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Michael Rose

Child, Adolescent & Family Therapist, Youth in Need

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How can we help to prevent bullying?

As a society that revels in TV series such as Honey Boo Boo, Jersey Shore and other "Reality" TV shows, how are we supposed to stop bullying within schools?

If we preach what to do or what not to do when confronted by bullying behaviors, but never follow through with consequences, how can we expect our students to continue to have faith in the faculty's true want to get rid of bullying.

How can we expect our children to stop bullying if we, as grown ups, are watching these shows.... making fun of the people on them, judging them, calling them names?

How can we change the structure of learning to help increase education, not only in the academic sense, but also in the sense of what it means to be a human being?

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  • Mar 15 2013: There needs to be more work to solve the problems. Everyone says it's a terrible thing but no one really does anything. Adults, especially teachers, simply ignore it. They really don't care about the students.
    Let me explain to you a little of my situation. For a long time, I've been bullied for being smart. It started in about grade four, where I was the outsider in our small school. Teachers would frequently see or hear it, yet there would be no consequences. I was fairly loud about the issues towards the staff, but the teachers would only ever say that I need to be myself and be happy, which is hard to do when you are being bullied. So I swapped schools the next year, and for a little while it was ok, until one of the bullies transferred too. He started the same thing over again, but this time there were a lot more people. Teachers were still ignoring the fact that it was happening, and when they heard it happening they would either ignore it or give a little laugh saying, "Good one." At that point people had really started learning how to use words like fag which were thrown around by students all the time, with teachers not caring whatsoever that these were ten and eleven year olds saying these things to one another. There was a bullying presentation once a year, and both times is would say essentially that victims need to talk rationally to bullies, which is impossible because they don't listen. In junior high I spent 2 1/2 hellish years being called gay, faggot and gaysian due to the fact that I look Asian, and any number of things. One student threatened to rip my face off after attacking me and he got a day and a half of in school suspension. Finally, it all cumulated when my "friends" held a legitimate vote and agreed that I was no longer allowed to hang out with them. I left the school, and the teachers smiled and said, "I'm sorry this happened," as I walked out the door. Someone needs to actually try to stop it, because it's not just a small issue.
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      Mar 16 2013: Great story. I hope things are better for you now.
      • Mar 16 2013: Sorry, I beg to differ.
        It's not a great story.
        It's awful...
        I don't think he wrote the story to appeal to our sympathy.

        I hope he can make a change as to preventing bullies around schools.

        Although he suffered from the experience, through the experience, he must have realized something about bullying. Only the ones who were or have been victims know what it is to be bullied. I appreciate his courage to talk about it and I believe he can really make a change as long as he tries to influence people with all his heart.
        • Mar 16 2013: I actually am doing online schooling right now, which I would highly recommend. Essentially, I'm given my entire year's worth of work and just do it at my own pace (which is considerably faster than in a classroom. I do one-on-one chats with my teachers, and get to work on whichever subjects I want to. If there are people being bullied that you know, tell them to look into this option, because changing schools within a town really means that the problems can follow you. If you do online schooling though, you can be done months ahead of everyone else.
          And I'm glad this happened to me because through it a lot of people realized that bullying is becoming a serious issue, and my town is a lot more observant to it. People are standing up to their bullies a little more, and parents are taking steps to fix issues.
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          Mar 16 2013: Dear Wyatt,
          I am so sorry for your experience. I agree with you that we need to stop these situations, because it is definetly NOT a small issue. Bullying can change a person's life, and we know that some teenagers have ended their lives because of bullying.

          You sound like a very insightful person, and I'm glad to hear that you have found a way to acheive your goals without being bullied. You can also be a GREAT help to others who faced, or continue to face bullying.

          Bullying has been going on throughout history in many different forms. It is time that as thinking, feeling, evolving humans, we put a stop to it.
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          Mar 16 2013: Hi Elizabeth!
          Do you think perhaps Trey meant "great story" in that it can help address the problem of bullying, and maybe help people understand?
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      • Mar 18 2013: It may have been solved, but times have changed like it or not, and there needs to be a new solution.
      • Mar 18 2013: In your own message up you said it was solved and forgotten. The dynamics of bullying are so dramatically different from even fifteen years ago. Then, you would have to say it in person, or over a phone. Now, Facebook and texting make it so incredibly easy to bully someone. You can message hate to someone hundreds of times, and make sure its private, or attack them in the open and allow everyone else to jump onto that bandwagon. The Internet has made the world anonymous, so you can insult people without any consequence at all. For example, if I go on YouTube, I can look up a video of someone's singing and tell them that they are ugly and stupid and they should go die, and the worst that could happen to me is my account gets banned. That other person, though, has to deal with what I said, and they can't contact me if I block them and make my account private. Then people get so used to the anonymous insults they throw out that they do the same to people they know. I mean, we're on a message board right now. Obviously communication methods have changed, and so have insulting methods. It's a whole new battle to fight.
        Also, that website is really just some random guy, who is nameless, faceless, and as far as I could see never once mentioned bullying. Please don't twist words from someone with zero provable credentials as though they are fact.
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      Mar 16 2013: Wyatt, as a teacher and mom I want to say that I am very sorry you went through that terrible ordeal.

      I hope you click on the link I provided in my comment earlier in the conversation, and watch the video presentation that is quite nice.

      I must say that I too have always dealt with bullies.

      First as a child....I was very shy....and I just got quieter and quieter after being bullied.
      Then, as an adult, I have encountered bullying in the workplace.
      Many times intelligent, efficient, hard working individuals are the target of bullying, both in the work place and in school. These individuals need to be helped in how to deal with bullies, while the bullies are also being dealt with by those in authority positions.

      It is a challenging situation both at school, and in the workplace.

      I think that you will also enjoy the previous conversations on bullying we have had on TED.
      You can search for them and read through the great comments.

      I know lots of families who homeschool their children for various reasons. Our state is great for homeschooling. Kids can even do dual enrollment and get college credits at the same time they homeschool.

      One thing lacking in your comment though, was your parent's reaction. Did they reach out to the powers that be in the school district? Because many times parents just don't know how powerful their voice is in the regional offices and at school board meetings. Those teachers at you previous schools should really be ashamed of themselves.

      I wish you much success in your life's journey. Enjoy your homeschool experience, you are fortunate to live in a time where technology can help you get a superior education. :)

      Mary
      • Mar 18 2013: Absolutely, my parents contacted each school I went to about it. The teachers would either flat-out ignore them, pretend they would help, or in some cases actually say that they were investigating the incidents when they were flat-out ignoring them.

        In each of the schools I went to they would have a bullying presentation each year where they would say that you have to talk kindly and tell a teacher, but if a teacher knew they would simply ignore it. And, as everyone who has been bullied knows, bullies are some of least reasonable people on Earth.
    • Mar 18 2013: Thank you for sharing this story Wyatt.

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