Ask The Principal

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Let's talk about bullies...

Everyone in public school has at least one bully story. The bully stories start at the preschool level. They continue and peak around the middle school level, then go down some during the high school years. Many incidents continue into college and even into the workplace. I remember in a training on bullying that there was also an increase in bullying in the adult workplace. Seems like we train people well in the public school system on how to be a bully to the point that it affects our work culture as a nation.

The official term is "peer harassment", but everyone knows about "the bullying". One common misconception about bullying is that the bully has a low self esteem so he/she has to harass another student until the other student demonstrates a lack of power, hence the bully sees someone more miserable than he/she is and feels better.

This is actually far from the truth. The bully is actually a sadistic sort of character that derives personal pleasure and satisfaction in seeing the emotional pain and/or trauma demonstrated in the victim. An ex-bully in a video training I watched stated that he would be relentless on a victim until he saw the victim cry. That was his goal, to incessantly torment his chosen victim until the victim was reduced to tears.

How's that for socialization? Yes folks, let's put our kids into public schools to "toughen them up" against such harassments. Let's allow them to be emotionally traumatized, put down, harassed, poked, made fun of, pushed around, laughed at, ridiculed, victims of rumors, robbed of dignity, commented on their private parts in restrooms/locker rooms and told of their doomed future sexually because of described inadequacies, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum. Or let's put our kids into a system where if they are not the victim, they at least get to see this happening everyday 180 days a year.

So often when I was investigating a case of bullying many of the "Christian" kids that I was counting on for a truthful account of the bully's actions were reticent to tell me what happened in complete detail. They weren't dishonest, but they were fearful of retaliation. So were their parents when I called on them for assistance. Their parents wanted to limit the inclusion of their son/daughter because they knew I could not fully protect him/her from retaliation.

Often too, we think of the individual bully, but bullies also run in packs, both boys and girls, looking for whom they may devour. I don't use that phraseology lightly either. It is exactly what they do. Staff and school interventions work to a certain extent, but the bully mentality is rather sophisticated and highly adept at avoiding accountability. They are aided by the almost immeasurable power of student witnesses wanting to avoid being called a "narc" as well.

Kinda makes you mad, doesn't it?

Hence programs like I mentioned in the previous post. Powerful and effective interventions like this are necessary because the public school without these programs is a very unsafe place to be. But even the most effective programs only touch the surface of the public school experience for our children.

There is still no doubt in my mind that the home school experience is still the best/safest experience.


  • But isn't bullying part of the whole "reality" experience?? I mean, as hser's, are we not short changing our children by not allowing them to expeience bullying? Afterall, it is something that all *normal* children should have to live through, right? I was bullied as a child and I turned out o.k. Not!

    It just irks me when I hear people get all bent out of shape because hser's are "protecting" their children from bullying. For whatever reason, some people believe ALL children need to be exposed to this because "that's just the way things are." Why would I want my child to have to re-live the horrible bullying experiences I had as a child??

    Sorry about the rant. Sore topic for me :o[

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Tuesday, June 27, 2006 7:51:00 AM  

  • No worries on the rant. Thing is, everyone has "a story", usually several. It is pathetic to think that our society in general is willing to put up with this as a "right of passage"

    By Blogger The Principal, at Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:04:00 PM  

  • I know bullies actually have HIGH Self Esteem, i.e. "I WILL exalt MY throne above that of the Most High." I grew up with one, as well as being the punching bag of my school.

    My conclusion: Be the Bully, i.e. the Alpha Male. Everybody sucks up to you and sings your praises -- the more brutal and vicious you are, the more they suck up to you. And if you're also a pathological liar who knows how to shift the blame onto your Inferiors/targets, you can lie your way out of anything up to and including The Last Judgment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, August 21, 2006 12:50:00 PM  

  • Dear anonymous,

    I am sorry for your miserable existance at school, again, hence my encouragement for parents to home-educate their children.

    If you consider this, that your opinions are birthed out of hatred, then you are on a wrong path and your desires are unhealthy and destructive, not only for you, but for those you love and love you.

    Sounds like these experiences are in your past. Time to forgive and move on. No sense in letting those bullies in your life continue to bully you in your thought life years later.

    The Bible says "the joy of the Lord is our strength". Seek that, and God's grace to forgive those who harmed you, and more importantly, God's grace to save you. To become one of which Paul states "He (Jesus) rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13-14


    By Blogger The Principal, at Sunday, September 03, 2006 1:59:00 PM  

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