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Parents: Help Your Child Prevent Bullying

7 Sep
Take A Stand Agains Bullying

Take A Stand Agains Bullying (Photo credit: TheBeachSaint)

The start of a new school year  (in the Northern Hemisphere) brings with it a risk of bullying. Here’s an article I found which could be very useful to parents and guardians to help children prevent and deal with bullying.

5 Ways to Help Your Child Prevent Bullying this School Year.

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No One Deserves To Be Told To Kill Themselves

1 Sep

I’m sure some of you are aware of the Charlotte Dawson situation that has arisen over the last couple of days and the stream of abusive messages directed toward her that sparked concern over the monitoring and regulation of social media content.

For those of you unaware, the gist of the story from what I understand, is that in the past, Dawson may have made some controversial comments and statements. As a result, hundreds of Twitter users (according to an unnamed source) jumped on the bandwagon and unleashed a whole load of abusive and downright appalling tweets, some of which sounded to be so full of hate. If you’re interested in the full story, check out my previous post which is a re-blog or Google it. Fast and simple.

The tweets I’m talking about here mostly consisted of spiteful comments such as “go hang yourself” , “it’s a good thing you cannot breed” and “please put your face in a toaster”. From what I’ve read pictures of dead bodies covered in blood were also sent to her.

I’m not sure exactly what really sparked the abusive tweets and I haven’t really done much research into the background of the story but I do know one thing, no one deserves to be treated that way and be sent messages like that. Regardless of a person’s character, they shouldn’t be bombarded with such hate. Yes, she may have said or done things that may have upset others but there are other ways of handling the situation. Nothing good comes from telling her to “kill herself promptly”.

I’ve seen these sort of messages before, directed at others who’ve mentioned via social media that they were going to kill themselves or commit self-harm. It’s a sad thing to see. What if the target of such abuse heeds the words directed at them and does in fact kill themselves? What happens then? Wouldn’t you feel guilty?

I honestly don’t know what to make of all this other than the shock of what’s become of our world and the people who live in it. When did we all become so vindictive and hateful? Don’t we all have better and more important things to do in our lives?

What are your thoughts? Do any of you know more to the story?

*NOTE: this is just my personal opinion of the story.

Bullied Bus Monitor Fights Back

28 Aug
Karen Klein crowd funding campaign by Max Sido...

Karen Klein crowd funding campaign by Max Sidorov – $628,233 (Photo credit: k-ideas)

Good on you Karen Klein for speaking out against bullying and turning your experience into something worth while.

Check out the story at http://www.jacehallshow.com/blog/daily-cause-bullied-bus-monitor-fights-charity/

If you feel like getting involved or supporting the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, click here:

https://www.giveback.org/cause/31285/Karen-Klein-Anti-Bullying-Foundation.aspx

Teachers: Don’t They See The Signs?

31 Jul
English: A special education teacher assists o...

English: A special education teacher assists one of her students. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I can’t go, I’m sick.”

Sound familiar?

We’ve all made up excuses in one form or another to get out of going to school. One of the main reasons? To avoid being bullied.

School is a place where you meet the same people every single day. Naturally, it is also the place where you come face to face with your bullies every single day. The cycle of constantly being bullied at school, irregardless of the nature of bullying, is one reason why some students choose to stay at home, a place where they can feel safe.

This safe haven leaves such a sense of security that students being bullied fall ‘sick’ more often, choosing to stay home rather than face the torture that comes with going to school. Parents, of course, would be concerned for their child. Well, most of them anyway. When they hear the words “I’m sick”, parents would be more concerned over their child’s physical well being, so focused on the child’s supposed ‘illness’ that they fail to miss the signs and pick up that it is merely an excuse to miss school. Teachers, on the other hand, should know better.

A student missing a couple of days worth of schooling throughout the year is normal. Perhaps they were sick or there could be some personal issues at home that needed to be dealt with. However, when a student is consistently absent far more than what is considered normal, teachers should be able to pick up that something is wrong.

I understand that a teacher’s job is mainly to educate but when it becomes so obvious that something is wrong with a particular student, shouldn’t they do something about it? Perhaps talk to the parents about their concerns or maybe even speak privately to the student in a caring manner to encourage a response as to why the student is constantly absent?

Instead, from my own experience, some teachers don’t seem to care. They are there simply to teach and if a student misses school, it is their own fault. Some teachers don’t even hide their annoyance with these students, choosing to attack them publicly by making them feel guilty for missing school. Don’t they realise that this makes the student feel worse? Not only do they have to face their bullies but now they have to face their teachers as well?

That being said, I understand that it is a hard job. There are on average twenty or so students per class and it can become hectic when you are teaching five to six classes a day. Teaching is a tough job, no doubt about it, but students, especially younger ones, don’t know any better. They don’t understand the frustrations a teacher feels and instead take on their teacher’s behaviour toward them as another incident of bullying, forcing them to feel that they have no one to turn to.

It may be hard to distinguish the reasons why a student misses school but when it comes to bullying it is fairly obvious, as when the student is in school, they:

1. Tend to stick with one or two close friends or sit by themselves. They isolate themselves from others.

2. Rarely participate. They are so quiet that sometimes no one realises that they are actually present in class. They are invisible.

3. Often, despite the weather being warm, wear long sleeved clothing to either hide their scars/ bruises, hide their body, or in some way feel the extra clothing helps them hide themselves, blending in with others.

These are the common signs that I’ve picked up on both as a victim of bullying and as an observer (I isolated myself in school and in some way, this honed my observation skills). When the signs are clear, shouldn’t a teacher, as the adult and authority figure, pick up on it and take action? Or is that too much to ask from a teacher, who’s only job is to teach?

What do you think? Should teachers take a more active role in helping bullies and the bullied?

Write your thoughts below. I’d love to hear them.

Out Of Curiosity

22 Jul

Bullying, as we are all aware, is a major problem in our society but unfortunately it is not something many speak up against.

I’m interested in seeing how many of you are against bullying, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Here’s a poll for you to vote. Be honest. Don’t be shy. It’s completely anonymous.

It Does Get Better

19 Jul

When you are bullied and constantly picked on, it is easy to feel victimized. You hide away from the rest of the world and feel undeserving of any happiness. If you’ve been called ‘fat’ and were truly affected by it, you’d starve yourself or purge in order to control  and/ or reduce your weight. If you’ve been called or treated as ‘ugly’, you would either do whatever it took to look ‘beautiful’ or simply accept it and hate yourself for it.

In most ways, bullying often leaves its victims feeling resentment towards themselves. The feeling that they will never be good enough. Not as a child, not as a sibling, nor as a friend and often this will carry on well into adulthood. These feelings often stick with a person and becomes very difficult to get rid of.

For a very long time while I was being bullied, I never felt worthy of my life. I felt that I deserved my unhappiness. That somehow I must have done something wrong. As the scars of the past slowly faded away, the resentment remained. Despite being at a healthy weight and size, I constantly checked the mirror for any flaws. I needed to be perfect. I turned away from meeting new people out of fear that they may judge me. I isolated myself and became so introverted to the point that I stopped being able to hold decent conversations with people. I questioned myself, my self-worth and just never felt good enough for anyone or anything.

It took time and a conscious choice to change my attitude. I decided that I was worth so much more than just being a victim. My bullies may have taken away my childhood but I refuse to let them take away any more of my life. At 22, I have so much more I want to achieve and so much more to live for. I realised that when I changed my attitude and stopped being a victim, I could see the good things I had going for me. I took a stand to show the world what I was made of and with that my self-esteem improved. I now couldn’t care less what people think of me. I live for myself and strive to improve my life on my own terms. I don’t owe anyone anything. If people do judge me and feel that I don’t fit in with society, well, that is their problem, not mine. As the saying goes, “those who judge don’t matter and those who matter, don’t judge”. That is one of the many mottos I have now chosen to live by.

So, to all of you who are or have been bullied, I just want you to know that it DOES get better. YOU have to make that choice to live life the way YOU want to. Life is like a road, there will be speed bumps along the way to slow you down, but you just have to keep going because once you’ve reached your destination, it would have all been worth it.

My experiences of being bullied have brought me to this point. I am now stronger, more confident and able to fight back. As the song goes, “this is a part of me, that you’re never gonna ever take away from me”. Sorry to disappoint you bullies, but you no longer have a hold over me and you’re not going to break my soul. I dare you to try.

Keyboard Warriors: How Dare They

12 Jul
Cyberbullying, would you do it?

Cyberbullying, would you do it? (Photo credit: kid-josh)

Over the last couple of days, I spent what I normally call “blogging time” on reading other blogs as well as setting up a Twitter account in attempt to expand my reach and spread the word about bullying. Many posts were enlightening and inspiring while others, which clearly showed the pain the author feels, made me feel sympathetic and quite sad. It’s always hard for me to read stories about cruelty and bullying because it affects me on a personal level and brings back memories I’d rather leave buried.
 
On a number of these blogs and twitter pages, I noticed comments that were utterly shocking, atrocious and appalling. Most of them were in response to posts illustrating the author’s pain. Here are some examples of what I came across:
 
1. “fat, disgusting, vile, obese, chunky, morbidly disgusting excuse of a human. You’re a waste of skin. I hope that triggered you a bunch” – This was in response to a  girl who claimed she was going to end her life.
 
2. “Why don’t you just kill yourself, nobody will miss you”
 
3. “Ew, you’re so ugly. Go kill yourself.”
 
4. “You’re pathetic and useless. Just go kill yourself already. You’re better off dead.”
 
There are simply no words to describe the people who write such things. These people are what some call “keyboard warriors” and are essentially ‘cyber bullies’,  who hide behind their computers and make these awful comments because there is no fear of consequences or retaliation.
 
I, personally, do not understand what anyone could stand to gain from making these sort of comments. What kind of person does this? How dare they say such things? Don’t they realise that their comments will only push someone, already feeling depressed, over the edge?
 
Apologies for the short post today. I just have absolutely no way of expressing how I feel in regards to this topic. There are just no words to describe my feelings. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone and I sincerely hope the people these comments were targeting do not take them seriously.
 
How do you feel about people who write & say these sort of things to others? What can we do to put an end to this? Is it even possible to educate people on how wrong this is? Leave comments below.