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Shocking Teachers' Views on Bullying

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Recently I had the opportunity to discuss the subject of bullying with several teachers. I was surprised by their reaction when I brought the subject up.  All of them had the same response, they said bullying has gone on for decades, was a normal part of life, and not something which they had the power to control/stop.

I am not saying that every teacher on the planet shares their views. 

The teachers with whom I was discussing this subject were from different states and towns, which gave me the impression that their views were shared by other teachers across state/town lines.

My questions are these:

Why are (some) teachers' views on bullying so drastically different than those of the general public?

Why do they not see the danger inherent in bullying and the severe damage it does to some children?

Why do they think they are powerless to intervene when they are right there, on the front lines of the bully/victim interaction?



by on Aug. 8, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Replies (51-60):
newmom2be08
by Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Not something they would try to stop?  This is why young ones take their life...because of being bullied.  A few years back in a small town close to my hometown, a little boy in 8th grade took his life because of being bullied.  He arrived early at school and hung himself and left a note explaining he felt this was the only way out.  The only way to stop the bullying was to take his life, or so he thought.  Teachers need to step in when they see bullying!  They might just save a life! 

nuclear_sugar
by Jaye on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:37 PM
Ditto. We are not supported in the same way by county administrators or the community, to the point that many teachers fear they'll lose their jobs if they make any waves. I helped break up a vicious fight in the cafeteria last year, and a co-worker who was involved ended up being sued by the family of the boy who started the fight and *tried to hit him* while we were breaking things up. He almost lost his job.

It's gotten so bad that NC has just added some type of legal insurance into teachers' benefits package, to help us cover costs if (when?) We're sued.


Quoting mewebb82:

This is exactly what my mom dealt with up until she retired. She said when she first started teaching 40 years ago, it wasn't a problem. The biggest part of the problem in the last 10 years or so is that her superiors are far less likely to back up a teacher than they were 40 years ago. Teachers used to be able to get involved without fear of losing their jobs and now they almost have to trick themselves into thinking it doesn't matter because for them it really isn't worth it to get involved. It's horrible, but that's they way it's become. 


Quoting pagancuriosity:

My husband is a teacher and I asked him about this....he said a huge reason why teachers are cautious about getting involved is b/c it can end up costing them their jobs. You get a parent who thinks their kid shits rainbows and you tell them that they are a bully, and watch how fast the superindendent of the school is invovled. And a parent can end up tying up the entire school system if angry enough. My husband actually has to deal with a bully of a parent of a student of his. He has a fair grading system and this student doesn't always perform as well, therefore doesn't get the grades her mother thinks she's entitled to. She has called the superindendent on my husband a few times. Every time, the principal asks my husband to back down, but he refuses. So, a lot of times, it's the parents holding the teachers back from doing anything productive about bullies.



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caito
by Silver Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm not shocked at all.

ilovecandy
by Bronze Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

No idea....My MIL retired as a teacher this year but i know she has never said anything one way or another on bullying.

i remember i had a couple of teachers who did not put up with, at all in any way, bullying. They said so the very first day of class and they did send some students to principals office for being catty towards others in class. but i also had some other teachers who (i have no idea if...) they just turned a blind eye or really just didnt notice it, and they never said one way or the other on their stance on it either

cupomeow
by Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:45 PM
8 moms liked this

One of my favorite quotes about the trouble with our schools today is this one.

"The teachers are afraid of the Principal, the Principal is afraid of the Superintendent, the Superintendent is afraid of the Parents, the parents are afraid of the kids and the kids are not afraid of anybody."

 

ilovecandy
by Bronze Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM

i have a friend whos mom was like this. i didnt like hanging out with her much. if my daughter got a bad grade or i got a call from the principal i will ask questions and deal with it but i wouldnt raise a huge stink about it. but......with that being said there is some teachers who do play favorites and get the wrong kid in trouble. that happened to me once. i was in math class and the kid behind me (math teachers first year at this school) the kid behind me kept throwing things at my desk, at me, tried to draw on my sweater, tried kicking the back of my chair, would whisper some really shitty/nasty things to me, one day i turned around and said (err..yelled) knock it off and leave me alone. i got in trouble for bothering and yelling at this kid. despite me asking the teacher to move my seat, what this kid was doing, i was ignored and when i yelled at this kid i got in trouble and was landed in the principals office and was lectured. i refused to return back to school for 2 weeks after that. and even then, i demanded my mom switch my classes, get me away from that teacher..i tried but i failed. so i wound up failing the class because i refused to do my work, i refused to participate after all of that, and i refused to sit in my seat so i was sen to the office because i refused to sit in front of this kid. man i hated that class

Quoting pagancuriosity:

My husband is a teacher and I asked him about this....he said a huge reason why teachers are cautious about getting involved is b/c it can end up costing them their jobs. You get a parent who thinks their kid shits rainbows and you tell them that they are a bully, and watch how fast the superindendent of the school is invovled. And a parent can end up tying up the entire school system if angry enough. My husband actually has to deal with a bully of a parent of a student of his. He has a fair grading system and this student doesn't always perform as well, therefore doesn't get the grades her mother thinks she's entitled to. She has called the superindendent on my husband a few times. Every time, the principal asks my husband to back down, but he refuses. So, a lot of times, it's the parents holding the teachers back from doing anything productive about bullies.


mewebb82
by Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 5:05 PM

It's become ridiculous. There is bullying that has always happened and will always happen (the kids with glasses getting called "four eyes" and that kind of teasing), but there is also bullying now that is much more extreme and is a problem that needs to be addressed. It's horrible but teachers can't get involved at all without that risk. Parents going overboard and threatening to sue and the lack of support for teachers are much bigger problems though and it seems to go completely unnoticed by anyone except the teachers who deal with it. The teachers get blamed for not doing something or for doing something "the wrong way" despite being trained to handle it the exact way they did and it's really not their fault or fair to them. They are just doing their job the best they can with what they are given.

Quoting nuclear_sugar:

Ditto. We are not supported in the same way by county administrators or the community, to the point that many teachers fear they'll lose their jobs if they make any waves. I helped break up a vicious fight in the cafeteria last year, and a co-worker who was involved ended up being sued by the family of the boy who started the fight and *tried to hit him* while we were breaking things up. He almost lost his job.

It's gotten so bad that NC has just added some type of legal insurance into teachers' benefits package, to help us cover costs if (when?) We're sued.


Quoting mewebb82:

This is exactly what my mom dealt with up until she retired. She said when she first started teaching 40 years ago, it wasn't a problem. The biggest part of the problem in the last 10 years or so is that her superiors are far less likely to back up a teacher than they were 40 years ago. Teachers used to be able to get involved without fear of losing their jobs and now they almost have to trick themselves into thinking it doesn't matter because for them it really isn't worth it to get involved. It's horrible, but that's they way it's become. 


Quoting pagancuriosity:

My husband is a teacher and I asked him about this....he said a huge reason why teachers are cautious about getting involved is b/c it can end up costing them their jobs. You get a parent who thinks their kid shits rainbows and you tell them that they are a bully, and watch how fast the superindendent of the school is invovled. And a parent can end up tying up the entire school system if angry enough. My husband actually has to deal with a bully of a parent of a student of his. He has a fair grading system and this student doesn't always perform as well, therefore doesn't get the grades her mother thinks she's entitled to. She has called the superindendent on my husband a few times. Every time, the principal asks my husband to back down, but he refuses. So, a lot of times, it's the parents holding the teachers back from doing anything productive about bullies.




FrogSalad
by Sooze on Aug. 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM


Quoting NWP:

I worked in schools with zero bullying policies. They had peer councils, social groups, mediation, councelling, workshops..whatever they could to bring the issue to light and to stop what they could from happening. If a child was caught bullying, parents were brought in and a whole system set up.

However, this does not stop the problem. Bullying is worse now because of social media. It happens outside of school hours and not on school property.

While some students are bullied so badly, they switch schools, it isn't enough any longer. Changing schools is not effective in a world of social media. Even if the parents had the resources to locate to another state, social media stigma will follow a child who's name only needs to be googled or searched.

Teachers and schools do have a responsibility...but so do parents. Unfortunately, a school cannot control what happens off school grounds.

I am not sure if I have a solution that would end it.  But I do think that children should not have social media accounts.

100% agree!


How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.  Charles Darwin

mommygiggles317
by Bronze Member on Aug. 8, 2012 at 5:34 PM
2 moms liked this

The subject of bullying comes up often in my early childhood classes. Teachers, just like everyone else, have different views on what bullying is. Some people get confused about the difference between bullying and teasing. If it's not physical or verbal, some are clueless about other forms of bullying which are:

1. Social exclusion and isloation

2. The spreading of lies and false rumors

3. The taking and damaging of property

4. Being forced/threatened to do things against own will

5. Racial bullying

6. Sexual bullying

7. Cyber bullying

Plus, we have to remember that there are people (teachers, parents, etc) that think of bullying as a natural part of growing up. There's always gonna be popular kids, and jocks, and outcasts, and nerds etc. An important function of school is to get students prepared for their roles in society and the workforce at the end of the day. People really believe in survival of the fittest, so if your weak, you will get trampled on. If your strong, you'll be able to confront it, fight it or fend it off... jmo...

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Aug. 8, 2012 at 5:41 PM
2 moms liked this

Michael Thompson spoke to my peers at an inservice several years back about this very topic. This man has some excellent things to say and for anyone who is interested in this topic, I would recommend his books.

Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems
 
 


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Mom, They're Teasing Me: Helping Your Child Solve Social Problems [Hardcover]

Michael Thompson (Author), Lawrence J. Cohen (Author)






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Book Description

July 30, 2002
From the acclaimed authors of Best Friends, Worst Enemies, here is the perfect companion volume: a practical, how-to guide for parents to help their children navigate the sometimes harsh terrain of social life at school, on the playground, and in the neighborhood.

Almost everyone agrees (and remembers): Childhood can be a traumatic time. Kids frequently face peer rejection, name-calling, bullying, after-school fights, esteem-crushing cliques, and malicious exclusion by the popular kids. And parents often feel powerless to console their children. Now help is here. Mom, They’re Teasing Me is a specific, hands-on guide for concerned parents who want to give their children the tools they need to cope with social cruelty. Through vividly written case studies and a reader-friendly question-and-answer format, this compelling book shows parents what a child may confront with other children, and then offers concrete advice on handling each situation.

Mom, They’re Teasing Me deals in-depth with specific aspects of social cruelty: the four major types of children at risk for social isolation and their unique problems; the ordinary pain of those children not at risk—but who, nevertheless, cause their parents concern; and bad class dynamics in the school and neighborhood. Through thoughtful discussion and insightful suggestions, parents will discover

• The difference between real risk and normal social pain
• The appropriate time to intervene—and when to step back
• Tips on how to mediate between children—without appearing meddlesome
• Essential advice for parents who worry too much
• The importance of teaching and encouraging leadership
• The redemptive power of friendship

Mom, They’re Teasing Me answers key questions on the many manifestations of social cruelty, offers compelling descriptions of prime “teasing” scenarios, and illustrates how to counter them. It is an indispensable book for every involved parent who wants to make their child’s formative years rich and rewarding.


Nice Widdle Puppy


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