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Moms Talk: School Bullies

Is bullying in schools a growing problem?

What was once thought of as a part of growing up, is now becoming a much more serious issue within our schools. Some people wonder if bullying is pushing kids into drugs, and even suicide.

Is bullying getting more intense? Is the new wave of social media to blame? Are parents responsible?

What's your opinion, and better yet, what are good ways to prevent bullying from our own children, as well as teach them how to deal with it?

Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Yes, bullying is happening more and more through out all levels of schools and something needs to be done about it.
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Are the teachers or school staff to blame?
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Working in a preschool classroom, it is quite amazing to see that at this young age, differences aren't seen. There is equal disagreements across the board, and mostly, all the kids get along. But as this age period fades, the idea of seeing themself in the world and not the world within them (the ethnocentric logic of a childs mind) brings about fear and insecurities of belonging outside of the family home. It is here where a "survival" mind set begins, and with it comes teasing and bullying. It suddenly is so important to fit in, kids taunt others who may be different, or even create differences in someone so they can taunt and laugh at them, creating a group of others to join in the teasing, there by giving themselves a place of belonging in the "teasers group" as oppose to the being teased outsider.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:07 PM
This is such a tough subject. It's hard to say if bullying is happening more often or if we are just more aware of it. In either case, I would say bullies are bullying in more violent and hurtful ways.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Thats a good question Kevin, I don';t think either, but whats there role to stop?
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:09 PM
I think that kind of thing works on a case by case basis. School employees have a lot of responsibilities and often can't oversee every interaction. But if a particular person was supposed to be in charge at the time an incident occurs, then finger pointing might be appropriate.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Yes, and I think the "escape" of home is gone. A kid bullied finds themself now unable to even interact on the internet without bored bullies seeking them out to taunt online.
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:11 PM
I think that the teachers should be able to see when it is happening and should report the situation to the people in charge as well a the parents. If you keep the problems hidden then you can never help the kids that need help.
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:15 PM
The bullying all starts at home. If the children are getting love and respect from the parents and other bothers and sisters, then they will learn to respect others, but the parents have to keep up on the patterns of their children.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Yet again, I think PARENTAL involment would GREATLY curb this. My son tells me tid bits of behavior he or his friends are acting out at school, and we discuss it. HE's 5, but his buddy started the old "Girls go to Jupiter to get more Stupider " and i had to point out stupider isn't a proper word. I explain to him that this is hurtful and would he feel if someone said this to him. I take our conversations to a deeper level, and I talk out a story like scenario, "There's little susie having fun playing and suddenly she hears tommy saying girls are stupider, now poor susie feels terrible, she starts to cry..." and he learns empathy. Empathy teaches my son to recognize feelings in others.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:16 PM
I agree. Teachers should report any behavior that is even slightly out of line immediately. I don't know if it works in every situation, but teaching kids to ignore the bully can help in certain situations. At the same time, I think it's necessary to stand up to bullies in some cases.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:18 PM
That's such a great example, Lindsay. I think a lot of school employees would overlook this as "normal" or "minor." But, if the small stuff is dealt with appropriately, bullying doesn't have the chance to escalate into more hateful acts.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:20 PM
As far as my own children being teased, this is hard. I try to stay as involved in the school as possible. I think the key to survival on the teased childs part is as much positive interaction with others as possible. Thru sports, clubs, cousins, any outlet with other kids their age that they get along with on good terms. Once a child, or teen feels alone, this is when thoughts of violence, and suicide creep in.
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:20 PM
The teachers and parents need to start teaching the children that they need to bond together and help each other out. If they see bullying happening then they need to step in and stop it, not stand around cheering it on. Their are power in numbers.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:20 PM
Teaching children to think for themselves instead of following the ringleader might be an important step too.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:23 PM
ANd I think we need to point out, bullies are insecure people. Thats why they are bullying. Drive this across in seminars with the kids, take the power away from the bully.
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Tina, I agree children thinking for themselves will turn into leaders later in the future.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:25 PM
TIna, did you see the video from Sydney, Austrailia? OF the boy being bullied, then when he finally had enough he body slammed the kid bullying him?
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:35 PM
The video was what is wrong, kids standing there taping and cheering on the bullying that was going on. No body stopped it from happening.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:35 PM
I believe teachers see it. I saw it when I substituted, and I always said something. Another level I have found is the kid who is bullying is bullying becuase of insecurities, but also maybe because older sibs bully them, or sadly, and on a deeper level parents bully their kids. Teasing hurts feelings, even if your words are said as a joke or meant as non-harming, they still hurt. What makes me the most angry, is the bully or adult that says something hurtful, but then pretends they didn't mean it, or see it as a hurtful thing to say. We all know when we're being hurtful, we all need to stop, and ingage in the act of teaching our children how to behave.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:36 PM
No! That's interesting. I'm guessing the bully wasn't punished at all.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:38 PM
No, the bully wasn't.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:43 PM
So I guess that means kids need to learn--via parents, school employees, and peers--about dealing with the stress that bullying and peer pressure causes instead of bottling it uo until they snap. I like your earlier point, Lindsay, that sports, clubs, and other hobbies can provide good outlets for kids.
Tina DeBord March 16, 2011 at 05:44 PM
good point, kevin.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:46 PM
ITs funny, when college begins, the teasing stops. Suddenly, living in adorm with thousands of other kids, everyones accepted. Gay, Straight, Black, White, Asian, Big, Small, One Arm, SHaved HEad, whatever. All of a sudden we are interacting on a level of intellect, and the bullying seems as if it cease to exist at all.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:48 PM
As I typed my last entry, I remember the one bully from college. His name was Phil. HE bullied almosty everyone of his own friends until he none left to speak of. He failed out of college twice, and I belive today his in jail. Kinda proves all my points nicely.
Kevin March 16, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Thank you, for the talk, but I have to get back to work.
Lindsay Leppek March 16, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Thank you all for the conversation. We will be discussing other issues next Wednesday at 1 pm. I apologize as always, I type way to fast, and forget to spell check my words. I'm always so embaressed when I read back through and I sound so uneducated. I apologize.

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