Falsely accused of bullying and how to deal with it.

Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 01:25 pm
Hello everybody,

The problem is is that I believe that I have been wrongly accused of bullying. There's this girl in all of my english classes (drama, IT, Geography, English etc.) who is incredibly slow and says really brain-dead things, eg. We've been studying the mogul empire for 6-8 weeks now and she asked "Are we learning about India or Italy?". Naturally, this really anoyed me as it was wasting the learning time of everyone around us. Also, she has a very annoying personality saying things like "you what mate, you calling me fat?" in a really 'chavy' accent despite nobody calling her fat and she being paper thin. I told her (maybe wrongly, in retrospect) that <Insert brain-dead question here> was a stupid question to ask a couple of times. One day, I walked in to geography and sat down. She took one look at me and ran out of the room crying and half an hour later her tutor came back and asked to speak with me outside. She gave me a stern talking to and forced me to admit that I was bullying her despite me not thinking that but did not take any disciplinary action. At the time, I was very afraid of teachers and could not stand up for myself and that is what I regret the most, not standing up for myself. I was literally shaking with fear. Anyway, nothing really happened, for a couple of months I said nothing to her and gritted my teeth when she said anything. But today we had a supply teacher in french and we were on some laptops finishing off work and learning on liguascope. I saw her and her friend playing on random games and discreatly told the teacher. She did nothing, and just said "girls please do your work". This annoyed me because why should they get to play on game whilst every one else does. I told the teacher 3 times and she did nothing. By this time I was really agitated.
So, I walked right up to them and closed the lid of the laptop and said "Why don't you girls just do your work?". This (although I did not know before I did it) shut down the laptop. I went and sat back down to continue with my work. They looked very annoyed and kept on trying to start an argument. I tried to argue my side, but what could I say? They were never going to say "Sorry, you where right" or anything like that. I just said things like "Well, you shouldn't have been playing on games" but they just got more agitated and started saying things like "Why don't you just grow a pair" and started making references to how I 'bullied' her. At this point I decided that the best thing to do would be to just stay quiet, so I did. But they clearly weren't done. They then disrupted the remainder of the lesson for me and my friend by constantly closing the lid of our laptop and making us have to restart our laptop and laughing all the time. Finally, they roped in one of there friends to help them who came up to us a casually started talking to us. Suddenly, he bit me and as I was trying to get him off me he closed the lid of our laptop. By, now it was the end of the lesson so I just left the laptop and put it back in it's trolley and walked out of the classroom trying really hard (and succeeding) to restrain myself from punching all three of them in the face. By the way, I'm a 13 year old boy and in year 8. It's also been really hard for me at the moment as I have fallen out with my main group of friends and I think that it is it for me and them. Thank you very much for reading this, I would be very grateful if you could give me any advice on what to do next. I feel like that neither of us could report the other one because we've both done things which could be used against us by the opposing party but she might do it anyway. Also if it makes a difference our tutors hate each other.
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 03:18 pm
You're not the classroom cop. If you think the teacher is doing an inadequate job handling the class, tell your parents, and ask them to tell the teacher and possibly also the principal. This is not a job for you.

Are you bullying this girl? It sure as hell sounds like you're not nice to her. What the **** do you care if she's playing games on the computer when she's supposed to be studying? Unless she's loud - then complain to the teacher. Complain several times if you must but leave it there until you can contact your parents and ask for them to take it up with the teacher and possibly the principal.

Is it unfair? Sure, it's unfair. Life's unfair. You are, like I said, not the classroom cop.

Get over that.
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 03:42 pm
What Jespah said.
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Reply Thu 17 Jul, 2014 07:47 pm
BCB2000 wrote:
I told her (maybe wrongly, in retrospect) that <Insert brain-dead question here> was a stupid question to ask a couple of times.

I agree that you were not bullying.

However, you say this girl is really slow. It is probable that she faces many challenges and frustrations every day trying to do things that you find effortless. Maybe in the future try to think about what things are like from her perspective.

BCB2000 wrote:
This annoyed me because why should they get to play on game whilst every one else does.

You're looking at it as if they are getting a special treat by playing games instead of learning.

I recommend looking at it as "them crippling their education". Much of what you learn is built on knowledge that you've learned previously. If these people don't learn what is being taught today, when they get to future lessons they will not have the foundation to understand what is being taught.

If you continue to be frustrated by people getting away with playing games during class, maybe for some catharsis watch the old movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (but not during class!) and empathize with his sister's frustration with him getting away with everything.

BCB2000 wrote:
I would be very grateful if you could give me any advice on what to do next.

This sort of reminds me of those situations where countries end up slowly being drawn into a war with each other when none of them want to go to war. I can see why you don't want this to keep escalating.

First of all, if they do report you, make sure that you get to tell your side of the story. A likely outcome will be that everyone will be disciplined equally.

Second, this behavior might not continue. You mentioned this happened under a supply teacher. The normal teacher probably won't let them act like that. I recommend that your first act should be to do nothing, and see if they also do nothing.

Third, if you do continue to have trouble with them, think strategically and consider whether a given response is likely to result in unwanted escalation.

Finally, if you feel that the conflict is about to escalate to a place where you really don't want to go, don't be afraid to report it to the school authorities. In that case, you should probably admit from the start to the things you did too (they will be given a chance to tell their side of the story, so it'll come out anyway). It is entirely possible that "being disciplined for what has already happened" is preferable to "letting things escalate to an even worse situation".
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