Do you believe that bullying Is wrong?

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"The boy you punched in the hall today. Committed suicide a few minutes ago. That girl you called a slut in class today. She’s a virgin. The boy you called lame. He has to work every night to support his family. That girl you pushed down the other day. She’s already being abused at home. That girl you called fat. She’s starving herself. The old man you made fun of cause of the ugly scars. He fought for our country. The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying. You think you know them. Guess what? You don’t!"

The quote that I have copied and pasted above is not something new; it has been circulating over the internet for quite awhile now. However, after having recently come across it yet again, I am reminded of the feeling I get from some of the people that post on SwampBubbles, which is my feeling that some of SwampBubbles posters do engage in bullying and even seem to take some delight in cyberbully tactics.

I post this because I am against bullying, including cyber-bullying.
If you are against bullying of all kinds, please state so. If you you do not emphatically and unequivocally state that you are against bullying, then it may very well be inferred that you are in favor of bullying.

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I've actually done some research about bullying as a member of the Ohio Federation of Teachers' Civil Rights Committee. I've written resolutions about bullying that have been adopted by the Ohio Federation of Teachers as official policy.

It is important to remember that while the victims are of greatest concern, wherever there is a victim, there is a bully who needs help, too. Bullies are not born. They are made by the environment in which they grow and develop. If we don't treat all types of bullying seriously; if we don't get help to both the victim and the bully; we will continue to have great personal tregedies.

Remember, bullies get killed, too. When victims get so desperate that they feel they have no other choice, they often take someone's life. That life may be their own, but it may be the bully or someone else. Most of the killings by school children at their respective schools, that have made headlines around the world, have been as a result of bullying.

I've written resolutions about bullying that have been adopted by the Ohio Federation of Teachers as official policy.

You did? Well then, since that certainly put a stop to any bullying behavior wherever the OFT was involved, we can all pack up and go home.

Most of the killings by school children at their respective schools, that have made headlines around the world, have been as a result of bullying.

I thought that the support structure was supposed to take care of these things, but maybe not. Where are all those near-perfect teachers you keep writing about? What about the school administration? I suppose that, like teaching, the support structure is completely ineffective without enthusiastic agreement and cooperation from the parents.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

...some of SwampBubbles posters do engage in bullying and even seem to take some delight in cyberbully tactics.

Bullies on SB? I don't believe it. Cite a few examples.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

MADJACK wrote:
"Bullies on SB? I don't believe it."

I respond with:
I find it difficult to believe that any thinking person would have any doubts that there are cyberbullies on SwampBubbles.

You mean like people who take their arguments with other people on other sites and post them here in an attempt to gain sympathy/cohorts? Like that? Yeah those people are on here. They start threads like 'Who is Fred Lefebvre, anyway?'.

MikeyA

You really should look into a mirror and do some introspection.

Mike, you are the person when writing about me used these words:
"Anal-Rapist" and "narcoleptic molester" and "a whiny little bitch" and "his life of huge debt, fat wife, erectile dysfunction, etc."

And then there was this e-mail message that you wrote to my wife:
"Judy, Roland seems a little tense could you give him a few more bj's?"

And all that was in response to you coming in here and attacking fred for something done on another site.

So I stand by what I posted about you being an attempted cyberbully.

MikeyA

But it's a kind of tough subject all around, especially if you are going to lump on-line nonsense with what children and high schoolers do in person at school.

As to on-line - we no longer have teens in our family, but when in school our young people had enough self confidence to take care of themselves. And that was BEFORE the internet. Personally, I think parents should limit teens' exposure to the internet social sites, because that's where a lot of cowardly damage is done. Very sensitive teens who are kind to others, and too susceptible to other teens' opinions - frankly, they; often would do better with different parents, which isn't going to happen. Parents who are too busy, or indifferent, harsh, or in some cases abusive themselves, set these young people up for abuse in the outside world, because they don't impart a sense of self esteem to their children. And then the parents of the bullies, of course, are frequently abusive morons. I think teachers in the public schools have a responsibility to watch for bullying and stop it immediately when they see it.

I also think that school environments are a lot more harsh than when I was in public school decades ago. I attended a very democratic (so to speak) and friendly high school in the Detroit downriver area in the 1960's. I recall very few bullying incidents. But once in summer school the following happened. We were allowed to take government and economics (2 required classes for everybody) in the summer in order to free up class hours in our Senior year for other activities. Many students took advantage of this. So the summer school atmosphere was more casual, and there was always a boring break time between classes where we sat to wait for the teacher of the 2nd class to appear. One day, one of our football jocks was regaling us with a story about a guy we all knew, whose family had moved to New York, and the guy would run away back to Michigan a couple times a year to stay with this football player's family, until tracked down by his father. It was pretty funny, everybody was laughing - and suddenly the jock decided he didn't like one of the girls who was laughing along with the rest of us, and started calling her names, etc. - it was shocking to everybody present. One gal had the presence of mind to say something, when this other girl started crying. Little 5'2" Sue (whose father was a police officer) yelled at the jock - "OK, that's enough! You know better than to talk to someone that way"... [along with some other words of rebuke]. Now all 3 of these students were pretty well liked in the school. Why this guy decided to bully the one gal that one time was a mystery to everyone. But he shut up immediately when Sue told him off. And that's back in the 1960's when school was a lot more civilized than it is now.

There are so many factors at work these days, that I'm sorry for kids, in high school particularly. Young teens today (let alone children) don't have, in many cases, the inner resources to protect themselves. There need to be a lot of "Sue's", and there need to be more vigilant parents of vulnerable children and teens. A recent nationally televised video of bullying by several children of another boy on a bus has me wondering this... why IN THE WORLD did that bus driver not pull the bus to the curb, walk back and yank the bully-ers out of their seats and marched them up to the front bus seats with loud reprimands? Because that's what would have been done on most 1960's era school buses.

But as to on-line flaming & virtual screaming by sociopaths on internet message boards. I say, just ignore it. Let them scream, holler, carry on and throw tantrums. Site owners are free to kick posters off (or not) at their discretion. If other adults are taking these morons seriously at any time - well, my adv ice would be for those adults to avoid message boards, because these nut cases are present on almost all posting sites.

I know that you just enjoy bashing teachers, especially urban teachers, but I'll give you a serious answer anyway.

First of all, I never stated that teachers are "near-perfect". What I DID say was that the vast majority who enter the teaching profession do so because they love children and want to help them become knowledgable, happy, productive members of society. Statistically, about 1/2 of them leave the profession within the first 5-6 years. I know you won't believe this, but most teachers are quite intelligent, hard-working, and talented in many areas. Many find that they can make a lot more money doing other professional work, and they simply can't afford to live, pay back their student loans, save to buy a house, plan to help their own children pay for college, etc. on a teacher's salary. I've known a few, for example, who have done very well in the insurance business after leaving teaching.

Meanwhile the job of teaching has become so much more difficult! With budgets slashed, especially with the severe cuts in state funding, class sizes have risen. Concurrently, we've seen the overemphasis upon judging teachers and schools primarily upon test scores. So, while teachers have been laid off, we assign more students to each of the remaining teachers, and ask them to do work with each child's social and emotional problems, while admonishing them to "just get those test scores up"! Society is sending teachers a lot of mixed messages. Teacher disillusionment is a big reason why these dedicated people who just want to help children feel overwhelmed, unappreciated, and, therefore, leave the profession.

Schools are great collecting points. There are both government agencies and private organizations which have social workers and counselors on the payroll already. We need to build cooperation between those agencies and the schools to bring these professional counselors in to work with the students and their families. Since these service people are already working in these areas, such cooperative programs would be at no additional cost to the taxpayers. We also need health care professionals to visit the schools regularly and provide health care services to our children. Too many families who are middle class or working poor can afford neither health insurance nor the cost of visits to medical facilities. This is not the fault of their children, but far too many of their children suffer from treatable medical problems. Programs like this have been successful. Why not in Toledo? Why not now?

Bullying, the real problem is not that bullying has gotten more frequent or more harsh. My Aunt was bullied at her high school in the 1960's and kept a bat in her car in case of after school fights, and she went to what was a very very nice school in Toledo.

Kids are mean, always have been always will be, its nature. Humans are animals who compete against one another in survival of the fittest mindset. We are pack animals and the pack is only as strong as it's weakest member, naturally we test our limits.

So since bullying is nothing new what has changed? The way our society does it.

I was a very shy kid and young man. Only in college did I become extroverted. When I was in middle school I was bullied. My parents didn't run to the school, they didn't talk to the other kids parents, they didn't file a lawsuit, they didn't talk to the media. What my Dad did was talk to me, he understood how I felt, and he basically told me that what I was going through was common and it wouldn't stop my whole life. He explained that he expected me to fight back one way or another and that if I didn't people would walk all over me the rest of my life and if that was my choice I needed to understand it was my choice.

Most importantly he told me that the bullying continuing or stopping was up to me and if it continued whining about it was something he wouldn't accept or put up with.

The problem today is our society is filled with whiners who instead of dealing with problems expect the teachers, or the schools, or the government to deal with it. No one will solve your problems.

Be a man. Deal with it. But for God's sakes quit your whining about it.

Schools don't need sociologists, social workers, or teachers to deal with it. We need to take the expectation to prevent bullying away from the schools.

MikeyA

It seems as though you had a stable, supportive family. There are. statistically, less of those now than ever before. In addition, there is more mobility now than ever before. Extended family members are seldom around to fill in the gaps for parents who are not there at all or who are so busy working, they have little time to give direction to their children as your father gave to you! THAT'S what has changed in modern America. Families today need support, and schools are a wonderful collecting point for children in these needy families, as well as being community focal points.

As I stated, research shows that it is not only the victims of bullying who need help, it is the bullies themselves. Most bullies are made that way by the treatment they have had growing up. Your father gave you good advice about standing up for yourself. It parallels what my parents told me. But who helps the bully? If no one gives good, constructive counsel to the bully, that person may well end up incarcerated for much of her/his adult life. And how much does THAT cost society?

I don't just say it should be a "we" society instead of a "me" society because it makes me feel better. We share this area with over 1/2 million other people. We must have a "we" society, because none of us can live in isolation. Every individual who does not have a fulfilling, productive life, places all of us in danger and costs all of us in the long run. We cannot ignore the needs of others, because saving a small percentage of lost souls brings such great rewards to each of us who must share our communities with them.

America's most precious resource is neither gold, nor oil, nor natural gas, nor uranium; it is our people. We simply cannot afford to ignore the many problems others face and build a wall around ourselves and our families, and believe that all is safe and well. "Every man's death diminishes me, for I am a part of mankind".

The problem with your "we" generation is it reduces if not totally negates personal responsibility.

Bullying becomes not the problem of the individual being bullied but that of the school, now the school must add extra training and duties on teachers, must hire social workers etc.

If the pioneers had your "we" generation attitude they would have died before they got to the Rocky Mountains.

MikeyA

The problem with your "we" generation is it reduces if not totally negates personal responsibility.

Bullying becomes not the problem of the individual being bullied but that of the school, now the school must add extra training and duties on teachers, must hire social workers etc.

If the pioneers had your "we" generation attitude they would have died before they got to the Rocky Mountains.

MikeyA

The people who would be used already are on a payroll of either a governmental agency or a charitable organization. They would go to the schools where many of their clients attend, and could meet with family members as well. Schools are an underused neighborhood resource.

I also stated that teachers do NOT have the time to so this additional service since cuts in staffing have increased class sizes and society sends the strong message to just get test scores up!

How easy, now you just need to talk Toledo City to giving up the personnel and the tax money to TPS. Good luck with that! Can I get some popcorn and watch?

Oh and those charitable organizations many times are religious in nature and if we put them in schools children might begin to think that Moses killed dinosaurers so we can't have that now can we!!! Strike two.

"Schools are an underused neighborhood resource." Oh really? By whom? I can't wait to hear the rationale on this. Oh, follow up. What resource do we use from Memorial Day to about Labor Day? I guess we fend for ourselves then huh?

"I also stated that teachers do NOT have the time to so this additional service since cuts in staffing have increased class sizes and society sends the strong message to just get test scores up!" So they're too busy focused on getting test scores up? Well then why aren't the test scores going up? If that is their focus as you are suddenly contending then they are failing which is what I have all along contended.

MikeyA

Those I refer to are mostly county social workers. I am advocating having them spend less time in an office and some time at schools.

You have fallen into the trap of believing that traditional public schools are religion-free zones. For the last 5 or 6 years I was at DeVeaux there was an after school Christian club which posted its meeting times throughout the school, all day long. With the help of the principal, I facilitated a child doing daily prayers in a private place over 30 years ago within Cherry Elementary School! No one is prevented from prayer in any public school. Of course, counselors from religious organizations -- or non-religious organizations -- are welcome in traditional public schools!

Did you know that many schools are used in the summer for a variety of community programs? And did you had ever attend a meeting when a school is scheduled to close? If you heard the heartbreak from people, many of whom have no children at that school, but want that school to be there and be open in their neighborhood, you wouldn't be so dismissive of my words!

Test scores! It always comes down to test scores with people like you! Have you read any of the articles about Robinson Elementary in the Blade? Did you read the last one? How many suburban schools end their year with as many diffferent students from those who started there that school year as does Robinson? The answer...NONE! You have also paid no attention to anything I have posted about the additional challenges facing students in urban school districts. And, with all of these challenges, let's cut the funding for these schools and drive up class sizes.

John Kasich is NOT George Voinovich. John Kasich is NOT Bob Taft. I met and spoke with both of these Republicans when they were governor and they had a different vision on many things than did I, but they were sincere in wanting to help urban children to have an opportunity to become well educated.

I'll go so far as to say that the current state administration is the first in my lifetime that is committed to destroying public education for the most needy Ohioans. They want only to support those who are the easiest to educate. They do NOT want to level off the playing field, because they want to perpetuate a system that favors those who are already at or near the top. They do NOT want urban children to compete fairly with those in more affluent areas. Your attacks upon those dedicated to helping these urban children are counterproductive. You have no idea, and little appreciation, for how hard urban teachers work to help their students!

And, although I know that you won't care about this at all, despite all of the additional challenges, despite the unprecedented funding strangulation under Kasich, test scores in urban school districts have risen significantly and consistently in Ohio. Of course, as soon as these schools show progress, the Kasich-wing of the state Republican Party changes the testing, or the way the test scores are interpreted, to make the urban districts look worse. And if test scores are the true measure of school success, why aren't we closing at least 1/3 of the charter schools which are failing miserably??!

with expecting kids to 'man up' is most of ones being bullied are small, not popular, not jocks, have low self-esteem, etc. Most kids can't become something other than what they are overnight.. It takes time, no matter what a parent may say to a child during a 'sit-down chat.'

I fully expect schools to handle issues of bullying on helpless kids if it's happening on their watch, but it's interesting what happens at times.

My son was sucker-punched at a Sylvania middle school during lunch time few years back. It hurt, ya know? He had never been punched in the mouth before. He put his head down on the table, teared-up, and the other kid taunted him. After a few seconds of that, my son got up and whaled on this kid twice as hard (according to him and his friends as telling me the story, confirmed by the school principal). And, of course, both received suspensions, because retaliating is treated the same as instigating in every school district I'm aware of. So, three days missing school for the kid who had had enough of the bullying.

I will say it's the last time this kid bothered him, though, lol...

The bully needs counseling, too! And sometimes, thankfully rarely, the bullied child or children come to school with guns!

But, we can't keep slashing school resources and still expect the schools to be able to do so much, when the constant theme is, "Get those test scores up!"

You know Dale, I never thought I'd live long enough to see perfection. I was wrong.

You are a perfect ass.

Back in the bad old days at Sylvania High School, the bully who attacked McCaskey's son would have gotten three swats with the paddle. McCaskey's son would have been told to clean himself up and go to class. That would have been the end of it, except the bully would have been watched by the other teachers and paddled again as soon as he stepped out of line.

We, the people who pay for the schools, need to continue to reduce spending on schools until the teacher's union is gone, right along with people like you Pertcheck. You are no damned good, and that is the truth about you.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Obviously there is nothing that CAN'T be solved with government intervention and throwing more tax money at the problem.

Students aren't brushing their teeth anymore. Let's hire Dental hygienists to sit at our schools and solve this problem!!!!

MikeyA

Considering the source, I am most flattered!

From McCaskey: ...most of ones being bullied are small, not popular, not jocks, have low self-esteem, etc. Most kids can't become something other than what they are overnight.. It takes time, no matter what a parent may say to a child during a 'sit-down chat.'

There's a voice of experience.

Sorry your son had to go through this, McCaskey. It happens, and it sounds to me like things worked out pretty well in the end.

Note the lesson taught here in public school. If you defend yourself, you'll get the same punishment as the attacker - which is bullshit.

As a sort of side benefit, not only will your son's attacker let him alone in the future, but the other potential attackers will let him alone as well.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

"Note the lesson taught here in public school. If you defend yourself, you'll get the same punishment as the attacker - which is bullshit."

The most important lesson a kid can learn from bullying is that the world is not fair and you will need to always struggle to get ahead. Bullying teaches kids that and the lesson, like nature, is cruel but pushes us forth.

I am fascinated the life lessons kids can teach each other. I can say I learned more about economics, self politics, and human nature in first grade trading lunches than I did in a classroom.

MikeyA

for jails full of bullies. Wouldn't it make more sense to get these dysfunctional children and their dysfunctional families help when the bullies are young enough to influence SOME of them to take a different path? Remember, your children and mine have to share the world with these people. We have no choice.

We pay a LOT more to incarcerate each person per year than we do to educate and counsel! Early intervention SAVES tax dollars! Change your oil regularly, and your motor won't seize up. Pay a little now, or pay a LOT more later!

Actually I'd like to see some facts to support that claim because I dont' believe it's accurate.

Of the people I know that I went to school with over the years the ones I've had verified have been in or are currently in jail were the ones I knew who were bullied and did not fight back.

I can think of 5 individuals that fit into this category. Three are registered sex offenders or are in prison for rape and two have arrests for drugs. On the flipside I can only think of one who bullied kids that has a record and that was for domestic assault.

So while your claim may be true from what I've witnessed it does not fit.

MikeyA

I would have to research to get figures, but, having taught and been around a few thosand students in my 35 years of teaching, I can assure you that most of those who ended up in prison were the bullies, not the bullied!

Besides, my position is that, in our modern world, with less youth growing up with two parents, and without extended family around them, and without neighborhood support because children are moved so much more frequently, those who bully and those bullied need help. This would mean less dysfunctional adults, less people incarcerated, and lower overall cost to society.

I wish to thank all who specifically expressed their opposition to the very serious subject of bullying.
To those who wrote but did not express opposition to bullying, I think it is a darn shame that you seem to give the impression of either being a bully yourself or that you rationalize the support of bullying. To those who read this message thread but did not weigh in on the issue at all, I am saddened because apathy is how bad things in society continue to exist.
I am reminded of Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

I also want to thank all the people who comment on my posts, thereby feeding my ego. And it's a darn shame that those who do not weigh in on my issues make me sad because it shows how bad things are in society when a blog poster can't get people to comment on a topic that's important to him.
I am reminded of this quote-
First they stole for the bankers, and I did not speak out —
Because I used a bank.
Next they stole for the automobile unions, and I did not speak out — Because I drove a car.
Then they stole for the environmentalists, and I did not speak out — Because I drew breath.
Finally, they stole in the name of the future — and I realized that I too, by my silence, had become a thief.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Hmmm. Interesting!

That same quote was used by Professor Mockumental.

ref:
With Apologies To Martin Niemöller

Hey Roland, I got an e mail inviting me to follow your blog called roland's ramblings? the link had a post from years ago which bored me almost as much as your current posts do so I just deleted it. Please stop sending them or having some bot send them.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

I have not sent you any invite e-mails to follow my Roland' Ramblings blog, Fred. As far as bots go, I have no clue about those things or how they work. I have no reason to lie about this; I am being honest and truthful with you. Regardless of any differences we may have, I hope you will believe me on this, Also, Fred, if you are willing to be more cordial in expressing our differences of opinion and our disagreements, please be aware that I am willing to do so. In fact I would prefer that be the case. We both have a mutual friend who just blows smoke, if you catch my drift, that I think will vouch for my sincerity in extending an olive branch and I encourage you to check with him. I would like to reach an agreement with you that we can agree to disagree and to do so in a more respectful manner. For my part, I will go on record and do so in this public forum with offering my apologies for any past misbehavior and/or lack of civility on my part.

Fine with me.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Second thoughts...not!

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

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