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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » "If you ignore the bullies, they'll stop bothering you." (Page 2)

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BannaOj
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Irami, what if they would have been the bullies had they gone to school? Wouldn't they be even more unbearable now?

(believe me, I know plenty of homeschoolers who are unbearable, but I don't know that bullying would have helped one way or the other, and I know as many quiet and shy ones as unbearable ones)

AJ

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Icarus
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hmm . . . how many of us have never said of somebody, "he really could use a good a$$-kicking"?
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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AJ,
Under the right circumstances, and if it's dealt with the right way, even the bully can grow from the ordeal, and I think that school is the perfect place for this because it's a moderately controlled setting.

LJ,

quote:
Humiliate and beat them.
It's a funny word, humiliate. Is the sense to make humble? When we speak about humility, is it always a bad trait?

Icarus,

quote:
hmm . . . how many of us have never said of somebody, "he really could use a good a$$-kicking"?
And maybe if he would have gotten in when he was 12 instead of 42, we could have saved the world 30 years of ahole.

______

The flip side is obvious. The trauma, anguish, and loneliness are awful in themselves.

Do you think OSC could have written Ender's Game if hadn't been bullied, at least some what? They say that an unhappy childhood is indispensible for a writer. I think it's a facile statement. It paints an intricate problem with a broad brush, but I do believe that there is an insight that comes with being bullied, that is, after years and years and being scared to leave your bed.

[ March 22, 2005, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Lady Jane
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What is there to it? Don't say something and pretend there is value there without defining or naming it. Consigning human beings to known pain out of a vague itch that maybe it might be not completely worthless is irresponsible.

Humiliating is not the same as humbling. That's why there are two different words for it.

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Dagonee
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Fortunately, it doesn't look like unhappy childhoods are going anywhere, so we'll still have a good pool of tortured children to produce good writers.
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Teshi
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quote:
hmm . . . how many of us have never said of somebody, "he really could use a good a$$-kicking"?
But how many of those people have we actually attacked?

And how many of those being bullied are those who deserve it? Usually the people who don't deserve it are the victims and those who do the bullies.

Edit: What Dag said. Again.

[ March 22, 2005, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: Teshi ]

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BannaOj
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I think being a bully does massive amounts of harm to one's character. Yes you can become older and wiser, and realize that you were a jerk later, but that doesn't excuse the behavior *ever*.

AJ
(because bullying taken to an extreme leads to an SS Gestapo lifestyle, and I don't think that school is a controlled enough setting, it's starting out a bully with a sense of entitlement that often leads to a lifetime of rutless behavior and insensitivity towards others.)

[ March 22, 2005, 02:44 PM: Message edited by: BannaOj ]

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I think it's ironic that there is probably nobody on this board who hates jails more than I do. I hate them. It's institutionalized state bullying. I have jury duty in three weeks, and as soon as I open my yap and tell the court what I really feel, there is no way I'm going to make the cut.

But here I am, defending the practice of allowing bullying, allowing the people stand-up and defend the bullied, and allowing a vigorous discussion about it in class.

Maybe I'm being inconsistent with respect to prison and school-yard bullying, or maybe my views meet at a core level that is deeper than I'm presently aware of. [Dont Know] I'll put it on my list of things to work out.

[ March 22, 2005, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Teshi
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Irami, do you hate jails or do you hate what goes on inside jails?
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Myr
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He hates the idea of bullying as a form of punishment, which is what he believes jails are.
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Puffy Treat
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So, tell me: What's so great about me feeling disconnected from my own feelings?

Nothing about being verbally and emotionally abused did me any good.

And the physical bullying stuff certainly didn't do me any favors.

All it's done is influence habits that have been a detriment to my life and brewed an level of anger and resentment that isn't in anyway constructive in helping me truly express myself or connect with others.

The pat "It builds character" answer doesn't really work.

Nor does trying to change the subject into a rant of the prison system.

But like I said...the point of this thread was never "I wish there was a way to stop all bullying".

I know (as I said) that such would be impossible.

What would have been possible (and what I'm upset about) is all the advice I got at that impressionable age that I feel was mis-guided. Basically, I was taught to repress and not acknowledge my feelings about being bullied. And it gradually translated into a numbing of my feelings across the board.

All I know is, telling someone to just blow away hurt feelings is so far away from actually helping them that I think it may actually qualify as harming them. The hurt feelings are still there. Pretending they don't matter never made them go away.

Not unless I stopped feeling, period.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
He hates the idea of bullying as a form of punishment, which is what he believes jails are.
Agreed.
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Book
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quote:
I went to a private, Catholic, all boys high school, and if those are your reasons for choosing such a school, I have to tell you that they are seriously misguided.
Nuts.
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Danzig
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Irami - The character that is built is not necessarily the one you would endorse, much less anyone else. I have had the good fortune to have escaped any bullying by peers, although I consider several policemen I have had contact with to be bullies. Reading the responses to this thread I see no examples of bullying that I could classify as an improvement to anyone's character. I learned something from the pigs, but I doubt you would agree with it.

Have you ever even been on the wrong end of a cell door? The jail itself is not fĂĽcking state-sponsored bullying. It is the utter powerlessness to move beyond the damned walls. You can escape, undermine, or kill bullies if you care enough. Police are bullies. Wardens are bullies. Inmates are bullies. Not the jail. School : schoolyard bullies :: prison : cops, inmates, and wardens. But hey, everyone involved learns something, so that makes it a good idea, right?

For someone who continually claims that most people attempt to deny unpleasant realities rather than practice self-improvement, it certainly seems you live in some onanistic dream academy to this middle-class white boy.

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skeptic
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Shooting the bullies seems to be an effective (though socially unacceptable) method for stopping it :-).

Seriously though, I see schools taking half measures that look and sound good but have no actual effect other than protecting the school from lawsuits.

At two of the schools I have taught at, we practiced "lockdown drills" in response to Columbine. We had drills, like fire drills, where we practiced what we would do in case there were students with guns in the halls. To me this seems idiotic. By doing this, we have told those who would have the guns what our response would be so that they can better plan how to kill us.

At the school currently in the news, they had two security guards, but they were powerless to do anything. At the very least they should have had a way to rapidly communicate the alarm. I think they should have had guns and been able to protect the students. They should probably have been real cops with the training and power to use the force necessary, and the power to arrest and bring charges.

Let's look at the bullying education provided: ignore it, tell the bully you will go to the teacher, go to the teacher. This education protects the school, not the kid. In fact, it probably puts the kid at greater risk. Yet when the student goes to the teacher, the teacher is powerless to do much of anything. What needs to happen is that bullies need to be dealt with seriously. With a cop in the building, it should be possible to investigate, charge and prosecute kids who bully under existing laws such as assault and making terroristic threat (threats intended to terrorize an individual).

Bullies pick on the weak. Teaching kids assertiveness (and perhaps Judo or other defensive training) might help kids who are bullied to stand up for themselves, though this would open schools up for liability litigation. We need to pass a law protecting the schools so that they can do this effectively.

Bullies frequently bully because of low self-esteem. They often have a verbally or physically abusive parent, or at least a parent who is absent. I'd suggest mandatory counseling for kids accused of bullying as well as sending someone from child services to interview the family of known bullies. However, at least in the states I have worked (PA, MD and NJ), child services is terribly understaffed and drops the ball to the detriment of the children they are supposed to protect. For this to work, we need to fix child services (hire more staff and give them the power to actually protect kids (with this power comes the power to abuse it--how do you make sure that good parents are not persecuted unfairly?)).

Other options which I add to stoke the fires (note that I am not necessarily in favor of these):
--video surveillance cameras in schools (everywhere) so that incidents of bullying can be proven and prosecuted.
--proven bullies are removed and sent to alternative schools. (after one incident, two incidents?)
--provide legal consequences for parents of bullies (fines, jail time)
--arm teachers and train them to defend students against the child who flips out and tries to kill everyone.

Hope that fans the flames.

[ March 23, 2005, 07:57 AM: Message edited by: skeptic ]

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skeptic
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Irami wrote:
quote:
think it's ironic that there is probably nobody on this board who hates jails more than I do. I hate them. It's institutionalized state bullying.

But here I am, defending the practice of allowing bullying, allowing the people stand-up and defend the bullied, and allowing a vigorous discussion about it in class.

Maybe I'm being inconsistent with respect to prison and school-yard bullying, or maybe my views meet at a core level that is deeper than I'm presently aware of. I'll put it on my list of things to work out.

Your views are consistent from where I sit. You are against the institution and for those who refuse to follow the rules.

I don't like the way jails are run, but I do think that having rules that we all agree to and enforcing them consitently is a good thing. I don't see this as the state being a bully. We control the laws and the judges when we vote and lobby our legislators. If you don't like the way the system works, work to change the system.

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Megan
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quote:
even the bully can grow from the ordeal
I don't believe this for a second. I experienced the non-physical emotional bullying that is most commonly applied to girls (you know, the "This person's different; let's make fun of them so that we can all have a good laugh and be damn glad we aren't her.") To me, if bullying is allowed (regardless of who allows it), the bullies learn that they're above the rules. And, at a large university, I see too, too many people who have made it through the system with the idea that the rules are something to be "got around" and things that just don't apply to them.

Moreover, because I was bullied, I view all "pretty people" with an inherent suspicion, since it was mainly cheerleaders and their pals who did the bullying. By the end of middle school and high school, I'd gotten to the point where I automatically assumed that people were rotten (and possibly making fun of me behind my back) until I got to know them (assume the worst, you know). I've only recently managed to conquer that to a small extent, and there's still quite a bit of mistrust and misanthropy in me.

So, no. Bullying is not a positive thing.

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Lady Jane
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I hate Seinfeld, but I saw one scene that made me laugh and laugh.

Jerry and George were discussing some bullies from junior high. They asked Elaine if she had ever been bullied.

"Nah, girls don't do that. We just give each other eating disorders."

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Lady Jane
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quote:
You are against the institution and for those who refuse to follow the rules.
That isn't even internally consistent. You hate the institutions of society but also those who do not follow the rules made by the institutions of society.

Irami, you dislike people you identify with being bullied, but you approve of bullying for people you do not identify with. That's not paradoxical - it's the profile of a standard bully.

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Teshi
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quote:
At two of the schools I have taught at, we practiced "lockdown drills" in response to Columbine. We had drills, like fire drills, where we practiced what we would do in case there were students with guns in the halls. To me this seems idiotic. By doing this, we have told those who would have the guns what our response would be so that they can better plan how to kill us.
The theory behind lockdown drills is that you go into class rooms, close the door (locked), turn off the lights and sit out of view.

It removes all stimulation from the assailant and theoretically leaves them alone in an empty, silent hallway with darkened, closed and locked classrooms containing all the students.

It's obviously not foolproof. A madman will presumably do anything to get at a victim or victims. The gunman/attacker might have already injured or killed some people. However, there are no crowds fleeing randomly, no shouting, no chaos; nothing that makes the attacker feel like he is in charge or powerful.

That is the theory behind lockdowns.

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beverly
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We've heard about boys bullying boys and girls bullying girls. I am a girl who was bullied by boys. They didn't bully me physically the way they would another boy, it was emotional. But it was every bit as damaging in a completely different way. I walked home from school alone, and there were some boys in my neighborhood that would follow me home and say horrible, horrible things to me that no girl should have to deal with. "Ugly" was their favorite adjective for me, among others.

Ignoring didn't work. I was timid and I secretly believed the horrible things they told me. I didn't know how to stand up for myself at all, so I was such an easy target.

My parents had the gall to tell me that maybe they "liked" me and didn't know how to show it.

I sincerely hope I can give my children a better arsenal for dealing with such things.

I came away from the experience with a deep and irrational hate for "jock" type men, or any guy who is overly masculine.

[ March 23, 2005, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: beverly ]

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Irami, you dislike people you identify with being bullied, but you approve of bullying for people you do not identify with. That's not paradoxical - it's the profile of a standard bully.
Maybe that's the case. I think it's closer to this. There are eight fragments from Heraclitus I appreciate:

quote:
(43) Homer was wrong in saying: "Would that strife might perish from among gods and humans!" He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for, if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away. . . .

(44) War is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some humans, some bond and some free.

(45) People do not know how what is at variance agrees with itself. It is an attunement of opposite tensions, like that of the bow and the lyre.

(46) It is the opposite which is good for us.

(47) The hidden attunement is better than the open.

(48) Let us not conjecture at random about the greatest things.

(49) People that love wisdom must be acquainted with very many things indeed.

(50) The straight and the crooked path of the fuller's comb is one and the same.


I think that there is a certain kind of tension that sets the stage for growth and humanity. That said, I think it's perfectly appropriate for Bev to have an aversion to "jock-type" men and Megan to be suspicous of cheerleaders. I think it's okay to be suspicious of suspicious people and averse to those who call for it. I also believe it allows one to appreciate the many good and decent people in the world and, more importantly, it allows one to know and teach the difference.

My problem may be that I think bullying is a complex issue, and in order to deal with it appropriately, we kind of have to let it manifest a little, kind of like bacteria. Some bacteria are good, most are bad, but if you kill all bacteria, the body dies.

I think that Bush is a callous bully in a nice christian dress. I think it's because I have developed a keen eye with respect to bullies, enough to see past the shrouds and veils. And I think my aversion to him is well-placed.

As a tangent, there are a lot of women who hate men, for cause. I think if we were more open with bullying and dealt more thoughtfully with bullying type issues when kids were kids, we'd have fewer instances of domestic abuse and all around obnoxious behavior from adults.

I worry that all of the anti-bully restrictions in school don't do a thing to change bullies or the bullied, rather, gives the bullying tendency time to incubate and manifest itself later in life, when more is at stake.

[ March 23, 2005, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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skeptic
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Teshi, I understand the theory behind lockdowns. I agree wholehartedly. What I disagree with is practicing them with students. It seems likely to me that by practicing the lockdown, we show the kid who will shoot us what we will do so that he can plan how to kill us better.
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Lady Jane
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I think you don't know yourself or bullying well enough to recognize it when you do it.
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Teshi
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skeptic: How are you going to get students to know what to do unless you practice them with students? What if there is no teacher at the room?

[ March 23, 2005, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: Teshi ]

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skeptic
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Teshi--you and I want the same thing, safe schools. Although I think it is foolish to let kids know the plan, I certainly didn't let them know my opinion, and I made sure that they took the drill seriously. After Columbine, crisis plans seemed to be everywhere. I think they were adopted by administrators because there was a clamor to do something. Whether the something they did would be effective or not didn't seem to be given the attention I think it needed.

With that said, here is my answer to your question:

For the kids in my class, I would give them clear instructions and expect them to listen as they are taught to do for any emergency situation.

For kids not in my immediate presence, teachers, administrators and staff could be assigned zones of the school to cover. Zones should overlap so there is double or triple coverage in case one person fails to work that area for any reason (like they got shot).

I would practice this plan on an inservice day to avoid students learning exactly what the plan would be.

I wonder if Red Lake High had a crisis management plan and whether it worked well or not. Did Jeff Weise know about the plan, and did he adjust his movements accordingly? I know Columbine was well planned. The kids had a map of the school that they used to determine how to get maximum effect.

I'd also like to see some statistics. How many incidents were effectively countered by these crisis plans? I haven't been able to find any data on this. I know how I _think_ the data would look, but until it is actually collected and analyzed all we have is a difference of opinion. I'm certainly willing to change mine if someone can show me some evidence.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I do it all of the time. I'm just not convinced it's bad. I think that when you throw out bullying wholesale, you throw out the baby with the bath water.

The question becomes, what is good bullying and what is bad bullying? It's a case by case issue that one must think about and doesn't give itself to a easy thoughtless metric.

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