Change Bully Behavior to Tolerance
Change Bully Behavior to Tolerance
April 16, 2007 VA Tech Massacre
March 30, 2008 Victoria Linsay was attacked by six cheerleaders in FL and placed on Youtube for the best shock video
April 9, 2008 Baltimore art teacher, Jolita Berry, was attacked by her student and placed on Myspace.
January 2010 Phoebe Prince of Massachutsetts hung herself after relentless bullying.
April 27, 2010 8-year-old Shaniya Boyd of Gilmore Elementary, Baltimore, attempted to jump a school window after being attacked in school because she has celebral palsy.
September 2010 Gay bullying related suicides: Asher Brown and Tyler Clementi
Ellen DeGeneres speaks out, “Being a teenager and figuring out who you are is hard enough without someone attacking you.”
In the eyes of a student, school is often perceived as one long prison sentence, and in some cases, total anarchy -- mob rule. How can anyone obtain a proper education in such a disruptive environment: drugs, gangs, fear, peer pressure, fights, bullying, etc? Once the innocent become victims of harassment, they are instructed by their parents to report the incident to the teacher. The “tattler” then gets beaten up for doing so. The results, the victim learns to silently tolerate constant abuse or leaves them no choice but to fight.
The “system” is losing control over its ability to educate. It has become a see-how-much-I-can-get away-with game. The joke is on us, the tax payer, the community. Who has control over the system, the faculty or the students?
We hear the catch phrase, “Dumbing down of
America”. If this is not true, then why do consecutive generations push the envelope on “coolness”? The culture has shifted from a rebel without a cause image of James Dean, with a black leather jacket and cigarette of the 1950s to the mean-and-creepy Hip-Hop generation. Shock value fashion has youngsters loaded with body art and piercings in crude places, not to mention baggy droopy-drawers partially mooning passers by. The frayed/slashed holes in denim jeans add a final touch as if a homeless drunk just left a bar fight in a horror movie. The point is, how can our young people possibly acquire self respect dressed this way? Instead, they’ve earned an “I-don’t-give-a-sh.. attitude”. Our kids are not aspiring; they are expiring.
The question begs, what is happening to our young people? It all begins with teasing and harassing. This juvenile behavior has always been justified away as “kids are cruel,” which means it is acceptable to be cruel because kids are kids. These instigators turn into bullies. Since “kids are cruel” we should allow their misbehaviors go unpunished into adulthood facing no consequences for their wrong doings? What messages are we sending our young people?
Studies have shown that violence in the media does desensitize the minds of our children. Naturally, young people learn by imitating behavior.
Many say the parents are responsible for disciplining their own children. But do they? Most caretakers work full-time, many of which are struggling single parents, while others are more or less children themselves. Can we really trust parents to be a positive role model to teach respect and integrity? If all parents were responsible to discipline their own children, there would be no need for school intervention.
We can’t spank them anymore. The nation has become so sensitive to the issues of child abuse that these accusations are being used against us. If an adult lays a hand on a misbehaving child to discipline, they are charged with child abuse. Kids know the laws and use abuse as a weapon to protect themselves from being punished by adult figures.
Students should feel enthusiastic about going to school, not in fear. Folks, this is the 21st century. These children are the future of this country! If we are going to grow as a nation, we need to teach our children toleration and acceptance of others regardless who they are: gay, sick, slow, unattractive, eccentric, awkward, etc. Everyone, regardless their ethnic background, religious affiliation, status, or weaknesses has special qualities that need to be cultivated to make a contribution to this wonderful world. There is no such thing as a perfect person.
Education needs to be reexamined to bring about meaning into a child’s imaginative world. The system needs to inculcate team building skills into student’s thinking, not nit-picking. Youngsters should be taught independent thinking, as well as critical thinking, questioning their own values and environment instead of blindly accepting it. Appreciation of humanities, especially differences in others must be stressed from preschool on up. Education should be thought of as friendly, fun, and purposeful.
Do not overlook that children are emotionally immature. Children need to be taught toleration of differences in others, learn how to respect each other, and learn how to earn respect and trust from others. Do not assume they already know these basic principles of humanity. Let’s get back on track, shall we?