Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bully Bully

Amaya entered the car, and waited until Rio was finished with his tattle tale session about a friend using inappropriate language at school. Then she informed me on the new policies their school's going to implement next year in regards to bullies. Rio has been the victim of bullying, so it's a topic I have very strong opinions about.

"Next year the school is going to try to enforce a new policy," she said.

"Oh yeah," I answered.

"If someone calls someone a name, they will be suspended."

"Suspended!" My interest peaked. "For name calling?"

"And pushing, I think."

This sparks a lecture through the rear view mirror, directed at my children. I lecture on what bullying is and isn't. I explain to them that bullying consists of someone going out of their way on a regular basis to threaten, harm, tease, harass, and make people generally afraid and uncomfortable to be at school. It's not as simple as name calling.

"I think that's a little excessive," I said condemning the entire notion. "Not everyone in life is going to like you or be nice to you. That doesn't make them a bully."

"Well, our school has a huge bullying problem," she said. "Especially in our class."

"I understand that," I said. "I just think sometimes schools tend to go to the extreme when attaching labels like bulling to playground disagreements and confrontations. Punishing everything is just as dangerous as not punishing anything."

"I don't know what to tell you, Mom. It's going to be a law."

"A law!"

"Well I don't know," she confessed. "I don't understand. We're going to have an assembly."

I take bulling very seriously, but I approach the topic with a level head.

However I don't agree with the policies in place. I don't like that kids who are bullied feel like they can't fight back in fear of getting in trouble, or that parental intervention is discouraged. It's such a helpless position to be in.

It's important for kids to know how to stand up for themselves and others when they find themselves in this position. Rather than always focusing on punishing isolated behaviors to the extreme, schools should focus on giving kids the proper tools to deal with these situations. They should also encourage for the parents of both victim and bully to work together on finding a solution to the problem.

I don't believe parents want their children to be the victim any more than they want them to be the bully.

I'm attending this assembly.

What's your take? I'd love to hear your opinions on this topic.



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  2. That is excessive, Nikki. I think your definition fits the terms of bullying. It's someone who goes out of their way to do these things.

    I've been bullied a couple of times physically as a kid- it didn't happen more then that because I was one of the taller kids around, but I know how it feels. In both cases, that ended with my having had enough and fighting back.

    This sort of policy is wrong, and way too protective. It coddles the child.

  3. Wow. One of my girls is in elementary school, and I think this is quite excessive. I'm sure once my younger girl got into school, she'd get suspended at some point! I think policies for children should be for safety alone. Anything else, well they need to learn how to cope with negativity, because it only gets worse the older we get.

  4. I have 3 dwarfs in our family and I have to say there are definitely times its better to walk away from unwanted attention rather than fight tooth and nail at every comment and "look" given no matter how offensive it might be. Walking around with fists up waiting to strike back is not a good way to live.

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  6. I was a loving fat kid in grade school, so I took the brunt of most of the bullying that went on. I never really fought back, and honestly never got hurt physically, but I also didn't go running to a teacher like the school wanted me to. I kinda got off light as far as bullying victims go.

    I think the fact that parents are so afraid to discipline their kids has turned a lot kids into assholes who think they can get away with everything, thus creating this bullying problem that seems to be running rampant these days.

    My father used to tell me "Some kids just need a baseball bat to the knees". (He grew up in a rather brutal time, I guess!) A little dramatic, but the point is that sometimes idiots only understand violence, and generally speaking bullies aren't very good at it. They rely on others being cowed.

    If I could go back in time, I'd break a few noses, get some confidence I needed badly, and live in much less fear.

    Don't start none, won't be none.

    You still around these days?? What happened at the assembly??

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