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View Diary: "Make the school feel like sh*t" (139 comments)

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  •  How do schools "stop bullying"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunny skies, erush1345, Lucy Montrose

    I mean...really.  It sucks.  No matter what you are bullied for.  Being Gay, being fat, having thick glasses, a funny name that's easily turned into something vulgar and mocking...the list goes on.

    Kids, and even teens...perhaps especially teens...do this.  I'm not sure how you stop it, which is not the same as saying I don't care.  

    Do you use up 12% of the school day to "teach" tolerance?  At a time when students already don't know math and history?  Can tolerance be taught in the classroom, when it's not being taught at home?  And clearly it's not, or else the parents wouldn't be raising such assholes, excuse my French.

    Do you increase the number of Hall Monitors and Playground Staff, to be on the lookout for any encounters between students that have the potential to develop into bullying?  That seems a little corporal.  And besides, in this day and age of the internets...much of this can go on beyond the sight of the school staff.

    This problem is entwined in the makeup of society, and the family...and while I don't advocate in any way that schools blind themselves to it, neither do I think a school's primary function should be to make sure no student gets bullied.  

    Their time is too limited, and the tools at their disposal are even more limited.  Try expelling a kid these days and watch the rage errupt from parents who never set foot on the school premises before.  You can hardly even give a student a C- on a paper these days without calling in police negotiators.

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

    by Keith930 on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 04:35:03 PM PDT

    •  You bring criminal charges against the students (18+ / 0-)

      for their criminal acts.

      I was spit on, hit, called names, was groped, had my skirt pulled DOWN on the playground (the teacher watching laughed with the students), and was harassed on a regular basis. Some teachers joined in.

      The one teacher who did try to punish a student for calling me a "fucking lezzie whore" in class was told to apologize to the student who said it. (His mother was a lawyer.)

      I was one of the few poor students at the (public) school. My parents didn't care, and the entire school knew it, especially the administration (they had to threaten to call CPS about my lack of glasses with 240/20 vision--5th grade screening), and they were known fundamentalist Pentecostals. (Oddly enough, I didn't get teased about the huge sign on the side of the house that said "You must be born again" or my parents standing outside with signs of aborted fetuses during voting.) Understand that this is a town with 4k population--they knew.

      So, a school isn't supposed to prevent this? Your work is. YOU get to be safe at work. But children shouldn't be safe at a place they are REQUIRED to be? FUCKING BULLSHIT

      "Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices." — Terry Pratchett

      by LoreleiHI on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 05:11:25 PM PDT

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    •  Education . . . (8+ / 0-)

      Well, I suppose one of the purposes of our education system is to mold youngsters into productive citizens.

      If you can accept that as a premise, then it's not a stretch to assume that our schools have an obligation to teach school children the difference between:  1) their right to have and express an opinion and 2) verbally and physically attacking and terrorizing another person because they disagree with "X" factor about that person.

      Moreover, generally speaking, parents have a legal obligation to send their kids to school.  As such, the schools have a responsibility to keep those kids safe while they are in the school's care.

      This is far more basic than mandating that schools "teach tolerance" (while that would be fantastic).  It is about stopping improper behavior and enabling children to attend school in an environment that is free from harassment.

      The school in the present case clearly knew what was going on.  No one has any illusions that school districts can force kids to be tolerant -- but they sure as hell have an obligation to make sure they don't act on their intolerance in ways that infringe on other children's rights and safety.

      Seth Walsh - R.I.P.

      "I'm bragging . . . I'm always in love . . ." - Always In Love, Wilco

      by TichMarie on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 06:20:52 PM PDT

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    •  School can do at least smth. I had similar (6+ / 0-)

      problems at school (not b/c of sexual orientation) and teachers at least tried to help. It didn't prevent the bullying but it did make it easier to deal with.

      •  but it didn't prevent the bullying (0+ / 0-)

        that's understandable.  It can't be preventable.

        Not by the school, anyway.  Unless they want to become police instead of educators.  

        Education is really not my "one issue ghetto", as Fishgrease so aptly put it.  I'm curious as to how this issue plays out in other countries.

        "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

        by Keith930 on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 06:59:50 PM PDT

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        •  The point is that these (5+ / 0-)

          teachers repeatedly stood by and watched and did nothing at all to even try to reduce the bullying or tell Seth that they were on his side. It's all in the report. They literally just watched it happen.

          Saying that the school can't prevent bullying is all fine and whatever but they didn't do anything at ALL and these kids attacked this kid on a daily basis at school, in the streets, online and in several other areas until he hung himself by a rope to a tree in his backyard.

          Teachers are capable of AT THE VERY LEAST saying "hey, stop it."

          "I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans." - President Obama, 2/28/08

          by indiemcemopants on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:07:12 PM PDT

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        •  You are setting the standard at perfection: (7+ / 0-)

          "Stop all bullying in all instances for every kid everywhere always."

          Which is a standard which absolutely no one is calling for.

          Then you have declared that your straw man of this impossibly high standard can never be met. Which is true enough.

          But then you came to the conclusion that the current status quo is good enough and nothing more can be done to address situations like this, so we should all just get over another dead kid.

          It's a logical fallacy. We can do better.

          Is the LGBT community inclusive enough to embrace the glitter-dispersal impaired? Discuss.

          by Scott Wooledge on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:45:20 PM PDT

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        •  And no one is asking teachers to be policeman (6+ / 0-)

          but there is a reality that people entrust educators with the physical and mental well-being of their children for 6 hours a day, five days a week.

          You would fire a nanny that stood by and did absolutely nothing while your child was abused on a playground.

          "Not my job," isn't a good defense for an educator either.

          Is the LGBT community inclusive enough to embrace the glitter-dispersal impaired? Discuss.

          by Scott Wooledge on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:56:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Violent bullies need to be arrested. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Black Max

          I don't want the teachers to become police.  I want the school to fucking OBEY THE LAW and charge people who commit violent harassment with violent harassment.

          Schools routinely don't.  They use their school status as a shield to protect violent harrassers.

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:59:24 PM PDT

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        •  No but there was much less (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indiemcemopants

          bullying on school grounds. So it did help. In the countries I'm familiar with it's not very different from US.

    •  Did you read the diary? (4+ / 0-)

      Are you saying no school can be expected to do better than that school's performance?

      Is the LGBT community inclusive enough to embrace the glitter-dispersal impaired? Discuss.

      by Scott Wooledge on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:17:00 PM PDT

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    •  You start by stopping the enabling. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, fiddler crabby, dicentra, Black Max

      The adults are the ones I fault the most here. Choosing to look the other way because of fatigue and perceived overload ("too many kids to take care of"), fear of the bullies' parents (because almost invariably the parents of bullies are bullies themselves, and are the type to sue at the drop of a hat), or-- most noxiously-- they simply like and respect the bullies more than the victims.

      Yes-- a lot of the time, the bullies are liked and respected more than the victims. Their chameleonism and power-tripping are what we all have been told for years are good social skills, leadership potential, and self-confidence. And their parents are, as I said before, a lot mroe likely to go to bat for their kids right or wrong.

      How exactly do you fight an enemy that has more social capital and community support than you? You quit trying to reason with them, and build some social capital of your own. It's Congress and the fight against the runaway narrative writ small.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 08:22:38 PM PDT

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    •  The school can start by adopting a program (5+ / 0-)

      which can get them on a better track, rather than creating one from scratch.

      Our school system uses the Olweus program.  We even took advantage of it in Kindergarten, when a fellow student mocked my daughter as she was prevented from climbing up a part of their playground, with the added warnings of, "we're going to get a gun and shoot you dead", etc.

      Sure, kids joke about things that they don't understand all the time, but you only teach them how serious those words actually are by making that obvious in a teachable way - we reported this incident, there was swift and detailed followup, apologies and assignments, etc.  The relationship between my daughter and that peer have improved noticeably over the years.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 08:59:51 PM PDT

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    •  Bullshit. Fuck math. Fuck history. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dicentra, Black Max

      "Do you use up 12% of the school day to "teach" tolerance?  At a time when students already don't know math and history?"

      Fuck math. Fuck history.

      I would rather have my children not learn to read than be part of a system where what is tolerated is a student or two offing-themselves over academic success.

    •  Most of the school day is wasted anyway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vidanto, Black Max

      Yes, the schools should have to deal with it.  Kids spend most of their young lives in the classroom.  It's here where the problems take place (though much of the behavior is brought from home and off the street) and it's here that it has to be corrected.

      My daughter was a victim of what is termed "relational aggression" or mean girl syndrome for 6 years before we finally could afford to remove her from the public school and enroll her in a small, alternative, private school.  The public school environment had become toxic for her and she suffered socially and academically.  The school's "Race to Nowhere" culture rewarded aggressive competition in the classroom, covert bullying on the playing fields and in every aspect of school life.  The world is tough, they say, the kids will have to face stress in life, so we have to prepare them now.  They punish the more reserved, quieter kids with poor grades for non-participation, even when they fear speaking in class because of the teasing or ostracizing they will get outside class for whatever they say or do in front of others.

      The very culture of our schools and communities these days is a breeding ground for bullies. You can take the time to deal with it in school, or you can simply let it fester and steal the time from your child's life and education.  No one gains from not dealing with it, not the bully, not the victim, and not the bystander.

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      A change in society is necessary. Crackdowns by teachers are effective, but in order to stamp out homophobia for good we have to change society's view of LGBT.

      I mean, woodshop is great and all, but how about replacing it with a class about tolerance? That might help kids and society a bit more.

    •  Every staffer, from admin to maintenance, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dicentra

      should be trained to recognize and address bullying. It's worth the time it takes, and will pay off in the long run: less truancy, far fewer discipline referrals, fewer kids in counseling, better academic performance, etc.

      Your argument that schools "don't have time" to address bullying, and that "everyone does it" so the schools can't deal with it, is garbage. Sorry, but it's that kind of argument that makes it all the more difficult for schools and other community programs and organizations to deal with it.

      Bullying happens everywhere, true. But any and every community of kids and adults can stand up to it and make it stop.

      The Bush tax cuts are more than twice as large as the Social Security shortfall. -- Ezra Klein

      by Black Max on Sat Jul 02, 2011 at 09:20:15 AM PDT

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