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Bullying will always be?
February 18, 2012

Bullying will always be?

Unfortunately, bullying will always be.  Who wasn’t bullied at some point in their childhood?  Who isn’t bullied on occasion even now in adulthood?  Well, I certainly was bullied as a child and even as an adult.  It’s part of life, but to what degree does it make it okay?  Swept under carpets and not dealt with?  When someone’s life is put in jeopardy or when someone has actually lost his/her life, do we act?

Unless parents and schools become more vigilant, proactive and engaged in the lives of their children and students we’ll never move ahead with this ever increasing problem.  I realize it has proven to be quite the challenge within society due to many reasons, such as, familial issues with children being brought up in difficult, stressful surroundings, one parent families making it difficult to focus in on the childs needs, cultural differences and having too many children in any given classroom all prove as challenges for teachers and parents in combating bullying at school.  It can be a very complex issue but I think to every problem there are good solutions if the adults put their heads together and come up with the right strategies in helping these children right from the onset.

Parents know if their child has the tendency to be aggressive or is prone to bullying.  And it’s a parent’s duty to get their child any extra help that s/he may require to overcome their difficulties.  Every parent knows their child, the good, the bad and the ugly, at least you would think?  And as much as the bad sometimes is ugly to face we have an obligation to our children in helping them face their difficulties, together as a family.  Then there’s the teachers who should be the first ones to call out those kids who have issues and are more prone to bullying behaviours.   I feel that if parents aren’t doing their part then it’s the teachers who should be taking the necessary steps in helping the children by discussing it with school officials and parents sooner rather then later and collaborating together in getting these kids help.   Why wait until we have a serious issue before putting in place the strategies required to combat the problem.

We have issues of this nature happening at my daughter’s school and I am not too thrilled with the way in which the school has handled this.  At the beginning of the year there was an incident that my child and I were directly involved with.  If it wasn’t for the parent on lunch duty that day I would have never known about it.  I received no phone call, no letter, nothing.  It was only after being told by the parent and confirming the details with my daughter that I became aware.  The school had done nothing but dismiss it.

I was told, “she’s one tough girl” and, “she put up a good fight against six boys!”  Yes, her stature is no monkey business but what does that mean?  Because she’s bigger and stronger than most children her age that it’s okay, just shrug it off, take it lightly, funny even, and no harm no foul?  In a way, yes, thank goodness for her stature it’s what saved her this time but this mentality is just not right.  What about those kids that wouldn’t have been able to defend themselves and for goodness sake it was 6 boys not fair at all in the grand scheme of 1 on 1.  If this is happening in grade 2 what should we expect next?  If it wasn’t for her girlfriends who ran to get the parent on duty to break it up who knows how far it would have gone, how much worse it could’ve been?  The thought that these boys got together in a group to try and take her down knowingly that one couldn’t handle her is even more concerning as the “pack” mentality is still well and strong.  And boys beating on a girl, what is happening to our children, where have we failed, and what are we doing about it?

The motive you ask, the girls were playing with the boys and vice-versa.  Since the boys are clearly smaller than the girls at this stage of physical development the girls wanted one of the boys to be the baby.  They were playing house, in the school yard during recess??  This is the story as told by my daughter and her friends.  She was playing the ‘Mommy’ and the leader of the ‘pack’ was to be her baby.  You kind have to laugh and remember these are 7 year old children.  Well he (the boy) was not happy with this and thus the incident.

My daughter physically was fine, thankfully, but her spirit was not.  I was furious for the fact that I was not at least notified.  I sent an email to the principal demanding an explanation to why I hadn’t been called or sent an email.  Clearly after my complaint the principal followed up with all the boys, called the parents, sent letters home and that was that.  But only because I followed through otherwise, nothing would have been done.  Right from the onset of the school year there was clearly a problem with aggression and bullying.  This was perfect opportunity to implement a strategy based on this incident to curb any future issues.  Why wait for more incidences?

Well ¾ of the school year in with many other negative dynamics happening within my daughters classroom and parents talking the school has finally implemented zero tolerance.  But not for the whole school just her class so as to stop the bullying behaviour that has been going on all year long.  This class definitely has some issues but I see it on a daily basis everywhere.  Many children in many of the grades throughout the school have aggression and bullying issues and I feel that one class should not be singled out.  As much as I’m happy to see that they’re finally doing something about it I feel that if you implement zero tolerance it should be for the whole school.  Also, the school needs to strategize better particullarly with those children that are causing most of the issues.  They need to speak with the parents, meetings need to be set up, plan’s put in place inclusive with psychologists, social workers etc…, to make this a win-win.  The whole school and all parents need to come together for the betterment and safety of life and learning at school for our children’s sake.

What are your thoughts, opinions and stories?  Please share.

Written by,

Denise K. Livotti

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Comments

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My kid’s school seems to take bullying very seriously. I took place (as a community volunteer) in a day that they had for grade 7 and 8s, and it was really amazing. My 8 year old told me that they are getting a lot of bullying education and there are posters around the school discussing suicides of bullied children. DH and I were speaking about what she would do if she witnessed bullying and I was so impressed with her response and her compassion. Additionally, she knows that if she is bullied at all, she can come to us and we will address it immediately.

That said, despite being in a solid upper middle class, I recently learned that the school has a serious bullying problem and something happened this week that has left me in total shock and with a lot of questions and (so far) no answers.

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- Jenn - @jennabitbol
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    testimonial

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    Hi Jenn,

    Great stuff here!  Thank you for posting.  It is so good to hear that some schools are taking this seriously.  Maybe this is the beginning for our school also taking this seriously…?  It makes a difference when parents and children are educated about this and is definitely something the school needs to do.  Thank you for this feedback I’ll take this with me to my daughter’s school and discuss.  Have a great Family Day long weekend.  :)

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    - Denise K. Livotti
    testimonial
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