We will never end bullying in our schools

We will never end bullying in our schools while we accept it in society.

 

Children learn from the examples set by adults, and we provide many examples in society of how we tacitly accept bullying. Question period in Canada is brutish and childish. Listen to the video above, and tell me that these men and women are setting a good example for our children.

Professional sports, particularly hockey, allow bullying of players and full-scale violence to occur. Listen  to the people cheering in the background of the video below! How can we possibly end school-yard violence when we embrace it in our entertainment?

 

Glenn Beck, a horrific talk show host who was finally removed from the Fox network, was allowed to spew his hatred for years before he was finally pulled from the air. Why was he allowed to bully people for so long on the air? Why did we allow Ann Coulter to bully gays and lesbians for so long on the radio? Why is it that (great) projects like the "It Gets Better" project take so long to happen in our society?

 

We must remember that children do as we do. This message really hits home if you watch the video below (shared by @jenmarten).

 

I’m okay with doing everything we can to end bullying in schools. I just don’t think that we should pretend it will make a damn bit of difference while we continue to accept it in our society.

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6 Comments

  • I don’t think you have to look to society at large to find examples of adult role models exerting power over the powerless. They are easy to find in schools as well!

  • Brilliant post. I’ve never quite understood why people enjoy what I call “train wreck TV,” but this part of our humanity isn’t anything new. Lynch mobs, public executions… why is it that some people so enjoy the pain of others? I truly believe that competition, in many ways, fuels this unfortunate character trait. Survival of the fittest, and all that. But, if we’re truly supposed to be elevated above the animals, we need to insist upon helping our students to develop empathy. Students who can put themselves in the shoes of others are much less likely to bully or allow others to be bullied.

  • David I applaud your post and share your perspective. in my opinion, another roadblock to stamping out bullying in schools? stakeholders standing by and allowing it to occur to and amongst faculty……..

  • Christian Klaue wrote:

    Question period and fighting during hockey games may be childish or violent, but does that mean they consistute bullying? I think we use the term ‘bullying’ far too easily and don’t define what we mean by it. In that sense it becomes a catch-phrase that will end up meaning very little. American media? Media outlets supporting their position all strongly advocate their position and condemn the ‘other’ position (regardless of party affiliation).

    Do I think that society has many problems and that people don’t treat others the way they ought to? You betcha! But poor behaviour does not always equal bullying. Regardless of whether we can change all society, we still need to do our part to treat others the way we ought. We need to allow (and foster) divergent opinions, but we need to express them respectfully.

  • David Wees wrote:

    Poor behaviour which is targeted and persistent at an individual is bullying, whether it is physical or otherwise. The problem is, these instances, themselves not necessarily being bullying, set up kids for poor behaviour. My son never talked about fighting, killing, punching, or kicking someone else until he was introduced to the idea that it was possible. I’m not naively suggesting that poor behaviour can’t be invented by kids spontaneously, just that it would be far less prevalent if we didn’t have so many easy examples of it in our society.

  • Sometimes, even adults get confused about what bullying is. We readily join the mob or cheer on the humiliation, slander or ostracizing of others. We constantly side with some against others without knowing the full story. Bullying comes from ignorance as much as from pain. It truly does snowball.

    The news is an indicator if you will of the values of society. Increasingly I find great inciters of bullying are news media (and here I admit I am bullying). The quest for precious ratings have biased stories and their selection, turned non-stories into vital crises, gossip into speculative exclusives and twenty-minute news into two-hour “and more on that later” which just eternalizes (and internalizes) the bias, and glorified violence for show. All of this manipulation perpetuates bullying, and lowers the standard of acceptable expectations and integrity of our societies.

    I think our children are learning a whole lot, generation after generation, from the way we adults and our societies act. And it is not just our children, but adults (like us) who learn and pass on these let-it-slide/cheer-it-on values. Many times I caught myself joining a crowd without fully realizing it and stopping before taking that one step too far. This makes me worry how many times I didn’t catch myself and actually contributed to the bullying of others, particularly since I believe I would tend to consciously empathize instead.

    This is great post to bring back to cap Bullying Awareness Week in North America and Anti-bullying Week in Europe.

    Thank you.

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