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BS: Schoolyard bullying

Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 09 - 09:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 09 - 09:35 AM
The Villan 29 Oct 09 - 09:55 AM
Tug the Cox 29 Oct 09 - 10:04 AM
Jean(eanjay) 29 Oct 09 - 10:52 AM
Leadfingers 29 Oct 09 - 11:35 AM
katlaughing 29 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM
meself 29 Oct 09 - 11:54 AM
jacqui.c 29 Oct 09 - 12:09 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 09 - 12:31 PM
meself 29 Oct 09 - 12:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 09 - 12:53 PM
Little Hawk 29 Oct 09 - 02:13 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM
meself 29 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 09 - 02:19 PM
Maryrrf 29 Oct 09 - 02:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM
mg 29 Oct 09 - 03:52 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 Oct 09 - 04:04 PM
Lox 29 Oct 09 - 04:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 09 - 05:06 PM
Lox 29 Oct 09 - 05:36 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 29 Oct 09 - 05:42 PM
Lox 29 Oct 09 - 06:09 PM
Rowan 29 Oct 09 - 09:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 07:45 AM
bubblyrat 30 Oct 09 - 06:19 PM
jacqui.c 30 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM
Lox 30 Oct 09 - 06:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 07:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 31 Oct 09 - 03:39 AM
Penny S. 31 Oct 09 - 04:03 AM
Lox 31 Oct 09 - 06:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Oct 09 - 06:46 AM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 09 - 07:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Oct 09 - 10:34 AM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 09 - 10:47 AM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 11:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 31 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM
Will Fly 31 Oct 09 - 11:18 AM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 11:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Oct 09 - 01:11 PM
VirginiaTam 31 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM
Dave the Gnome 31 Oct 09 - 01:42 PM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 02:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 31 Oct 09 - 02:33 PM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 02:43 PM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 02:54 PM
Azizi 31 Oct 09 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,biff 31 Oct 09 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,biff 31 Oct 09 - 05:09 PM
Lox 31 Oct 09 - 06:46 PM
Bonzo3legs 31 Oct 09 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Oct 09 - 08:34 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 09 - 09:41 AM
Rowan 01 Nov 09 - 05:26 PM
robomatic 01 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM
Dave the Gnome 01 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM
mg 01 Nov 09 - 09:00 PM
Penny S. 02 Nov 09 - 03:38 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Nov 09 - 05:34 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 06:13 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 06:24 AM
Folkiedave 02 Nov 09 - 11:41 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 12:17 PM
Folkiedave 02 Nov 09 - 12:27 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 09 - 03:06 PM
jacqui.c 02 Nov 09 - 03:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 09 - 03:46 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Nov 09 - 05:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 09 - 05:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 09 - 05:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 09 - 05:58 PM
theleveller 03 Nov 09 - 03:18 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Nov 09 - 04:03 AM
theleveller 03 Nov 09 - 04:49 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Nov 09 - 01:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 09 - 01:42 PM
Rowan 03 Nov 09 - 05:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Nov 09 - 06:25 PM
Bobert 03 Nov 09 - 06:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Nov 09 - 08:38 PM
theleveller 04 Nov 09 - 04:06 AM

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Subject: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 09:12 AM

Interesting conversation on Jeremy Vine's show (UK - BBC Radio 2) earlier. It seems that in some primary schools (under 11's for those who do not know) there is a policy of zero tolerance against racism. Which to my mind is a good thing, as anything which helps children understand that it is not acceptable must be OK. But - here is the rub - one of the contributers pointed out that by elevating the status of racism from bullying to, effectively, a crime. are they doing more harm than good?

Here is the scenario - Group of, say, 8 year old kids in the playground. The 'in-crowd' taunt anyone different. The fat kid, the girl with braces on her teeth and ginger lad. It is all wrong. It is all bullying. But there is no governement intervention. Now, same group of kids start to taunt the new Asian kid, or the Chinese or the Serb. They are now reported to the council and, ultimatley, the police. The question was - What is the difference?

Unfortunately the lady on the show did not seem to pick this up and just kept going on about racism being wrong. Well, sorry, of course it is. All bullying is. But why should racism be treated as a special case? So, I know I am probably opening another can of worms but if we stick to the subject and the mods can delete the un-named Guest tripe we are bound to generate surely we can get an answer to some questions -

Should racism be treated as different from other schoolyard bullying?

Is it right to take the 'big stick' to sub-eleven year olds?

Surely the parents should be targeted if they are under the age of reason shouldn't they?

I am sure lots more will crop up but maybe we can start there.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 09:35 AM

The right thing isn't to see racism as no more serious than other forms of bullying, it's to recognise other forms of bullying as being as serious as racism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 09:55 AM

They are all the same and should be treated as such.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:04 AM

There's a strange irony in 'zero tolerance' policies in a tolerant society wishing to promote tolerance. Used in schools it teaches 'might is right' and just don't get caught. It also causes resentment against the 'special cases'.
    Well developed and resesarched approaches such as the joint concern approach or the no blame approach attempt to build community, rather than fear fuelled conformity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Jean(eanjay)
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:52 AM

All forms of bullying should be treated as serious. Imagine the ridiculous situation where a child from one race mercilessly bullies a child from another race and if that second child desperately responds with one comment that is regarded as racist then they are hauled off by the police and the first child stands there smirking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:35 AM

Sadly , in too may cases , bullying of ANY kind is NOT controlled .


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM

All forms of bullying are wrong and ought not be allowed, but I don't believe bringing police in is the answer. There needs to be education, education, education..for the kids AND for the community. We did that in Wyoming as part of a human rights organisation and it did have a good effect. In specific cases the schools should call in the parents, children, and any school authorities, but I don't believe that young needs to involve the police UNLESS there is an actual crime, i.e. physical violence, etc., involved.

Over here, because of "zero tolerance" for weapons on school grounds, we had a SIX YEAR OLD ordered to spend 45 days in a reform school because he brought his Cub Scout eating utensil to school. The tool serves as a spoon, a fork and a knife, and he wanted to use it at lunch.

There needs to be some common sense in all of these cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: meself
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:54 AM

Bringing the police in to deal with relatively minor schoolyard incidents teaches kids the lesson that they, their teachers, their parents, and their community, are incapable of, and have no responsibility to, handle their own little problems. This is an idea that does not need any further encouragement.

Furthermore, kids, teachers, parents, and communities have a great deal of flexibility in how they respond to any particular incident; the police often seem to be bound by laws and protocols that have the effect of escalating a relatively trivial incident into a crisis, sometimes on the international arena. 'Zero tolerance' policies can have a similar effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: jacqui.c
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:09 PM

I agree with Kat - education is what is needed. That has to start in teaching colleges. those coming into the profession must understand the harm that any kind of bullying can cause and to be watching out for such behaviour among their charges and other teachers.

From day one children should be taught that no-one has the right to denigrate another person, not their peers, their teachers or their parents. Teach kids to speak out about bullying, from whatever source it might come.

Children found to be bullying their classmates would generally have a reason, logical or not and need assistance in understanding how damaging their behaviour can be and help in modifying that behaviour. Teachers found to be complicit in this sort of behaviour should be removed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:31 PM

That is just what I had in mind - All bullying is wrong. So - in answer to the questions in the OP the answers to date seem to be -

No

No

Yes

Anyone think otherwise?

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: meself
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:40 PM

"Surely the parents should be targeted if they are under the age of reason shouldn't they?"

If the parents are under the age of reason, they have no business being parents!


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:53 PM

Hehehe:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 02:13 PM

"under the age of reason"?

What age is that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM

I think that is the whole point of NOT specifying it, LH - Apologies if you are being ironic. It varies from person to person and perspective to perspective!

There are those who would say I never reached it!

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: meself
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 02:18 PM

Excellent question. I'm wondering if I've reached it. I seem to recall it was somewhere from about 1650 to 1800.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 02:19 PM

Sorry - cut myself off midstream. I would say it is rare for children of primary school age to have reached it though.

D


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Maryrrf
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 02:36 PM

We had a tragic incident in our community in a local hardware store. A fifteen year old who had been subjected to merciless bullying and teasing snapped, grabbed an ax from the display and attacked one of the boys who had bullied him, splitting his face.
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/crime/article/LDAV28_20091027-215604/301976/

The boy is of Middle Eastern extraction and I don't know to what extent that was a factor in the teasing and bullying, but I suspect it played a part. Two of my cousins go to school with the kids in question and confirmed that the boy had been mercilessly teased and bullied at school for a long time. Now he is to be tried as an adult and faces a prison sentence.

I'm not saying it's okay to grab an ax and attack someone for teasing you, but I can understand how it happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 02:38 PM

All bullying is intolerable. Bullying a child is a form of child abuse, and should always be treated as a serious matter whoever does it. It should never be a matter of "Oh that's just how kids behave - it can't be avoided".

But that's a separate business from the question of how it should be dealt with. Treating it within the context of adult courts and police is hardly ever, if ever, the right way. That too can easily becoem a form of child abuse, as would appear to have been the case with the little boy katlaughing mentioned with the Cub Scout eating irons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: mg
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 03:52 PM

Treat all bullying with extreme seriousness and let school officials and bus drivers know their jobs are in danger if they fail to stop it or fail to do something to engage those who can. I have no pity for the teachers I have seen let bullying go on..or administrators..the idiot principals who would say my vp is in charge of discipline and I am in charge of the academic environment. Bullshit..you are in charge of protecting the children and let your assistant worry about the lesson plans. Go after the teachers, go after the bus drivers, go after the administrators.

I learned long ago in a school law class that we are also responsible for reporting child on child abuse to authorities. Do it. Call CPS if you see or know of a situation. Call other people first before you call schools because if they are as bad as they once were (I think things have gotten better) you will get nowhere unless someone sticks their feet to the fire. They just do not think it is there job (or perhaps that is past).

Contact Michelle Obama who has spoken out about mean girls in schools. Tell her to please make this her cause. Don't let the mean girls off the hook. They are sly and awful sometimes. This stuff escalates. Kids commit suicide and murder because of it.

Call CPS if it is serious. Then the school. No action..then the police. Don't wait.

And people who think kids have to be taught to hate..maybe specific targets..but it is innate to pick on the weaker..the pecking order etc. They will unless stopped peck each other to death. They will pick on people for the wrong tennis shoes. Especially hard on kids who are overweight. You protect one group and they find another that you haven't safeguarded. This is deadly serious. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:04 PM

Serious school bullying should be re-termed 'juvenile peer-abuse' or something similar... Just made that up off the top of my head, and yes it's a bit crap, but 'bullying' still sounds too trivial, daft and Billy Bunterish to me and conjures images of boys tugging pig-tails - considering some children commit suicide due to the severity of abuse they receive at the hands of their peers..

OP? I agree, racism is no worse than any other form of cruelty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lox
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 04:16 PM

"There's a strange irony in 'zero tolerance' policies in a tolerant society wishing to promote tolerance"


Beautifully put Tug!!!



In Primary school the idea of calling the police to deal with inter pupil "racism" is utterly ridiculous.



In the case of an adult who wilfully refuses to learn or understand what racism is, the harm it does and how it has shaped history we can justifiably be concerned.


But children of any age, especially those under the age of 11, are in school to learn.


They cannot be expected to have any sense of context until they have been taught about it.


Kids will use whatever naughty tool is at their disposal when they wish to hurt each others feelings and though they may use racial sensitivities to wind each other up, this will be of no more significance to them than any other means.

The same principle can be applied to kids on the receiving end. They, being kids, don't have the same sense of context and don't need to be made to feel different by people wrapping them up in cotton wool more than their "other race" peers.

Situations can be quickly dissolved with the emphasis being on repairing and nurturing relationships between the children involved and teaching them to deal with their conflicts in a mature way and not by resorting to scapegoating, name calling, violence or whatever else humans do when they can't be bothered to think properly.

Calling the police in cases like this is the act of an ignoramus who completely misses the point.

Idiots!


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:06 PM

Well, thanks one and all. I am glad it is not just me who believes that no form of bullying (juvenille peer abuse - Love it!) is acceptable. Maybe we can bring presure to bear on the authorities to -

1. Threat all bullying as seriously as racism is treated and

2. Realise that putting this in the hands of law enforcement for under 11 year olds is a mistake.

Anyone know how to go about that? Aside from in the ballot bix of course!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lox
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:36 PM

We've seen a couple of online petitions to downing street recently, one on the subject of Ghurkas and one on the subject of mutual childcare, both of which seem to have had positive results.

How does one go about starting an online petition?

Once started it should be easy to get people to sign via sites lke facebook.

Social Networking is not all bad ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:42 PM

"sites lke facebook.
Social Networking is not all bad ... "

Yes, a powerful tool for the people *if* people choose to use it as such.

Surprised MCat didn't seem to pick up on the latest victory for internet networking: Ban on reporting questions to parliament


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lox
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 06:09 PM

The difficult thing is to compose the petition and to be clear what it is requesting and what it is challenging.


I would suggest that the main priority is to avoid harming childrens education and development by involving the police in disputes between small children.


The second priority is to ensure that bullying of any sort is treated equally.

The third Priority is to ensure tht race related issues are taught constructively in schools as part of a package of modern cultural issues faced by everyone in society.

Race Gender and religion are the three most obvious areas of social diversity to be taught in schools, but the idea of social diversity as a cultural norm runs deeper than just "rights for women/blacks/moslems" etc.

The best way to approach this type of education is to teach HISTORY in an engaging and analytical way that kids will find interesting and from which they can learn learn the skills to help them understand their context in a meaningful way.



I am utterly offended that somebody thought bringing the police in was either a solution or good for kids education.


The headmaster of the school should be sacked.


Should that be included in the petition?


I think I'm actually serious on this point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Rowan
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 09:19 PM

Where I am (Oz New England) the state has required all schools to develop and implement policies that teach students to respect each other and that interference with another's learning is unacceptable behaviour. It becomes a catch-all that covers all types of bullying (female as well as male) racism, sexism, etc. As can be expected, some schools do it better than others and some do it worse; there is a high school on the NSW North Coast that is currently improving its performance at the direction of the Minister.

In our local city there was a Special School that catered for primary school students with disabilities; when the Education Dept brought in policy requiring all schools to integrate Disabled student programs into the mainstream, that school received "normal" primary students as its routine intake. This school was selected by my partner and I, for our daughters, precisely because it exemplified all the principles and practices of inclusion that I had developed as a teacher in a group of Community Schools (High Schools run "alternatively") in Victoria. Whenever bullying arose (and there was a very interesting case of the deputy principal's daughter allegedly being a perpetrator) it was dealt with swiftly within the school community. This was routinely (and almost always immediately) effective and never involved the police, to my knowledge.

Here, it is clearly understood, as part of their Duty Statement, that school teachers are in loco parentis and are expected to behave accordingly.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:45 AM

A danger that has to be guarded against when it comes to guidelines and procedures is that of seeing them, and using them, as a way of protecting the school etc, rather than protecting the children.

I would hazard that the case katlaughing mentioned of the small boy with the eating utensils was an example of that happening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: bubblyrat
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:19 PM

It would be virtually impossible for any teacher in the UK ,faced with instances of bullying,to act "in loco parentis",as that would almost certainly necessitate ,unless the teacher got down on his / her knees and begged the perpetrator to desist,some form of physical restraint-based intervention......whereupon little Johnny ,or indeed Sarah,cries "Teacher assaulted me!", the little swine's Mum & Dad come round crying for blood,justice,and the teacher's dismissal,the police become involved,and it all degenerates into farce. So forget THAT, for starters !! When I was a lad of six or seven,my Dad used to say" If someone at school keeps bullying you, punch them on the nose....HARD ! They don't like that ! " And guess what ?? He was right !! Conversely,when I got caned by the headmaster ,aged 12,for doing something stupid and dangerous, my Dad said "I have no sympathy for you ; it's no-one's fault but your own !" He was right again,of course.
      I rejoice to see how enlightened you have become in Wyoming : does this mean that you will be leading the National Campaign to give the Red Indians (sorry, "Native Americans") their ancestral lands back ?? I hope so !


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: jacqui.c
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:27 PM

That is why education needs to start from day one in school to try and inculcate the notion that respect should be shown for others, no matter how different they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lox
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 06:36 PM

Bubblyrat.

You are right that teachers need to be given proper support so that their authourity in the classroom actually means something.

There was a report recently about the number of teachers wrongly accused of inappropriate behaviour with kids, whose reputations professionally and socially have been utterly destroyed by false allegations of abuse made by pupils - often girls.

To protect kids, the policy is to take all allegations seriously no matter what with the result that some malicious little s**ts make false accusations with the intention of hurting their teachers where they can't defend themselves.



However, it would be wrong to encourage kids to react violently to bullying.

Especially nowadays when things could easily escalate into something tragic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 07:23 PM

Some of the worst bullying isn't physical, but this is a lot harder to spot and stop than physical violence. One consequence of that is that when victims lash out, they are liable to be identified as bullies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:39 AM

In the opening post I asked people to stick to the subject which, until now, they have. I could just ignore it of course but when someone talks complete bollocks I just can't help myself.

If someone at school keeps bullying you, punch them on the nose....HARD ! They don't like that ! " And guess what ?? He was right !!

So, to stop bullying the best action is physical violence? Sends a wonderful message doesn't it. I wonder if I should have told my twin daughters to 'punch them on the nose....HARD' when they were 12 years old, 4' 9" tall and weighing all of 6 stone. When they were set upon by a group of other girls. Who knocked them to the ground and kicked one in the head so hard it perforated her eardrum. I wonder if I should have given them that advice when a groups of 10 and more of their 'classmates' were taunting them because they were 'evil twins' and asking them who they were going to kill next. Not once or twice, but constantly for over a year. I wonder if I should have told the teacher that is what they were going to do when he told us we should send them to different schools 'So they would not get picked on for being different'.

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Penny S.
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:03 AM

Schools are required by law to log all cases of racist abuse, so the Head is not responsible for any problems.

Scenarios I have known.

A child from a non-indigenous group, supported by his father, made numerous reports about a wide variety of other children, most of whom were not known for abusing other children. It appeared he used other insults in order to elicit abuse he could report. Playing the race card as a form of bullying.

A child from a home where racist language was common, who made rude comments about a number of children about a number of features - glasses, red hair etc. Dealt with in discussion as he did not realise the situation, and the racially abused child agreed that he abused others. He agreed to desist, the abused child being aware that if it happened again they could report it and the process with kick in. No further reports.

Red haired child not understanding why what he had to put up with was not seen as as serious as what the non-indigenous had to put up with.

The school does attempt to deal with ALL bullying, but there is this extra requirement to report racist abuse. Possibly because it is more likely to be linked to external racism from adult groups in society. After all, there is a notable absence of political parties with policies against red-heads, people wearing glasses, fatties and people who smell.

Teachers are well aware of the pitfalls of the policy.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lox
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:26 AM

No mention there of police intervention.

I presume that isn't part of official policy?

So who is responsible for it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:46 AM

Lots of examples on t'interweb, Lox. This is just one example from Cornwall. There are a number of mentions but to save you looking through them all I quote here directly -

The school believes that racism is wrong and it will not tolerate racist attitudes among its staff, pupils or those who visit the school. Staff, when they encounter it or when it is brought to their attention, will always challenge racist attitudes and behaviour. The school will not tolerate racist taunting or bullying and in certain cases will contact the police, especially if parents are involved

I realy do hope they change the policy to include all taunting and bullying. My point is that it just seems so wrong to trivialise other types of bullying.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 07:34 AM

I am all for some Peer (as in House of Lords) abuse. The more juvenile the better. Pie fight would be good start.

And there is this ginger abuse

The sketch can have applications to Mudcat problem.

Sorry, don't mean to belittle this very serious problem. IMO for children up to a certain age a racist incident doesn't have the same meaning as it does for the adult teachers and parents. To highlight it is only going to make a bigger division and more long lasting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:34 AM

There is nothing in that policy quote David el Gnomo gave that excludes coming down heavily on other types of bullying. It is specifically addressing racism, but that does not imply that a similar approach might not be taken, for example where a child was being bullied because of religion or disability or for some other reason.

Clearly an overall policy of zero tolerance towards all types of bullying should always exist.
.............

As for the suggestion above that "there's a strange irony in 'zero tolerance' policies in a tolerant society wishing to promote tolerance," that is surely fallacious.

When we talk about "a tolerant society" we are using shorthand, in the same way as when we talk about "not discriminating". There is always an underlying assumption that soem word such as "unfair" has to be understood. Otherwise we would be committing ourselves to tolerating abuse of vulnerable people, or accepting people who carry out such abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM

For what it's worth, I also agree that it's important that children & youth learn that targeting and bullying/taunting people because they are perceived as "different" is wrong.

I also agree that involving the police in these children to children (or youth to youth) taunting confrontations that do not involve adults is usually not the right way to handle those confrontations.


**

Another strategy that children/youth use when they perceive that (or are informally taught by others that) children/youth are "different" is to stracize them (have little to no positive interaction with them).

It seems to me that it's more difficult to counteract this strategy-for instance if children who have "free play" (to use what might be an American [USA] term to mean that children jave freer choices than in the classroom about what they want to do during "recess" (a short period after or before lunch in which children play in groups of their choosing on the school playground or in the school gym).

Also, in American middle schools and high schools (attended by students ages around 12-18 years old), students can choose who they sit next to during school lunch time. Almost always these tables are self-segregated. While this is concerning, as an African American I understand why People of Color may choose to self-segregate (that is, to eat together at their "own" lunch tables) rather than eat with those of other races/ethnicities.

I believe that doing so often serves as an oasis, a respite from the cross-cultural interactions that I believe often put more burdens on those who are perceived as "minority" than those in the majority. Sitting at their own tables means that those children/youth don't have to translate what they are saying and when those children/youth don't have to worry about being faced with yet another prejudicial statement, prejudicial assumption, or incident when peers who are not of their race/ethnicity just don't know and may ask questions to correct their lack of knowledge. Though this is with an older age group, one such question I remember getting in college dorms was "Why do you put grease in your hair?". [Short answer-Black people put hair oil or hair conditioner in our hair because it is usually dryer than "White people's" hair].Also, I remember having to correct the myth that brown skinned Black people didn't get sun tans.

[To use the example of Black children/youthp,sitting at the "Black table" during lunch times means that you don't have to answer another perhaps well meaning but still tiring question. Sitting together means that children/youth can talk about their music, and their cultural icons [often in this case meaning music and/or movie stars]; and can talk about the television shows that they watch (which are usually-at least in the USA-different from those of the "majority" culture with peers who know what and who they are talking about without explanations. In other words, those children/youth have a break from being perceived as "different".

By the way, I mention this as a person who bucked the tide in college and sat with my White roomate during lunch and not at the "Black table". Actually in my senior year I did sit at the Black table most of the time because, for various reasons, by then I was absolutely fed up with being [perceived as] different, and I needed the support and solace of my "own" peer group.

All of this to say, I would not be in favor of school administrators taking away from children/youth the freedom to congregate and choose which groups they want to play with [during lunch and/or recess.

****

By the way, What does "ginger" mean in the UK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 10:47 AM

red hair.

I was labled the James E. Mallonee Junior High mascot by a few, because I had long wavy hair the colour of an Irish Setter. Didn't help that I was skinny and wore my hair in high side bunches resembling long floppy ears.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:02 AM

Thanks for that response, Virginia Tam.

**

By I meant to type the word "ostracize" in my last post.

**

Taunting children with red hair is an example of White on White taunting. A complication of the no tolerance for racial taunting is when there is Black on Black taunting. That taunting may occur because of colorism, meaning the preferences for one skin color over another. This usually "plays out" in the United States Black people with darker skin colors taunting another Black child who is the same or similar skin color by calling him or her "Blackie" or saying that he or she is an African (which they still interprete as something bad-which is not surprising given the paucity of attention to Africa in the public school curriculums and the negative images of Africa or the lack of attention given to Africa in the mass media). And Black children who have a lighter skin color may be taunted as being White which in the context of that taunt is definitely not a compliment.

And in the UK, I would imagine that there are taunts between Black children about their families' ethnic origins (for instance Caribbean vs African).

I mention this to illustrate how complicated the issue of racial taunting can be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM

There is nothing in that policy quote David el Gnomo gave that excludes coming down heavily on other types of bullying.

Sadly, I believe that there is. By ommision, other types of bullying are excluded and, unfortunately, this is the type of thing that the right wing press pick up on. Any laid down policy should NOT specificaly mention any type of bullying as in "The school believes that racism is wrong and it will not tolerate racist attitudes ". Either have nothing laid down OR simply say "The school believes that any bullying, taunting or ostrasisation is wrong and it will not tolerate these attitudes."

Ostracise - Note the British spelling Azizi:-) I have been contributing to the "American English" thread as well so please excuse me. Thanks for your, as ever, enlightening posts about white/white and black/black racism. Surely this drives the point home doesn't it? It gets far too complex to define inappropriate behavior by colour so, surely, we should try a simple message with children. Just no bullying - of any sort. Simple and to the point.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Will Fly
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:18 AM

I had long wavy hair the colour of an Irish Setter... I was skinny and wore my hair in high side bunches resembling long floppy ears.

Sounds adorable, VT!

It would be hard to imagine, if you met me now - 65 years old, bearded, cynical, 13 stone, hardened by over 40 years of public performance - to imagine that, up until the age of 16 or so, I suffered quite severe and persistent bullying at school and out of school. I wore glasses ("speccy four-eyes), had a bad stammer, was asthmatic and was very under-developed for my age. A natural victim and, like many before me, used humour and quick wit to deflect being persecuted. You develop a quick wit when you have to.

From 16 or so onwards, I grew up quickly, started to play blues harmonica and boogie-woogie piano. Then left school, got a job, met different people, started to play guitar, joined bands, etc. etc - and everything changed. I became confident and Life became OK. But it certainly wasn't OK for a large part of my younger life. Schools 50 years ago were not were they are today - those of you in the UK of my generation will know what I'm talking about. Bullying in whatever form it takes place - through race, disability, physical appearance, background and anything else - has to be brought to the attention of teachers and parents alike and taken very, very seriously.

Someone else has pointed out that, if bullying becomes severe, the victim can take quite sudden and violent action in self-defence. I recall, playing cricket one afternoon, some kid or other started mimicking my stammer. A red mist - literally a red mist - descended in front of my eyes and I hit him extremely hard on the shoulder with the cricket bat - nearly broke it. (Good practice for the future pub gigs, eh?). That's when the bullying started to stop - but it was a deplorable thing to have done, and no-one should have to resort to red-mist violence in that situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:40 AM

David el Gnomo, you're welcome. But I didn't write much of anything about White/White racism and I'm not sure that the Black/Black taunting actually qualifies as "racism".

Be that as it may, my central point was that ostracism happens for a number of reasons [in the USA] during school lunches and recess [and also in colleges/universities] and I don't think that administrators should enforce a no-ostracism rule during those times.

That said, I would of course prefer that it doesn't happen, but this forum is proof that people often self-select leisure time activities where we are not "the only one" or where we aren't "one of only a few".

None of this should detract from the point that all forms of taunting are wrong, and also this shouldn't detract from the point that the police shouldn't be involve as a matter of course as a consequence to racial or other forms of taunting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:11 PM

hair the colour of an Irish Setter. I wouldn't call that "ginger" - I 'd think of that as being a more yellowish shade of red.

Never understood the thing about red hair - I seem to remmeber growing up that red hair was if anything something admired, with a feeling that it might indicate a certain tough quality. Of course that was a boys only school.

I can't see how having a policy that specifically addresses a particular type of bullying implies that other kinds of bullying are trivial. If you have a policy about smoking you wouldn't expect it to include a section about drinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:27 PM

Yep

I was a real beauty when I was 14.

Woof!


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 01:42 PM

I can't see how having a policy that specifically addresses a particular type of bullying implies that other kinds of bullying are trivial. If you have a policy about smoking you wouldn't expect it to include a section about drinking.

I would have tended to agree in the past McG but you must admit that, unless something is specificaly mentioned nowadays, it tends to get lost. When a policy is introduced it must cover all aspects or none. By mentioning racism in particlar the authorities adopting the policy should be aware that it can, and will, be construed as exclusive of other forms of abuse. And at our school if a teacher told us not to smoke but failed to mention drink you could be sure that at least 2 people would be face down in the gutter before the day was out:-)

Azizi - You did not need to say much. Just by highlighting the fact that taunts do happen between people of the same colour you set me to thinking how complex an issue it was. Your later comment of black/black taunts possibly not qualifying as racism has shown me what a can of worms will be opened if schools do adopt this policy. Imagine what the right wing press would make of a white child being taken to the police on racist allegations because they have insulted a black child, while a black child, using the same taunts to the same child, is not. Crikey - does not bear thinking about!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:16 PM

When I wrote that post, I didn't mean to imply that it would be a racist act for a White child to use a taunt that included a racial term against a Person of Color but that it wouldn't be a racist taunt if-for instance-a Black child used a taunt that included the same, similar, or another racial term against a person of his or her same race.

I was thinking about whether a taunt that included a racial slur met any of these definitions of racism:

Racism:
-the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races

-discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=racism

and

-The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.

-The belief that one race is superior to all others.

-Prejudice or discrimination based upon race

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/racism

-snip-

With regard to taunts, I think that the question of intentions has to be considered, but that absolutely doesn't mean that just because a person didn't intend to cause harm, harm didn't occur.

I believe that when children taunt other children, they do indeed mean to hurt them. People who taunt lash onto that which they think will hurt-in the case of "racial taunts" that means talking negatively about another person's race or ethnicity. Notice I wrote racial taunts and not racist taunts. I think this distinction is important. And I definitely believe that every mention of race or ethnicity isn't racist.

It seems to me that adults are already tip-toeing around any mention of race/ethnicity. Is that approach what we really want for our children?

I believe that one reason why adults are reluctant to mention race or ethnicity (using the American meaning of "Latino/Hispanic" and perhaps also other meanings of "etnnicity") is that they are afraid of causing offense by either using a term that isn't current, or by someone interpreting their use of a racial term to mean that they don't believe that all races are equal.

I believe that this so-called "color blind" approach is absolutely the wrong goal. Instead of a goal of "color blindness", it seems to much better goal would be working for a time when race/ethnicity are just descriptors that would have no positive or negative valuations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:33 PM

Absolutely agreed and very sensible, Azizi. Some day all people will think the same way but, unfortunately, just at the moment in the UK, any crime committed against a person of race other than English is under scrutiny of whether it is a racist crime. I must add that NOT all crimes against person of diverse ethnic origin are upheld to be race crimes but there is an awful lot of this getting through and casting perfectly good intentions in a bad light.

I fully understand the difference between racial and racist abuse - My Jewish daughter-in-law often refers to me as 'Cossack Scum' - racial but not racist (and quite light hearted of course!) On a more relevent issue when I was at school - pre 11 that is - My surname was Polakow. I got a fair amount of stick for that, but even then I knew which was a racial comment and which people were taunting me simply because I was different. I learned to steer clear of the latter.

I also remember, in my teens, an older lad commenting 'It must be sunny down there' when we were in Manchester and a crowd of black people were coming up the street. I had to have him explain it to me because I don't think I even noticed the colour! It was probably my first experience of anyone even mentioning differences in race - and I was about 14! I don't know to this day if it was a racist comment or not!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:43 PM

To expand on what I mean, let me relate a situation that occurred in the mid 1970s when I was the "minority coordinator" for a small liberal arts college in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

I received a telephone call one evening that there was a "race riot" at that school. As a result of my questions, I learned that actually there were only four people involved in this "race riot" (two Black students who lived on campus, and two White students who lived on campus). I arrived at the school and went to the dean of students office where a staff member sat with those four young women. I learned that racial slurs were indeed spoken. There were of course different versions to the story (who said the racial slur first). But it was clear that at some point one of the White students called one of the Black students the "n word" and that one of the Black students called one of the White students "poor White trash". And it was clear that at some point some hitting and/or slapping occurred. It was also clear that the other two students had joined in to the argument and/or fighting in defense of their friend.

While I didn't condone the racial slurs, I wanted to find out how this incident had started. I recall that it started over what I would call some "stupid stuff" around the allegation that one woman had taken or used something that belonged to the other student. There's no doubt that racist attitudes did pop out during that heated confrontation. And yes, those racists assumptions have to be faced and resolved, but that's not going to happen in the midst of cooling down a confrontational incident.

I can't recall what the end result of that evening was. I certainly don't think those students left that meeting as friends, and they may never have spoken to each other again for all I know. Thankfully, the college staff did not call the police. Involving the police in a matter such as that would not only have been "over-kill", it might even have fueled the flames of -if not a real race riot-then certainly more animosity between the races in that college and beyond (since any college is part of a larger community).


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:54 PM

I've noticed that the Mudcat members from the UK use a different definition of race than that which is used in the USA.

David el Gnomo, given the politics of the UK, especially with regards to the BNP, I think it's important to clarify what you meant when you wrote "at the moment in the UK, any crime committed against a person of race other than English is under scrutiny of whether it is a racist crime". When you wrote "any crime committed against a person of race other than English", by "English" did you mean "White" or did you really mean White people who are English? (since there are English people who are People of Color).


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Azizi
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 02:56 PM

David, I hasten to say that I'm definitely not saying or implying that you are a member of or a supporter of the BNP.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 04:52 PM

I and the public know
What all school children learn
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.....Auden

more emphasis on positive example and less focus on negative correction coupled
with education in self esteem, healthy communication and living one's dream

but what do I know


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: GUEST,biff
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:09 PM

part of the problem is that no one, honest good people many, wants to admit to any seeds of hatred or discrimination within themselves. so the collective punishes the individual so harshly for what is in all. mother theresa once said that one day she looked in the mirror and saw the face of Hitler. so she chose the opposite.

it may be possible to get past knee jerk thought and emotional reactions that others, less kind, act out for us, but I for one, have never been able to be that pure. correction with forgiveness is one thing, but correction in a spirit of revenge just spreads more hurt around.
certain knowledge that we too share the beast of malice at times, whether we admit to it openly or not, can lead to more effective and humane controls on behavior, the first of which must always be wise example. I'm asking for correction with tolerance. A bigot is still a human being and the address to the problem must have the dignity to which it seeks to evoke. nowadays the cure seems to be as bad as the crime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lox
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:46 PM

The most important factor to remember in this thread is that we are talking about children.

Children don't think like us and they don't have the same understanding of the significance of racism as we do.

Some kids will push boundaries to be "cool".

They will understand from their parents and other authourity figures that the words "fuck" "shit" "wanker" etc are not acceptable in common discourse.

They will use them anyway among their friends to garner respect.

They will know from their parents that fighting is not acceptable behaviour, yet push boundaries by "proving" how "hard" they are.

etc etc etc.

If you are a kid and, from your childish perspective and understanding, you know that you are not allowed to call someone by a racist term of abuse, there is a chance that you may decide to use one because you are showing off how freely you break the rules to your peers, or just to fulfil some kind of private fantasy of how cool you re etc etc etc.

Kids are different.

Education is the answer as is understanding.

Hearing a child come out with racist opinions or abuse is heartbreaking.

Calling a child racist is like calling a puppy irresponsible.

You can prove your statement right, but it remains utterly farcical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 06:53 PM

But nothing has changed since the 1950s when I was at school. The tougher gang would pick on the weaker individual for some insignificant reason such as having a brown school bag, nose picking or even suspected wanking in the lavatories, and - perish the thought, being studious. That's school life and basically tough on the weaker element. It existed at QE Boys Grammar School Barnet when I was there and probably still does!


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 08:34 PM

Bullying is not universal. You get classes and schools where there is a bullying culture, where it is seen as ineviable even though regrettable. And you get classes and schools where it is virtually non-existent.

I've never come across any study that has set out to explore the factors that come into play to explain these differences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:41 AM

No - I realise that you were not implying that, Azizi but thanks for the clarification anyway. As to your question - I was refering to English of any colour although, to be honest, while that is the way I see it (as I have said many times, the beauty of being English is the cultural diversity) I am not sure if many other people do. I suppose if I am honest with myself I find my version of Englishness is, in part, a tollerance of other cultures and peoples. I am, perversely, intollerant of intollerance, regardless of the colour of it's skin, it's religion or it's ethic origins!

I often find myself hoisted by my own petard (oo-err, Missus) by my own intollerant attitude of envisaged stupidity and intollerance. Ah well. I can but apologise and try to do better but it is difficult to tollerate the intollerance of anything different that results in bullying!

Cheers

DeF


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:26 PM

more emphasis on positive example and less focus on negative correction coupled
with education in self esteem, healthy communication and living one's dream


Reading this caused me to realise that my earlier post had glossed over many assumptions that may not apply universally.

The primary school (Years K-6, roughly 5 years old to 11 or 12) my daughters went to had almost all the hallmarks of what I regard as a Community School (in Victoria I had taught in "alternative" high schools that were part of the State Govt Education Dept; there were ten such Community Schools), although NSW has not been regarded as supporting alternative schooling. There were some major aspects that might not apply as well elsewhere; the State and Commonwealth each had applicable Anti-Discrimination legislation, the school actively fostered a sense of community that embraced those who - having motor, developmental and other disabilities - were obviously different, and the total student population never exceeded 180. All these were very helpful in assisting the development of a sense of community among the students and the parents, as well as the staff.

The policy that behaving an a way that interfered with another's learning (we are describing a school policy) was unacceptable meant that the policy could be applied to any behaviour that had such an effect. The offending behaviour might be verbal, physical or exclusory (in the social dynamic sense, more often observed among girls rather than boys) and target physical or social attributes of the victim. Consideration of these determined the details of how incidents were dealt with. Calling the police would have been seen as an abrogation of professional responsibility in most circumstances and I can't recall it happening.

The High School (Years 7-12, students from 11-12 to 17-18 years old) my daughters now attend has an almost identical policy and tries to achieve the same sense of community with a student population of about 900. Dealing with adolescents rather than little kids, in a larger group means that things are more difficult to manage and I'm sure that there have been occasions where police have been involved but the same in loco parentis principle applies; it is the professionals' responsibility to manage the students' learning and police involvement is seen as a last resort.

From what I've observed of my daughters' peer groups, which extend through both govt high schools and three of the four private post-primary schools in the city (and I've coached and umpired sport for school-based teams in the city's competitions, as well as driven the school bus on occasion) the policy in my daughters' schools has been very effective. No doubt there have been infractions and hiccups which I've not become aware of but I'd have to say the policy and its implementation has been successful.

Probably this would be an argument for limiting school sizes so that there is a good chance all the students in a school can come to 'know' each other; this seems almost impossible to achieve in primary schools with 400 or so (where the grounding in "community" is really important) or high schools of 2000 or more.

End of rave.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: robomatic
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 05:31 PM

I was bullied when I was in school. In my specific case I was targeted because I was a nerd, a Jew, and new to the community. In my case I think it built character, because I did not knuckle under, and I did not let the bullies (who were few, but memorable) limit my activities or range. I really don't know if it would have been better if they were somehow identified and 'treated'. I probably inherited the opinion that one has to learn to be tough in the world. There is a song component to this theme: In "A Boy Named Sue" the singer is intentionally given a name that will provoke bullies and a sink-or-swim mentality. The singer develops the attitude that he was made tough by his name, but he is not going to pass on the practice. I think I'm in the same camp. I don't approve of bullies, but life is not easy. One has to learn to stand up for oneself without becoming the same as one's schoolyard oppressors.

On the other hand, a culture of hazing is to be condemned and broken down, in my opinion. A racial component should be identified because it is quite natural for kids (and adults) who want to hurt to seize on pretty much anything to hand, and they could develop some damaging notions which some early instruction can save them from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 06:51 PM

I think for every boy named Sue there are probably a hundred that don't make the grade but I take your point, robomatic. I think the key point is in your line One has to learn to stand up for oneself without becoming the same as one's schoolyard oppressors. - A far cry from the earlier suggestion of punching them on the nose! Maybe this IS what we need to do. Education for both the oppressors AND the oppressed? How would we go about this? An interesting concept certainly and I could see it working in some cases. I think 'horses for courses' may be the right attitude, adding further fuel against the people who think they can legislate for all eventualities?

Some good stuff going on here!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: mg
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 09:00 PM

the main education that is needed is for those in education who know about this and permit it, or are too dimwitted to see it right before their eyes or think it is someone else's problem. The kids will do it because it is hard-wired into them...they need adults to stop them and train them and educate them to not do this. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Penny S.
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:38 AM

Every school in the UK has to have an anti-bullying policy which should cover every version of it, including "female relational" bullying with its tools of exclusion and so on. This should be made known to the parents as well as the children, and there may be reference to it in a home-school contract which parents should sign. Bullying based on hair colour, build, or the number of stripes on the trainers would be covered by this, because it is the bullying behaviour, not the characteristics of the bullied, which is the focus. The racism policy is additional to this, so you wouldn't expect to see it referred to in tht policy.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:34 AM

> it is the bullying behaviour, not the characteristics of the bullied, which is the focus

This well-worded line calls to mind a girl at school who was brutally bullied and hounded by a certain clique (not by me, I can promise you) in a concerted group effort that spilled over into going to her house and tormenting her on the phone. Her family, which included one other child, finally sold their home and moved to a different city where I can only hope that this nasty experience didn't repeat itself, though the mental scars would have made the journey with her. And there are always those character-types who can smell out vulnerability like sharks scenting blood, thus victimhood becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What's so worrying is that there was simply NOTHING about her that would single her out as a focus of gang-contempt mentality: she was not ugly (rather pretty, in fact), did not belong to any ethnic or racial minority, had no physical or mental disabilities, wasn't stupid, didn't have a geeky personality or weird preferences...????? I still don't get it. Reminds me of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:13 AM

As far as my experiences go, school 'anti-bullying' policies are not worth the paper/walls they are written on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:24 AM

Pretty girls get bullied, Bonnie...often more than the not-so-pretty.

ALL children need is to be able to smell a sensitive child, and off they go...I know..I have 2 sensitive children to whom it happened. The scars in my daughter go very deep, even to this day at age 22.

We live in a bullying culture in this country, where it's cool to be bitchy, use the 'put downs', be as sarcastic and unpleasant as you can be...

Read your children's books, listen to the lyrics in the their music, watch their films, watch the soaps they so often are allowed to watch, where actors act out hours of bullying behaviour and depressing things happening...

Our children have never been so unhappy....ask UNICEF, who put British children at the top of their list of world wide children in trouble.

Schools, so very often, do NOT deal with this problem.

Don't send our kids to school at FOUR years old, for Goodness Sake...let them stay with their mothers, let them have a childhood....Be like Sweden where they don't start school until they're seven years old. Teach them, as Sweden does, to be kind, thoughtful, compassionate...and forget this "We MUST get them on the Edukason Ladder the moment they're out of nappies!" crap that has been poisoning this country and her children for almost two decades now.

There are children DYING out there, because of other children....and yet we deem it more important for them to do Scientific Math and get 15 GSCEs, 10 A Levels and several (usually useless) Degrees.

Look into WHY children are bullying, on a scale never seen before...and then, as adults linked to the Stinking Stressed Out Edukashon System, be brave enough to take a stand and say...ENOUGH!

Over-stressing our children with senseless, endless exams is as much a form of bullying as is one child being mean to another.

Take the stress off them and watch them learn to take the stress off each other.

Yet again:

"Education of the mind, without education of the soul, is no education at all" - Aristotle.

Let their souls breathe!


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 11:41 AM

My wife and I have had two daughters both of whom went to a local comprehensive school.

Both were aware of some bullying in the school and both found it dealt with promptly and clamped down on. There are loads of techniques for this and I have no idea which ones the school used. But the anti-bullying policy seemed to work well in that school.

ask UNICEF, who put British children at the top of their list of world wide children in trouble.

Well Lizzie I did ask UNICEF and that isn't what they say. It refers to 21 western countries only (not the world). And the UK came just below the USA by a smidgeon.

"Just over a year ago, this report by Unicef, the UN children's agency, revealed the results of a survey which showed that UK schoolchildren were the unhappiest of 21 countries surveyed in the Western world. The report blamed a lack of social cohesion and poor parenting for its findings".

See that Lizzie? Social Cohesion and poor parenting.

Very little to do with bullying and nothing at all to do with schools.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 12:17 PM

Er....thanks for that, but..if you read what I said above, I never said that UNICEF had put the British Edukashon System down as one of the reasons, Dave.

They *should* have though. The American one too.

It was, in my opinion, a HUGE oversight on UNICEF'S part, because even the teachers themselves said at their conference in Torquay last year that children are stressed to the hilt about exams and homework etc...recommending that SATs tests are abandoned...

Sadly, they haven't taken their own advice and *abandoned* them, which I don't understand, because ALL they have to do is refuse, en masse, to carry out any more bloody tests on our children, and that would be that...teachers back in charge, not stoopid politicians who probably have shares in the Corporate SATs R Us industry, along with every other bloomin' exam they're pouring down on our children and young people.

If you have unhappy, stressed out children, who are also surrounded by a bullying, unpleasant, dog eat dog culture (see things I mentioned above) then it's going to spill out into the school playground and beyond...


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 12:27 PM

It is a thread about bullying and you suggested people "asked" UNICEF who would back up your case.

The fact is they didn't.

And then you suggest UNICEF got it wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:06 PM

Can I just point out that this is NOT a thread about bullying in general - Which we all know exists and should not - but about treating different kinds of bullying in different ways; the escalation of actions against racist bullying to authorities beyond the school and whether it is right or wrong to target a particular kind of bullying rather than looking at the whole issue.

There have been some very sensible comments about the issue and some general comments which are relevent, but let us not get hung up on the issue of general bullying, on which there has been countelss discussions. Please don't let us get into a circular and pointless discussion on who is more correct. We know that bullying goes on. We know that racism exists. We know that both are bad. Is it right to say that one is worse than the other?

Thanks

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: jacqui.c
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:09 PM

Is it right to say that one is worse than the other?

No.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 03:46 PM

The bullying that is based on racism has some significant differences from bullying based on picking on a victim at random. That doesn't make it worse or better, but those differences are significant, they link it into things that happen in the outside world - political movements, headlines in the crap tabloids, harassment on the streets, race riots...

Intectious diseases aren't necessarily more unpleasant or life-threatening for the sufferers than physical accidents - but because they are infectious they demand a different kind of public response.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:20 PM

No, there is only bullying.

You cannot split it up into different categories.

Bullying is done to upset another person, to make them feel terrible about themselves, to hurt, wound, humiliate, belittlem divide, drive out..and to get others to feel the same way as the bully does.

It is horrible. It is unkind. It is morally and spiritually wrong. It is inexcusable. It is unforgivable, *unless* the bully themselves is able to feel genuine sorrow and regret for what they have done to someone else.


Believe you me, bullying is bullying is bullying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:22 PM

Good point McG - There are differences and the crap tabloids love that. When Jimmy is taken to task for pulling Julies's red pigtails it does not sell papers. When Jimmy's school get the authorities involved because Jimmy has pulled Jumilla's hair braids the red tops are all over it like a rash! Surely if we treated the incidents evenly they would have less fuel for their fire?

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:46 PM

I agree about the sentiment, Lizzie. Bullying is bullying etc. I am not sure if MOST sub-eleven year olds (little buggers though they can be!) do it to hurt, wound, humiliate etc. I know some do, some are very manipulative and some have much older heads on their shoulders but in my own experience the majority often do not realise what they are doing. Simply explaining it is often enough to stop the activity and, conversely, explaining that not all playground rivalry, gamesmanship and competition is about bullying. Sometimes wanting to win is simply that and, although no great sportsman myself, I have no issues with winners and losers as long as it is done to the proper rules.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:58 PM

Treating incidents evenly, which involves taking into account all these kinds of things, makes sense. Monitoring particular types of incident also makes sense, because it is important to know, using my analogy, if an infection is on the loose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 03:18 AM

I think there is a difference between general bullying and racist bullying, reprehesible though both are. Racial bullying can be attributed directly to the attitudes that the bully has been taught by his or her parents and, as such, it is the parents who need to be made aware that this kind of attitude will not be tolerated.

OK, you could say that most of the problems/attitudes/outlooks that children bring to school are a result of their upbringing and that it is the difficult and thankless job of teachers to deal with these, but racism is a problem that is growing and is infectious and needs to be stamped out at its root - which is in the home.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:03 AM

'...but racism is a problem that is growing and is infectious and needs to be stamped out at its root - which is in the home.'

I'm not too sure about that, Leveller. Racial attitudes can just as easily be passed around among a peer group, adept at noticing and exploiting differences with which to 'attack' the 'outsider'. I am sure there are parents who would be horrified if they heard some of the attitudes expressed by their little darlings in the playground. In my days as Head Of Upper School in a comprehensive, I lost count of the parents who would say to me, "We'd hate you to think that was the sort of thing we've brought him/her up to say/do."


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 04:49 AM

Yes, I agree that happens, MtheGM, but I was thinking particularly of younger children. Hopefully, if they can be taught from an early age that racism is not acceptable it may just influence their attitudes as they get older. In my experience, young kids are much more tolerant of 'differences' - if they are allowed to be!


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:30 PM

Even so, Leveller, I suspect that within the school context, at ANY age, even the youngest, the peer group influence, which is there to hand at all times within the school, is likely to predominate over the parental — which isn't. Upbringing; education within the home: I am not decrying or denigrating them — simply, perhaps rather pessimistically, doubting whether they will really provide all that much of an answer to this insidious but, I fear, inescapable, problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 01:42 PM

I understand that there has been convincing research which demonstrates that peer pressure is liable to be much more powerful influence on how children behave than parental influence.

The good side to that is that, where the peer group is not racist, this could be serve to counter the impact of racist parents on their children.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Rowan
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 05:23 PM

Like McGrath, I have also read about convincing research which demonstrates that peer pressure is liable to be much more powerful influence on how children behave than parental influence.

Which Is why the teachers I worked with and the schools my daughters have attended put so much effort into ensuring the social dynamic that the peer group experienced at school was supporting of positive behaviour. Where the overlapping peer groups see themselves as part of a community that supports learning, caring, taking responsibility (and all the other things we like about people and their diversity) they are more likely to take on those behaviours.

Much easier to achieve in smaller schools than larger ones, where the pressures to manage huge groups can overwhelm even the most talented; teachers and parents, as well as students.

Now, back to the topic....

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:25 PM

Much easier to achieve in smaller schools than larger ones,

Yes imdeed - Makes one wonder why the trend is to combine schools into the large 'super-schools' that they keep pushing nowadays. Economic perhaps? Those bean counters have a lot to answer for. :-(

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 06:37 PM

Hurt people...

...hurt people...


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 08:38 PM

I'd be pretty certain that the fashion for bigger schools it is mainly about money. The excuse is always that bigger schools make it possible to have a wider range of subjects and teachers with expertise in those subjects.

It seems to me that is nonsense - there is nothing in that way that a big school can provide that a small school couldn't, now we have access to the expertise of the whole world via computers.

A few posts ago I pointed out that there are schools where bullying does not seem to happen, and speculated about the factors involved, I would be pretty certain that size of school would be a very significant factor. "Small is Beautiful" is a pretty good rule of thumb.


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Subject: RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:06 AM

"Even so, Leveller, I suspect that within the school context, at ANY age, even the youngest, the peer group influence, which is there to hand at all times within the school, is likely to predominate over the parental — which isn't."

I'll bow to your greater experience on that one, MtheGM.


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