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rhubarbodendron November 21 2012 06:43 PM

Break The Bully
 
a group of kids have started a really awesome project: they decided to fight against bullying.
They have a cool video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXSyO...ature=youtu.be

They've also been on FOX news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xufgE1a7xJ0&feature=plcp


If you like the video and the "Break The Bully" campaign, please spread the link at other boards, facebook, blogspot, lifejournal, twitter or whatever social media you frequent.


And if you have personal experience with bullying, please
share with us. After all, bullying is not restricted to a young age. Many adults get bullied, too. What are your anti-bullying strategies? What should a victim do? Is there a way to stop bullying? Let us know your thoughts!

Deranged Nasat November 21 2012 07:01 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
One of the most harmful long-term effects of bullying, in my experience, is that it causes you to lay down thinking patterns that lead you to accept helplessness and apathy. In my case, I soon realized that there was nothing I could do to stop the other children mocking me and holding me up as an object of fun. When they harrassed me, all my options led to the same result. If I ignored them, I was hilarious and so mocked further. If I answered them politely, I was hilarious and so mocked further. If I answered them angrily, I was hilarious and so mocked further. If I danced around and clucked like a chicken...well, that would be no more hilarious and mock-worthy than anything else I did. In hindsight, I can see the effect it had on my thinking patterns; setting up a block that shuts the mind down when confronted with any sort of obstacle or interaction, because my experience is that it will be painful and humiliating and whatever I do it won't bring me any success. It really did lay the foundation for one of my more troublesome traits, which is to see life as a set of obstacles that I just refuse to face because I'm convinced "I can't do anything other than be knocked along passively by these waves".

Nerys Ghemor November 21 2012 07:09 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
IMHO the only way to stop bullying is for authority figures to stop blaming the victim for "tattling" when they report it (or otherwise blaming it on the victim's failings) and start cracking down so hard that the bullies absolutely cannot get out of it and are no longer afforded the opportunity to harass the victim.

thestrangequark November 21 2012 07:20 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
^When I was a teacher we used to distinguish for the kids between 'tattling' and 'telling'. Tattling is something you do to get attention, and telling is something you do to help someone else.

Nerys Ghemor November 21 2012 07:22 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
And what about trying to help yourself, when you're being tormented?

To hear my old teachers tell it, they would've said that was just attention-seeking and being too weak to solve your own problems. :(

Unfortunately, I ended up with an extremely cynical opinion of the public school system as a result of what I went through from K-8. Maybe the reforms that have come down since that time help, but I find myself very reluctant to contemplate sending any future children into that institutional hell.

Deranged Nasat November 21 2012 07:25 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Quote:

Nerys Ghemor wrote: (Post 7286860)
I find myself very reluctant to contemplate sending any future children into that institutional hell.

I feel the same.

thestrangequark November 21 2012 07:32 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Quote:

Nerys Ghemor wrote: (Post 7286860)
And what about trying to help yourself, when you're being tormented?

Obviously, that would be considered telling, not tattling. The person who needs help can be oneself. The distinction between tattling and telling is part of teaching children to mediate and resolve conflicts on their own, while also recognizing when adult intervention is necessary, and learning to understand their own motivations. There is a lot of work that goes into it, but it mostly comes down to teaching the kids to ask themselves a few simple questions: Is the behavior of the person you are telling about hurting themselves, you, or someone else, physically or emotionally? Could it? Is this something I can solve by myself or with my friends or do I need a grown-up?

MacLeod November 21 2012 07:37 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Bullying can have long term effect on the sufferer, which can last long beyond the period of being bullying. Physical injuries heal, but emotional injuries aren't usaully as quick to heal.

As to what can be done to prevent it, I don't think there is an easy answer to that as I think there are a variety of causes as to why some people are bullies.

It is not the fault of the person being bullied.

SmoothieX November 21 2012 07:39 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
How about we keep it simple and just do what people have done to bullies for years, pop them in the jaw. (I say this from personal experience.)

I hate this mamby pamby PC crap.

Deranged Nasat November 21 2012 07:41 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Quote:

thestrangequark wrote: (Post 7286917)
Quote:

Nerys Ghemor wrote: (Post 7286860)
And what about trying to help yourself, when you're being tormented?

Obviously, that would be considered telling, not tattling. The person who needs help can be oneself. The distinction between tattling and telling is part of teaching children to mediate and resolve conflicts on their own, while also recognizing when adult intervention is necessary, and learning to understand their own motivations. There is a lot of work that goes into it, but it mostly comes down to teaching the kids to ask themselves a few simple questions: Is the behavior of the person you are telling about hurting themselves, you, or someone else, physically or emotionally? Could it? Is this something I can solve by myself or with my friends or do I need a grown-up?

I certainly acknowledge the reasoning behind this, but part of the problem as I see it is that the children who embrace the "negotiate-among-ourselves" strategy are probably the ones who most need help with bullying. After all, if your preferred approach to conflict resolution is peaceable negotiation, you're just an easy target for those who feel the need to dominate. I myself didn't do a very good job of asking for help when the opportunity arose because my immediate reaction to adult attention was to put on a fake smile, pretend everything was okay and insist that could sort it out ourselves. I was in fact praised for being very mature, so I know that went down well with the teachers. But the other children weren't interested in negotiating or coming to fair arrangements or listening to reason; they were interested in asserting dominance and ganging up on each other, etc. I wasn't one to rush to adults to fix my problems, but in a sense that was exactly the reason why I needed them most, because I had trained myself to brush aside the one source of power I had.

thestrangequark November 21 2012 07:48 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
^All those are totally valid points, but, like I said, it is the foundation of a very involved program that addresses those points by teaching children how to evaluate situations first, to recognize these pitfalls, and to support one another. It is also about teaching teachers to recognize these things, and ways of supporting each student -- including the ones, who, like you say, may not be very good at asking for help when they need it.

I have taught in classrooms where these methods were used from kindergarten on as well as in classes where they were not used at all. The differences are striking. This method has evolved into the Social-Emotional Learning approach, which you might be interested in reading about. It really is worthwhile, and the evidence thus far supports my own experience that it really helps prevent a lot of bullying.

Owain Taggart November 21 2012 07:50 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Well, being of short stature, my school life was very much affected by Bullying, to the point that it's affected me at a psychological level. But I use that to build myself up to be a better person.

People can be terrible, especially towards others that they don't understand. Just in the target being "different" can trigger antagonistic behavior in the bully.

There was one guy, when we were in science class shaping glass over bunsen burners, who thought it would be hilarious if he took his hot piece of glass and poke me with it. Good thing I had a pair of thick jogging pants, because that thing left a very visible mark on it, and there's no question that if I had been wearing something thinner that I'd have been burned on my thigh. I've also had someone who was successful in pulling down my pants right in full public view.

But the one that stands out for me was a guy who, in Junior High, had the look of a serial killer. Very tall guy with a very serious look to him with a piercing gaze. Apparently he was somewhat of a troublemaker in the system. Kept being thrown out of school, and the school board didn't know what to do with him. He'd also been in the juvenile prison. He on more than one occasion would spit on me and was someone I felt uncomfortable being around. Unfortunately because of him going from school to school, it wasn't the only school that I went to where he was either, as he was also later in my High School.

Well, fast-forward about 10 years later, and I'm watching the local news. There's a story about a stabbing at a movie theater, apparently over an argument. As they read the name of the suspect, I'm taken back to my days at school with this guy. It was chilling and it really hit home and it proved to me that my suspicions were right about the guy.

Nerys Ghemor November 21 2012 08:29 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
I also have little faith in the ability of school employees to handle bullies. After too many times of being told it was my fault that other students' behavior hurt me ("grow up and get a thicker skin"), I find it hard to believe that "self-policing" methods would actually create anything other than a Lord of the Flies style mini-society that many teachers are content to ignore because it keeps kids in line (the wrong way, of course) without their having to do any work.

Captrek November 21 2012 08:34 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Make bullying kill itself!

thestrangequark November 21 2012 08:38 PM

Re: Break The Bully
 
Quote:

Nerys Ghemor wrote: (Post 7287220)
I also have little faith in the ability of school employees to handle bullies. After too many times of being told it was my fault that other students' behavior hurt me ("grow up and get a thicker skin"), I find it hard to believe that "self-policing" methods would actually create anything other than a Lord of the Flies style mini-society that many teachers are content to ignore because it keeps kids in line (the wrong way, of course) without their having to do any work.

I don't think you're quite understanding the method I'm describing. It really is much more complex than that, and much better. Like I said, the difference between classes where students have been taught with this approach or similar approaches is palpable. It's hard to describe if you haven't experienced it, I guess. But I really would encourage reading about it, it is not only effective anecdotally, but the scientific research (admittedly, it's only just beginning to be studied) is supporting teachers', parents', psychologists', and administrators' anecdotal claims that SEL has a significant positive effect on behavior and academics, and that it significantly decreases instances of bullying and feelings of unhappiness and being unsafe at school. It certainly has nothing to do with teachers ignoring problems or deferring responsibility. In fact, it requires huge investments of time and energy on part of the teachers.


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