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Is a school bully just a tired kid? Story in the NY Times may get you thinking.(PIOG)

Posted by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 7:20 AM
  • 5 Replies


Ok, here's a new twist on what has become a reoccuring itch among parents this school year. Although not the only rationale for why kids bully, this one may be worth considering.

NY Times story here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/the-school-bully-is-sleepy/

by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 7:20 AM
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llpalady
by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 9:55 AM

We had to deal with a major bullying problem this past school year.  We were brand new to town and our 9 year old (just turned 10 in April) was being bullied by this one kid everyday.  Well, the others would see this kid picking on Jayden and chime in as well.  The others would never start it, but they sure didn't have a problem going along with this other kid.  So Jayden is coming home almost every day so upset and not understanding why this kid is being so mean.  I write the teacher a note and she calls me during her conference time.  She explains that most of this is happening during transition times (to and from PE, to and from lunch, etc) so she doesn't see a whole lot, but she has talked to both Jayden and the other kid about it.  Well, it's nearly Thanksgiving and Jayden is still being bothered by this kid.  He has started pushing my son and tripping him.  My sons attitude is also starting to change.  He is no longer sad, but mad!  He is taking his anger out on his family.  So we arrange another meeting with the teacher, her assistant, the principle, the pe coaches and the guidance counselor.  His teacher states that this is the worse case of bullying she has ever seen, the assistant breaks down and starts crying because she feels so bad for Jayden.  We explain that be do not tolerate Jayden with these anger issues and that we have told him the next time this kid pushes or trips him to get up in his face and dare him to hit him, if the kid hits first, Jayden is going to hit back and give it to him.  They let us know that there is a zero tolerance for fighting.  I kindly pointed out that there is also a zero tolerance for bullying, yet they let it go on!  I need this kid to quit picking on my child!  My 9 year old has stated multiple times that he hates his life, he wishes he would either die or we could move.  Thats not cool!!!  We tell all the people in that room, that if he has ONE more instance with this child we would be withdrawing all 5 kids (it's a very small school, about 35 kids per grade and they need all the kids they can get for the government funding) and then sue the school for endangerment to my child.  Well, they talked to the kid and he lightened up a little.  He wasn't quite as mean to Jayden.  Then around Feb, he started with the teasing again.  Jayden went to the school counselor and told the counselor that he cant handle this kid being mean anymore and that he was going to have me homeschool him or kill himself.  ya, at 9 years old, he straight up said he would commit suicide over this crap!!  I dont blame him, but it is so sad.  The school calls for another meeting to talk about this.  At this point I have already set up an appointment with a psychologist for my son to deal with the suicidal thoughts and anger, but it's a few days off.  So we go and the counselor brings the kid in that has been bullying my son, along with his grandparents that are raising him.  My husband and I sat there calmly along with Jayden sitting in my lap and explained to the grandparents what has been going on all year.  Well, they hop up and start screaming and yelling and threatening this child they are raising!!  I can totally see where the child gets it from.  HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE!!!  Ok so the next day at school, the counselor calls Jayden and the other boy into his office and they talk about what is going on.  The other child goes on and on about stuff he mom used to do to him (hitting, using drugs in front of him, having lots of different men over, neglecting him, etc.) Then he talks how his grandparents treat him like a slave and how they hit him and yell at him.  My son is very sympathetic and just hugs him and says that he is very sorry for what he has had to go through and that he would like to still be his friend and he would pray for him.  Well, the whole rest of the school year they have been best friends!!  I still have Jayden going to counseling but she even agrees that he is doing really well with everything he had to go through and that we can probably stop the sessions soon.

Bullying is evil!  And there is usually a root to the problem, and its just a matter of getting to know the bully to find out what the problem is.  I pray no one else has to go through what my poor Jayden did, and I am a very big anti-bully supporter right now.  Next year Jayden and I plan to go to his school and a few others to talk about his experiences to hopefully make bullies understand how their victims feel and to also help the victims know that there are people to help and they need to speak out and not let it happen.  I hope to encourage teachers and other school officials to get to know they bullies and try to help them before they break kids down like my Jayden was.

KTMOM
by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 10:55 AM

hmmmm,  interesting theory, but definitely not something I am totally buying.

Wyldbutterfly
by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:14 AM

 I can't even read this article. I'm far too jaded and do not believe sleep is part of the problem.

itsallabtthem84
by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Bump to go to article when I have more time.

Barabell
by on Jun. 6, 2011 at 9:55 PM

I believe that lack of sleep can be a trigger, and it could be a sign of the home environment. Either way, I don't find the results of this study that surprising.

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