Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bullying and confusing signals

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_school_bullying_limits

I read this article today on Yahoo. That children get bullied is a fact. But the viciousness that some of them exhibit has grown exponentially, while the PC nonsense keeps the others dithering with regard to self defense.

While I do believe that children have mini versions of the real world interactions in their class room/play ground/ school halls, the condition of these areas should continue to worry us. Extrapolating from there, the real world is a place fraught with sabotaging best friends and out of control bullies. The children of course, must not mind and not fight because "we need to learn to use our words." Yes, I can completely see where talking vs throwing punches got the rest of the world. That must be why everyone is involved in some war everywhere. Because we didn't "learn to use our words." Absolute bull!

There are no educators with spines and no parents with spines and so the children are just LEFT to fend for themselves. All in the name of some stupid notion of growth and independence.

pic credit - graur razvan ionut, freedigitalphotos.net
I think we still have our blinders on about bullying. We still see it as an exercise in "standing up" for oneself. I think, in these contexts, children will be glad that they make it out alive. Standing up for oneself is moot point.

Mini-Him attended a wonderful private school for years. They were great with academics and Mini-Him was ahead of his peers and that was, according to my short sighted self, all that mattered. It changed when he had a health condition that required medication. Not only did Mini-Him bounce off the walls in the adjustment process, he was seriously depressed. Very often talking about death and nightmare scenarios that parents don't want to hear about. His teachers wrote him off and strangely, so did his friends. He studied in a Montessori with children both older and younger than him (Mini-Him was 6). The older kids took to bullying him. The worst was when one very burly 8 year old held him down and another burly kid smacked a football into his eye. Mini-Him was too terrified to tell anyone and came home crying. When we asked him over and over why he wouldn't tell anyone, he said that they would hurt him more for tattling. Of course, Him and I went to the school and had some strong words. While one person was ardently supportive, the rest of the attitudes were casual. Laid back. Like we cooked up a fuss they would now have to trouble themselves to deal with. We contemplated changing schools, but there were more changes to come on the family front. So we thought it best to have him in one place. Many more instances continued. They would knock him down, grab his shoes and throw them far away in the sandy playground. Sometimes over the gates onto the street. Mini-Him only told us about these incidents when they were over and long gone. I think, perhaps, we also expected him to simply "cope." I approached the teachers often. They would detail Mini-Him's short comings. They were plenty in those days. I shouldn't have had him continue there. But that was one point of stability in his world. There was never a complaint about Mini-Him physically attacking anyone. He simply couldn't stop chattering and appeared to be spacing out. How on earth did that warrant bullying by other children?! A different school, country and two years later, I can say that I too was drawn in and attempted to fall in line and not "make a big deal" of it. I was constantly told, as if it was consolation, that it gets "much worse" in middle school.

Who do we all think we are?! What sort of crap do we deem normal these days?! When did we turn into creatures who live like those in gutters where anything goes?!

Bus bullying, school bullying or any of it needs a much stronger response. The parents who go fight for the rights of bullies need to be evaluated by social services too! And if the parents don't know, they'll find out when their child is removed from the school for a certain amount of time.

This stunning, willful blindness will only produce more adults who think that going to school in a psychological war-zone is normal. Because you see, they were that way too!!



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