Friday, February 24, 2006

New Age Bullying

It's a sad fact that there have always been bully's and there probably always will be. It seems there is always a person or group who think of themselves as being superior over another, even in an equal race situation.

Baby Boomers and children of baby boomers, as children moslty found their bullies on the school playground, or in the school lunch room, perhaps the school bathroom. Even then, it was a scarey prediciment to be in. Not knowing where they (they bullies) will turn up next. It didn't take long for us to realise that there was strength in numbers, and anyone who was being bullied, if they had the chance, would hang out in a larger group of kids, hoping for protection.

There always seemed to be that one person who always got bullied or picked on. Maybe the smartest boy, who didn't push his weight around. Maybe it was the girl who constantly wore pig tails and had big funny glasses. They were the loners. The person who maybe had one friend to hang out with, or the person that just preferred to do things on their own. They were different and therefor a prime target for the *school bullies*. Come on, we can all admit as adults that we were once bullied, or maybe we were even the bully himself!! Thankfully those days are over now....but....are they?

Being a parent, means you will have to face and challenge many things with your child. Your child may not be able to bring home high grades, so tutoring your child might be your challenge. Perhaps your child is physycally challenged, or mentally challenged. Maybe your child is of a different race than most at school. Perhaps your child is the loner. All of these challenges plus so many more, make your child a prime target for being bullied. It's the sad truth.

Bullying Goes Beyond the School Yard these days.........

It use to be, you got a rough time at school, and then you ran your hardest all the way home after school, did your homework, ate dinner, watched tv...then went to bed absolutely dreading the next day. In today's times, that kind of bullying almost seems like a piece of cake. As parents we need to take a look at the mediums we are offering bullys to get through to our kids. We have the phone, home phone and cell phones. We have cell phones with text messaging and email. We have the home PC, and we have the laptops. All these things we give our children in hopes to make their lives more pleasureable, when in fact, they are doing the exact opposite.

No longer can you escape the school yard bully for 15 or so hours before returning to the dreaded place. Oh no!! Now the bully can get your child's email address from a school freind or even the School's Student Contact Card. So the bullying does not stop at 3:00 PM it can go around the clock with nasty emails sent to your child, by probably more than one person. If your child has a cell phone, chances are they are recieving email and text messages from the bully there as well, or worse they are calling your child.

But what can you do.............

In today's society the line of communiction is very wide open. Except where it needs to be most, the communication between the child and the parent. We can't just hand them a cell phone and expect to be in constant communication with the child all the time. It needs to come from a place deeper than that. Parents need to turn off the cell phones, the pc's the laptops for awhile, and sit down and talk to their kids about issues like this, because it is very very real. Kids need to know they can tell an adult and have faith the adult will help them.

So...what happens to the bully .......

If your child has the nerve to stand up to the bully, in my experience, the bully will stop harassing, because your child is no longer a challenge.

School boards, Teachers and Principals need to be aware of the situation, and if it extends into the e-world as well as the school grounds.

Talk to Police if need be. **DO SOMETHING**

In my Canadian Province, our Captiol City is introducing a new *Bully Fine* A fine of $250.00 will be handed down to any kid being found guilty of bullying. I assume the money would be the parents responsibility, so then what has the bully really learned? Do we know what goes on behind closed doors at the bully's home, how will the parents react to the child if they have to shell out $250.00 because their kid was acting out? Lots and Lots of consequences will arise from this form of punishment..... and my question is where will this fine money go??? I like to think it's going to go into a follow up program to try and help the person that is bullying, because in my opinion the BULLY is the one that REALLY needs the help.

These are my opinions, I am a Mom of a girl that was bullied her first 10 years of school, it's NOT nice!

Michelle


Open Letter From Geovolt:
This has some to do with technology, but this is a importaint issue that needs to be addressed. I think we all need to take some time out and talk to your kids, for any kind of bullying.

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