Bullying.... A Schools Failure!
This is a very serious topic!
BULLYING!!! Yep! I know it has been in the news a lot lately, especially because of the violent incidents that have happened at our nations schools, and even churches. With as much as we have seen, and been outraged by these things you would think that it would begin stemming the tide of all the hate.
Well obviously not.
I was bullied growing up, and even as an adult in my past jobs. So much so I did a post about that experience of being bullied in the workplace. When I was in school and a bully decided to take it too far, and tried to get physical, I defended myself. The one thing my Mother, and Grandfather taught me was never start a fight, but if someone swings at you first.... then you finish that fight. They also said if you can't finish it (win) then make sure they remember you were there, so much so that they will not make the mistake of coming back for another round. I even had kids try to physically bully me in other ways not just by hitting or punching but by pulling my hair (6th grade), or tripping me (Jr. High) or attempt to push me into a janitors closet (6th grade again). Then there were the verbal taunts, names that they called me and sounds they made to degrade me. I began to gain weight in 6th grade so some boys decided to call me bull and made the accompanying noises. Other kids joined in too and those that did not join in, just didn't say anything. Even at lunch I was terrorized so much I would not eat but just get milk, and go all day hungry until I got home. Then I would eat and eat because I was really hungry and so upset. (I know makes you wonder what kind of kids I went to school with, and what kind of kid I was. I was actually a very quiet child so they thought I made an easy target.) Then I had one kid just come right up to me in Jr. High and again in High School and tell me they just did not like me and told me that I needed to just go away or die (same person). This kid was new to the school (Jr. High) and was making friends with my group of friends. She did not appreciate how my friends seemed to be very attentive to me, and they even treated me like their favorite kid sister. Kind of babied, or spoiled me. Hey I was not going to object. I was by no means the queen bee but one of my old friends described me as kind of the groups little princess.
Now all of the bullying did hurt my feelings, lets face it I am human. The worst I experienced I think was while in 6th grade. I told my mom, I told my teacher and here is the response I got........ "Well just ignore them. They will stop when they know it does not bother you." HMMMMMMMMMM DON'T YOU THINK I TRIED THAT!!!! Yeah that is why it got so bad is because they knew I was not going to say anything. It was like giving them a free ticket to torment me even more. So here is what I say. DO NOT EVER tell your kid who is being bullied to just ignore them!!! SPEAK UP!!! And as far as ignoring them because they will quit if they think it does not bother you.....NO, not happening, if you ignore them and try to give them no reaction they increase the torment so they can GET a reaction!
Now my little niece who is in Jr. High and on the cheerleader squad and is pretty well loved by teachers and students had one girl that has been bullying her. This child started out on the cheerleader squad with her, but she was very nasty to the other girls so my niece Lily told the coach, and the coach asked the other girls about it. When she found it was true the bully was removed from the team indefinitely. Well this child did not take that as a lesson on her behavior because it was well explained why she was being removed from the team. NO! She decided that it was Lily's fault and that she would torment her. So since last year this little girl has been doing whatever she could to pick a fight with my niece. Fortunately Lily made sure that when that child was around trying to start trouble she managed to make her way to a teacher while she followed and taunted, and the teacher saw this and put an end to it. Well Lily also told me and her mom about this. So as time goes by the girl was getting more devious with her behavior. So we took the problem to the school.........More Than Once! First time we called and spoke to the principal, then we went to the school and sat down with the principal and the cheer coach and a teacher that has witnessed this bullying. (Her parents refused to attend stating she was not causing a problem) The school changed this girls classes so they would not be in the same classes, but did not separate their home room and they still had to be on the same bus. We asked that this be remedied because now this girl was using these opportunities to torment her, especially on the bus. Lets face it the bus driver cannot watch them ALL the time, they have to watch the road at some point.
All of this culminates to this child, one week ago taking advantage of the opportunity that they had a substitute driver and walked from her seat in the front to Lily's seat in the back and assaulted her. (Punched her in the face!!!) My niece did what she knew to do best, she defended herself. Well she did that so well the little girl ran away from her back to the front of the bus, and from behind the seat turned and told her she was going to kick her F*^($@ A&$! Well Lily responds "No You Won't!" I have to give her credit in that she refrained from using foul language like her bully did. So as she was defending herself, another child managed to catch on video the girl attacking her but yet the school decides she needed to attend the alternative school for one week with the students who have committed serious crimes and are not allowed to attend the general public schools due to the severity of the criminal activity.
Please tell me when is it not OK to defend yourself?!?!? Especially when someone is punching you!!! So we take the issue to the school board, and the Superintendent said she will still have to go to the alternative school but just for 3 days but will spend her time in the study room located in the office with the staff and the instigator will have to attend for the remaining weeks of the school year. By the time both punishments are done the school year will be over. Starting next year they will make sure that the other child rides another school bus and is in all different classes including homeroom. So to stop the bullying for one child took TWO YEARS of parents getting involved, to get the school to take action. Then all of that effort on the parental figures so there would NOT be a physical incident was of no use, because this child still thought it was OK to physically attack another person and torment them, and the school still allowed opportunities for this child to get physical!
Usually I do not get on my soap box, but I feel that schools take just as little action now as they did 20 years ago to stop, and prevent bullying. Do not get me wrong responsibility does not fall completely on the school. The parents need to be involved too when they find out that this kind of behavior is being displayed! When you are told that your child is being a bully do not immediately dismiss it and say "Oh my baby would never hurt a fly." Well people I hate to tell you that your baby might not hurt a fly but your baby sure as heck hurt another person either by their actions or words.