BOOK COVER

BOOK COVER
CLICK ON PICTURE TO PURCHASE ON AMAZON

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Ugly Side of Bullying: What to do to Support your child Part II



I knew long before Columbine that something drastic needed to be done with the issue of bullying.  In 1992, I observed in horror as I watched the Sunday morning news.  “Middle school student committed suicide.”  The news anchor went on to explain the student was a victim of bullying in her school.  Well, that middle school student was a former student of mine.   The next-day counselors flooded our school in the hope of helping the student body deal with the tragedy.  I was riddled with guilt even though I made sure the bullies   did not bother her while in my class.  As I stated in my first article, bullies are very adept at what they do. 

Unfortunately, the teachers could not walk the girl home from school each day. The bullies followed her home and took their meanness to the highest level.  Bullies had a field day with her because the student came from a broken home.  The girl’s mother abandoned her, and the poor child bounced from one foster care to another.

Why in a civilized nation should any child end his or her life due to bullying?  What is wrong with this picture? The only answer I have for the aforementioned questions:  We cannot change what happened in the past, but we can be diligent that no other child’s life will come to an abrupt end.

Suicide is more common among kids who are bullied than most people realize.  I remember reaching a low point when I first came to the United States. It was hard adjusting to a new culture; I did not need to be taunted by a bunch of bullies. You can read a published article about experiences here.

What I have learned over the years both as a parent and as a teacher is you must be persistent.  Sometimes, you have to get the authorities involved.  I remember too well one girl in my class whose mother filed charges against a boy who constantly taunted her daughter.   Mooing a girl because of her large breasts goes beyond bullying-It falls in the category of sexual harassment.  The boy doing the mooing was obstinate. The incident had been reported to the principal, and many meetings with the boy’s parents proved futile. Can you imagine the embarrassment of a 12-year girl being made fun of every time she walked down the hallway in her school?   "Mooo, mooo , mooo, we need to milk the cow," chanted the boy.

Thankfully, her mom notified the authorities, and the boy had to appear in court. The family had to pay a hefty fine.  The bullying and teasing came to a screeching halt.

My wish for anyone reading this post is to take time and hug your child if you have one.  Pay close attention and listen to your child.  Teachers, please keep a watchful eye in your classroom.   I am very thankful things are better than they were before Columbine.  Read an article about how things have changed since Columbine.  Valentine’s Day is only a few days away, let us make an effort to say, “I Love You” to a child or an adult.



8 comments:

  1. I appreciate your post about bullying. It makes me so sad...there was a young lady (in her 20's) who worked down the street from me who recently committed suicide due to bullying in her work place. I guess young bullies can grow into older bullies.
    It's great reaching out and trying to stop it while kids are young. I hope there is a big shift towards kindness and compassion before my little boy starts school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cbsillos,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It breaks my heart when people are so darn cruel to each other. I hope bully awareness week will help shed light on the issue.

      Delete
  2. I have written several articles on anti-bullying and have spoken to many a student. Your articles on awareness are much appreciated. It is a horrible thing to lose your self esteem to a bully. It changes a person in a very sad way. And then to feel so hopeless to take your own life... Words can not say.
    Bullying itself is a coping skill, albeit a cruddy one. Bullies are hurt, insecure, abused by their parents... There are any number of things that go on with bullies. Certainly there is no real excuse, but if we want to end bullying, that aspect has to be examined as well.
    Thank you for you informative articles. They are much appreciated.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi FABR STeph,

      You are welcome! The issue of bullying is an important one. We must find a plausible solution to this terrible problem. The best thin g is to continue to educate , educate , educate. Thanks so much for your input.

      Delete
  3. Extreme bullying, especially anything physical, should be reported to authorities. But teaching kids how to respond to the early stages can often prevent things from getting worse. Bullying is sort of like a game and getting the victim upset equals winning. If people respond calmly or humorously to taunts and threats the bullies often leave them alone. The handbooks for kids and adults at http://www.bullies2buddies.com give some good suggestions about how to do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan,

      Thanks again for the site you mentioned in your comment. You are such a great help.

      Delete
  4. Gosh, Nicole, what a horrible story, about the girl who killed herself. I agree with you that there's something horribly wrong with this picture. I just don't get the lack of compassion... how can people/teens be so cruel? I just don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mayra,

      Thanks for stopping by. I do not get it either,but this is the way of our world- people enjoying inflicting harm to others. I hope things will change-one can only hope!

      Delete