By Jeff Bennington
Author of REUNION
I’ve read several reports about bullies, who they target and why they do what they do. In a word, I’ve observed that what is actually happening is a crushing. Bullies seem to desire to crush the spirit, crush their victims physically and emotionally to gain a feeling of strength. This need to crush usually stems from a need to feel a strength that the bully actually lacks.
Although there have been conflicting studies about the victims, some claim that the victims are often smaller and weaker or have other physical attributes such as weight, speech or vision disabilities. But in my opinion, attributes, ages, percentages and profiling is irrelevant because it is clear that our schools and parents are not doing enough to prevent bullies from doing damage. Don’t get me wrong; I know schools are trying. I know that parents are fed up. But the problem is what it is.
Bullying is devastating our youth. I hate it, and I’m sure you do too.
The problem with bullying, beside the long-term emotional damage that it can cause, is that when bullying gets extreme it can escalate into two higher levels of victimization.
1. Bullycide – Suicide caused from the results of bullying (From bullyingstatistics.org). http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullycide.html
2. School violence/shootings.
No matter how old you are, I’m sure you were familiar with your school bully. You knew who he was and you tried to stay clear of him. Today, however, bullies are intimidating their victims to the point of suicide or to retaliate through extreme violence such as stabbings or school shootings. The reasons and the complexity of the issues are far reaching. Kids today can be bullied at school, on the bus, via their cell phones, online and through all forms social media. Bullying is so much worse today. Bullying can consume a student’s world, bringing a victim to the point of hopelessness.
Still, there is hope. People are talking. Kids are starting to stand up against the class bully and parents are beginning to see that bullies aren’t what they used to be. We live in a world of instant communication and the anti-bullying message is traveling fast. But everyone must do their part. Here’s a few suggestions…
- Empower your children to stand up for themselves.
- Model personal responsibility and respect for others no matter how different they are.
- Teach children that their strength does not come from outward appearances, physical attributes or ones ability to tease or ridicule, but from lasting qualities of character such as integrity, kindness, respect, fairness, citizenship, etc.
- Share this article with your family and friends and refer them to Paul’s blog. As an educator, he talks about this topic regularly.
- Insist that wherever you are, bullying and bullies are not tolerated no matter what.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to “follow” Paul’s blog and then go get a copy of REUNION. You’ll be glad you did.
Author of REUNION and the blog, The Writing Bomb
Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004S7AR0E
The Writing Bomb: http://thewritingbomb.blogspot.com/