Natalie Wright, P.C.
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that task and this year sent home information specific to bullying. They are taking it seriously, as they should,
and I applaud the school for adopting a zero tolerance of bullying.
question: What is bullying anyway?
insults. The bully isn’t always the
largest kid in the class, but the bully is someone who gets their way through threats, intimidation and fear.
others, tease, and/or become physical towards another student will be
written up and [the Principal] will review the situation.” (emphasis added)
excluding is wrong and can lead to hurt feelings so we should ban it. But here’s my question: Are hurt feelings or feelings of being left
out the same as bullying?
feelings. I was a geeky nerd kid with
red hair – I experienced a lot of hurt feelings in my childhood. But was it bullying for a particular girl
clique that I wanted to be a part of to say “we don’t want to play with you?”
choices in life. Their parents and their
school decide just about everything for them.
Even for teenagers there is a lack of freedom. Should kids be free to choose who they play
with on the playground and who they eat lunch with and who they hang out with?
With the advent of social media, I know that things have changed for
kids and now bullies, especially girl bullies, have the entire Internet and
social media web to use for their bullying.
Have things changed so much that we must quash freedom of choice in who
we spend our time with in order to protect kids from hurt that can lead to
emotional problems and suicide?
persecutes weaker people
or persecute a weaker person
persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, tormentor, intimidator, thug
bully. When you imagine a bully, do
these words fit your image?
and unfortunately my work has brought me into contact with domestic violence
issues. Domestic abusers are bullies. Whether the abuser is a man or woman (yes,
women sometimes are the abusers though not as often as men), they use their
fists or their words (usually both) to intimidate and oppress. Put downs and insults are the abuser’s daily
bread and butter, used to weaken the other person’s self-esteem and
resolve. The physical violence seals the
deal so to speak and shows the other person “see, I’m stronger than you and I
can get and do what I want.”
they likely observe bullying behavior by one or both parents. The bully then hones their craft on the
playground, in the lunchroom, and in the corridors of the school. By the time the bully reaches high school, he
or she has likely been bullying since pre-school and knows how to
work the system to their favor. In fact,
I can foresee the bully using the “no exclusion” policy to bully someone into playing with them so they can bully them some more!
My concern is that if we water down and broaden the definition too much it will become meaningless. Getting
your feelings hurt because you didn’t get invited to a party sucks and dealing
with mean girls can leave a scar. But
when someone engages in a campaign of constant insults, put downs, threats,
and/or verbal or physical intimidation is different. The latter is bullying. Is the former bullying?
girls. But are mean girls automatically
bullies? Is it their exclusion that’s
the problem? Or how they go about it?
topic. What do you think?
Has bullying changed? Do we need
to broaden the definition to encompass new forms of bullying?
policies on bullying? Do you think
bullying is a problem and if so, how do we fix it?