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  #21  
Old 16 February 2013, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mags View Post
There are those of us who know how to go for the soft underbelly, but use it for good rather than bullying. I was sort of the anti-bully among my class, defending those who would otherwise be bullied if I wasn't around. I had a sharp tongue that went right to the sensitive spot, whatever the bully didn't like about him or herself but thought/hoped no one else noticed. It helped that we all knew each other really well, many of us going from pre-school through graduation together.
My son was the anti-bully at his high school too. As far as I know he never had to actually fight anyone, but just letting the bullies know he was more than happy to take them on if that's what they wanted definitely made a difference. It helped that he was a big kid, but he was also popular -the "on the student council" type kid- and that didn't hurt either. I use to worry about him, that he'd step in to stop a fight and he'd get hurt but I was proud of him too.
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  #22  
Old 16 February 2013, 01:15 AM
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Um, no. I only ever responded to attacks, I didn't go after people. But if that's what you want to take from it, that's up to you.

Responding to someone making fun of someone else with the equivalent of "you're not so great yourself, there," isn't bullying to me. Insults do not necessarily equal bullying, especially when the insult is about one's negative character traits (that are entirely within that person's control). But, you're entirely welcome to your own opinion.

My opinion is that claiming what I did was bullying is like so many groups we've encountered lately, that say something offensive about a group (for example, blacks, gays, women), then respond that they're being persecuted when anyone responds to let them know that those kind of comments aren't ok. A negative response to a negative behavior isn't unwarranted, nor is it "just as bad" as the initial action.

Last edited by mags; 16 February 2013 at 01:36 AM.
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  #23  
Old 16 February 2013, 01:30 AM
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So you defended the bullied by being a bully yourself, mags?
How is standing up for others bullying? One of the ways to stop bullying is being prepared to get involved and speak up when you see it happening. And bullies aren't really going to respond to "now that's not nice".
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  #24  
Old 16 February 2013, 07:12 AM
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So you defended the bullied by being a bully yourself, mags? I know you were a kid trying to do the best in a bad situation but forgive me if I don't find your story inspiring.
She did better than me. I finally cracked one day in gym class while holding a baseball bat. Lots of people got badly hurt that day, and I was sent out of state.
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  #25  
Old 16 February 2013, 11:27 PM
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So you defended the bullied by being a bully yourself, mags? I know you were a kid trying to do the best in a bad situation but forgive me if I don't find your story inspiring.
Your response makes me sick to my stomach. There is absolutely zero nobility to suffering in silence, and even though most victims of bullies and bullying are too weak to defend themselves, it is admirable and inspiring that people should do something to help those who are not capable, but are willing, to defend themselves. Being the victim of a coward is not "passive resistance" - it's just being a victim.

Two quotes come to mind...both by Gandhi.

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."

“Cowardice is impotence worse than violence. The coward desires revenge but being afraid to die, he looks to others, maybe to the government of the day, to do the work of defense for him. A coward is less than a man. He does not deserve to be a member of a society of men and women.”

So by your assertion, people like mags should have just allowed others to suffer? Again, the thought of that just makes me sick.
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  #26  
Old 17 February 2013, 12:00 AM
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Did I say that bullies should merely be left alone on their merry little way? No, I didn't. I just feel that her strategy she mentioned, of insulting the bully as opposed to merely saying, "hey leave them alone" or something along those lines, was a bad one. And before you say anything, I spent years 11-18 being bullied by the student population at large, and I know insulting them doesn't work; it just gives them more of a reason to come after you and further reinforces the idea that it's okay to solve problems by belittling and insulting someone.
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  #27  
Old 17 February 2013, 12:26 AM
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Huh. My mileage varied. Because I was able to sense how to nail deep into their actual character, rather than throwing obvious surface insults like they did (you look, smell, act, or dress funny, usually), I rarely had one willing to tangle with me more than once. They ended up looking exceptionally stupid, in front of whoever they hoped to intimidate. Bullies really don't like to lose face.

If there's a better way for a child to deal with bullying than to stick up for those being bullied, I'm not really sure what it is. Keeping one's mouth shut just encourages the bully to take it as tacit agreement and approval. For other kids to take as tacit agreement and approval, including the victim, for that matter.
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  #28  
Old 17 February 2013, 01:21 AM
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I just feel that her strategy she mentioned, of insulting the bully as opposed to merely saying, "hey leave them alone" or something along those lines, was a bad one.
OK, so you now clarify your comments to say "your strategy is bad", without offering a better suggestion, but you choose to ignore the fact that it worked. If you are, as you claim to be, a victim of this, then you would never, ever suggest that a victim of bullying do nothing. Is it valid to use the same tactics on a bully - to insult them where they are most vulnerable? Yes, of course it is. Bullies are part of the worst aspects of society - the people who take pleasure in harming others. Sure, we all seem to take pleasure in the pain of others - if not then there'd be no audience for physical comedy like The Three Stoogees - but very few of us take pleasure in doing so. If I could, I would make bullying punishable by burning at the stake, or impaling, or some other very slow and painful method of death, because pain is the only thing that bullies understand. They grow up like this, and they raise their own children to do the same - that being aggressive and predatory - at the expense of others - is the way to be successful in life.

I had my own method - but I don't mention it much because it won't work for everybody. By the time I was graduating from high school, I was heavier, stronger, and meaner than the bullies who remained - the ones who hadn't dropped out. I would ridicule them, berate their stupidity, and call them out on their idle threats. But people can't all be so lucky as to outgrow their tormentors, so I applaud anyone who takes a stand against bullies, no matter how they do it. Believe me when I say that short of actual police involvement, any punishment from teachers or school administration is happily endured by bullies, like a "red badge of courage". Which is why it will fall to unofficial methods and "frontier justice".

Or maybe we should just say that doing nothing is the right thing to do, because we don't know the whole story, and we don't want to be as bad as they are, right? Wrong. I have no sympathy for bullies - I don't care if they come from poor or broken homes or are neglected by their parents or abused by their cousin. None of these things - none of them - have a direct "cause and effect" relationship for why they likes of them, should take out their anger and pain, on the likes of me. When you're 10 years old, you're still too young for anything to be your fault, so if some mouth-breathing neanderthal finds that he needs to beat me up because I'm fat, or clumsy, or listen to the teacher, or wear home-made clothing, it's not my fault that he's doing that because his life is worse than mine. I don't care if he's starving, abused, or homeless - I just want him to stop picking on me.

I have few issues which are so black and white as this. Either you are against bullying, or you are with them. You have proven quite clearly where your sympathies lie.
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  #29  
Old 17 February 2013, 02:25 AM
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Hero_Mike, I've ended up being bullied several times during my life, and I hate it too. I even could consider spanking as a suitable punishment (and mind you, I'm usually against it). But burning at the stake? Or impaling? I sure hate what they do too, but jeesh...

And if a bully has his/her own problems, yes, that should be taken into consideration. It doesn't change the fact, that bullying is awful, but nothing gets better by ignoring the whole story. Bullies might need help too, not just the victims.
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  #30  
Old 17 February 2013, 02:37 AM
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Bullies undoubtedly do need help, but that's not my problem unless my kid is the bully. I'm not going to shed any tears if a victim or anyone else decides that the way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them and give as good as they get. If it works, more power to them.
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  #31  
Old 17 February 2013, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
But burning at the stake? Or impaling? I sure hate what they do too, but jeesh...
I won't go into the revenge I wanted to take on some of the girls in my class who purposely humiliated me and destroyed my life over a period of years, while they made sure I saw them smiling and laughing while they did so. But they were realistic revenge fantasies that definitely would have landed me in jail. There's only so much a person can take before even the meekest, quietest person is pushed to the breaking point. I could ignore the boys who spit on me and threw garbage at me and tripped me and called me names and made animal noises whenever I walked past. That's just shallow, ignorant, everyday crap. But girl-on-girl bullying is psychological, and runs far, far deeper. It can go on for years and leave a lifetime of paranoia and self-esteem issues. It also can't be handled the same way as a bully who physically threatens you. Teachers and administrators don't see it -- they only see it when you finally snap and try to stop it or get revenge, and then you're the one who gets in trouble.

Random anecdote: One day in high school, two boys sitting behind me decided to flick pennies at my head. Not just throw them; they'd stand the pennies upright on their desks and flick them with their fingers -- hard. It stung hard enough to bring tears to my eyes and leave welts. After the second or third one, I turned around and screamed "STOP IT!"

Guess who got a stern word from the teacher? The only reason I didn't get in any further trouble was that she was too shocked that little quiet Cervus would disrupt class. My reason for yelling didn't matter to her at all. Those jerks got to humiliate me just like they wanted, and like all my teachers, she completely ignored what was happening right in front of her.
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  #32  
Old 17 February 2013, 03:29 AM
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Wow! You must have had some crappy teachers!
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  #33  
Old 17 February 2013, 03:37 AM
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Several of my teachers, as well as the assistant principal, bullied and verbally harassed me in high school. Many teachers, even going back to elementary school, made it clear that they thought I was pathetic and that it was my own fault that I was an outcast and a freak. I only had a few teachers (mostly English and art teachers, and one biology teacher) who treated me like a regular person.
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  #34  
Old 17 February 2013, 03:45 AM
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Well, I had problems with one teacher, that I had in 1rst, 2nd and 3rd grades. But I wonder if even she would have acted like that. Okay, maybe she would have, but no other teacher would.
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  #35  
Old 17 February 2013, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Hero_Mike, I've ended up being bullied several times during my life, and I hate it too. I even could consider spanking as a suitable punishment (and mind you, I'm usually against it). But burning at the stake? Or impaling? I sure hate what they do too, but jeesh...
What do bullies grow up to be? Entitled, power-tripping adults who find a venue to continue to do the same thing. If they're smart or ambitious or athletic, the can parley their attitude into success because aggression and competitive behavior - a "win at all costs" mentality - is valued in our society. Look at trash talk - is that not bullying?

End the problem - by not letting the bully grow up and foster that attitude.

Quote:
And if a bully has his/her own problems, yes, that should be taken into consideration. It doesn't change the fact, that bullying is awful, but nothing gets better by ignoring the whole story. Bullies might need help too, not just the victims.
It's an awful lot to ask a 10-year old to be forgiving of, and sympathetic to someone who is bullying them just because they're a convenient victim. Not to mention to make them feel responsible for the problems that other children face.

But once again, I don't care about that. Were one of the bullies who pestered me in elementary school - or high school - come to me and attempt to apologize, I'd spit in their face. If they gave me some sob story of why they picked on me - because their home life was so horrible - I'd turn my back on them, or worse. It's not fair to me to be responsible for all of their crap, when I was the victim. God help anyone who bullied me, if their name ever came across my desk if they were applying for a job.

You want to know what's going to help the world more? Protecting people who are ostracized for being 'different' - and by different, I mean smart. Of all the people I know who were bullied - the one common trait they have is being intelligent. For whatever reason, a child demonstrating above-average intelligence and ability - be they rich or poor, fat or thin, ugly or beautiful - seems to be a magnet for abuse. Sure, there are other things too, but protecting the intelligent will make the world a better place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
Wow! You must have had some crappy teachers!
That is par for the course. Some teachers are oblivious to it, and some don't care. But I will tell you too that some teachers condone it, and maybe even encourage it. Perhaps they were the "bullies" - the jocks and queen-bees who were popular, but ultimately jealous of someone who was smarter than they were. These were the tin-pot dictators who were on a power trip, and didn't care so much that they taught and their students learned, but they valued being feared and obeyed.
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  #36  
Old 17 February 2013, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
Of all the people I know who were bullied - the one common trait they have is being intelligent. For whatever reason, a child demonstrating above-average intelligence and ability - be they rich or poor, fat or thin, ugly or beautiful - seems to be a magnet for abuse.
And many of them learn how to downplay or hide that intelligence, which is also problematic.
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  #37  
Old 17 February 2013, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
It's an awful lot to ask a 10-year old to be forgiving of, and sympathetic to someone who is bullying them just because they're a convenient victim. Not to mention to make them feel responsible for the problems that other children face.
And I haven't talked about 10-year-olds either. But the grown-ups, who have to take care of the bullying, have to help all the kids, who have a bad situation. Even if some of them actually are bullies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike
But once again, I don't care about that. Were one of the bullies who pestered me in elementary school - or high school - come to me and attempt to apologize, I'd spit in their face. If they gave me some sob story of why they picked on me - because their home life was so horrible - I'd turn my back on them, or worse. It's not fair to me to be responsible for all of their crap, when I was the victim. God help anyone who bullied me, if their name ever came across my desk if they were applying for a job.
I understand. But if that ever happened to me, I would at least try to forgive. If a former bully finally has realised their mistakes and wanted to apologize, I would be glad. So why should I make it harder for them?
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  #38  
Old 17 February 2013, 06:21 AM
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I understand. But if that ever happened to me, I would at least try to forgive.
So would I. But I would never in the least blame any bullying survivor who was not able to forgive. You can outgrow the damage bullying does, but you can't ever get back the carefree childhood that it takes away from you.

For my part, I have long believed I would be able to forgive my childhood bullies if they turned up and apologized. (None ever has, which is perfectly fine with me.) The ones I cannot forgive are the teachers who condoned and sometimes encouraged it, and/or who punished only me when I finally got fed up and hit back.
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  #39  
Old 17 February 2013, 11:29 AM
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It seems like many of us have had rotten teachers.
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  #40  
Old 17 February 2013, 11:49 AM
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You want to know what's going to help the world more? Protecting people who are ostracized for being 'different' - and by different, I mean smart. Of all the people I know who were bullied - the one common trait they have is being intelligent. For whatever reason, a child demonstrating above-average intelligence and ability - be they rich or poor, fat or thin, ugly or beautiful - seems to be a magnet for abuse. Sure, there are other things too, but protecting the intelligent will make the world a better placed.
Well I was not particularily smart but one of the biggest bullies who bullied me definitely was. Had my school system had the aGifted program she would have been in it.

It's nice to think smart = bullied; average IQ -= bully but it isn't so simple.
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