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Maybe I'm just not with it?

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I am still getting over my shock at some discussion that went down during lunch break at out local co-op last week. A few of the moms used to be public school teachers. Well one said there is nothing like 'peer punnishment' to get a point across to a child. That the adults can try to intervene and meet out punishments but they will never be as effective as if the peer group does it. She was saying that if they didn't like the behavior of a child they would walk away and let that child receive "peer punishment" - if that involved a hit, then so be it. She claimed that a large problem with the youth of today was that parents/teachers intervene and mediate.....am I just out of touch, or does that seem strange? I think it's important for adults to mediate some of the time - to show kids alternatives of violence. If kids seem to be able to work out problems without violence then let them, but if a punch or kick is to be thrown then I think that's bad. Am I wrong? What do you think?

by on Apr. 15, 2014 at 11:53 AM
Replies (21-26):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Apr. 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM

See, I'm horrified that those teachers didn't put a stop to it. But I think it comes from my martial arts experience. It's so easy to damage a person permanently with a punch (or kick) in just the right spot. I don't think those kids deserved permanent damage for being jerks. And the seniors would have probably been terribly saddened to realize they had caused the damage. If I were a parent of a student who just saw this happen I would have been ticked. If those seniors had made fools of the freshman I think it would have made the same impression. 

I just think violence is never the answer. I feel like we, as a society, have gotten more and more violent. 

Quoting JKronrod:

Well....I think it depends.  Generally, I'm not one to say that violence and "peer punishment" is a good thing, but I recall one specific incident in high school where a bunch of freshman  boys decided to torment (tripping, pushing, etc.) a boy who had cerebral palsy.  Some seniors saw what was happening, went over and basically beat the @#$@# out of the tormentors. One of the teachers saw what happened and allowed the seniors to continue (it was all over the school after it happened). I have a feeling that having other students defend the boy was probably more effective in stopping further tormenting than having the perpetrators be sent to the principal's office, and I can't really find it in me to say that the teacher in that case did the wrong thing.

However, the notion of having teachers prod children into "peer punishment" is horrifying.   


JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2014 at 1:30 AM

 I understand your response, but emotionally, knowing the kids involved, and what they were doing (they weren't just being "jerks" -- they tripped and pushed this kid, who could walk only with difficulty, to the ground and were, apparently, spitting, etc.), again, I can't get very excited about what happened.  "Making fools of them" wasn't really an option.   And they weren't damaged (at least not permanently). 

It sounds good to say that violence is "never the answer."  But any student of history knows that that's simply not true.  Unfortunately, violence IS sometimes the appropriate answer (and sometimes violence in response to violence results in a better -- i.e., fewer people ultimately getting harmed -- outcome).  There are some people in this world who don't respond to anything other than the threat or actuality of someone stronger than they are stopping them physically.  

Weirdly, I don't think that  we're necessarily  a more violent society now than we were in the past.  I think, however, the "good" people area taught that violence is per se wrong/immoral.  That's not a particularly good lesson.  It allows "bad" people to use violence with less risk of being checked early (or being worried enough about the consequences to not take violent action in the first place). 

I'll leave you with one more horror story to think about:  a very close friend of mine was married to police officer who worked in a city that is well-known for its violence/gangs, etc.  He was/is a good man in an extremely difficult job.  A short time after the Columbine shootings we were at their house and the subject of the shootings came up.  My friend's husband said, "Of course, it would never have happened in {name of the city}."   We all looked at him like he was out of his mind -- He shrugged and said, "With the number of people carrying, they wouldn't have gotten two feet." 

It's never simple....

Quoting KickButtMama:

See, I'm horrified that those teachers didn't put a stop to it. But I think it comes from my martial arts experience. It's so easy to damage a person permanently with a punch (or kick) in just the right spot. I don't think those kids deserved permanent damage for being jerks. And the seniors would have probably been terribly saddened to realize they had caused the damage. If I were a parent of a student who just saw this happen I would have been ticked. If those seniors had made fools of the freshman I think it would have made the same impression. 

I just think violence is never the answer. I feel like we, as a society, have gotten more and more violent. 

Quoting JKronrod:

Well....I think it depends.  Generally, I'm not one to say that violence and "peer punishment" is a good thing, but I recall one specific incident in high school where a bunch of freshman  boys decided to torment (tripping, pushing, etc.) a boy who had cerebral palsy.  Some seniors saw what was happening, went over and basically beat the @#$@# out of the tormentors. One of the teachers saw what happened and allowed the seniors to continue (it was all over the school after it happened). I have a feeling that having other students defend the boy was probably more effective in stopping further tormenting than having the perpetrators be sent to the principal's office, and I can't really find it in me to say that the teacher in that case did the wrong thing.

However, the notion of having teachers prod children into "peer punishment" is horrifying.   

 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Apr. 19, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Ah, we are coming from 2 very different POV's. I'm strongly anti-gun ownership, I'm about as far left wing as you can get. I was raised in a home with shot guns and rifles. My father taught us to shoot, he taught us to defend the home, etc. Heck, my dad believes the Russians never invaded because so many Americans own guns. Lol. When I was 14 I babysat my 5 y/o brother while my parents went to a party. It was almost midnight when I heard the front door handle rattle and whispers. Very obviously not my parents. A few minutes later I heard the garage door being manually opened, then the jiggling of the inner door handle. I loaded my dads shotgun, ready to defend my brother and myself. As soon as the door opened I pulled the trigger. Thank god it misfired, because it was my older brother who had been out of town. He had come home early as a surprise, he couldn't find his key and since the lights were off and no car was in the drive, he assumed no one was home so he picked the lock.

I love learning about history. Do I think violence is Never the answer? No, sometimes violence is a necessary evil. In my faith violence is not even seen as immoral. We don't have the concept of sins like the Christian faith. Do I think kids need violence? Only if they can not walk away without getting hurt themselves. Violence in the defense of oneself or another is always ok. But defence against words should never be in the form of violence. While I think these kids were noble in their defense of someone who couldn't defend them self, I think it should have been the ADULT in the rooms responsibility to step in. Maybe if we teach our children diplomacy and respect for others, we would have less instances of the necessary evil? Btw, I'm about 20 minutes from Sandy Hook.

So we'll have to respectfully agree to disagree. 

Quoting JKronrod:

 I understand your response, but emotionally, knowing the kids involved, and what they were doing (they weren't just being "jerks" -- they tripped and pushed this kid, who could walk only with difficulty, to the ground and were, apparently, spitting, etc.), again, I can't get very excited about what happened.  "Making fools of them" wasn't really an option.   And they weren't damaged (at least not permanently). 

It sounds good to say that violence is "never the answer."  But any student of history knows that that's simply not true.  Unfortunately, violence IS sometimes the appropriate answer (and sometimes violence in response to violence results in a better -- i.e., fewer people ultimately getting harmed -- outcome).  There are some people in this world who don't respond to anything other than the threat or actuality of someone stronger than they are stopping them physically.  

Weirdly, I don't think that  we're necessarily  a more violent society now than we were in the past.  I think, however, the "good" people area taught that violence is per se wrong/immoral.  That's not a particularly good lesson.  It allows "bad" people to use violence with less risk of being checked early (or being worried enough about the consequences to not take violent action in the first place). 

I'll leave you with one more horror story to think about:  a very close friend of mine was married to police officer who worked in a city that is well-known for its violence/gangs, etc.  He was/is a good man in an extremely difficult job.  A short time after the Columbine shootings we were at their house and the subject of the shootings came up.  My friend's husband said, "Of course, it would never have happened in {name of the city}."   We all looked at him like he was out of his mind -- He shrugged and said, "With the number of people carrying, they wouldn't have gotten two feet." 

It's never simple....

Quoting KickButtMama:

See, I'm horrified that those teachers didn't put a stop to it. But I think it comes from my martial arts experience. It's so easy to damage a person permanently with a punch (or kick) in just the right spot. I don't think those kids deserved permanent damage for being jerks. And the seniors would have probably been terribly saddened to realize they had caused the damage. If I were a parent of a student who just saw this happen I would have been ticked. If those seniors had made fools of the freshman I think it would have made the same impression. 

I just think violence is never the answer. I feel like we, as a society, have gotten more and more violent. 

Quoting JKronrod:

Well....I think it depends.  Generally, I'm not one to say that violence and "peer punishment" is a good thing, but I recall one specific incident in high school where a bunch of freshman  boys decided to torment (tripping, pushing, etc.) a boy who had cerebral palsy.  Some seniors saw what was happening, went over and basically beat the @#$@# out of the tormentors. One of the teachers saw what happened and allowed the seniors to continue (it was all over the school after it happened). I have a feeling that having other students defend the boy was probably more effective in stopping further tormenting than having the perpetrators be sent to the principal's office, and I can't really find it in me to say that the teacher in that case did the wrong thing.

However, the notion of having teachers prod children into "peer punishment" is horrifying.   



PinkButterfly66
by on Apr. 19, 2014 at 2:00 AM
1 mom liked this

So this former teacher condones bullying, because she's too lazy to mete out discipline?  I can see why she is a former teacher.

JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Apr. 19, 2014 at 2:44 AM

I understand how you would feel that way, given your expeience with your brother -- that's truly frightening.  I'm libertarian myself, and Jewish.  I was also raised in a house with guns and taught to shoot, but my father was huge on gun safety. The only time I can ever remember him spanking anyone was when my brother once pointed a TOY gun at me.  It was drilled into our heads that you never pointed a gun (even a toy gun -- other than water pistols that didn't actually look guns) at anyone unless you were defending yourself and intending to kill.  The guns were locked unless someone was going to the range.  We're raising our own children the same way -- but given the younger children in the house my rule has been that while guns in the house are acceptable, ammo isn't (although we always treat them as loaded).  We're currently rethinking that, since the state law is making it more difficult to buy ammo at the range (a position I fail to understand the logic of), but, for now, that rule stands. 

I suspect that our positions with respect to violence (although not gun ownership) are actually pretty close. I'm assuming that the "can't walk away" would apply to someone who could not defend themselves being unable to walk away -- not the just individual. who actually throws the punch.  I guess I don't draw a line though between "adult" and "non-adult."  The question is who is there and whether you have an obligation to stop something that is wrong -- including by use of force. It's the appropriateness that we need to be looking at, not the violence itself.

Have a great weekend!    

   

Quoting KickButtMama:

Ah, we are coming from 2 very different POV's. I'm strongly anti-gun ownership, I'm about as far left wing as you can get. I was raised in a home with shot guns and rifles. My father taught us to shoot, he taught us to defend the home, etc. Heck, my dad believes the Russians never invaded because so many Americans own guns. Lol. When I was 14 I babysat my 5 y/o brother while my parents went to a party. It was almost midnight when I heard the front door handle rattle and whispers. Very obviously not my parents. A few minutes later I heard the garage door being manually opened, then the jiggling of the inner door handle. I loaded my dads shotgun, ready to defend my brother and myself. As soon as the door opened I pulled the trigger. Thank god it misfired, because it was my older brother who had been out of town. He had come home early as a surprise, he couldn't find his key and since the lights were off and no car was in the drive, he assumed no one was home so he picked the lock.

I love learning about history. Do I think violence is Never the answer? No, sometimes violence is a necessary evil. In my faith violence is not even seen as immoral. We don't have the concept of sins like the Christian faith. Do I think kids need violence? Only if they can not walk away without getting hurt themselves. Violence in the defense of oneself or another is always ok. But defence against words should never be in the form of violence. While I think these kids were noble in their defense of someone who couldn't defend them self, I think it should have been the ADULT in the rooms responsibility to step in. Maybe if we teach our children diplomacy and respect for others, we would have less instances of the necessary evil? Btw, I'm about 20 minutes from Sandy Hook.

So we'll have to respectfully agree to disagree. 

Quoting JKronrod:

 I understand your response, but emotionally, knowing the kids involved, and what they were doing (they weren't just being "jerks" -- they tripped and pushed this kid, who could walk only with difficulty, to the ground and were, apparently, spitting, etc.), again, I can't get very excited about what happened.  "Making fools of them" wasn't really an option.   And they weren't damaged (at least not permanently). 

It sounds good to say that violence is "never the answer."  But any student of history knows that that's simply not true.  Unfortunately, violence IS sometimes the appropriate answer (and sometimes violence in response to violence results in a better -- i.e., fewer people ultimately getting harmed -- outcome).  There are some people in this world who don't respond to anything other than the threat or actuality of someone stronger than they are stopping them physically.  

Weirdly, I don't think that  we're necessarily  a more violent society now than we were in the past.  I think, however, the "good" people area taught that violence is per se wrong/immoral.  That's not a particularly good lesson.  It allows "bad" people to use violence with less risk of being checked early (or being worried enough about the consequences to not take violent action in the first place). 

I'll leave you with one more horror story to think about:  a very close friend of mine was married to police officer who worked in a city that is well-known for its violence/gangs, etc.  He was/is a good man in an extremely difficult job.  A short time after the Columbine shootings we were at their house and the subject of the shootings came up.  My friend's husband said, "Of course, it would never have happened in {name of the city}."   We all looked at him like he was out of his mind -- He shrugged and said, "With the number of people carrying, they wouldn't have gotten two feet." 

It's never simple....

Quoting KickButtMama:

See, I'm horrified that those teachers didn't put a stop to it. But I think it comes from my martial arts experience. It's so easy to damage a person permanently with a punch (or kick) in just the right spot. I don't think those kids deserved permanent damage for being jerks. And the seniors would have probably been terribly saddened to realize they had caused the damage. If I were a parent of a student who just saw this happen I would have been ticked. If those seniors had made fools of the freshman I think it would have made the same impression. 

I just think violence is never the answer. I feel like we, as a society, have gotten more and more violent. 

Quoting JKronrod:

Well....I think it depends.  Generally, I'm not one to say that violence and "peer punishment" is a good thing, but I recall one specific incident in high school where a bunch of freshman  boys decided to torment (tripping, pushing, etc.) a boy who had cerebral palsy.  Some seniors saw what was happening, went over and basically beat the @#$@# out of the tormentors. One of the teachers saw what happened and allowed the seniors to continue (it was all over the school after it happened). I have a feeling that having other students defend the boy was probably more effective in stopping further tormenting than having the perpetrators be sent to the principal's office, and I can't really find it in me to say that the teacher in that case did the wrong thing.

However, the notion of having teachers prod children into "peer punishment" is horrifying.   

 

 

crystalclear12
by Member on Apr. 19, 2014 at 4:35 AM

That's just wrong! 

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