School bullying question

172 posts in this topic

 

A lot of bullying occurs away from the eyes of teachers. Almost all of the bullying I can think of in school happened like that. If so, then how exactly is the school to protect the victim against bullies? In those circumstances, it's the word of one child vs. the word of another. School officials cannot punish one student for "bullying" if they have no evidence of it.

 

Also, bullies tend to not be open about the "problems" they have that are causing them to act the way that they act. Are guidance counselors supposed to take bullies out of classes for hours each day and try to psychoanalyze them in the office and find out what issues they are dealing with? I don't think the school system "fails", unless it makes no effort to keep an eye out for bullying (especially after parents have complained), or unless the teachers see bullying and do nothing about it.

 

So a system that can not protect people from abuse is not broken?

 

How did you react to the story form the UK about the care home in which patients (most mentally disabled) were being abused by members of the staff. Would you say 'hey, in such an environment it comes down to the word of the staff against the patient so there is nothing the management could have done'?

 

That is a thin excuse to say 'we didn't so anything, we didn't look into it, we didn't check and in this case, we knew.

 

From a parents point of view, I really don't give a crap what the school says they cannot do or what difficulties they face - in this case the kid seems to be known by the staff for this kind of behaviour..

 

Kids are in school to learn in a safe environment, the school is there to provide that. If they cannot then either their system for running the school needs to be looked at or they need a shove to take action. As I said, find out if the school has any duty of care and if they are responsible for any medical bills pertaining to injuries that happen on their grounds.

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I agree, cb6dba, that the schools need to do more. I think we've already had this conversation on Toytown, about what can be done and what can't. So I'll keep it short: it needs to start early, and it needs to start before fists are thrown. Someone here commented that they don't like that all that happens to a bully is that it's forced to say sorry and shake hands. But that's only after somebody's already been hit. The viciousness that goes on between kids in Kitas is atrocious, astounding, truly heartbreaking, and the Erzieherinnen do absolutely nothing about it. It's not their problem until somebody's bleeding. And when I was in school teachers did nothing about verbal bullying until somebody used profanity. You could call somebody a fat ugly cow and watch the classroom erupt in laughter while the teacher sits idly, but you couldn't call them a fucking fat ugly cow, now you're getting a mark on your record.

 

My idea would be that verbal harassment would be a punishable offense, with hitting being a two-strikes-and-you're-out offense. A child who cannot keep his hands to himself will have to go to another school.

 

Schools need to teach kids how to have respect for one another, basic social skills, because they're certainly not learning it at home or on the playground.

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@dessa - spot on, in fact, schools should be teaching kids how we all want them to behave as adults.

 

However, as an example, in the UK the teachers say the parents should be responsible for their kids behaviour and the parents say the teachers should be responsible for it in the school.

 

It should actually be a shared responsibility so that should one side fail, we still have the other side towing the rope so to say.

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Actually, in (our) kitas here, Kuh is a word that gets punished. Also Bloede (I actually thought it was bloody first time I heard it). And it's not allowed to call people dumb either.

So, if verbal and physical bullying are not forbidden/followed up in your kita/school, follow up (as OP is trying) and then consider changing kitas/schools.

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dunno what you mean by "our" kitas "here". I worked in upwards of ten kitas per week for almost three years, so I'm talking about kitas in all parts of Berlin, north, east, west and south. Which ones are you talking about?

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Toddlers don't listen to parents and think they are invincible. Therefore, if my daughter is going near the hot stove and ignores me when I say "stop!", I'd rather her know that this is going to hurt from a spanking than finding out in a more dangerous way.

 

In most cases this is not necessary though, and certainly uncalled for once they reach the age in which one can reason with them.

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So a system that can not protect people from abuse is not broken?

Bullying is a part of life. To think that any school or system would be able to protect all children from any instance of bullying would be completely idiotic. Can school's pay closer attention to it all and be more pro-active? Of course. There are plenty of schools that turn a blind eye to this sort of behavior. However, in general, there isn't a ton that a school can do about specific cases of bullying if the teachers themselves do not see the bullying occur. Most of the bullying in my school tended to be verbal. Like I said, in that case all you really have is the word of one student vs the word of another. There's not much teachers can do in those cases.

 

 

 

How did you react to the story form the UK about the care home in which patients (most mentally disabled) were being abused by members of the staff. Would you say 'hey, in such an environment it comes down to the word of the staff against the patient so there is nothing the management could have done'?

Not at all. I've been around nursing homes all of my life and I know that elder abuse is generally easily proven. There are signs of abuse - bruises, broken bones, etc. Those situations are not at all comparable to the completely verbal bullying scenario that I previously mentioned. Verbal abuse tends to be covered on a case-to-case basis at nursing homes and, when it comes down to the word of one vs the word of another (I've seen plenty of elderly/mentally disabled people claim someone did x or y to them, when I sat and watched the whole thing and the aide did NOTHING wrong), the aide is generally moved from that one area and the nurses keep an eye on him/her.

 

 

From a parents point of view, I really don't give a crap what the school says they cannot do or what difficulties they face - in this case the kid seems to be known by the staff for this kind of behaviour..

And from an "educator's" point of view, there's little a school can do about specific cases without any sort of actual evidence. If the teachers see the bullying occur, or there are some sort of signs (physical or so), then of course they can do something about it. If parents speak to them about it, then they can keep an eye open for it. Schools can be more strict in their punishment for bullying and start earlier with "anti-bullying" programs or start one if they do not have one. However, like I already said, you'd be delusional to think that teachers can prevent all bullying within a school.

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Bullying is a part of life. To think that any school or system would be able to protect all children from any instance of bullying would be completely idiotic. Can school's pay closer attention to it all and be more pro-active? Of course. There are plenty of schools that turn a blind eye to this sort of behavior. However, in general, there isn't a ton that a school can do about specific cases of bullying if the teachers themselves do not see the bullying occur. Most of the bullying in my school tended to be verbal. Like I said, in that case all you really have is the word of one student vs the word of another. There's not much teachers can do in those cases.

 

Obviously you are never going to be able to stop everything everywhere all the time, but a system where a situation like this continues not addressed after half a dozen of instances is pretty broken. Particularly if it is physical bullying. The verbal kind is also serious and should be addressed but that is harder and in principle in many cases not as serious (it really depends of course).

 

There are even schools that encourage this sort of stuff I'm sure (or if not the schools, some select "teachers" probably think it builds character or some bullshit like that).

 

 

And from an "educator's" point of view, there's little a school can do about specific cases without any sort of actual evidence. If the teachers see the bullying occur, or there are some sort of signs (physical or so), then of course they can do something about it. If parents speak to them about it, then they can keep an eye open for it. Schools can be more strict in their punishment for bullying and start earlier with "anti-bullying" programs or start one if they do not have one. However, like I already said, you'd be delusional to think that teachers can prevent all bullying within a school.

 

It's not even necessary to punish the offender as long as you keep the victim safe. It is quite possible, for example, to provide a safe environment that the would-be victim can choose to stay on during recess etc. and be certain of not receiving any kind of bullying (and have some entertaining stuff to do, of course).

 

We can get into more specific ideas depending on the particularities at each school, but it is really just a question of taking the issue seriously - and give the victims options where they know they will be safe.

 

There are also buddy systems that can be implemented - there are often older students which are actually kind and caring souls (yes, even teenagers!) with enough self-esteem and confidence that can keep a younger victim safe from physical bullying and probably also avert most verbal teasing.

 

Ivo.

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Obviously you are never going to be able to stop everything everywhere all the time, but a system where a situation like this continues not addressed after half a dozen of instances is pretty broken. Particularly if it is physical bullying. The verbal kind is also serious and should be addressed but that is harder and in principle in many cases not as serious (it really depends of course).

If it is not addressed at all, then of course it's broken. The teachers should at least keep their eyes out for both students if they hear about any instances of bullying, especially physical. Unfortunately they don't always do that and it seems like in this case they probably aren't.

 

 

There are even schools that encourage this sort of stuff I'm sure (or if not the schools, some select "teachers" probably think it builds character or some bullshit like that).

I'm definitely sure there are some teachers who do not take bullying seriously and see it as more of a "rite of passage". The same can unfortunately be said about parents as well. I've known parents that do not see it as a big deal if their child is bullying others in school. They tend to think that the other kid just needs to grow a backbone and that everyone gets bullied so it's no big deal. Ridiculous.

 

 

It's not even necessary to punish the offender as long as you keep the victim safe. It is quite possible, for example, to provide a safe environment that the would-be victim can choose to stay on during recess etc. and be certain of not receiving any kind of bullying (and have some entertaining stuff to do, of course).

Agreed. Teachers/school officials really should be able to regulate bullying that occurs on the playground and also in the cafeteria. My school did an awful job of that, because there definitely weren't enough adults supervising in those areas. That's where most of the in-school bullying seemed to happen.

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Anyone here who is as ancient as me will probably remember this.

 

You, aged 8: (raises hand) Mrs. Bloom?

Teacher: Yes?

You: Trevor pinched me.

Teacher: (frowns) Nobody likes a tattle-tale.

 

or

 

Principal: Why did you pull Theresa's hair?

You, aged 12: She called my mother a whore.

Principal: That's no sort of language to be using.

You: Sorry. She called my mother a w-h-o-r-e. And she slapped me. And now no one will let me sit by them in the lunchroom.

Principal: Where did all of this take place?

You: Art class.

Principal: Fine. You'll do a week's detention.

You: (wailing) But that's so unfair! She started it! What about her?

Principal: Well, she's not the one sitting here right now--we're talking about your actions, not hers. And, nobody likes a tattle-tale.

 

or

 

Guidance counselor: Why did you throw eggs at Rico's car?

You, gay as Christmas, aged 17: Because he called me a fag, sir.

Counselor: Watch your mouth young man.

You: Sorry. Because he called a f-a-g.

Counselor: Well that's not acceptable language, but two wrongs don't make a right. You'll do a week's detention, and give Rico a public apology.

You: But what about him? He called me a fa, an f-a-g! It's a hate crime!

Counselor: Going around pointing fingers and placing blame gets you nowhere in life. You are dismissed.

 

My point is, teachers don't want to know anything about it, even when they're told. They just want to get on with life. "Fight it out amongst yourselves" was something actually said to us when we were in elementary school back in the 80s (literally about a year after corporal punishment was banned in my home state). I know things might be different now, with teachers who don't fantasize about hitting you themselves and certainly aren't compelled to protect your little ass if someone else wants to, but I think a huge number of teachers are either trained to, or are conditioned to just not giving a shit. A problem they can't see ceases to exist.

 

When I was in school there was a process called "mediation" which made it so nobody had to be expelled, so the two of you could continue to go to the same school together. I think there needs to be more of that. But it would take a hell of a lot more effort on the part of educators than they seem willing to give.

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Wow, my schooling was definitely completely different from that and you're only a few years older than me. We were never told to not "tattle-tale" by teachers when we complained about someone calling us a name and never got in trouble for things in that way. Usually the teacher would talk to us or they would send us to the principal's office and the principal or guidance counselor would speak to us separately. I didn't get the feeling that most of our teachers didn't want to know anything about it all. I just noticed that they were often too busy with other things and that the bullies were smart enough to do their bullying away from the teachers.

 

We had corporal punishment in my state and it was only recently (past few years) banned. The principal threatened to spank me once and my mom left work, charged into his office, and threatened to break the paddle over his ass if he touched me :lol: .

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dunno what you mean by "our" kitas "here". I worked in upwards of ten kitas per week for almost three years, so I'm talking about kitas in all parts of Berlin, north, east, west and south. Which ones are you talking about?

 

The two kitas my children have been in.

Are you saying that the "upward of 10 kitas per week" you have worked in all allowed bullying and verbal harassment? Scathing indictment of the kitas that employed you, then and not something I understood from your past comments. I tend to think that the incidents of bullying and the responses we had and worked with were relatively representative of the kitas in the area we live in- which is Berlin.

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How do people here generally feel about "Spare the rod, spoil the child"?

 

I feel that hitting people teaches those people that they are powerless and they, in turn, hit those weaker than themselves.

I think that hitting children is illegal in Germany.

I think that you should study the Bible more and use it in context and in its original language or non-King James translation if you attempt to quote it.

I think that I am glad it is illegal to hit people and that children, in Germany and most Western European countries, have actual rights as people.

Which is why physical bullying can be stopped legally: because even children don't have the right to hit other children.

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Anyone here who is as ancient as me will probably remember this.

 

You, aged 8: (raises hand) Mrs. Bloom?

Teacher: Yes?

You: Trevor pinched me.

Teacher: (frowns) Nobody likes a tattle-tale.

 

or

 

Principal: Why did you pull Theresa's hair?

You, aged 12: She called my mother a whore.

Principal: That's no sort of language to be using.

You: Sorry. She called my mother a w-h-o-r-e. And she slapped me. And now no one will let me sit by them in the lunchroom.

Principal: Where did all of this take place?

You: Art class.

Principal: Fine. You'll do a week's detention.

You: (wailing) But that's so unfair! She started it! What about her?

Principal: Well, she's not the one sitting here right now--we're talking about your actions, not hers. And, nobody likes a tattle-tale.

 

or

 

Guidance counselor: Why did you throw eggs at Rico's car?

You, gay as Christmas, aged 17: Because he called me a fag, sir.

Counselor: Watch your mouth young man.

You: Sorry. Because he called a f-a-g.

Counselor: Well that's not acceptable language, but two wrongs don't make a right. You'll do a week's detention, and give Rico a public apology.

You: But what about him? He called me a fa, an f-a-g! It's a hate crime!

Counselor: Going around pointing fingers and placing blame gets you nowhere in life. You are dismissed.

 

My point is, teachers don't want to know anything about it, even when they're told. They just want to get on with life. "Fight it out amongst yourselves" was something actually said to us when we were in elementary school back in the 80s (literally about a year after corporal punishment was banned in my home state). I know things might be different now, with teachers who don't fantasize about hitting you themselves and certainly aren't compelled to protect your little ass if someone else wants to, but I think a huge number of teachers are either trained to, or are conditioned to just not giving a shit. A problem they can't see ceases to exist.

 

When I was in school there was a process called "mediation" which made it so nobody had to be expelled, so the two of you could continue to go to the same school together. I think there needs to be more of that. But it would take a hell of a lot more effort on the part of educators than they seem willing to give.

 

Dessa, you are so much younger than I that you might almost be my child and what you are describing never, never took place in any school I was in. When I was bullied, it was never brought to the teachers. And when bullying was brought to higher-ups, the response was appropriate. I went to public schools and what youn describe sounds like a Catholic novel from the 40's. I'm sorry that behaviour impacted you, but I never saw it and nor did my brothers or our friends.

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If you take the 'Rod' as being discipline and a system of setting boundaries and carrying out set punishment for transgression, then the 'spare the rod and spoil the child' is a valid statement.

 

like a lot of things written in the past, you cannot always take its meaning so literal today.

 

If a lot of poeple who read stuff written in the past could do this, we would have a lot less crap in the world... :ph34r:

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For me, physical bullying is way easier to deal with than the persistent psychological attacks. Bruises and scratches go away after a week, but they provide wonderful evidence for all to see. The mental scarring that occurs cannot be seen and can be there for decades after; you have to go through the trouble to really listen to someone, to find out where that lack of self-esteem comes from.

 

Putting your knee in a bully's nuts (after a 10-yard run-up) may feel great at that precise moment, but it lands you in Big Trouble and it doesn't even stop the bullying. And the bully isn't the one who 30 years later still has trouble building relationships or believing that he's actually worth anything.

 

I have no idea how to deal with bullies and their victims, but I do know that teachers and parents need to listen to their kids when they tell them they're unhappy at school and then most certainly not tell them things to make the victims believe they are the ones to blame. No "just ignore them, they'll go away", no "just hit them", nothing of the sort.

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I think you should ask a mean looking acquaintance (big muscles and a bit of make up) to pick up your son from school. Let him stare the other kid down and have a little talk with him. Just scare him a little bit so he stops. I think a bit of intimidation in this kind of situation is ok. You could probably do the job yourself but it will probably look "cooler" if coming from a fake uncle or older cousin. I hope you find a way of dealing with this problem as it must be horrible for your son to have to go through this every day at school.

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