Break The Bully

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by rhubarbodendron, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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=GXSyOPWbGR0&feature=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!
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    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".
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^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.
     
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I feel the same.
     
  7. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. SmoothieX

    SmoothieX Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    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.
     
  11. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^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.
     
  12. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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  15. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    I was bullied in primary school. Kids (boys) from older grades took me as a target to call me all imaginative ways that can be taken to one meaning: you're ugly like hell.

    It had lasted for two years until I barked back to one of them (something like "you'd not that beautiful yourself") and he never did that again. For weeks I was spending my evenings, inventing replies to their attacks not to repeat any and one by one I freed myself from them.

    That taught me one thing: they attack weaker and if weaker shows they are not so weak, the bullies either run in fear or don't enjoy it any longer. I learnt to fight back.

    That also left me with one thing: I'm ugly. Sometimes I cry after accidentally looking into the mirror. I have to prepare myself mentally to look at that face, or I react to it very negatively. When people on a street laugh at something, I always think it's me and my horrible face. For years I didn't allow photos being taken of me.

    Someone may ask why I never told anyone (teachers, parents). The answer is simple: it never occurred to me to do so.
     
  17. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It certainly never occurred to me to tell my teachers or parent about being bullied. If I'd told my teachers it would have lead to more bullying as soon as any culprits were reprimanded. If I told my mother all hell would have broken loose and she would have been screaming into the phone like a lunatic at the school and then it would never have been mentioned again.

    This is before these things were out there in the atmosphere as things to be discussed and things to be dealt with so I have no idea if any less of it happens now. Zero tolerance for physical violence is common here these days which might have been some help.
     
  18. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    My mother would probably assume I deserved it or "asked for it" and reaped what I sowed :rolleyes: I think I'd get more help from my teachers, if I told them.
     
  19. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    yes, that's exactly the situation I was in: if I had told the teachers, I'd have been subjected to the revenge of the bullies and when I told my parents they just shrugged and said "well, then don't go anywhere near the bullies". They failed to tell me how I should achieve that, having to use the same bus and the same road from the bus stop to school.
    In the end the prob was solved when one of the older pupils befriended me and the bullies were scared of attacking him as well since his mom was a well-known and influential person, but not all kids are that lucky.

    That works when it's only one bully and he/she is about your size. But what if you get bullied by a group, and if they are a good deal bigger and stronger than you are?


    Cyber-bullies are easier to handle. You just have to make them ridiculous, then they will get bullied themselves. Fortunately, cyber-bullies are often a bit stupid in my experience and hence easy to pwn.
     
  20. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes of course it doesn't work most of the time. I was a very tiny, very near sighted, very introverted child. I was hardly going to pop a gang of boys in their jaws which is what I had to deal with on the bus.

    I remember there was one girl who made my life hell, she was the classically super popular girl. One time I finally told a favorite teacher about her (this was in the third grade) and she made up a massive lie about me on the spot which was backed up by all her groupies. I remember being actually dumbfounded that someone had the audacity to lie like that and come up with it so instantly.

    Of the boys that I suffered bullying from I know two were arrested for burning their father's house down, one was in a terrible car accident and ended up with severe brain damage (driving drunk) and one spent time in prison.

    So it seems these people had some of their own problems.