Standing up to bullies

Only kids can stop bullies, write Australian authors in the Greater Good. Teachers rarely know what’s going on. Kids do.

We can no longer conceive of bullying at school as a covert activity, engaged in guiltily when there is no one around. On the contrary, research has found that school bullies glory in the presence of an audience. It provides theater. To a remarkable extent, the watchers either enjoy the spectacle or watch in a curious but largely disengaged manner. The few who may object are in a small minority.

Yet some do object. And here is another remarkable fact. On those rare occasions when a witness does object to bullying, there is a good chance that the bullying will stop. Indeed, several researchers have reported that bystander objections effectively discourage bullying at least half the time.

If students believe their classmates disapprove of bullying, they’re more likely to intervene to stop it. Their teachers’ and parents’ opinions have little influence.

Some anti-bullying programs tell children to tell a teacher — something kids often see as socially unacceptable — and penalize those who intervene physically to protect a victim.

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  1. tim from texas says:

    There is only one place that settles the bullying problem on an on going basis and that is the yard. Duh, of course keep the teachers away, the principals and vps also, they have not a clue. It’s not their realm and shouldn’t be. Keep the coaches away also. Keep the teachers in the classroom, the administration working on academics, the coaches working on fullfilling their not to date fullfilled promise. Keep all of the above out of the hallways and blind nooks and crannies. Now, now yes, all of the above need to walk thru the halls for lunch etc. and I’m not saying with a blind eye, but they shouldn’t have to stop a fight or bullying. We have comingled all things and aspects of schooling, It doesn’t work.

    For example, why is it we have principals in any way responsible for the physical plant, the school building itself, the equipment etc? They don’t have the time. They sure don’t have the time if they are trying to help the teachers and their instruction. It’s ridiculus.

    Why do we have all of the above in control of problems in any form in the hallways and the yards? It’s ridiculus.

    There needs to be another entity constructed to handle the physical plant,it’s hallways and yards, and I don’t think it should be police or so called security. It must be more thought out and sophisticated.

    Now,some entity has to be watching, advising and controlling the non academic side of schooling, and I add here it should include things like those expensive items such as calculators computers and the like.

    It can be done and should be separated out from all of the mention titles.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Onr thing that does not work is the enforced handshake and the magnanamous refusal to take sides. Revenge works, though.

  3. A couple of days ago, while working on my own post on bullying, I ran across an interesting statistic…in play ground bullying, an adult intervened 4% of the time, a peer 11 % and no one 85%.

    Our state’s solution isn’t likely to help any…bully awareness week? And legislation to make sure schools have regulations in place? For what they define as bullying, I’d hope any reputable school district already has measures in place.

  4. Indigo Warrior says:

    The only way for schools to stop bullying is not to condone it, and not to send hypocritical mixed messages.

    Much has been written about the students and their social hierarchies. It all starts from the teachers and staff, and their own hierarchies. The principals, educrats, coaches, phys-ed teachers, and union activists are at the top. And the dumb as a brick type of teachers who are stuffed with “school spirit” and nothing else. The smart, hardworking teachers are usually at the bottom (at least in bully-run schools), the “elitist” science teacher with a 200 IQ who give up so much personal time to enrich the learning experiences of his best students is lucky to keep his job.

    The kids mimic all this, no matter how loudly the school blares its “anti-bullying” message. And most anti-bullying programs fail to catch the real bullies; rather they make scapegoats out of the victims.

    Also, true bullies keep order among the student body, and leave the teachers alone. It may be a perverse kind of order, but from the POV of the administration, it works. Persoanlly, I would think video cameras in the halls, washrooms, playgrounds, and buses would work better both in keeping “order” and putting bullies and vandals in their place – but I don’t make the rules.

    You can only post once every 15 hours.

  5. You left out the “real bullies” at the top of your social hierarchy of administrators and teachers: The School Board and Superintendents. Also, depending on the power of that upper-echelon group of teachers and administrators at the building level; that 200 plus IQ “elitist” teacher is usually the one who refuses to be the team player and may just “look down upon” those who are not as smart or creative, rather than “sharing his/her gifts”. I’ve seen it many times. About the cameras: Big teacher is watching, and I’m all for it !