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Old 07 November 2011, 05:51 PM
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Read This! Bullying

Comment: I wonder if there is any truth to this one, or if it's another
morality play on Facebook:

"A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them
the following exercise to perform. She had the children take out a piece
of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it
up, not to rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and
look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they’
re sorry. Now, even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the
paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those
scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is
what happens when a child bullies another child, they may say they’re
sorry, but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the
children in the classroom told her the message hit home. *Copy and paste
this if you are against bullying."
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  #2  
Old 07 November 2011, 05:55 PM
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DemonWolf DemonWolf is offline
 
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Wolf

I'm ll in favor of anti-bullying initiiatives, but most of the ones that I see really miss the mark.

Bullies never see themselves as bullies. When they pick on a kids they, in their own mind, are not bullying, they are "just kidding." The kid being bullied is often not seen as bullied, s/he is seen as needing a thinker skin. And it's ok to be mean to that kid because s/he's a "spaz" or some other label that signifies the kid as not being of equal social standing as the bully.

Telling the kids "don't bully" is a waste of breath. Teach the teachers to recognize it and how to counteract it.
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Old 07 November 2011, 07:44 PM
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Agreed on all points, DemonWolf. In fact, I think the OP is a metaphor better directed at adults rather than kids. Especially your point about the bullied child needing a thicker skin. That's usually the parents' or teachers' response, in my experience.
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Old 07 November 2011, 08:16 PM
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Unfortunatly, It's easy for the teacher to see a little teasing and assume it's "kids will be kids." But some teachers don't realize that that is just the tip of the iceberg. I used to get told, "fight back, then they'll stop."

I was short, underweight, wore thick glasses, was nerdy, and was socially awkward. All fighting back would do was ean me a beating. Even if I beat the kid in front of me, he'd be back the next day with friends. Telling a teacher would only make things worse. The teacher interfering would make things worse. Telling my parents would make it worse. There was onlly thing I could to that worked - I faked sick a lot.

It's too bad the teachers were unable to see the signs, they were all there, but they never looked. If you'd asked any of the kids who made my life a living hell if they were bullies, they'd tell you, and belive it 100%, that they weren't.

I've had a few come up to me years after the fact and try to be friendly and nice (As in, "Hey! An old classmate! Let's reminisce!) I'm not any of them understood why I had little interest in talking.
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Old 07 November 2011, 09:01 PM
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Fighting back doesn't make them stop either.

One nasty little miscreant who used to poke my son with a sharpened pencil lead every time he had to walk by his desk to get to the sharpener at the back of the room, finally drove my son too far and BOOM he decked him - laid him out with a black eye.

The result was my son got out of school suspension for 3 days. The kid who provoked him got in school suspension which was a joke at that school. Their attitude was of course, a prim, judgemental "well, they aren't supposed to HIT and your son was the one who HIT". Were that to happen now and the new improved Mean As Hell Snapdragonfly to be dealing with it, I would have filed charges on the little shit for assault with a weapon and on the teacher for being complicet by not catching him doing it every day for 4 months. As it was I objected and complained and let them know I was real unimpressed with how they dealt with it and expected improvement (which did not happen)

Anyway - all the little clique of snotty monsters picked on him as much as ever after that and in fact I overheard them the next summer taunting him at the swimming pool about the event and they had somehow rewritten history as my son being the one who got his ass kicked.

Our solution was to take him out of that school and put him into one that didn't have to be told not to tolerate bullying - they already didn't, and they didn't seem to have any problems figuring out how to implement it, either. It was real simple. When someone bullied - THEY were the ones who got punished, not the victims. I know - brilliant, right?
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  #6  
Old 08 November 2011, 08:52 AM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Fighting back doesn't make them stop either.

One nasty little miscreant who used to poke my son with a sharpened pencil lead every time he had to walk by his desk to get to the sharpener at the back of the room, finally drove my son too far and BOOM he decked him - laid him out with a black eye.

The result was my son got out of school suspension for 3 days. The kid who provoked him got in school suspension which was a joke at that school. Their attitude was of course, a prim, judgemental "well, they aren't supposed to HIT and your son was the one who HIT".
Been there, done that. In middle school I was often the target of bullying. It was mostly little stuff like trying to trip me one time or knocking my books out of my hand as I was walking. Doing it once might qualify as "friendly ribbing" but it was literally my whole middle school life and the people who did it were not my friends. And than when I did fight back I knew that I'd get the same punishment as the bully would get.

In the 6th grade I got into it with another kid and we ended up in the principle's office. The kid who had bullied me literally told the principle "well look at him, he's a dork" as his explanation for our fight. The principle admonished him a bit and than suspended both of us, as if we had both committed the same offense. Ironically I was most worried that my parents would find out about the whole thing and I'd be in trouble at home for getting into trouble at school.

The worst part of the system was that:

If you fight back than you get the same punishment as the bully gets, because it's "fighting."

If you go to teachers or administration than you get labeled as a "pussy," "tattletale" or "fag" and than are the target of more bullying.

If you let it go than you let it go and one individual thing doesn't see that big of a thing. But if it happens all of the time than it's like getting pecked to death by baby ducks. It's not one thing that disturbs you; it's the fact that everybody around feels that it's find to trip you, run into you or knock your stuff out of your hands and that's your entire life.
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Old 08 November 2011, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
I've had a few come up to me years after the fact and try to be friendly and nice (As in, "Hey! An old classmate! Let's reminisce!) I'm not any of them understood why I had little interest in talking.
Kurt Cobain wrote a song inspired by that. As he became a well known rock star (first locally in Seattle and than later the world) he'd run into adults who had bullied him when they had been kids. Rather than apologize for having been young, stupid and mean they would act like they were buddy-buddy with him and talk about how much they loved his music. He once claimed that many of the kids who bullied him later became his biggest fans and that was not a thing he was happy about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Bloom
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Old 08 November 2011, 11:55 AM
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Ramblin' Dave Ramblin' Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz1980 View Post
Kurt Cobain wrote a song inspired by that.
Somewhat unfair of me, I suppose, but that is exactly why I never liked Nirvana. They hit it big my freshman year in college, and I could never get past the incongruity of all my well-off, well-adjusted classmates loving the music of a guy they probably would have picked on relentlessly in high school.
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Old 20 November 2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
Unfortunatly, It's easy for the teacher to see a little teasing and assume it's "kids will be kids." But some teachers don't realize that that is just the tip of the iceberg. I used to get told, "fight back, then they'll stop."
Sometimes teachers will encourage that behavior like laughing at some of the bully's jokes or in one memorable moment in my bullied past, gossip with the other students about the bullied kid..... like when they're on an overnight field trip and the bullied student is sleeping in the next room, somehow this supposed adult would think it's alright to gossip with the bullies about why this student "deserves to be made fun of." I still can't think of that trip or that teacher with anything but rage
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  #10  
Old 20 November 2011, 03:39 PM
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I had a couple of teachers who seemed to care very much about being popular with the popular kids. Rather pathetic, really.
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  #11  
Old 07 November 2011, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post

Bullies never see themselves as bullies. When they pick on a kids they, in their own mind, are not bullying, they are "just kidding." The kid being bullied is often not seen as bullied, s/he is seen as needing a thinker skin. And it's ok to be mean to that kid because s/he's a "spaz" or some other label that signifies the kid as not being of equal social standing as the bully.
A really excellent book that deals with this is One Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. I'd really recommend this as a teaching tool for anyone who has children to show them how subtle bullying can be. It's not going to solve anything for anyone but it is a great way to get some dialogue going.
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  #12  
Old 07 November 2011, 11:46 PM
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I had that book! Yes, it is a very good illustration of different manifestations of bullying.
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  #13  
Old 07 November 2011, 11:56 PM
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When I was in 9th grade, another student threatened me with a hypodermic needle which was disguised to look like a regular ball-point pen when it was covered by a cap at the bottom. I told the guidance counselor about the incident. His response was that said student was "a good kid" who wouldn't be using a hypodermic needle. I forget the rest of what he said, but it amounted to "Drop it, for your own good."
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  #14  
Old 08 November 2011, 12:41 AM
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I was a kid who potentially could have been really socially awkward, but I had a cousin who was a little older, who had really brilliant social skills, and used to give me a gentle nudge (figuratively) when I was being weird.

Some kids really do need a boost with social skills, which is no excuse for picking on them-- if anything it makes it worse-- teasing a kid with a lot of self-confidence, and the ability to produce snappy comebacks for any occasion is qualatitively different from teasing someone whose self-esteem is already low.

I'd like to see schools have mandatory anti-aggression, or sensitivity programs for anyone caught harassing another kid, but I'd also like to see voluntary programs for kids who are having trouble making friends. That's not a judgment, or a statement against people being themselves. You can still be yourself, but maybe learn a little bit about making social overtures. There's nothing wrong with not being the most gifted social butterfly in your class. Schools provide extra help for kids having trouble with reading, and math, and physical skills. I don't see why they shouldn't provide extra help here, too. Again, I'm not saying that means people who get picked on deserve it because they might be socially awkward (and I'm sure not all are), any more than I'd say someone with trouble reading deserves to be illiterate.
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Old 25 November 2011, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
Bullies never see themselves as bullies. When they pick on a kids they, in their own mind, are not bullying, they are "just kidding." The kid being bullied is often not seen as bullied, s/he is seen as needing a thinker skin. And it's ok to be mean to that kid because s/he's a "spaz" or some other label that signifies the kid as not being of equal social standing as the bully.
I agree. When I was a kid, I was a mere scab that needed to be picked, as far as the bullies were concerned. I was teased, ostracized, and harassed all the time.

As an adult I satirized the bully mindset in this essay "What's up with this Anti-Bullying Nonsense." I thought it was pretty obvious that I was making fun of his atrocious attitude, but a few people thought I was serious(!) and stopped following the blog after that post. Whoops.
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