Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Be a YouTube Star - Bully

Stick, Stones and Word Hurt!

When a school Superintendent states that bullying has been around for a long time or a police chief says, ‘it’s just bullying’, that’s anger provoking. Bullying may begin in nursery school, but it doesn’t end at the conclusion of the school years. Bullies are found at all ages and in all jobs/professions. Bullying is not limited to race/ethnicity, skin shade or gender. Bullying moves into the workplace, and be exhibited as sexual harassment, age discrimination, and racial discrimination. Bully boss/supervisors are mean because they think they can. A new study suggests some mean kids actually behave that way simply because they can.  Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story about Bullying (Concept Books (Albert Whitman))
Momlogic.com suggested we teach our kids to be nice and kind at home. The people who take that advice were probably already nice and kind – and bully targets. Bullies may come from homes that support abuse – mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually – prejudices, and homophobic. The behavior could be overt or covert. The December 2010 article The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying mention several studies that suggest an estimated half of sixth-graders are bullied in a week, and roughly four in five students report being verbally harassed in middle school.
If as an adult you’ve used these terms and/or enjoyed jokes with racial slurs, your children are getting a message. Bullying among the younger generation is a significant problem--and it is steadily increasing. Bullying has been widespread and common for several years. We find bullying and bully terms in history, entertainment, military, law enforcement and music.  Adults forget or ignore to how harmful it is. The National Education Association estimated that more than 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.  Just easier to be sick or hideout.
Mean behavior among kids is a universal problem. In a poll of 232 kids in kindergarten through 8th grade at a Connecticut elementary school, every child claimed to have been the victim of at least one schoolmate’s or sibling’s meanness in the previous month.

Media

Looking at the news reports, it’s all the same, boys and girls gossip, pick victims and bully the same. Girls will bully boys and boys will bully girls. Why – because they can. The “I can do anything I want” syndrome. They pick on the least popular, quiet kids with little or few friends.  The 2004 movie, Mean Girls is considered a comedy drama. The one girl who doesn’t follow the rules of the A-list popular girls, “encounters psychological warfare and unwritten social rules that teenage girls.” She finds the “in-crowd” and the “out-crowd” The plot likes like many, many other movies:
Yes, it’s much better to be popular and admired. Kids can go to the movies and see it all play out on the big screen.  Now kids can bully and put it on YouTube.com. Now they can star in their own movie and get thousands of hits – just like the Hollywood stars. Everybody wants to be part of their crowd!
Mean Girls 2 is out, new and updated. New movie same old story, the school's most popular clique. Is it any wonder telling kids, “be kind and nice” isn’t working? It’s more fun and popular to be one of the mean people. Insults, name calling, relentless teasing, and malicious gossip often inflict deep and enduring pain. Its entertainment to the followers – middle of the road kids – the ones who are popular enough not to be bullied.  Anti-bullying programs should pay attention to more subtle and insidious forms of harassment, and appreciate how aggressive behaviors are rooted in status. There are online surveys parents can take. They can read the press release. At the end of the day, each parent has to do something. Bullyproof Your Child For Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting, and Bullying for Good
The research is due out shortly in the American Sociological ReviewLive Science points to the fact that the distinction in the study lies in the fact that much of the preceding bullying research focuses on student bullies' personal characteristics, like the one supporting the following surveys.

In the News

Los Angeles (October 26, 2010) — According to a new study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics  half of all high school students (50 percent) admit they bullied someone in the past year, and nearly half (47 percent) say they were bullied, teased, or taunted in a way that seriously upset them in the past year. It’s the largest study ever undertaken of the attitudes and conduct of high school students.
February 7, 2011 the first of two South River High School seniors in the Baltimore area of Maryland, accused of beating a younger student into unconsciousness in a hallway acknowledged his role, and was sent home to await placement in a juvenile facility. The victim, a sophomore went from a straight-A student-athlete to a child who suffers from the effects of brain trauma after the attack. The older boy knocked t to the floor of a school hallway during a change in classes and was pulled off him by other students.
February 1, 2011-- A seventh student from Upper Darby High School's Opportunity Center, PA was arrested when he reported for classes. He’s one of seven in the bully gang.  He is a 14-year-old charged with kidnapping and assault for the January 11th attack on a fellow student.  The victim and his mother speak to Action News
Two Belleville, IL., students were criminally charged today in the beating of a teen that was captured on video and inflamed racial tension in the area September 2009.  (For video link click here)
September 2009 MomLogic.com reported an Illinois boy was beaten on a school bus by two students as the other passengers cheered and laughed. The bus driver did nothing. The two Belleville West High School kids responsible were expelled from the school. The others kids who laughed at the beating were suspended.  "It's not necessarily race-related," stated Belleville Police Capt. Don Sax. "It's just bullying and that's where it is."  Just bullying!!
In October 2010 responding to bullying attack in the Oklahoma City Public School District, Superintendent Karl Springer remarked that bullying has been around for years.  Todays the kids are much more aggressive and schools are working harder to mitigate the problem.
 For the third time this week, a student at an Oklahoma school claimed they were attacked by bullies. The victims change classes, schools and bus routes. One mother observed, "The ones that are victims, why do they have to continue to change everything or leave the school because they fear the protection they aren't getting?" Her daughter attacked at bus stop.
Edmond, OK – December 2010, Bryce Kirk is too embarrassed about his missing front tooth. He lost it when another student supposedly started a fight on a bus still parked at Edmond Santa Fe High School. When Kirk challenged the student about it, he ended up with hands around his neck and a punch to the face.
Camelot Elementary School in Chesapeake, VA May 2010, nine-year-old Brenna was jumped by a group of kids, pulling her hair and slapping her in the face. They punched her friends in the stomach. Momlogic.com suggested there was safety in numbers. Budding up with a group of friends was supposed to discourage bullies. Clearly that’s not true since the friends were also attacked.
Aaron Robichaux 9-year-old is a target at South Thibodaux Elementary. Aaron is bullied which resulted in him being treated at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center for a groin injury.  The attack occurred on January 6, 2011 in Thibodaux, LA. The bullying seems to have a history.  At least once Aaron got tired and punched a kid in the nose. For this Aaron received a in school suspension of solitary confinement during the school day. No reports on what the bullies got.
Ashley Toney, now 19, will also have to register as a sex offender once he is released from his four years in prison.  The sexual bully in Indiana has been sentenced for attacks on female classmates on the school bus. He "Sexually Bullied" female students on the school bus by fondling them and exposing himself to them during the 2008-2009 school years.

Resources:

·         Literature John A. Simpson, Oxford Dictionary Of Modern Slang ISBN 0-19-861052-1
·         Eric Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, (2002)
·         Richard A. Spears, Slang and Euphemism, (2001)
·         The Social Contexts of Bullying and Victimization the Journal of Early Adolescence May 2007 27: 145-174
·         Bullying stops here  we’ll teach you how to intervene, combat cyber bullying, and improve your school climate.