Oprah's Bullying Episode Today

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, May 6, 2009.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    May 6, 2009

    Anyone catch Oprah today? I saw the commercial and thought it looked interesting but only made it home for the last 20 minutes. This psychologist is trying to change the way we teach kids to handle bullies. In the past, parents/teachers were encouraging kids to just ignore the situation and they had 2 twelve-year olds profiled who killed themselves because they couldn't take it anymore.

    She was saying we need to empower kids to 1st speak up and talk back to the bully, saying no, etc. She said (and I have no idea where the data comes from) that 50% of the time this works. And secondly to use tougher body language and even yes, defend your personal space if need be. Unless it's a gang situation, then the recommendation is to not fight back.

    I know it's a tough situation for parents too because whatever you do (going to talk to the school, other child's parents) usually exacerbates the situation. She was saying we really teach kids not to make waves and be "good" kids when we should be raising them to stand up for themselves more. Thought it was really interesting...
     
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  3. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    May 6, 2009

    I wanted to watch it, I saw the commercial on tuesday. I had to stop at the store on the way home from school and ran into my old manager where I worked through college that I always got along with. We ended up talking for like 45 minutes in the grocery store!
     
  4. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I saw a lot of it. It was very emotional when parents of bullying victims came on to talk. I highly recommend watching it if you can catch it on latenight or something. I cried!
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    May 7, 2009

    I saw some of it and found it very interesting and agree with kids sticking up for themselves.

    Teaching a kid not to be bullied is a huge job and I don't think one teacher in one year can fix it. I've watched and have tried to help kids for years. Most kids who are bullied have low self-esteem and an attitude of "pick on me, I'm fair game". It's amazing how other kids will hone-in on those kids.

    I have a child this year who is chubby and has had bully problems all year long, it's like the mother propagates it too. She's ostracizes the child from everyone and is basically ruining a sweet little boy. The principal, counselor, and I had a long meeting with the mom earlier in the year over these concerns. "We" really tried to give her suggestions on how to help him, we talked with him too. It's almost like she wants him to be bullied. I just don't understand it.
     
  6. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    May 7, 2009

    So Oprah has a report on bullying with a psychologist and it's new?

    My Father told me to never fight at school which translated into 'don't get caught' fighting at school. So I never fought at school. Well, maybe a little but I'd hardly call it a fight. I had a bully and he was terrible at school. Ohh, sweet justice when his family moved in with us because their home was damaged by Hurricane Elena. His bullying went from bad to worse but see, he made the mistake of bringing it home. I had no prohibitions against defending myself outside of school. One time, that was all it took. The bullying stopped at school.

    Teaching children to defend themselves is something I have heard reiterated over and again for a long time. It was what I was taught. I don't necessarily mean violence or fighting either but it does all come down to the threat of force. Ask random children what their parents have told them to do in such an instance? I think you'll get a response leaning towards, 'fight back'.
     
  7. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    May 7, 2009

    I check CNN often and saw the little 5th grade fella that hung himself from the torment he had gotten. He was up in Atlanta. I printed it out and MADE my 4/5th listen to me read the story. My kids (in PE) KNOW if they tell me about something I will follow through on it regarding kids harassing kids.
    I think teachers could be more vigilant especially in middle schools when classes change. Adults (in schools) need to move around and walk into all areas kids go.
     
  8. adria

    adria Comrade

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    May 7, 2009

    I watched the show 10 P.M. last night, I didn't wanted to miss it. It was suggested that the victim stand up for themselves, but this doesn't always work. Also, I don't think the victim should try to solve this problem on their own. The school really needs to get involve about what is going on in the schools. Bullying takes place in first grade and unfortunatedly this type of behavior continues.

    As a teacher in my opinion schools are only concern about AYP....you know if you have too much suspensions a school doesn't make AYP. So what are the consequences for these children. If their aren't any consequences then a school will never be a safe environment.

    Bullying program needs to be implemented in first grade...at the every beginning. Allow children to role play to see how others feel.

    All I could have done last night when I watched Oprah was prayed for the child who told his story. You can see he's not being who he really is. A bully has damaged his self esteem...

    I also cried when I watched the show. :(
     
  9. vateacher757

    vateacher757 Cohort

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    May 7, 2009

    Amen to the bolded!

    This is a very serious and sad subject.
     
  10. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    May 7, 2009

    On the flip side, I'm a "Big Sister" to my "Little Brother" and I just got a text message today from his mother telling me he got suspended from school tomorrow because HE was bullying others. How ironic I came across this thread. His mother asked me if I could speak to him about it because coming from someone else it may be different.

    I actually like the idea of telling him about the little boy that got bullied in Atlanta and what it can lead to. He's in second grade so I'm not going to go into details but as a role model to him I want to stress the fact that bullying is an awful thing to do to another human. Any other suggestions for what I should say when I pick him up after school?

    Sorry a bit off topic...
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  11. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 7, 2009

    My oldest has free license from me to fight back if anyone physically attacks him, with the caveat that he might get in trouble with the school and that I won't generally interfere with school punishments. He would be very capable of physically defending himself (he's a green belt in kyokushin, a martial art which emphasizes regular sparring experience).

    Nonetheless, he has been bullied. He's socially rather clumsy and shy, and physical domination is just one means of bullying. It's rather surprising to me, because he's not one who would obviously be bullied -- he's incredibly strong, bright, musically talented, and looks like a model. He's not chubby at all, and is about average height. Nevertheless, I suspect a lack of social confidence and poor self-esteem does give off some vibes of being a potential target in some situations (luckily, the school he goes to now is extremely fortunate regarding a low level of bullying). The bullying he's been subjected to has been social, not physical -- things like ostracism, limiting resources or communications, verbal insults.

    Objectively, my middle son would be a far more obvious target. He doesn't speak English well, is not all that physically strong and is somewhat physically clumsy, and is more selfish and less generous than my eldest. However, he's extremely exuberant and outgoing, watches people carefully, and doesn't really care what other people think of him. He's made friends extremely quickly and easily, and within the first three months of kindergarten was being greeted cheerily in the halls even by kids up to sixth grade. I'd give him free license to fight back against anyone physically attacking him as well, but honestly I have a hard time picturing a situation when he'd need to.
     
  12. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    May 7, 2009

    I'll have to go home and see if I can have Tivo record a rerun of this episode. I definitely wanted to see it but forgot to set it up to record it! I had a lot of my kids coming in and talking about it. It disturbed me that other teachers and bus drivers where telling them about it in detail... not sure that that was the wisest course to take.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Maybe it varies with age, but I know with the young ones we tell them to go tell an adult-especially if it's just name-calling or harassment. Bullying doesn't just consist of violence. I think in a lot of schools, unfortunately, teachers do turn a blind eye to bullying. Whether be they don't want to get involved because of the paperwork or they are afraid of some students themselves.

    I also think it's amazing how the bullies can just tell who the weaker people are. I work with some adult bullies and there are certain people who they just won't mess with and target other, less secure teachers instead.
     
  14. WaProvider

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    May 7, 2009

    It starts very early. In ECE classes we see all the time parents who require the injured child to tell the bully child, "that's ok" after a feigned apology. That isn't the same sort of bully actions you all see, but I can totally see where it goes. Often I see the same children that ran all over their parents at 4 still running all over them at 14. By then it is looking more like what you see.
     
  15. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    I think one of the biggest issues with bullying is the students who stand around and do nothing, therefore supporting the bullying with their silence. Not only do students need to be taught to stand up for themselves, but they need to be taught to stand up for others, too.

    If a student comes up to me saying that so-and-so said such-and-such to a student in my class, my first question is usually, "So what did you do to help?" Having that peer support makes a huge difference.
     
  16. Groovy

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    Oh yeah. I asked my son, in the 4th grade, "How was your day?" and he said, "It was good day - nobody hit me!" I cried. Can you imagine defining your day by whether or not you got hit? I was ready to go to the police and take out a restraining order on the bully until the new principal stepped in, had a "come to Jesus" meeting with the bully and his parents, and it stopped. Now my son is not being hit, but they still are ugly to him in social & psychological ways. I guess it's better. I'm still praying for wisdom.

    He is smart (math brainiac -almost 3 grade levels ahead) and musically talented, and I told him that in about 15 years, these kids are going to come to HIM asking for a job, and he can laugh and say, "Ok, I'll pay you eight dollars to move my piano."

    These kids' parents are ugly to me, so I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

    Any tips or advice appreciated.

    Best to you.
     
  17. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    May 8, 2009

    I'm sad that none of you seem to have bullying prevention programs in your schools. We are using a program called "Steps to Respect", but there are many great school wide bullying programs out there. Our counselors do biweekly lessons on bullying, we have posters up with our school definition of bullying, and the lessons we teach not only enpower the victim; they also enpower the bystander.

    Talk to your principal or guidance department and see if they will begin a program. Our school is in a very upscale area of town and bullying is not a huge problem, but we are still being proactive and I think it's great.
     
  18. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 8, 2009

    Actually, I can. I sent you a PM.
     

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