A new form of bullying??

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ecteach, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    57

    Jun 4, 2017

    I have been wanting to write this post for a while. I am not sure if this is something I am just noticing, or if others are noticing it too. Before I explain, please note that I feel like I am very in-tune with human behavior. I can spot a manipulative person from a mile away. My best friend and I used to "people watch" at our local mall as teens, and it is still one of my favorite things to do. That being said, I am not always the best at choosing words to describe what I see. It all makes sense in my head. So, bear with me. :)

    I have noticed a disturbing trend of kids using teachers and administrators to essentially prolong their bullying towards other (usually weaker socially) kids. Here's what happens. Johnny is minding his own business, and Bully goes up to him to tease/harass him. Johnny says, "Get the f*** out of my face," and Bully goes to tell the teacher. Johnny is now in trouble for cursing in the lunchroom. Johnny has a meeting with the principal, ISS, gets in trouble at home, and the bully is strutting around like a proud rooster. He now knows that he can do it again to someone else. Observing teacher tells principal/other teacher that Bully was messing with Johnny, and she couldn't get over to the table fast enough to stop it. Everyone says that Johnny didn't handle it like he should have. There are policies and procedures that he broke. Well, what would you do if someone was harassing you at the local park? Would you be nice about telling them to back off?

    This happens so much I can't even tell you. KIDS (especially those being bullied) AREN'T ALWAYS GOING TO TELL THE TEACHER! THINGS HAVE TO BE INVESTIGATED!! PEOPLE HAVE TO USE THEIR BRAINS!!! I am in my mid 30's. When I was in school situations were solved with common sense. If Bully went and told the teacher that Johnny cursed at him, teacher would have asked, "What did YOU do to HIM?"

    The difference, in my opinion, is the "no tolerance" mess. It is completely possible that this is just happening in my school due to administration/social issues that are deep rooted. Is this something you have noticed? If so, I am afraid we are making the problem of bullying worse. The poor kids being bullied have no one to talk to, and feel like no one believes them.
     
    Backroads and Obadiah like this.
  2.  
  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,317
    Likes Received:
    1,440

    Jun 4, 2017

    This has been a thing for decades. It's why when I was in 10th grade in the late 80s and screamed expletives at MY bully, I wasn't the one who got into trouble. The teacher was keeping a careful eye on the taunting. but he wanted to see if I could handle it myself or if I needed help. It's something I have paid forward as a teacher now.
     
    Backroads, Ima Teacher and Obadiah like this.
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes Received:
    807

    Jun 5, 2017

    Yes, I've seen this happen, too. I don't know how new it is, but it does occur. I've even seen the perpetrator lie about the actions of the victim, even in situations where the victim didn't report the harassment and had just brushed it off.

    I agree with catnfiddle, sometimes it's best to allow kids to work through the problem themselves. Just as they learn to solve math problems by themselves, they need to learn to solve social problems. They're still learning, so they will have times of confrontation. In elementary grades, when it fits into the lesson, I like to role play situations where the participants pretend to solve a problem by politely listening and discussing; so much can be solved that way, (even by adults). When a problem does need my intervention, of course if necessary I apply appropriate penalties, but I also use this method. Sometimes the kids sit in a corner and talk it out, and sometimes I mediate.

    On the lighter side, I do have to share a funny story, though. One day two 3rd grade boys came to me. They told me they were feeling bad because they had said the "f" word. I asked them to tell me what happened. Well, it turns out they were mad at a girl and yes, they had used the "f" word. They called her a "fatso!" Of course, we discussed more appropriate behavior and how they needed to apologize to the girl.

    Back to the more serious issue, I agree with the OP, bullying is serious. It must be dealt with. But just as serious is overreacting. I've also been concerned about "no tolerance" policies. Perhaps a constructive interpretation of the rules, judging and deciding what is productive for all students involved, is best.

    OK, this was talk radio, so I don't know how exaggerated the story might be, but I heard of a high school student who just stood and allowed a bully to dangerously punch him so that he would not be reprimanded, right in front of the class with no one intervening, not even the teacher. In my day, the teacher would have immediately physically retained the student, and if s/he couldn't, s/he'd have much assistance from other students in the class. Who was "in trouble" would be sorted out later. Rules are important, but so is learning to think and react appropriately, and that includes not allowing someone to punch your lights out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,667
    Likes Received:
    2,414

    Jun 5, 2017

    We would write up the person who triggered Johnny for being the instigator, and there would be consequences. Guess that is one positive in working at an all SPED school with many therapists on staff who see the big picture.
     
    Backroads and catnfiddle like this.
  6. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jun 5, 2017

    This type of thing happened to me in school. I was badly bullied in middle/high school, to the point of switching schools my junior year because it became a dangerous situation. However, because I became withdrawn and stopped talking, teachers would complain to my parents that I didn't participate in class and I would end up getting in trouble .

    Adding to what Obadiah said though, the zero tolerance stance of many districts is sometimes so inappropriate and I feel like parents are latching on to the term "bullying" for everything.

    I teach sped preschool, so my students are learning appropriate social skills and how to interact in a classroom setting. I can't tell you how many times over the past 2 years or so, I've gotten calls from parents yelling that their child said someone is being "mean" to them and that they will contact the principal if I'm letting another student "bully" their child. Ugh. Drives me crazy.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes Received:
    807

    Jun 5, 2017

    I edited my above post to delete a word that might be misunderstood. After posting I was thinking, that word does have more than one meaning, and the one meaning might refer to several current religious faiths. Although I meant it in the non-religious colloquial sense, and I certainly have respect for all beliefs, I did want to apologize in case I've mistakenly offended anyone.

    Now with writing this, perhaps that's another thought that can be entered into this discussion. So often, this is how confrontations among students begin, (and among adults), through a misunderstanding. A too strict adherence to a no tolerance law might prohibit a calm discussion among the students to resolve such differences.
     
  8. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    75

    Jun 5, 2017

    Yup! Happens all the time. Unfortunately, I feel like admin, school counselors and other staff sometimes are so bogged down with other stuff going on that time to investigate the issues falls by the wayside. I also think there has been a mind shift on what is bullying, what is crossing the line,and what do students consider Respect
    When I listen to my middle school kids talk about what it means to be respected-they describe having a since of fear or being feared by others. I feel like kids now enter school with the expectation of having to prove themselves as someone to be respected. Hence the increase in bullying. I also feel like society-be it in movies, music and media glamorizes the bully. How many times do we see the mug shots of people accused of violent crimes spattered all over the news? How many times do we see the cell phone videos of kids getting into fights on the bus, the playground, or at the park? We live in a highly publicized world and it is my opinion that people use bullying as a quick and easy pathway to their 15mins of fame and "respect"
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  9. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    157

    Jun 5, 2017

    Sure, this happens all the time. True bullies aren't going around pushing people into lockers and stealing their lunch money. They are doing their damage on the sly (or at least trying to) so they can provoke their victims and watch them get into trouble. And these days, if we realize that what we DO see and hear bullies doing is only a tip of the iceberg because you know there's a ton more going on via texting and social media that we aren't aware of. And they keep needling and digging and poking and twisting at their victim until that person snaps.

    In a perfect world, we could tell the victims not to give the bullies the satisfaction of reacting to them. Explain that bullies behave the way that they do because they are insecure about themselves and have not learned how to deal with that insecurity. We should feel sorry for bullies instead of letting what they say and do bother us. But unfortunately, kids (and many adults) lack the emotional strength and maturity to do this. If everyone could understand that THEY have the power to completely stop bullying by refusing to BE bullied, the problem would vanish. But bullies target people they know are going to give them what they want: an emotional reaction.

    This is why it's so good to build relationships with your students and be very observant about what is taking place in your classroom, the hallways, the cafeteria, etc.
     
    Obadiah and 2ndTimeAround like this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. mybestchemist
Total: 317 (members: 2, guests: 296, robots: 19)
test