How To Deal With A School Bully

Dealing With Bully

Turn the other cheek.

Walk away.

Don’t stoop to their level.

The above statements are often offered as advice on how a child should deal with a bully at school.

Unfortunately, many school bullies are not thwarted by any of these actions and sometimes will continue to escalate their behavior to illicit a response from the child being bullied.

Over the last few weeks, my wife and I have experienced this first-hand as our oldest son has been dealing with a bully at school.

Our son was being pushed.

Our son was being called names and teased.

Our son was being punched in the back.

Our son was being pinched to the point that he came home with bruises.

Now our son is not a small boy. He is a pretty big kid and has learned to handle himself fairly well. Not too long ago, he achieved his purple belt in Kajukenbo and had been progressing towards his blue belt when the instructor changed and he lost interest in the program.

Basically, he can take care of himself but has an easy-going demeanor and tries to be friendly with everyone.

All along, he was being respectful of the bully and turning the other cheek while my wife and I communicated our concerns to the school. First the teacher and then the principal. Initially, we asked our son to do his best in avoiding the bully but that proved difficult since they are in the same class.

We had a meeting with the principal after our initial communications appeared to fall on deaf ears.

The school responded by preventing the bully from participating in outside recess, instead having to sit in the office.

For one day.

As you might imagine, that did nothing to curb his actions towards our son.

The school informed us that our son should write a letter to his teacher whenever the bully was bothering him. Last Wednesday he wrote his teacher a detailed letter about what the bully was doing to him.

On Thursday, our son had reached his tipping point.

He walked up to the bully and punched him in the face.

Now I have to admit that my actions and comments likely had an influence on this course of action. When my son had told me that the bully was pinching him and calling him a “bitch”, I too had had enough and informed my son that he had our blessing to defend himself.

I told him that he would not be in trouble at home and that my wife and I would deal with the school if he were to get in trouble. The point where I probably crossed the line was when I told my son that if he did have to defend himself, he should lay the bully out and say “Who is the bitch now?

After releasing his frustration on the bully’s now bloody face, our son was sent to the principal and we received a phone call informing us that our son was going to be suspended.

As noted over at Tip Dad, our son’s school opted to punish our son for self defense while the bully that has been pinching, pushing, and punching him has received no such punishment.

The school initially told my wife and me that they would simply have our son serve the suspension in the principal’s office until it was time for him to leave school. In our eyes, he was being punished for something that we did not feel was wrong. Therefore we informed the school that he would serve his one day suspension at home and we would pick him up.

Normally, I would not condone fighting for the sake of fighting.

But our son was standing up for himself and at that moment, I could not have been more proud of him. There was no punishment awaiting him at home, as a matter of fact my wife and I took him out for lunch; although we did communicate to him that fighting is not the way to deal with problems.

After the incident at school, the principal informed us that she was disappointed that we did not trust the school to handle the matter. The point that the principal was missing was that we did trust the school to handle the matter, yet they failed that trust when they did nothing to curb the bully’s behavior.

To make matters worse, we were given a few documents by the school regarding how to deal with a bully. One of the documents indicated that sometimes kids will be bullied if they act different, dress different, or talk different and that they should try to change their behavior to fit in.

Excuse me!

Whatever happened to accepting people for who they are and not judging someone because they are different. It is absurd to see that a school system is trying to make the child being bullied feel it is their fault that they are the target of a bully.

The following day at school, my son was not sure what to expect and I told him to be cautious as the bully might want to try and punch him back. Quite the opposite occurred, as the bully now wants to be friends with my son.

When faced with a bully at school, you can do your best to avoid the situation and turn the other cheek.

However, as my son found out, sometimes you need to stand up for yourself and punch the bully square in the face.

Photo credit: Greencolander

Comments

  1. says

    Whatever happened to accepting people for who they are and not judging someone because they are different. It is absurd to see that a school system is trying to make the child being bullied feel it is their fault that they are the target of a bully.

    It was Maj. Frank Burns, surgeon at the 4077th M*A*S*H who said it best: Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.

    Schools would rather punish the weak for not being tolerant of the strong.

    Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..What is so comforting about certain foods? A prior post revisited

  2. says

    my son has also suffered at the hands of a bully for a while…
    We also did what the school said and told him to tell the bully to stop it and turn his back…
    It didn;t work… actually it got worse as there is now a group of bullies picking on my son’s schoolmates.
    I did trust the school to solve the matter… but they chose to or were unable to do nothing.
    Based on that I have given my son instructions to hit first, tell him to stop second and tell the teachers third. and have also told the school I had advised my son to do that.
    I am not the only parent to give the same instructions as it was pointed out in the last PTA meeting.
    The fact is… if the kids were thought to stand up for themselves from the beginning we would not have bullying on schools.
    Don;t take me wrong… I am a pacifist (well… at least till I get to boiling point)… but enough is enough…

  3. says

    Well handled, Derek. It’s a shame our schools are failing us in this aspect of education … I think you handled everything perfectly.

  4. says

    You must have serious retards at your son’s school. Not that I would put it past some people in education.

    As you know, I always conference parents to have their kid tell the teachers and never hit back. I tell my own kid the same.

    Be aware that middle school has become a den for knives and other weapons and high school is worse.

    I think it’s better to take some jeering and wait on the slow but bound-by-law to-protect-students teachers that to take the matter into your own fists and be stabbed.

    Just my two cents, I respect other points of view.

    Damiens last blog post..Amazing Vision Third Edition – Open Call

  5. says

    So basically what those pamphlets are saying, conform to the society’s standards as enforced by bullies. That’s not right.

    Well, what the school is doing is like companies putting on sexual harassment seminars. It’s not about your individual well-beings, it’s about making administration easier and relieving themselves of responsibilities.

    Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Cools Links to Check Out (09/28/2008 edition)

  6. Wayne says

    My experience as a kid many years ago, and as a father and Martial Arts instructor today is that bullys are seldom deterred by any action short of the physical.
    And that teachers and school staff are so afraid of the legal ramifications of taking action against the bully that the seldom do ANYTHING.
    Tho it was a silly movie Patrick Swazye was right in Road House when he said “be nice, be nice, be nice, until its time to not be nice” And that is a difficult judgement call. I applaud you and your son. The bully had every chance to stop his action. He didnt. The school didnt. So your son did. Bravo!

  7. says

    I’m in total agreement with the author and Wayne. You can only be nice for so long. The bully will continue to push to see how much he/she can get away with. First a pinch. Then a bruised arm. Then a black eye. At what point does the school intervene? It’s ridiculous. Schools these days are run by the students.

  8. Matt says

    I do agree that violence is “not the answer,” however it can be AN answer. Bullies need to learn that they can’t go around making people their “bitches,” and it sounds like this one learned quite well.

    When I was in middle school (I’m 22 now) I was petrified of getting in trouble for self defense. I wish I had the balls to stand up for myself back then. You should, indeed, be proud of your son.

  9. hotcarl says

    Yes! I got bullied in middle school by a kid named Wes. He used to punch me in the arm me every day before social studies. I tried to ignore him and hoped he would leave me alone, and one day I had had enough (I also joined the wrestling team a month earlier), and I tackled him and smacked him a few good shots in the face.

    We both got In-school suspension, but after school, kids I didn’t know started coming up to me, thanking me and telling me how Wes had bullied and intimidated them as well. He, nor anyone else at the school, never bullied me again.

    My parents were never so proud.

  10. Derek Semmler says

    Matt, part of your comment describes our son perfectly. He has always been terrified of getting in trouble at school if he were to act out against the bully. He really is a great student and I am entirely proud of him for that.

    As this progressed, we made sure that he understood that any trouble that came about as a result of him defending himself would be dealt with by my wife and me, and that he would not be in trouble at home.

    I feel fortunate every day that both of my boys are respectful to other people and carry themselves with a good deal of poise.

  11. says

    Give your son a big congratulations from me. He defended himself and it’s the right thing to do.

    Most kids who get bullied that don’t fight back end up suffering from serious problems such as; depression, anorexia and some even commit suicide because of it.

    Your son acted like a man and defended himself. When I have a son one day, I’ll teach him to defend himself because of crap like this, so he doesn’t have a messed up future.

    Dwayne from Probably Sucks Blogs last blog post..A comparison between George Bush and a Chimpanzee

  12. says

    Very good article, and obviously one a lot of us can relate to. Our son, too, has been the target of bullies. We’ve tried the teachers’ and principal’s way of handling things, but I’m starting to come around to my husband’s point of view (i.e., use your fists, not your words). My brother and I were taught to always walk away from a fight; however, that was back in the ’60s and ’70s. Today, I really believe that some kids just don’t get the message unless it’s delivered “by hand,” as it were. I also have to say that even though I’m the so-called adult, I would just love to clock the kids (boys AND girls) who are making school torture for my son.

    Laurels last blog post..You get to see pretty stars when you hyperventilate

  13. Joe says

    I’d personally raise serious hell over the pamphlets they gave you. If they explicitly said that children who are bullied should change themselves then I think you should. That’s beyond an outrage. It literally supports the act of bullying. I hope that you do decide to take some action against the school or raise awareness about their policy.

  14. Laura says

    I think it was very brave of you to post this. I remember being bullied as a kid, and the school NEVER did anything to stop it. I will never understand why schools refuse to punish bullies.

  15. Rey says

    In fifth grade I was constantly picked on by several bullies. They would punch me in the shoulder in class when the teacher wasn’t looking and various other things. My parents sat down with the principal and he said he couldn’t do anything and said that I was a “pick’on’able” and that was that. My dad told me to fight back finally and I did, the next time someone punched me in the shoulder I stood up and decked him in the face. He was obviously shocked, and told me “you’re dead at recess.” Funny thing is he never bothered me again and I even became friends later on down the road with some of the bullies. There is a time when you do have to stand up for yourself or this kind of thing will happen to you your whole life, just in different more subtle ways.

  16. says

    Since everyone here is talking only about sons, I think it’s time to talk about daughters as well, because girls are subject to bullying too.

    My parents have always told me and my sister to defend ourselves. I guess they were particularly worried about their children’s well-being because they had two girls. So they never ever said that we should just try to ignore bullies nor walk away. And we always knew that in case we needed to hit anyone back, they’d fully support us.

    My sister was (and still is) quite aggressive, so she never had much trouble. Unfortunately, I used to be very shy and vulnerable, so I did fell prey to a bully for a while. But eventually I listened to my parents and fought back. I don’t regret it.

    I congratulate you and your wife for supporting your son. And I truly despise that principal and the school for several reasons: lack of competence to handle the situation; lack of humility to admit mistakes; and above all, that extremely unfortunate piece of advice about “fitting in.”

    Karen Zaras last blog post..What Are Your Goals? You Can Use Them To Create Content

  17. Tannim says

    I had that problem too, multiple times. One guy I got revenge on by giving him wrong answers and making him flunk a grade. Never tick off a geek.

    Other guy was in the locker next to me, and continually was a problem until I dented his locker door with his head, then stuffed him in it on a Friday afternoon, then padlocked it shut. He got out Monday morning and he never bothered me again.

    The best way to deal with bullies is to just deck them in the first place. Screw the school admins, they have no idea.

  18. says

    You’re a great father!

    Avoiding, ignoring, and paying no mind to a bully will do nothing at all.

    School systems are flawed in various ways — this is just one of them.

    Consider getting your son into boxing, which in my opinion, is much better for every day self-defense.

    You did the right thing. The “system” of the school your son attends, along with every other school system, including their principals and teachers, are all idiots.

    IDIOTS.

    You experienced it first hand when your son was suspended for defending himself. Meanwhile the bully, got recess taken away for one day.

    This country and the morals people have are all F@$%#d, if you know what I mean.

    Don’t let your son stand for any bullying. Forget what the school says. Being bullied can affect a kid for the rest of his life; lower his self-esteem, and make him anti-social.

    Tell him to punch anyone, at the first sign of any bullying, but to never bully others.

    Of course, the school won’t agree, but being suspended is nothing compared to the psychological issues that can evolve from being bullied over a long period of time.

    Plus, no one likes a punk.

    And, tell your son not to make friends with that bully. He only wants to be nice now because he got his ass whooped.

    Awesome post, and you did the right thing.

    Luis Grosss last blog post..Blog Debate: War In The Comment Section

  19. Robert says

    I almost want to laugh, I expect this blog reply to grow with the same comments. Yup, my son had the same issue, another student would not leave him alone. We were blown off by the teacher with your son talks a lot and that must be the issue. The principal blew me off with that they have not seen any of what my son has reported to be true or factual. Excuse me? This went on for a while, and one day the bully made a comment about “mom”. Well, he got my sons real attention for which I was called at work because my son yelled at said bully and said I will “kick your ass”… and that is what a teacher in the hall heard only. And so we dealt the best we could as the Teacher, Principal, school staff and even the 4J school district in Eugene Oregon just sat on their back ends.

    Well, that day came when I could not take it myself, and like you, I informed my son no punishment will come from protecting himself. Within 3 days I got the call, your some has a 3day suspension for hitting said bully student. I argued the point of failure of the teacher, staff and district office and assured them that they should be thankful the bully had not decided to do more harm other than use his words/hands/fists and should know they failed and thank God the bully did not use more forceful means in harming my son (or others) and that I am willing and ready to take this to the court room. Like you, we had all these written documents and we kept copies showing a pattern to the issue and escalation.

    After much arguing with the principal I took my son home for the remainder of the school day for which they called a detention and left it at that.

    But this bully was not persuaded to leave my son alone and we were once again dealing with the school. At this point I removed my son from the school and informed them they had two options, we can leave my son on the roll there and they can provide the class work and books and we will finish the school at home or I enroll him in private school. For which the school will loose state and federal funding for. It was in my favor they did not force me into private school, 2 days latter I got a call stating that I can pickup the school work each Monday and drop off the weeks work then as well. They just required my son to take the state testing with his class. Ah yes, my son does have above average grades, I see where my power was at. Got it!

    We finished the last 1/3 of the school year at home and my son was a much happier person. Got to sleep in, got up did his work and had free time to hang out with Mom, came to my office and had lunch with me. He really hated the first 2 weeks of home schooling but really enjoyed the final weeks when he figured out he can go to the skate park when it was not crowded and have more flex time.

    A couple of times we had to make arrangements to get teacher assistance on some of the school work but between, Mom, Dad, books and Google we completed everything with time to spare, and that years state testing was the best he had done.

    So much for schools being a safe place and good for learning –

    Cheers
    Robert

  20. Robin says

    Nowadays school fighters (even middle-schoolers)are often arrested, instigators and defenders alike. So tell your kid to smack somebody in the face and you’re likely to start his or her trip through the criminal justice system.

    It’s not that I don’t agree 100% to defend yourself and others from bullies, as many of us had to do as kids, it’s that things have corkscrewed to the point that defending yourself can produce worse results than walking or even running away.

    I suggest that bullies be met with corporal punishment and/or expulsion from school. Saving that, sue the shit out of the school, especially any school that’s been contacted by the student or parents about the bullying. If behavior-disordered children can be accompanied by teacher aides, so can bullying victims. This is not a problem that a school is unable to solve, it’s a result of principles who are unwilling to act.

  21. alan says

    I had a very similar story so my son and I planned it so that he would not get in trouble for kicking the bully’s ass.

    He had to take the bully apart in the most public way so as to restore his dignity with the rest of the kids who were starting to think he was a punk for not standing up for himself. He’s a good kid who doesn’t want to get in trouble. I’m a school administrator and we handled it so that the other kid got expelled and even though his lawyer parents appealed and got the decision reversed, he got a 5 day suspension, and I even got a restraining order on the kid that the school had to accommodate and all his classes were changed to keep him away from my son. My kid beat the crap out him in the halls in front of all his friends while I was in the office filing an official complaint that the school was failing to provide a safe learning environment. I warned them that he was at breaking point knowing that he was going to smack the snot out the kid that day while I was reporting the two years of bullying during classes and PE under the supervision of staff. The school “en loco parentis” meaning in place of parents and can be held liable for damages to the child while under their care.

  22. Rieann says

    Well done to your lad and yourself but I also think if bullying is stopped the minute it starts, a good swift kick, it can stop days of misery. Some kids can’t do this they’re not confident enough and they need the help of teachers or responsible adults, sounds like your lads school has neither.Ignoring the bullies just seems to fuel their enthusiasm and sadly they don’t go away.Sometimes a word from an older child stops it but like all the advice, if it works thats great if it doesn’t do your worse.

  23. Evan says

    I think my father gave me great words of wisdom each day before school.

    “Go to school learn lots of new things, come home smarter, and don’t take no crap off nobody.”

    Also, behold the wisdom of US schools.

  24. Mike says

    I found that even if the bullied child fights back and loses the fight, but does fight back consistently, then the bullying stops. Bullies get off on being the top dog and raising their selfesteem by rubbing some other kid’s face in the dirt. When they know that each and every time they will get a fight, they’ve got nothing to expect but defiance & pain from their intended victim.

    You should take this to the school board. Districts MUST confront bullying.

    And yes, I was bullied, a lot. It basically ruined Junior High for me.

  25. Kriss says

    Thank you so much for this article and all of the comments! Our son is not only being bullied, but as of today is being sexually harassed by other students. We have started to take action against the school and their lack of ability to protect our son and feel as if we are no longer in a battle by ourselves.

  26. Shan says

    Good for him. When my daughter was being bullied I found the school didn’t hold to their “zero tolerance policy” on bullying at all. After Mon-Thurs one week of a girl in her class picking on her, and then pushing her from behind or hitting her when she tried to walk away and after repeated phone calls with the school that lead to nothing being done I told my daughter to stick up for herself, even if it meant hitting her back. The next day when the girl started following her and tried to punch her from behind my daughter hauled off an elbowed her right in the face. She didn’t have a single problem after that. Turns out a bloody nose can cure a bully pretty damn fast.

  27. Some kid says

    YES I WOULD DO THE SAME THING, TODAY SOME KID PUSHED MY SISTER AND I SMACKED HIM ACROSS THE FACE AND IT STARTED A FIGHT. I WAS PROUD OF MYSELF THAT I HAD DEFENDED NOT ONLY MY SISTER BUT MY DIGNITY, WITH ALL THE KIDS ON MY BUS WATCHING.
    YOUR SON DID THE RIGHT THING

  28. Goddess says

    Years ago my youngest son was being horribly harassed by a group of bullies. They were non-English speaking kids, and he’s a blond blue eyed gem… that was the entire motive. Pick on the white kid. Horrible all around.

    After two weeks of my son being gang beaten my husband and I went to the school (many visits came before this one, but this one was the one that mattered in the end I guess) and informed the school that the next day our son would be attending school with a baseball bat. We showed the principal the HORRIBLE bruises that covered his ribs from these kids and informed her that we had finally given him permission to bash them back, with a weapon since it was often 5 against 1.

    She took our son and walked through the entire school, finding every one of the bullies. She then suspended them.

    It still makes me sad to think that we had to go to that point before any action was taken. But, at least our little boy stopped having the snot beat out of him.

  29. says

    My husband and I had a similar conversation with our nine year old daughter last night. She has been picked on for two years. We have had conversations with the school and the Principal. We encourage her to speak up and use assertive words and postures to stand up for herself. We are both karate instructors and our daughter knows basic school yard self-defense. She knows how to avoid being pushed or get out of a grab without hitting back. She has the right to defend hermself from being harmed. She is afraid to stand up for herself because she is worried that she will get in trouble at school. We told her that we would support her if she needed to defend herself.

    Micheles last blog post..Bread, Milk and Tai Chi

  30. Mike says

    Today my son came home telling the story about a couple of bullies who are chasing him and three of his friends around during recess and lunch time. My son is in the fourth grade and has been briefed on how to handle bullies. Briefing is one thing, teaching is another. Unfortunately it takes first hand experience to handle a situation like this. I am in law enforcement and I have seen what these kids can do, and I will not allow my son to become a victim to a bully or bullies. When I was in school I had problems with bullies. I learned on my own how to deal with them and after a fight with a wrestler and a football player I became a semi-popular kid that didn’t have problems with anyone. I know it is different now with gangs and the saturation of weapons on campus. My son is being taught to deal with the situation at first with words, first his words then my words with the principal. If this fails we take it to the next level. My son has been instructed to avoid a fight if it is possible, but he has also been instructed to defend himself and not to be pushed around by little punks. Usually little punks are created by a big punk who is sitting at home. I am waiting to hear from the pricipal to see how the talk with the bullies goes. I am sure this will be resolved to our favor because the mentality in this home is that which we will prevail and that we aren’t going to be victims to anyone. I salute the original writer of the article above. What you and your son did is commendable. It is obvious you guys have a great relationship and I am proud of you and your son.

  31. Dave says

    I believe that is absolutely the right advice (and it’s the same advice I intend to impart on my own son from day 1), except for one issue: you become legally responsible for your son’s actions. The bully in this situation is obviously an asshole, and I doubt that the parents who taught the bully his behaviour are any better. Do you expect that they would hesitate for a second to sue? It’s probably a better idea to teach your son to recognise the bullyish behaviour in the aggressor, and to ‘head it off at the pass’. When your son then recognises the initiation of bullyish behaviour he should take the bully aside (so the bully doesn’t feel his perceived dominance challenged in front of other people, which he might decide that he needs to defend) and tell him something along the lines of “if you touch/talk/act like that with me again, i’ll fuck you up”. You son needs to be confident and assertive. He has to tell the bully the story, not ask him.

  32. Anonymous says

    Awesome! Just plain Awesome. You and your wife did the right thing. The school really needs to look at itself and their policies towards bullies.

  33. A Teacher says

    Okay, there are couple of strategies to keep your kid from getting suspended. One is to get his face right up to the bully’s and yell like a total bad*** “DO THAT AGAIN AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. DO IT. DO IT AGAIN. DO IT AGAIN.” or “YOU WANT TO DO THIS?” or something to that effect. The point is to keep your arms back and visible and to NOT stop yell until the bully backs off. Most often, it will make a bully pee in his pants. There’s a chance he’ll get nailed for threats, but if the bully’s was just physically touching him, he should be good. Regardless, it’s much better for a kid’s mental health to get suspended than live in fear. Do whacha gotta do. You didn’t hear that from me.

  34. Diane says

    I am a teacher and mother of 4 sons. One of our sons experienced the same as yours. It went on for several years, making my son miserable. We tried everything at school, to no avail, so I also told my son to fight. Very hard for a mother to do, but the next time the kid tripped him (on skates no less, intentionally) he started pounding on the kid. Let out a few years of rage. We had to pull them apart and suspend both of them, but the bullying never happened again.

    From a teachers point of view, I will say that this is very hard to police. The bully knows when the teacher is watching and intentionally does his work out of site. Other kids won’t tell, so it is ones word against the other with no one having seen a thing. Sometimes a bully will frame a kid for stealing, etc. All the evidence points to the victim… It is hard to catch. Teachers aren’t afraid, they are simply not able to be everywhere at once, and the bullies know that.

  35. says

    I don’t condone fighting or violence, but sometimes the best way is to let them “duke it out”. I too have had to deal with some idiot constantly picking on my daughter, in third grade no less. This went on constantly the whole year, with no help from the school. I actually got fed up and told my daughter, “next time the little shit says something bad to you punch him right in the face”! She did it, the whole class laughed at the little SOB, and now he doesn’t mess with her. When she came home she told me she felt bad about it, I said I did too, but sometimes you’ve got to take a stand. I’ll be damned if my daughter is going to grow up with a psychiatric problem because some idiot kid, wanting attention, is harassing her. Better the little shit gets his ass kicked now, otherwise “bubba” will be getting a hold of him in prison when he’s an adult.

    No guilt for it.s last blog post..“White Space”: Build in a Little Breathing Room

  36. says

    You were exactly right to do what you did.

    Schools have become ridiculous places. They protect the “rights” of those who make others miserable, rather than using discipline to create a good environment for all.

    The idea that both are equally guilty in a fight is just ridiculous, but schools, in their efforts to curb violence, have adopted a zero tolerance policy that often makes it worse.

    With the schools no longer disciplining or punishing troublemakers, it sometimes is up to someone else to step in. And this time that someone was your son!

    I’ve written a syndicated column about just this issue a few months ago. You can read it here.

  37. Canadian Mama says

    I was a victim of bullying too – it seems that a LOT of people were… In looking at the issue these 30 years later, (has it really been THAT LONG!?!), I think there are a few things that need to be considered. On the one hand, it seems obvious that child bullies will turn into adult bullies and worse, so they need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. True, they need to be stopped, sometimes physically. But what after that? They’ll just go on to the next person. No, they need to be STOPPED!

    Surely we have enough understanding of child development to have SOME ideas about how to, essentially, humanize the bully. I mean, I don’t believe that ANY child is born a bully, they’re created. I once heard about a program that actually put known bullies in charge of some kind of project or other, giving them a chance to experience positive leadership instead of aggressive domination. Apparently it worked! And, as for the suggestion that aides be provided for bully victims like “behaviour-disordered children”, I’d say you’ve got it all wrong. Being a victim is not a disorder, bullying is, so the BULLIES should be the ones to have an aide!

    From the victims standpoint, I think that the experience of standing up for themselves is CRUCIAL. No one wants to feel like a victim, powerless and afraid. And frankly, having confronted my bullies I know, your self-respect goes up too!

    I really like the teacher’s recommendation about yelling in the bully’s face, but I ESPECIALLY like the idea of taking the bully aside to confront them first. Very smart! Bully and Victim both get to retain their dignity, which is a big thing to all concerned!

    Despite the bully’s behaviour, they’re still a child (in this case), and a human with human needs. If we find a way to provide for those needs, the urge to bully, I think, will dissipate naturally. There HAS to be something beyond just PUNISHMENT.

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