Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bullying a bully

While I was torturing myself on the elliptical at the gym, I caught the end of a news report that caught my eye. Naturally, the first thing I did when I got home was Google it and I ran on THIS article about a father who threatened to shave a neighborhood bully's head if she didn't leave his daughter alone.

Now, this is the part I'm nervous to post. Let me stress that I DO NOT think it's okay to threaten children. If someone threatened my child, we'd have a serious problem. Also, not only should he not have threatened her, he also went about the rest of the situation in the wrong way as well. I think he should have taken other steps, talk to her parents, talk to the school, the bus driver, the police, whatever you have to do to keep your child save from bulling predators.

But, as much as I know he was wrong and as much as I can't condone threatening a child, there was a little part of me that cheered inside. Now, I'm not proud of that, but I'm also sick and tired of the bullying. It breaks my heart when I see story after story about CHILDREN taking their own life because they're tortured by their peers. In most of the stories, the parents DID do the right thing. They went to school, teacher etc. and nothing was done.

Our children are dying and if they're not, they're losing their confidence, their self esteem. They're being beat down and stripped raw and I've had enough of it. It's wrong. Scary. Sad. Heartbreaking.

Now I don't know if this girl will ever bully again, but man, I hope she learned a lesson from this. Even though the father took the round route, I'm hoping the outcome is good. Wrong as it may be, maybe if there were stricter punishment for bullies, we'd have better luck protecting our children from being picked on.


Anne Rainey said...

Oh man, don't get me started on bullies. I hate bullies. It has always worried me that my daughter would be bullied but be too afriad to tell me about it. They're older now and I know they've never had this problem. Thank God. But, there are so many kids dealing with this and my heart goes out to him.

I'm not sure what that father should've done. He was wrong to threaten a kid. No matter what. He should've gone to the child's parents first. If that didn't result in a solution, then he should've gone to the principal. Still, a lot of this will only result in MORE bullying. Maybe his daughter would've been too afriad to tell at that point and then any number of things could happen. Including suicide. We've seen plenty of that in the news!

I admit, part of me feels glad that father went straight to the source.

Natalie Dae said...

I can understand the father's frustration, but I don't condone it. We've all had times where we've wanted to confront the bully ourselves, with a few choice words to boot, we go, the bleeding heart is here LOL...the bully may well be being bullied by someone herself. It's a vicious circle at times, where even though a kid's being bullied and they hate it, they do it to someone else as a way to make themselves feel better. It makes no sense to those on the outside looking in, but perfect sense to the child.

I feel for everyone, bullies icluded, in these situations.


Tess MacKall said...

I can certainly understand this man's frustration. When you take the issue to school teachers when it's involved in their classroom or to school administrators they answer is always the same--they don't see it. You'll also be told that your child needs to toughen up.

Been there, done that. Schools are a hot bed of bullies. And it's not a matter of where they are on the socioeconomic ladder either. They come in all shapes,sizes, and gender too.

Bottom line, there is something wrong in that bullies life to cause him or her to do it and it needs addressing. It's illegal to bully in schools. But rarely is anything done about it.

The man who did this? I haven't read the full story, but I have to say that secretly I would loved to have watched. Yeah, I know, it's politically incorrect for me to say that--but I've walked in his shoes. When it comes to your kid, you don't always see what you SHOULD do--but what you HAVE to do.

I feel for the guy that he's now in the news. Damn they make news of anything these days--it's not like they have enough?

Brindle Chase said...

How timely. A group of three older boys were harrassing my 11 year old daughter at the bus stop just recently. Calling her a whore and making fun of us being apparently poor, because she likes to drink Arizona Green Tea (don't ask me the logic on how that makes us poor. *lol*). Anyway, we taught her to stand up to bullies. So she would fight back, verbally of course, since they weren't physically abusing her. But it kept going on and on. The bus driver did nothing.

So, what I did, was march over to the lead boy's house and talked with his mother. Tattle-telling is not something we encourage to our daughter. But there comes a point when enough is enough. The mother was understanding and grounded her boys... but this article is interesting because... what if? What if his mother choose not to address it or worse, encouraged her son to be a bully?

Well, it so happens I researched what if. As a father, the thought that some older, bigger boy was picking on my girl, had me raging. I was tempted to go down to the bus stop and scare the beejeezus outta him... but that wouldn't solve anything and only end badly for me. I can't take care of my daughters from jail! *lol*

So I found out about cease and desist letters. Restraining orders and more. Now they vary state to state. But if a bully cannot be stopped through normal channels (talking to their parents, the school, etc...) You can use the courts. Of course, once you decide to go down that path, there are severe consequences. In our instance, the boys live within the restraining order range, meaning they would have to move out of their house and go to a different school. What a huge, HUGE, disruption to their lives. Its not what we wanted. We just wanted the bully to stop. But when all else fails... the courts side with the victim here.

Anywho... this guy was out of line, but I'm with you. A part of me is cheering inside. There are ways to stop a bully. Some as I mentioned, should be reserved for "when all else fails". And I also agree... there should be consequences for the parents of the bullies and stricter, harsher punishments. Encourage your kid to be a bully? Great! Here's a $10,000.00 fine! Now how do you feel about your sweet little bully? *lol*

Madison Scott said...

Anne, I am so scared for when my girls get older and I have to deal with stuff like this. It's so scary and sad.

Tess MacKall said...

You got lucky, Brindle. There are so many parents out there who just won't believe their kids will bully. I have a friend who met with a parent over a bullying situation and ended up getting herself slapped. And my friend is a very logical thinking, diplomatic individual too. It was not something she'd ever experienced. You never know how things are going to go down. I handled my situation through the school administrator. Took about about six weeks to settle. I researched laws--spent a lot of time talking with reps with the Dept of Education. And in the end, had to get bitchy and threaten the school administrator with publicity. I've discovered that any time I deal with the school system that threatening them with negative publicity works. Honestly.

Madison Scott said...

That's another sad part. You don't know why these kids are doing it. I DO think that a lot of the time its because of something happening at home, but I also don't think that is the situation 100% of the time.

Madison Scott said...

Tess, that's how I felt. I was a little scared to say it because its not politically correct. While again I DO NOT condone threatening a child and I think he should have gone to parents etc, there was a small part of me that smiled. There are just too many instances in the news. Kids being bullied and dying because of it.

Madison Scott said...

Brindle, I am glad to hear the courts are so supportive and restraining orders etc are available in situations like this. Glad everything worked out in your situation. It's so sad when I hear reports about how many times bully situations were reported and it didn't do any good.

And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who, even though the father was wrong, did cheer a little inside.

Tess MacKall said...

I know, Madison. It's tough to take the viewpoint of the dad in all of this. But I swear, I can understand.

My little boy went through hell in third grade. Truly did. I tried to stay out of it. Really did. Tried to let him handle it which is what he wanted. But after half a year had passed, and my kid couldn't focus anymore--all he talked about was this kid? Something had to be done.

And it was ALL my child's fault because he wasn't tough enough. Those were the words of the school psychologist and the principal concurred with her findings.


My kid was not going through the rest of the school year depressed and simply terrified of going to school. He's a sweet sensitive kid who holds the door for everyone. I can walk inside a store and be fifteen or twenty feet away and talking to him and look back because he's not answering, and he's holding the door for people.

He's ultra polite in school and for some reason, this has always been taken as a sign of weakness on his part. But!!! There's a ray of sunshine everywhere. lol All of a sudden in sixth grade he grew---and grew big, lol Now he just gives those who upset him a LOOK and they back off. He's gotten pretty good at it and has been able to maintain his ultra polite ways in the process.

Just always talk to your babies--keep them close--and stay involved in their lives. That's all any of us can do. And hells bells, do what you have to in the final analysis.

Brindle Chase said...

*nodding*@Tess... we were lucky. The boy's mom is actually a very kind and caring person. The main and most important thing though, was making sure our daughter knew we had her back and that it would stop, one way or another. She needed to know it was temporary and that she could come to us. If the mother had been unwilling, then my next stop was the school. If they didn't, then the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can totally understand the Dads point of view, if someone was bulling my daughter... well I'm not sure what I'd do. My mom raised me to defend myself and family. She got called to the school more than once due to fights although I never started them. My daughter is in 1st grade, and everyday I worry that she'll come home upset or worst she'll be afraid to tell me. I know what it's like so all I can do is hope she'll come to me or hubs if it happens.

Madison Scott said...

Nanny, my oldest is in first grade too. I'm so worried about that happening to her.

Cerise DeLand said...

"NEWS" MEDIA now teaches adults to be bullies.
To anyone.
They yell, they interrupt their own guests and experts, they badger them
What has happened to civility in this country?
It has gone down the drain with the educational level.
We like bullies on tv.
We like them on our "news."
We teach our children by example.
Do as I do. Not as I say. That is the rule children learn by.
Acceptance and decorum are useful and preferred modes of behavior. Especially in a democracy. Where all men and women and children are created equal.

Brindle Chase said...

*nods*@Cerise... you're right. Society is to blame. I just wonder how we reverse it? I try to teach my daughters to be respectful of everyone. Our golden rule is "You are free to do anything you wish, so long as it does not transgress on another." Which is what I believe the entire constitution's intent was in a nutshell.