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What is the answer for bullying?

 
 
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 07:51 pm
Conference on Bullying Prevention - Washington
On March 10th, 2011, President Obama and the First Lady held a conference on bullying prevention. I can only say this bullying conference was long overdue. Just a little over a year ago, a young student from a South Hadley Massachusetts High School committed suicide because of relentless school bullying. Now, several students face charges in connection with her unfortunate death. Massachusetts has finally gotten on the ball and passed anti-bullying legislation. Another young boy from Oklahoma, only 11 years of age, also committed suicide because of bullying. These two are just a fraction of the number of children that have committed suicide. I question whether kids who bully are the only ones to blame. Parents, teachers, and even coaches, have a responsibility to children to ensure that they are protected from persistent school bullying as well as neighborhood bullying and cyber-bullying. Our children have a tendency to emulate our behaviors. As part of our parental responsibility, we need to teach our children how to treat and respect others regardless of age, ethnicity, disability, or even education level. School teachers and staff are being educated about how to recognize, and prevent school bullying. I wonder why it took so long and why it took the death of beautiful young people, for legislation to finally be enacted, for bullying to be addressed. So many others have succumbed to unfortunate and harsh behaviors by others. I myself was a victim of school bullying. For a long time, I would try to “ignore” the problem. The bullying only got worse. It affected my self-esteem, my confidence, and my social interaction with others. I finally got up enough nerve to ask for help from myteachers and even the dean of students. “Oh they’re just being kids, ignore it”, is what they would say to me. Well, that’s what I was doing and nothing was being done. Not one teacher ever stepped up to the plate to help me. Being bullied in school affected me long afterwards. It has taken years to gain back self-esteem and confidence. Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that can happen anywhere. It is not a phase children have to go through, it is not "just messing around", and it is not something they always grow out of. Bullying is not limited by age, nor is it limited to just the schools. It’s everywhere, from the neighborhood, to the internet, and even to the workplace. Bullying can cause serious and lasting harm. No child should have to endure bullying. We cannot turn the other cheek and expect this problem to go away. Bullying may never completely disappear, but we should at least be working together with our children, with our schools, and with our community, towards finding remedial solutions. We have an obligation for the sake our children and to their education, to make sure their lives are fulfilled with joyous and momentous experiences.
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2011 09:15 pm
@trishans,
Quote:
What is the answer for bullying?
Counter-bullying

Defeat the bad guy.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 07:23 am
Quote:
We have an obligation ..., to make sure their lives are fulfilled with joyous and momentous experiences.


The "joyous and momentous experiences" can come after parents teach kids how to stand up for their rights and how to protect themselves as kids and later as adults.

With this thread on bullying, how about a comment on the extensive bullying that occurs online in so-called "social networks/forums"? Why the need to bully? Why the need to constantly be stepping on the necks of others.? Why do moderators of "social networks/forums" tolerate and in many circumstances encourage bullying?

Could it be that the moderators are the biggest bullys of all?
0 Replies
 
Anarkatheist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 10:10 pm
@trishans,
The solution to bullying would be a free market, of course, any bad condition's solution is a free market, not through a inefficient collectivist institution that cares as much to stay another term.

For example a school (Private of course), in a free market, advertise its Zero-Bullying policy for parents looking for a school fit for their child. Now School A has this policy, and School B doesn't, obviously the parent who cares about there child's sake would enroll in School A. And parents who don't think its necessary to enroll in such a school would go to B.

You may say why doesn't this happen now?
Government itself is the issue, not the bullies. If we didn't have to ask 'permission' from the Teacher's Union (As if its theirs to Grant) to open a private school some place, there would be so many more schools and a competitive industry, just like any other, would arise. Prices would be reasonable and quality would be decent(Of course a variable).
Not like our public schools where the bathrooms are composed of Filth, and where horrible teachers are impossible to fire.
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gungasnake
 
  3  
Reply Sun 13 Mar, 2011 10:26 pm
In the town I grew up in there was an extreme case of bullying at the high school a couple of years after I left for college in which a couple of school bullies got blown away by 45ACP ammo; what happened was that they'd told the sissy kid in the school they were going to waste him with on the spot with chucks unless he went home and came back to fight with a baseball bat but when he got home, his brother had taken the bat off to baseball practice and the only weapon he could find was the old service automatic...

Lawyers pled temporary insanity and the judge and jury bought it; there was a little six-month stint in a local psych hospital but, when the kid got out six months later, the bullies were still dead, funny thing...
Bella Dea
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 12:52 pm
I don't think bullying itself has gotten worse, per se. The issue is the frequency at which it occurs. You used to get off the bus and the bullying stopped. Now, you get off the bus and immediately a text is sent. And your facebook page or myspace or email blows up with nasties. Kids can't get away from the bullying. And it's not the kids fault. You can't take away all the social media or shield your child from the harsh realities of the world. BUT....

The answer to bullying is parenting. What? Did I just say that? Yes, and I'll say it again. The answer to bullying is being a parent! Quit trying to be your kids friend!!

Teach your kids to respect others. Teach them that if they get caught bullying, they get in trouble. Kid are not held responsible for things they do too often. Monitor their networking and their phones. This way you can see if your kid is the bullier or the bullied. And handle it. And maybe you'll have yourself a kid who will not be afraid to stand up for someone who can't do it alone.

I know not every kid is equipt to handle bullying the same. But we need to teach our kids to defend themselves, even if it means getting in trouble at school.

And this won't be the answer, every time. There is no sure fire answer. But it seems to me that with this pc parenting we have going on, parents are afraid for their kids to dislike them. Well, hey, got news for you. No kid likes their parents. Stand up to your kid, tell them bullying is not acceptable and keep them accountable.

I don't think bullying is going to get any better. Why? Because not ever parent thinks like me and many parents are still in denial that their kid couldn't do something like that. Well, even the best kids can because that's what kids do. It's up to us to tell them it's not right. And I fully intend to school my daughter in how to handle herself and also how to handle others.
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hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 01:17 pm
The abuser/victim relationship is symbiotic, you dont have one if you dont have the other. The solution to bullying, such as it is, is to convince people to refuse to be victims. However, a lot of what we now call bullying is in fact normal healthy human conflict. We are very fearful of conflict these days and are willing to impose police states, which are allegedly a cure for conflict. We are now moving this police state mentality further into the schools, expanding upon the zero tolorance policies and rigid testing programs that were instituted earlier.
Bella Dea
 
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Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 01:23 pm
@hawkeye10,
We rarely agree but I have to say you struck a cord with me. It's true....people baby their kids. They emotionally cripple them so that these kids have no natural defense to criticism or rejection.
hawkeye10
 
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Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 02:26 pm
@Bella Dea,
Quote:
We rarely agree but I have to say you struck a cord with me. It's true....people baby their kids. They emotionally cripple them so that these kids have no natural defense to criticism or rejection.
I think you are correct in a sense, but I look at it not as an emotional weakness but rather a lack of education on power. We deny the power dynamics in relationship because according to our theories there should be no power dynamics in relationship. What we see with bullying is a direct result of our collective disconnect between reality and our fantasies when it comes to the subject of power. The school bullies are trying out in practice what the adults dont think should exist exist so they refuse to teach, and the victims dont know how to handle aggression because the adults refuse to teach power. The kids are learning on their own, and often at their own cost, because the adults have failed. All we know to do is to criminalize the use of power, or to ignore it, we never teach/learn how it works nor how to use it well nor how to keep from getting run over by it.

I think you can now see why I get so pissed when the adult response to finding bullying in schools is to lay criminal charges on the bullies.
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 02:33 pm
my fave radio guy says they should can the anti bullying propaganda in schools and instead teach a course called, " high school can't last forever, with a bit of hard work and some luck, i'm gonna shake of the dust of this **** dick town and never have to see of you hayseeds again"
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Bootinbull
 
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Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 03:10 pm
@trishans,
ban bullying from being shown in movies and video games. That only glorifies it. If getting rid of smoking in movies is working so well to stop kids from starting to smoke, why not bullying too?
hawkeye10
 
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Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 03:37 pm
@Bootinbull,
Quote:
That only glorifies it. If getting rid of smoking in movies is working so well to stop kids from starting to smoke, why not bullying too?
Sure, lets sanitize all of art, that worked very well for the Nazi's and Stalin.....
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Green Witch
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2011 03:47 pm
If parents did a better job of teaching their children empathy we'd have a lot less bullying. Kids who bully notoriously have parents who don't think that sort of behavior is a problem.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 12:40 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:
If parents did a better job of teaching their children empathy we'd have a lot less bullying.
HOW ?
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 01:49 am
No one talks about the bully.

He/she has aggressive fear and acts out to be in control.

Bullies rarely act alone. They froth up other people into joining them, and the group gets more powerful.

History is full of bullies. And they had their followers.

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Green Witch
 
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Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 05:25 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Whole books have been written on this topic. Google "how to teach children empathy" and you will find some excellent advice. None of which involves shooting anyone.
Bella Dea
 
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Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 06:35 am
@OmSigDAVID,
It's called "parenting". Look it up.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 08:36 am
Empathy is definitely a huge part of this. Cool study from a bit ago brought babies into the classroom.

Quote:
Roots arranges monthly class visits by a mother and her baby (who must be between two and four months old at the beginning of the school year). Each month, for nine months, a trained instructor guides a classroom using a standard curriculum that involves three 40-minute visits – a pre-visit, a baby visit, and a post-visit. The program runs from kindergarten to seventh grade. During the baby visits, the children sit around the baby and mother (sometimes it’s a father) on a green blanket (which represents new life and nature) and they try to understand the baby’s feelings. The instructor helps by labeling them. “It’s a launch pad for them to understand their own feelings and the feelings of others,” explains Gordon. “It carries over to the rest of class.”

I have visited several public schools in low-income neighborhoods in Toronto to observe Roots of Empathy’s work. What I find most fascinating is how the baby actually changes the children’s behavior. Teachers have confirmed my impressions: tough kids smile, disruptive kids focus, shy kids open up. In a seventh grade class, I found 12-year-olds unabashedly singing nursery rhymes.

The baby seems to act like a heart-softening magnet. No one fully understands why. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, an applied developmental psychologist who is a professor at the University of British Columbia, has evaluated Roots of Empathy in four studies. “Do kids become more empathic and understanding? Do they become less aggressive and kinder to each other? The answer is yes and yes,” she explained. “The question is why.”


http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/fighting-bullying-with-babies/

Another interesting article about bullying -- it tends to be people in the middle of the social structure who are jockeying for position, not the ones who are at the top.

Quote:
Highly publicized cases of bullying typically involve chronic harassment of socially isolated students, but the latest studies suggest that various forms of teenage aggression and victimization occur throughout the social ranks as students jockey to improve their status.

The findings contradict the notion of the school bully as maladjusted or aggressive by nature. Instead, the authors argue that when it comes to mean behavior, the role of individual traits is “overstated,” and much of it comes down to concern about status.

“Most victimization is occurring in the middle to upper ranges of status,” said the study’s author, Robert Faris, an assistant professor of sociology at U.C. Davis. “What we think often is going on is that this is part of the way kids strive for status. Rather than going after the kids on the margins, they might be targeting kids who are rivals.”


http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/web-of-popularity-weaved-by-bullying
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 08:36 am
@Green Witch,
Quote:
If parents did a better job of teaching their children empathy we'd have a lot less bullying. Kids who bully notoriously have parents who don't think that sort of behavior is a problem.
It is not generally the lack of ability to empathize that is the problem, it is a lack of caring about the harm one causes others......it is a lack of teaching of good values in the home. For most people the playing of power games stops once we see that we are causing other people harm who do not deserve that harm, even bullies will break off and walk away at that point. Also, it is not only with bullies but it is with everyone that we see more narcissism than we used to, to include victims.

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hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2011 08:44 am
@sozobe,
Quote:
Highly publicized cases of bullying typically involve chronic harassment of socially isolated students, but the latest studies suggest that various forms of teenage aggression and victimization occur throughout the social ranks as students jockey to improve their status.

The findings contradict the notion of the school bully as maladjusted or aggressive by nature. Instead, the authors argue that when it comes to mean behavior, the role of individual traits is “overstated,” and much of it comes down to concern about status.
Ya, which goes to show that we as a collective are not teaching the values that we claim to hold and claim to be trying to pass along to the next generation. Youth are notorious for having good BS meters and then rejecting the BS while regurgitating the BS back to the adults to keep the peace. It is by looking at what the kids actually do that we see what we have taught.
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