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Bullying

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Toronto seems to be going through a very visible round of teen violence that experts feel may be caused or contributed to by bullying. How do you feel about bullying? Were you bullied in school? Is it a major problem in your area?
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here is some helpful info to tell you if your child is being bullied or if they are a bully.

from cp24.com

Warning Signs





Bullying is an experience all too many children and teens must endure. Here’s some signs parents might want to watch for if they suspect their child is being bullied, according to L’Arche Canada:

Symptoms a bullied child may show:



Become quiet and withdrawn at home
Talk little about school
Become more aggressive with sibling
Become moody and bad tempered
Take an unusual route to school
Seem sad whenever they arrive home from school
Come home with cuts, bruises or torn clothes
‘Lose’ favourite clothes or possessions (the bully stole them)
Lose their appetite
Be ravenous when they arrive home from school (the bully demanded their lunch or lunch money)
Not want to go to school
Suffer insomnia or bad dreams
Stop inviting friends home and stop receiving invitations from friends
Avoid leaving the house
Seem increasingly anxious and experience headaches, stomach-aches, or other ailments
Talk about changing schools or moving

What L’Arche Canada suggests parents do if a child is being bullied:

Create opportunities for your child to talk to you. With a good, open rapport, your child will be more likely to disclose difficult problems or concerns. Encourage your child to report bullying incidents to you.
Listen attentively to your child and gather facts. Record the facts – they will be needed when communicating with school personnel.
Let your child know you will be there for them and that they are not alone. Ensure they know that at home, they are loved and accepted.
Reassure your child the bullying is not their fault and they do not deserve to be bullied.
Teach a bully-proofing strategy, for example, assertiveness. (Your child should face their bully by standing tall, looking them in the eye and using a strong voice. Experts suggest using “I want†statements such as, “I WANT you to stop that!†or “I WANT you to leave me alone!†Help your child to understand that passivity in response to a bully, only invites further torment.
Rehearse the strategy with your child until they feel comfortable using it.
Help your child find at least one supportive, loyal friend. Welcome your child’s friends into your home.
Continue to monitor the situation by asking your child frequently for up-dates.
Step in, if the situation seems dangerous or if your child continues to suffer.
Find out what policies and procedures exist at the school for dealing with bullying situations.
Report the bullying to school authorities and follow up to determine what is being done to stop it. Adults in the school environment need to be made aware of the extent of the bullying, where it happens, when it happens and its impact on your child. Only then will they be able to implement measures to protect your child and discipline the bully. Insist that they do.
Teach your child self-defence or enrol them in self-defence classes. This will increase their confidence and help them to overcome their fear.
Teach your child to know when to run – it could save their life.
If your child is assaulted, inform the police.
If necessary, consider changing your child’s school.

What L’Arche Canada suggests parents do if they suspect their child is a bully:

Take bullying seriously. Understand what bullying is and the harm it can do – to other children as well as to your child.
Do not defend or encourage bullying behaviour or excuse it as normal.
Teach your child the importance of resolving conflict in non-aggressive ways.
Teach the values of respect, compassion and tolerance for others – even for those your child might view as ‘different’.
Don’t model or condone bullying behaviour.
Eliminate physical punishment in your home. Research shows bullies are often raised in environments where physical punishment is common, thus teaching children to resolve their problems in a physical manner.
Limit your child’s exposure to violent media.
Spend positive time with your child daily, keeping the lines of communication open.
Know your child’s friends.
Work with your child’s school as an ally to determine an appropriate course of action.
Network with other parents to stay informed.


Consider professional counseling for your child.

Bullying Myths and Facts, from Bullying.org:

Myth: “Bullying is just a stage, a normal part of life. I went through it my kids will too. â€

Fact: Bullying is not “normal†or socially acceptable behaviour. We give bullies power by our acceptance of this behaviour.

Myth: “If I tell someone, it will just make it worse.â€

Fact: Research shows that bullying will stop when adults in authority and peers get involved.

Myth: “Just stand up for yourself and hit them back.â€

Fact: While there are some times when people can be forced to defend themselves, hitting back usually makes the bullying worse and increases the risk for serious physical harm.

Myth: “Bullying is a school problem, the teachers should handle it.â€

Fact: Bullying is a broader social problem that often happens outside of schools, on the street, at shopping centres, the local pool, summer camp and in the adult workplace.â€

Myth: “People are born bullies.â€

Fact: Bullying is a learned behaviour and behaviours can be changed.

Websites:

Bullying.org
www.bullying.org

L’Arche Canada
www.larchecanada.org

The Canadian Safe School Network
www.canadiansafeschools.com






December 21, 2004
post #3 of 16
Honestly, what I don't understand is how bullying got to be the problem that it is today. Really, there have always been bullies. I don't know if the problem is that the bullying has gotten that much worse, or if the kids of today have such poor coping skills that it makes more of an impact than it did on past generations. I'm sure it's a combination of both.

And maybe it's also contributed to by the "zero-tolerance" policy of any type of violence in schools. That sounds harsh, but hear me out... Before, bullying was mainly about a fight after school; a round of fisticuffs in which neither party was seriously injured beyond a bloody nose (in most cases). You had your fight, and generally that was end of it. Once everyone had playground "respect" for the bully they were satisfied with just maintaining the badass status. Now, there is zero-tolerance for anything to do with violence. Kids are getting suspended for bringing GI Joe to school, or having snub-nosed scissors. Fights on the playground aren't going to happen, so bullying has progressed to a more psychological warfare on the playground. Kids have always been mean, but it seems to have reached a new degree.
post #4 of 16
Sadly I think I displayed a lot of those characteristics as a child but parents at the time weren't aware the way they are now. Add into that that I was being bully by cousins instead of school children things got really bad really quick. And to make matters worse I would get in trouble if I told my parents about it because that was tattle telling. (Honestly, I'm not sure if what I went through myself would just be called bullying, I've spoken with a few others about what happened and have heard the word abuse on more than one occassion)

Some of those facts and mythes crack me up in a very sad way...maybe it was just the family I was raised in but...

Telling got me in trouble as I mentioned above.

The children that bullied me never have physical punishment as their parent's though their poop (I could use a much stronger work here but I'll restrain myself) didn't stink. In other words they were spoiled rotten and probably could have used a good beating. (Sorry maybe that's uncalled for but I'm going to try and be as honest as possbile in this message as it will reflect the true nature of what I feel.)

It wasn't a school problem as much as it was a family problem.

And as far as bullies being made not born...I'm not sure. I never saw the ring leader of this getting bullied or abused and I was around a lot.

I'm not saying that in some cases those are true but in my case they weren't. So keep an eye out for other senarios (sp?) as well...

The long term effects...

I still have serious trust issues with people and am very likely to close off from new people. I have a very few very close friends and beyond that I have trouble letting people in. There is quite honestly a part of me that is terrified that I will wind up alone the rest of my life simply because the part of me that could let people in is so damaged.

Because of the fact that it was the family that had the problem, it still can cause some problems when I'm around my family. (So I'm not sure how it effects people who are bullied in school and then don't have any further contact with the bully once school is over. They are the lucky ones at any rate.) My mother hates it when I even speak about it. However I will not sweep it under a rug, I would rather embarass her or make someone uncomfortable than chance anything that like happening to anyone else. (Quite frankly I would rather take a bullet to the brain than allow someone I love to go through that.)

The cousin's that were the bullies finally got around to apologizing to me a few years ago. I accepted their appologies and we spoke about it a little. I am still trying to forgive them...but I made it very clear that I would never forget. Quite frankly I avoid them as much as possible...and while they may be welcome in my parent's house they are not welcome in mine. That may not sound very much like forgiveness but I've come along way from leaving family get together simply because they were there.


So how do I feel about bullying now?

It scares me. Admittedly it depends on how bad the bullying is but at its worse it is a form of abuse...at it best it's not much better. Is it a problem around here? I don't see it around myself but then I'm not in a school environment and quite frankly my family and friend's children know if I see them bullying anyone they'll get their ears blistered for their trouble.

I would love someday to work with children that have been bullied/abused. There is nothing quite like finding someone who knows what you have been through. Infact in highschool all of my friends either came from abusive childhoods or went through bullying themselves. It was much safer in a large group than it was to be alone. I credit them with getting me through highschool alive. Thankfully it didn't ocurr to me earlier that that would be a way out of it. And I never have been the kind to be physically violent against someone else but it's quite scary to think what would have happened if I had been a different kind of person.

The simple sad truth of the matter is in a lot of cases when bullying is not taken care of and is allowed ot run rampant the way it did when I was a child is that the bullied child didn't turn on the bullies they turn on themselves. I have vivid memories of thinking, it would be so easy to show them...all it would take is that bottle of pain killers over there. It would be just like falling asleep. How simple it sounded at the time. I have a friend, my best friend from highschool that tried to kill herself twice during that period. A cry for help? Probably but isn't it sad that she had to resort to that because no-one would listen then. I won't talk about the one I knew that succeeded, it still hurts my heart to think of him.

Have we gone too far with the ban on bullying now? I don't know but I doubt it...if it saves the life of one child that was bullied it will be worth it. As for the bullies themselves? I have very mixed emotions about them. There is part of me that is probably still a child that cries out that they need to be punished not understood. But there is another part of me that thinks it's sad that these children have been taught such things.

I'm very pro holding parents responsible for their young (and when I say young, I mean not a teenager yet.) children's actions. I'm so sick and tired of hearing, well they (the parents) did the best they could. The simple truth of the matter is sometimes your best isn't good enough. I could get behind the wheel of my car completely sober and do my very best not to hurt anyone and still hit someone and be held responsible or any damage caused regardless of the fact I tried my best. Why should parenting be any different?
post #5 of 16
I was bullied as a kid and like Traci, I still have trust issues with people. Thinking about the memories brings tears to my eyes - it really is not very nice.

I used to get chased home by a group of girls who were older than me - they scared me a lot and one day I finally told my father and he took an afternoon off from work and he waited for me at the school gate and saw those girls chasing me. They saw him and ran back the other way. I don't know what my dad did but I guess he probably reported it to the principal afterwards and those girls never did anything to me again.

I was also teased a lot because of my deafness, I was called dumb because I was deaf, I was called a "deafie" which hurt my feelings. I just called those people ignorant and couldnt do anything but ignore it - if I reacted, they would continue to do it. I am still sensitive to people making jokes about deaf people.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus
I was also teased a lot because of my deafness, I was called dumb because I was deaf, I was called a "deafie" which hurt my feelings. I just called those people ignorant and couldnt do anything but ignore it - if I reacted, they would continue to do it. I am still sensitive to people making jokes about deaf people.
My mother is legally deaf. She wears hearing aids in both ears and does pretty well in the hearing society because of the fact that her father didn't want the other kids to view her differently. She's a wicked lip reader. And often when I was a teen would turn her hearing aids off when she was in my car so she wouldn't have to listen to whatever music I was listening to.

Thankfully those who teased me didn't know about it. I'm not quite sure how I would have reacted if they had started making fun of my mother but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been pretty. Isn't it strange that I would never do anything to defend myself but if anyone else was threatened I was there in a minute.

At any rate, I'm sorry you were teased for that reason. It makes me very sad and angry when I think of others being teased.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am sorry for anyone who has to go through teasing and bullying growing up. I was lucky. The scholl I went to wasn't very large and we all seemed to be friends. We stuck up for each other. I think a large part of it had to do with having a disabled friend in the same class from 1st grade on. We saw the teasing that he recieved from people outside of school and it made us very anger. I wasn't the coolest person (closer to the least cool kid), but I never felt centred out or teased. I saw it more in high school, but I was always in a group of very supportive people and tried to defend those who were being bullied. I was one of the tattle tales - I would tell a teacher or just wade in with my 2 cents. For some reason, that normally stopped it and I was well respected in my school and never bothered (probably because I was willing to help anyone with tutoring or a kind word etc).

Toronto is scaring me right now. There have been swarming incidents with weapons right on or near school grounds. There have been at least 2-3 teens murdered based on this type of behaviour within the last few weeks. It is really making me consider homeschooling when the baby is old enough.
post #8 of 16
There was plenty of bullying, and physical violence, while I was in school in the 60s and 70s, and I see it to some extent (and am not "nice" about putting a stop to it; my method is to reduce the bully or bullies to tears, meaning I do my own "bullying"; it's far more effective than the "reasonable, conciliatory approach",) at the school where I teach. Somehow I've acquired the "enforcer" role, meaning the administration and faculty know what a b**** I can be. I don't really think the problem has gotten worse, but that people (parents, educators, the media) are more aware of it nowadays. Witness how the expression "mobbing" was coined.
post #9 of 16
I could never stand to see anyone bullied (still can't). Once, I interfered in a bully incident, and the boy I rescued was more embarrassed than appreciative of my actions. I've never forgotten that, but I still have the urge to take up for others.

One thing a bully will back down from and that's a challenge. If you call their bluff, they'll usually run away.

Are kids today more evil with their bullying? Is their more physical violence? It would be interesting to see a study of how kids are bullyed today versus 20 years ago. Maybe it hasn't changed. Or maybe it's worse?

Were kids killed at school before Columbine? Or was that considered a bullying incident?
post #10 of 16
Bullying and its prevention is a huge issue in my school district, partly because the research shows more and more that those who are bullied over time stand a greater chance of becoming a Columbine-type killer. Read the book Weakfish: Bullying through the Eyes of a Child by Michael Dorn.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsd
Were kids killed at school before Columbine? Or was that considered a bullying incident?
Regarding Columbine and Eric and Dylan...They were the ones who were bullied, and most pretty much see their rampage as a reaction to the rampant bullying at that high school. From what I understand, it was simply horrible at Columbine and nothing was done about it because it was mainly the jocks who were the bullies. And Columbine has one of the best sports programs in the Denver area, so we wouldn't want those athletes to miss a game or two over a disciplinary action. A friend of mine, now in her 30s, attended Columbine High School and as horrible as it sounds her first gut reaction when she heard about the shootings was, "Good, those bullies had it coming." She said the teachers saw it happening all the time when she was there and nothing was done about it because of the sports teams. When it happened, Earl was working at a retail store not even a mile from the school and he worked with Columbine students. They told him the same thing. Nothing was done about the bullying and the jocks knew they wouldn't get in trouble no matter how far they went with it.
post #12 of 16
Which is why we have such a strong anti-bullying policy. I attended a lecture with Weakfish's Michael Dorn. In part of the presentation, he has his son come on stage. The kid looks like a normal teen, and then you watch as he proceeds to take out some 200 weapons he has concealed on him. Very eye opening.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb25
Which is why we have such a strong anti-bullying policy. I attended a lecture with Weakfish's Michael Dorn. In part of the presentation, he has his son come on stage. The kid looks like a normal teen, and then you watch as he proceeds to take out some 200 weapons he has concealed on him. Very eye opening.
200? I'd say that was an eye opener!
post #14 of 16
I was bullied unmercifully by my sister, and by kids at school. I hate my sister to this day, and have never utterd anther word to 99% of the people I went to school with. When I finally couldn't stand it any more and snapped on my sister, I beat her viciously wiht a golf umberella. When I discover I actually did not have to take that crap, I became a holy terror. If anyone said an unkind word or looked at me wrong, I would punch them in the mouth, and be all over them in about 2 seconds. Girl or boy, it didn't matter. I was a dancer and gymnast at the time, and was pretty buff, so I could do some damage. It took me years to stop being mean and violent. I still revert back to it when I feel threatened.
post #15 of 16
I was bullied when i was in school and i still have the emotional scars with me today.
that is why i teach my kids to stick up for themselves.

I wouldn't be a bully this day and age cause if you make someone angry they may
bring a gun to school and use it on you and others.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Regarding Columbine and Eric and Dylan...They were the ones who were bullied, and most pretty much see their rampage as a reaction to the rampant bullying at that high school. From what I understand, it was simply horrible at Columbine and nothing was done about it because it was mainly the jocks who were the bullies. And Columbine has one of the best sports programs in the Denver area, so we wouldn't want those athletes to miss a game or two over a disciplinary action. A friend of mine, now in her 30s, attended Columbine High School and as horrible as it sounds her first gut reaction when she heard about the shootings was, "Good, those bullies had it coming." She said the teachers saw it happening all the time when she was there and nothing was done about it because of the sports teams. When it happened, Earl was working at a retail store not even a mile from the school and he worked with Columbine students. They told him the same thing. Nothing was done about the bullying and the jocks knew they wouldn't get in trouble no matter how far they went with it.
I did not realise that. So what is their current policy right now?

And I was wondering has any students who were bullied went to court to seek damages for both physical and emotional injury or perhaps even future lost of income for the students that were bullied could not concentrate in school. Also have anyone sued the school for failing in its duty or being complicit in the bullying in the instances where they know about the bullying.
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