Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bullying..

The Education Department of NSW was sued and had to payout a sum of around 1 million dollars to a bullying victim. The claim is that the Education Department failed to protect the boy, who is now 18 years old.

It was said by Andrew Blair, president of the Australian Secondary Principals Association, that bullying now extended to the internet and was a difficult issue to tackle. Also, that the issue extends beyond the playground and lies with the parents at home. That we as parents need to be a part of the solution to the problem.
Duh, really? I agree, but isn't it plain obvious? Apparently not to some people.
When I was at school, I often protected by brothers. One was older than me, one was younger. The younger one, he suffered asthma. For a few weeks he tired to skip school..."Oh, I feel sick", "I have a pain in the tummy"..all these things he kept on with. Then, one day, I saw with my on eyes what was going on. Two bullies a few grades higher than he was, were chasing him into the loos. They took his bag and his asthma pump. My brother had an asthma attack, they sprayed the ventolin into his face!!!
Infuriated I layed into them. Next day, my mum came to the school and got the two kids. She had them in their class room with their teacher. She grabbed one of the kids and held his nose and mouth from behind, just until he began to struggle. She let go. The teacher was flabbergasted, my mum just said, "Now, this is what you put my son through when you chase him and make him have an asthma attack. Only, one day, he will die from it!". Those kids never did touch him again.
Because I still live in this area, and my kids go to the same school I went to with my siblings, I still see these kids..only now they are adults. Funny thing is, they are deadbeats, no hopers and I think it is karma biting them in the ass for being shits. I do not rejoice in this fact, but it stands to reason, they were too busy being bullies and not concentrating on schooling.
The school has an anti bullying rule the kids have to abide by. If anything happens, the kids are to report it, and the school is to deal with it. Gone are the days that a mum can enter a school and do what my mum did. Hell, my mum's rule was, "If you don' t hit a kid back for hitting you first then I will hit you!" That is something that is not tolerated nowadays.
Yes, parents ought to be part of the picture when it comes to these matters. After all, kids are home more than they are at school. The big part of today's bullying culture is via SMS and the Internet. Easy fixed? Yes, call block on the mobile and watch your kids on the net. Be parents for goodness sake.
Make them all get outside and play and be kids. Play dodgeball, tiggy, ride their bikes, make a cubby house out of sticks, play leapfrog and just get along!!

33 comments:

Spark Driver said...

Kids can be very hurtful at times. Pack mentality and piss poor parenting I hold to blame.

Keshi said...

Happy 8th to Nicholas!

And abt Bullying...yeah kids can be hurtful cos kids r very honest. I guess it's a responsibility of the parents and teachers to teach them to be more sensitive to other kids' feelings and guide em right.

Keshi.

surfercam said...

I can't stand bullying or kids being left out.
My little monkey is only in kindergarten and I encourage her to include everyone when they are playing, not to leave anyone out and treat everyone the same.
If all parents did this, and I think from an early age it helps, the schoolyards would be a much friendlier place.

Aidan said...

It is hard for kids to come forward, generaly dobbing makes things worse in a school environment...
Parents need to watch for warning signs and discuss with their kids, take it up with the school without bringing attention to the target.

I was a target as a kid, it really makes school suck!

Jay said...

There are a couple of school districts around here that have lost law suits to people who have claimed that they aren't protecting their kids from bullies. In some schools it's a HUGE problem.

gawilli said...

There was a lot to be learned from playing together outside, wasn't there? Some of my best life lessons came from the trials and tribulations of playing with the neighborhood kids. There is something to be said for having to work things out together but also having to fend for myself at the same time. My feeling is that more time should be spent on teaching kids how to resolve conflict. Why not stop some of this before it starts? Good post, Cazzie.

peppypilotgirl said...

Good for your mother!! And good for you for laying into them!!

And, yeah, it does seem that many parents now just don't want to be parents but friends. I'm sure my daughter's going to see me as the meanest mama on the block but my job is to be her mama not her friend.

I find that, around here, it seems that every day parents are complaining because the schools are not parenting their kids. (Um, excuse me?? Last I checked, schools were supposed to be schools and parents were supposed to be parents.) This is, of course, in addition to the situations where the schools are teaching things the parents don't want their kids taught in which case the claim is the reverse. Just to complicate matters. Great post.

Jules said...

You are the sort of Mum I am. My kids don't have a playstation (actually, LIES, they have a PSONE but it is only allowed to be used maybe twice every 6 months - tops). If I ever found out my kids were bullying others I'd kick their butts into oblivion and they know it.

They keep trying to address these issues with kids but they are addressing the symptoms not the cause. I think you have hit the nail on the head, kids need to be creative, expending energy and learning to play their part in the running of a home. Too many kids these days never have to do a chore and I can't even imagine how these kids are going to survive as adults when they can't cook, clean or even make their own f-n beds.

Andrew said...

Bullies don't just happen do they. It comes from home. It must be terrible to have a child who is being bullied and feel powerless.

The Stormin Mormon said...

I was never a bully, and yet never managed to be bullied. So I can't say that I have any firsthand experience with this one.

Eternally Curious said...

Oh Thank Gawd, Praise Be and at long last! Hooray for your Mum, hooray for you and Hooray for peppypilotgirl too while I'm at it! I was beginning to feel like I was the only one who thought this way! Yes, yes and yes again! In a word (or several): Parents need to start realizing they are parents not buddies! Oh, and by the way? The schools did not birth your kids, you did!

I used to worry that I was making my son's life difficult because of how I am. I have rules here, those rules apply to everyone young or old, and I am absolutely not shy about enforcing them. Doesn't matter if you're a kid or a grownup - I'll give you an earful if you can't abide by my simple rules of respect for me, for each other and for property not yours. What constantly amazes me is that by and large, kids actually prefer to be here! When I ask them about this (and I have), they tell me it is because I have rules! They know how to act when they are here. More importantly, they know exactly how not to act. And they know, without a doubt, that I will personally chew 'em out and take them down a peg or two if they break the rules - doesn't matter who they are, or how big they are! Proof positive, I should think (and straight from the horses' mouths, to boot): kids not only need consistant and reliably enforced boundaries - they want them!

Bullies can be given no quarter. None. Ever. Parents who think otherwise are just burrying their heads in the sand.

Menchie said...

I've seen bullying done in movies but have no personal experience of it. I guess my siblings and i have been lucky. It is something I know I will have to deal with especially now that my kids are entering school.

Cazzie!!! said...

Spark Driver, I agree with both points you make here.

Keshi, thx Keshi. I think making rules and sticking to them is th importnat thng, boaundaries is the key.

Surfercam, yeah, same in this house, include everyone in play, everyone treated equaly, exactly!

Aidan, I hate to hear that people have been bullied. As a mum, I hoped that everything that I taught my kids at home would stick when they went to school, and that they would never be bullied.
Once, Tomas was bullied in Grade one, by a kid who bullied everyone. He was even a loner at recess this kid, but he was a bully. Then, out the corner of my eye after school one day, I saw his dad belt into him like there was no tomorrow for no reason. Then, I understood why the kid was laying into everyone.
That family moved on, and I wonder what will become of this kid bully elsewhere.

Jay, I believe you there, it seems to be prevalent in all schools, yes, even private ones too.

Gawilli, conflict resolution is definately the key. If we put our kids in cotton wool, fight their battles for them, how can they learn? Prevention better than cure, definately.

Peppypilotgirl, yeah, too right. I never had kids so someone else could parent them, goes without saying here. Tonight, I proved it to my kids. We drove past the creche my kids went to from age 2 years, they would go twice a week for tuesday and thursday from 9am til 4pm. It is also kindergarten too. Tonight, we drove past at 6pm and the lights were on and we could see kids and carers in there.
I said, "See, some mummies and daddies have to work long hours and put their kids in creche long times. I did not have you so I could work and pay for full time creche, mummy minds you whe daddy works and when he doesnt work mummy works and daddy minds you".
I doubt Mia will complain again when I drop her in on Thursday. Plus, she has the bonus of having computer gym Thursdays at creche now.

Jules, we must be kindrid spirits! If my kids did bully they'dbe in the shit and they would be made to go to the kid and apologise and their parents too.
Chores, Tom has begun chores and Nicholas too. Sarah makes her bed everyday and Mia helps me clean the bathroom. So, we are on the way to an independant lot of kids :)

Andrew, could not agree more. I would hate it to be one of my kids or their friends. If it was their friend, I know they would say something to me. When ever I did see a kid at school who was lonely looking or being teased, I would get them to come on over with me to wherever I was. I never did have just one friend at school, I always spoke to different people every day.

Stormin, I reckon we woulda been best of mates at school then :)

Eternally Curious, LOL, I loved your comment, oh bejeesus, I agree with it all there. Set the limits and they respect you and themselves and their friends more.
My kids love to go to my friends place each weekend. She is like a mum to me. She takes no prisoners with the amount of times she has to caution the kids about the rules of the house when all 7 of them play together. Not shy of telling them off or giving them timeout either. Yet, they love to go there and hate to leave.

Menchie, If your kids are as lovely as you I do not think they will have much of a problem :)

general_boy said...

Hehe... your mum sounds cool Cazzie. ;)

I remember the wog boys smacking me in the head and stealing stuff from me day after day after day at school. Nobody did squat.

But hey... they are all fat and ugly with pig ugly moustached wives now, working in shithouse jobs.

So am I scarred? No... smug is probably a better word. :P

Stace said...

It seems that people place far too much responsibility with schools and with the government these days, for things they should be doing themselves. Parenting is a big one - so many parents believe that teachers are the only ones meant to look after their kids. I reckon there should be a parenting licence, a test to sit before having children. "Can you accept responsibility? If the answer is no, have a vasectomy immediately."

That's not to say that teachers don't have SOME responsibility - but it's limited! I was bullied terribly all through school, and the teachers did what they could. Sure it wasn't much, but nobody expected more of them. Teachers do what they are able to do, but a parent is a parent!

Alicia said...

On the other extreme side... a mother in Miami, Florida entered her daughter's bus and assulted the girl who had been bullying her daughter...
Held her by the hair while her daughter punched her.
What are we teaching our kids?!

Remember what the Pope used to say :If we practiced "an eye for an eye" the world would be blind.

I think your mom was right to scare those boys.
You're right, she'd be arrested and publicly humiliated if she tried to get away with that now, though...

rosemary said...

I was on the receiving end of bullying....more of a social outcast, not quite good enough, hurtful words, exclusion...hurts just the same. I have gone to all of my high school reunions..now with the 45th coming up, I sent a public notice to the web site as to why I wasn't coming this year. You would be amazed at the emails i have gotten from those who suffered the same as I did...and the snots that inflicted the pain? Just as snotty as ever and alone. Thank you Cazzie for the heads up about MC...I will pass on the word.

captain corky said...

Crazy stuff. Things have changes so much since when I was a kid. I used to fight all the time when I was in grade school. Now a kid would be expelled and possibly arrested for that kind of behavior.

MrsCoach2U said...

aWe just had the discussion last night about a boy who kept pinching Natalie but her teacher keeps telling her to move away from him. I told her to just knock the snot out of him and he'd stop, her brother (who is her same size) offered to do it for her so she wouldn't get in trouble. His teacher is alot more vigilant in the discipline and he wouldn't get in trouble with her for standing up for his sister. I'm sure I'll be getting a phone call from the school soon. I don't want my kids to start fights, but I want them to know it's ok to stand up for yourself, even if you get into trouble for it too.

Betty said...

When I grew up, teachers were allowed to discipline their students. After they tried sitting them in a corner or out in the hall, or sending notes home to their parents, and the bad behavior continued, then the Principal was alerted, who got out his paddle. That usually did the trick. The kids were paddled in the presence of their parents (if they cared enough to show up) and was not done in anger.

I know, I know, now nobody is allowed to touch the little darlings, not even their parents. But, I still think a judicious swat or two across the rear end does wonders in correcting bad behavior.

Cazzie!!! said...

GB, But hey... they are all fat and ugly with pig ugly moustached wives now, working in shithouse jobs. hahah, like I said, karma bites them in the ass. Smug is a great valid term to use!!


Stace, a parent is a parent, I agree. sucks you were bullied, I think sometimes it is a case of naturally nice people, like yourself, attract less than likeable people.... not condoning it, just saying. May a camel spit on them for being mean to you!


Alicia, yeah, so it is with a fine line we would get invovled in the kids' disputes, less it happened under our own roof. Then, it would be a case of everyone in our house, kids and adults play by our rules or get te F&*@ out!! Yeah.

Rosemary, I am proud of you for taking control, lts hope it makes them feel accountable for the shit they dished out at school, then again, who cares about them? We care about you!
Re MC, I would love to go visit her someday, she is a special ladyand Don a special man, They ought to be proud of their two gorgeous daughters too.

Captain, why is it you fought? Just asking?

MrsCoach2U, yes, My Mia has stood up for Sarah before when we have been out at a park or playcentre, and I know she will continue to do it at school. So, I have to reitterate to her the rules of anti bullying that much more, that the first thing is to tell a yard duty teacher, which is not tattle taling. If there is evre a problem, I wanna know, so I would take the kids to the teacher and get them to explain it to the teacher in their own words. I have done it before, leaving the teacher with the words, "I trust you will deal with it tomorrow with my kid and the other kid together, less I take it to the Principle".
Kids that pinch are so damned spiteful!!

Betty, all I gotta say is this, I sooo agree. At school, the smae kids got the paddywhack when I was in Primary School, they soon learnt not to do the things they were doing. I wonder though, if they took it outside the school thereafter? I used to catch the bus so I never would have knowm.

Rebecca said...

I was bullied all through school, and the effect it had on me still lasts to this day.
It would also be nice if there wasn't bullies at work, but some people never grow up.

farmwifetwo said...

School's have to take responsibility too. Long story short... this "poor Johnny we can't hurt his feelings.. lets shove him through to gr 9".. has got to stop.

My nephew is going to have MAJOR problems next year.

S.

lee said...

hi cazzie - I'm finally getting to following up on the bjork comment you left for me -thanks :).

Bullying can have a profound effect on the self-esteem - I was picked on by a particular group of boys in my class at school for 3 years -and they weren't exactly idiots -it was the A class (as they called it back then). I remember once I turned around in class and asked one of them if I could borrow an eraser and he said "no!" very savagely and, when I turned back around, punched me in the back. I was such a shy little thing and the youngest in the whole form and made an easy target.To this day I will cross the road to avoid walking past a group of teenage boys.I still get upset when I think about it what they used to do - even at the age of 36.

Queen of Dysfunction said...

I can't even think of what to say to that foolishness.

mjd said...

Cazzie, You have offered wonderful advice. Yahoo for your mom.

Unfortunately, not all victims have such advocates. At my middle school (12-14 year olds), we not only have concerns about the traditional bullying but about the cyberspace bullying on myspace.com and other similar venues. These sites also reek other kinds of havoc in the lives of our children. Your advice to play outside is great. However, sadly in some areas of our community that may not be safe. Some organizations are attempting to offer safe havens for the kids.

Cazzie!!! said...

Rebecca, kids and even grown kids can be so bloody cruel, now, tell me, are they taller than me? If not I will go snott ém right now!

Farmwifetwo, yeah, pushing kids through school because they want to get rid of them is not on. Neither is robbing the kids who want to learn of their education because of the bullying. It totally sucks!!

Lee, I wish I was your friend at school, I would have sorted them out for you. I may be short but I can be fierce..well, I used to be anyhow. I cannot apologise for what the bullies did to you, but I can say I hope that karma bites their asses. How to move on from such a thing?

QOD, I know QOD, I had to think hard abput some things, other things just seemed common sense. Looking out for each other is the key, and conflict resolution too. So many people I know were bullied, it is frightening isnt it?

MJD, this is so scarry that the internet is used for bullying. I am glad some people afre taking steps to make a safe place for kids to go play and be a community there. I swear, teachers have a much tougher job than us nurses!!

phishez_rule said...

Bullying is hard to deal with. But it isn't restricted to schools. And it is harder to deal with as an adult, because the bully always has a group of friends there to protect them.

There is a bully at my workplace who has caused it to be so bad for some people that they have simply left. I choose not to tolerate her crap. Further to that, I choose to back up anybody that I see being bullied and will take the matter to higher ups where necessary.

Cazzie!!! said...

Phishez, you sound so much like me, I think we may possibly be twins!

homo escapeons said...

I love your Mom!
The BAD apples don't fall too far from the trees..usually School Bullys have completely useless IDIOTS for parents who don't give a sh*t about anything.

This weekend we had 4 kids aged 8 to 12 that burned down 2 houses and 4 garages..
will anything happen to the parents? NO
do those kids need new parents? YES
will these kids keep breaking the law until they end up in prison?
YES
So we end up paying for these little bastards and their escapades from cradle to grave.

That is why I can't wait for our Alien Insect Overlords to come and eliminate the 'damaged undesirable shallow end of the gene pool' as part of their human worker/slave reproductive program.

Trundling Grunt said...

Some people can't see the faults in their children as they stick them on a bloody high pedestal. And their little darlings couldn't possibly do any harm.

People don't want to be parents, just have children.

M said...

i hate bullies and bullying. It's very hard in this day and age where state schools are blamed for not doing enough, and on the other hand if you do punish then the school is blamed for being too harsh and unfair. Some parent's are excellent, when we contact them about children who are bullies they get right on it and those kids are dealt with at home as well as at school. Other parents refuse to believe their child could do anything wrong. I fail to see how the school benefits by claiming one child is a bully when s/he isn't but hey, I guess it's a touchy subject for some parents.

Angel Without Wings said...

I was never bullied at school but I have been quite a few times in the work place. I always find that if you stick up for yourself they usually back off and respect you more for it.

I have always taught my daughters that if they are ever bullied to first of all tell me if they aren't comfortable with going to the teacher and to stand up for themselves. Its not easy if you hate confrontation but it makes a difference to how you are perceived by the bully. You don't seem like such an easy target.

I've caught them having arguments on MSN with their friends and everybody joining in. Makes me shudder that now there is a new way for bullies to throw their weight around....

So many people who have been bullied as a child grow up to either be scarred for life, totally screwed up emotionally or at the other extreme, take a gun and mow down a bunch of innocents and themselves.