IMHO – Extreme Bullying: “Where Were Teachers, Administrators While This Was Going On?”By Teachers.Net News Desk
In response to earlier posts about student suicides reportedly related to the victims being bullied by schoolmates, an anonymous poster asked:
Where were the teachers and administrators while this stuff was going on?
Another anonymous poster responded:
My child has been bullied for years. Most of it happens outside lessons, during break and lunch periods, when the kids are not so closely supervised. Both my child, his father and I have spoken out on many occasions, going as far as getting outside agencies involved when necessary. Has it stopped? No! It’s better than it was, but there are some nasty behaviors out there. Tell me how to stop it…a strong rebuke just delays the event, it doesn’t stop it. Tell me what to do to save my child from this erosive misery. Provide a solution to the bullied child or the parent/s of a bullied child and you will be a rich and fulfilled person. Meanwhile, don’t dismiss the concerns of people who do care about and feel sad for those who are driven by bullying to extreme measures.
“florida teacher” wrote:
I think the cynicism is based on it being the latest fad in trying to improve a bad situation without the ability to really do something concrete about it. In that old movie, Lean on Me, when the principal rounds up all the incorrigible students and expels them wholesale, everyone cheers because someone has finally done something that will have a real effect.
Instead, we have assemblies and make posters. That’s nice in attempting to bring awareness, but is just words, which doesn’t stop bullies. When we suggest that we kick the bullies out, the response is that we’re being silly. We couldn’t possibly do THAT. Those children are entitled to an education too.
When we suggest classes exclusively for children with behavioral problems, the response is again that it’s just not realistic. We’re surplussing a *third* of the teachers at my school in just weeks, so getting more teachers to design a multi-age curriculum and be in charge of classes filled with out of control mean kids really isn’t realistic.
When we suggest holding parents accountable, the parents blast back that there’s nothing wrong with their children, that it’s the teachers to blame for not knowing how to work with children, and that teachers have no right telling them how to raise their children. Dr. Phil had a mother on who watched a video of her daughter participating in a mob that got another child down on the ground to beat her, punching and kicking her repeatedly. The mother said that what her daughter did was clearly wrong, but that the girl taking a beating was in the wrong *too.* That has been my experience. “What did the other kid do to provoke my child verbally or physically? Surely you’re not suggesting that my child did this for
absolutely no reason? Aha! See! The other kid told mine to leave him alone. Why does the other kid get to tell my kid what to do? I’ve taught my child to stick up for himself”
When we directly confront the bullies, they are incapable of seeing that they are guilty of wrongdoing and see only that they are being persecuted
by mean adults who are then called bullies themselves.
So, when the rallying cry goes out to put an end to bullying by spending time in workshops or coming up with plans we know do nothing, it’s not that teachers see it as a non-issue because we don’t care if those who can’t defend themselves are being adversely affected, but because we’re sick of wasting time not solving a problem.