if they speak up, they'll get bullied more.



Another form of bullying that I see today with students is the "popular" people letting another student into their little group, but the student also happens to be a slower learner and have fewer social skills than normal. The other people essentially make fun of him/her and (s)he doesn't realise that's what their doing. All they know is that they're laughing, so that must mean they did something good, and they make a fool of themselves just for some "friends". It makes me sick to see it, because I know I'm powerless because I can't change them, and they don't want to leave their group of "friends" because they feel "accepted". I've seen it happen to my younger brother, and it hurts me to see that happen to him and other people. I really want stronger punishment for people when they're younger, so as they grow up, they don't feel that need to bully other people. What happens now is unfair to most students.

rainbow_clouds 06-30-2005 12:48 AM

I was bullied a lot when I was in elem and middle school. *shrug*

GhostUser 06-30-2005 01:37 AM

Haha. I totally forgot about primary (elementary) school. I applied the same logic there: beat the snot out of them. It worked, too.

Pasta>Cruelty 06-30-2005 10:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by abc123 View Post


As for what can be done about it... yes we need to work with the bullies,but we also need to work with the victims. In this world there will always be people telling you that you are inferior and that you can't make it. Victims needs to learn to stand up for themslves and stop the bullying. In the documentary I mentioned, they talked about the steps a victim can take. I think missing a step, but the last three were

- say something like "is that the best you've got?" to stop the bullying

- walk away (walk, dont run!)

- tell a teacher or adult (the victim already stopped the ubllying, but the teacher needs to know what's going on in the school and take action with children who are consistent bulliers)

The problem with a victim retorting a bully is that it only gives the bully more options. It's like feeding a troll. Instead, a victim is better off not saying anything but reporting the problem to an adult who is eager to take serious steps to fix the problem.

Vicarinatutu 06-30-2005 10:15 AM

In my school, it's rare to see a case of physical bullying (as in one person casually torments a person who wasn't expecting it or doesn't deserve it for any apparent reason). It's become so casual in the school to verbally assault people though. It's as if any kind of forsight into another person's feelings has become lost and they only care about the impression they're making on their friends. It really sickens me, because I know it has a lot to do with the media (hateful lyrics in songs - particularily rap or pop songs) influencing the general youth to be a certain way (personality-wise). As I said before, it's rare to see a case of physical bullying, however there's also a ridiculous trend going around to fight people "for fun" (when two people agree to beat the living pulp out of eachother for entertainment who may or may not despise one another) that I don't understand one bit. It normally results in a few suspensions or even expulsions.

meatless 06-30-2005 10:28 AM

I was bullied for a few years in high school. What was strange about it, was I am a female and this was a group of guys. I was considered attractive and smart, and most of them were rednecks. I am not sure why they chose me, but for three years I lived in fear of turning the corner because if they were around it they would inevitably started yelling at me, calling me names, and bellowing insults so loud that everyone around could hear. I didn't give a damn what they thought, but it was humiliating that everyone around could hear what was going on. The only thing that stopped it was finishing highschool.



The school didn't really seem to know what to do. One time the bullying emerged at a ball park where I was playing baseball. One of the kid's mothers was there (the worst one) and when confronted she told me I needed to get a life. So there was no help there. It escalated at school afterwards. And when the guy later dropped out of school, his younger brother picked up the slack.



It was all so bizarre because I had literally no contact or background with these guys until they decided it would be fun to bully me.

VeggieFaery 06-30-2005 10:48 AM

Meatless your story reminds me of highschool.I got picked on by the football team.They decided I was a dyke and needed to be taught a lesson I guess.It was so bad in math class that I actually had to switch classes,I just couldn't get anything done,and the teacher was oblivious.After I left the class the teacher later found out why and felt really bad that he didn't know,but I didn't put much stock in the teachers,I never thought of telling him.I'm used to dealing with everything on my own.Quite a few of the players ended up with flat tires,keyed cars and missing license plates.It was a rich town so I decided to hit em where it hurt,their fancy cars.

meatless 06-30-2005 11:00 AM

Yeah I don't think that anyone mistook me as being a lesbian... not that it is a reason to harrass someone.



Wow, that's kinda cool you got to exact some revenge. The only revenge I got was kicking one of the guys in the nuts once. He left me alone after, but there were about 6 others to continue the tradition. Being a police officer's daughter, committing illegal acts wasn't really something I felt at liberty to do.



Anyway, it sucks to be ganged up on like that.

Beancounter 06-30-2005 11:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie View Post

I think the schools go overboard with the whole bullying thing. My son has been sent home with bullying slips when all he was doing was wrestling around with his friends.



Having been a (repeat) victim of bullying in middle school, I don't think schools go far enough.



In my experience, once reported the bully will stop for a while, and then start up again when the dust has cleared. Bully's are repeat offenders and should be treated as such. Bullys are sick people and need:

1. serious counciling

2, to be removed from the student population.


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