A Conversation for Bullying
Danger of Responses
Silban Started conversation Apr 12, 2003
I really liked the first half of the article. It was nice to see an entry that attempts to shed light on and disprove many of the myths about bullies.
I didn't like the responses section though. The only method that you described which actually helps get rid of the problem was "Spill the Beans". All of the others merely displaced or internalized the harrassment. Neither of which actually solves the problem.
The only solution to stop bullying at school is for parents to get involved and protect their children. If schools advocate, endorse or ignore bullying, there are plenty of legal methods which parents can try to solve the problem. Of course there are always exceptions and really tough cases where there just doesn't seem to be an answer at all except for the kid to try and hide in the broom closet.
Ignoring and avoiding have very deep phsycological consequences as well as allowing the bully to continue on with his/her work.
Schools of course need to adopt programs to eliminate (not limit) the damages caused by bullying and parents should be more than prepared to punish their children if they catch them bullying others. Leaving the problem on children's shoulders is more than they can handle and they shouldn't be expected to either.
A GREAT book on the subject is "Changing the Bully Who Rules the World: Reading and Thinking About Ethics" by Carol Bly. She does a great job of combining contemporary literature, social work, phsychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy into a big, easy to digest morsel that will change the way you look at the world and give you hope for the future.
Martin Harper Posted Apr 13, 2003
In an ideal world I'd love to recommend spilling the beans as the ultimate answer. In this world I know that most teachers are massively overworked just teaching. In this world I know that many parents make things worse, not better. And I know that with bullying smacking your self-esteem, a solution that doesn't come from outside forces can do wonders in restoring it. Wandering into your school with a gun and killing the people who've made your life a misery may not be a terribly healthy response, but I bet it sure as hell feels good.
Silban Posted Apr 13, 2003
I've never really understood this whole fascination with the "real world" that people talk about. It sounds a lot like defeatism to me. It is my firm belief that if people just stop accepting bad behavior from others, the bad behavior will at least diminish. I have yet to hear anyone say that bullies actually do good things and that their actions are morally good. Most people don't like bullies. Most people complain about bullies, but they never openly tell the bully what they feel. I'm not talking about the people being bullied, I'm talking about the people watching.
Perfect world or not, you still did not address the phsycological dangers of avoidance and the huge impact that can have on a child and sometimes even an adult. Yes they are options, but there is a danger there that has to be addressed, which this entry did not do.
There is a wealth of knowledge that we have accumulated in the last 50 years about this topic. If you ever decide to look into this amazing knowledge that has been acumulated by social workers (not social services employees, but those who have masters degrees and Ph. D's) and physcologists you will find something to give you hope. This is not a dirty, evil grimy world that everyone likes to call "real". Instead you will find a world that is filled with hope and potential, and it is very real.
I really did like the entry. It does help shed light on the situation in a positive way, but it only goes half as far as it could. By presenting the options of avoidance, acceptance and violence as good options, you keep people from learning the whole truth about what is going on and the full consequences of their actions.
The real world argument is to admit defeat to the bullies. The real world argument is the same as saying that this is the way it is and this is the way it will always be. It doesn't have to be this way though. This phenomenon is not part of the human condition, it is merely a stage of development. Admittedly it is very difficult for us to advance beyond it, but we are more than capable of it.
Danger of Responses
Sally-Mary Posted Apr 5, 2008
Spilling the beans doesn't always work. I was bullied by a girl named Rachel back when I was fourteen, and I told the teachers. Shortyly after this, both myself and Rachel were hauled off to a teacher's room to 'talk our problems over'.
Rachel acted completely innocent, and within five minutes even I was almost convinced it had been a misunderstanding, and I knew she was lying.
As soon as the meeting was done, she cornered me in the hallway and threatened me with extreme violence.
I went to the teachers again, and again, we had another meeting with the teacher, and again, Rachel convinced everyone I was an attention-seeking, lying brat. By this time, I was convinced that all my teachers were mrons, which didn't really help the situation.
The problem was solved when one of Rachel's friend heard her threaten me and told Rachel that if she didn't back off right then and there, then not only would they no longer be friends but she would smash Rachel's face in.
Rachel never bothered me again- not so much as a glare across the classroom.
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