Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/In Today's Schools Table of Contents/Bullying

Observations and Reflections from Today's Classrooms

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I recently had an experience with bullying in school. My son would walk home with two or three friends and there would be another child calling them names and targeting my son in general. My son was in 8th grade and I have always taught him to walk away from situations like this. This child by himself would run up and punch my son and sometimes his friends, this would result in this child getting hit repeatedly by my sons friends but he kept doing it. I told my son maybe he wants to walk with you guys and be friends, or he just wants attention. The final straw was when this child took his backpack hit my son in the head and knocked him down and began to kick him until my sons friends stopped him. It took my husband being home that day to call the police and the school. The schools response was that my son was fighting also and would probably be suspended as well. The police found out that this child had a record for violence. We did not let the school bully us into letting it go. They told us our son may have to be suspended and moved from his classes. We told the school and the police to talk to all the witnesses and explain why our son should be punished. They backed down when all fifteen witnesses including the crossing guard explained what happened just as my son had said. The child was moved out of the same classes as my son and was forced to ride the bus home along witha weeks suspension. Two months later he was epxelled for beating up a sixh grader. This was the fourth school he was suspended from. I will have difficulty with the bullying aspect of school. I used to think the system would work but if it wasn't for our complete involvement in the investigation and follow through of the schools reaction, this bully never would have been punished. When do you step in? As a teacher this question may be easier to answer but I also don't want to overreact and make the situation worse.Jnemo001 (talk) 01:45, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

I had the unfortunate experience of being bullied in school and it wasn't any fun, let me tell you. I think because I was shy and probably a very easy target. I don't recall every telling any teachers though, I was probably afraid of what the repercussions would be from my harasser. Bullies rarely have a good reason to pick on someone. Usually they will pick on a person for the feeling of power that it gives them. I think the only solution for this is that a student should be able to feel free to tell a teacher, and some severe punishment should be leveled on the individual that is doing the bullying! The second offense should be punished more strongly. I am worried that my sons will be bullied at school. One day my son came home and said a boy smashed his breakfast sandwich I brought for him. That broke my heart! Students should go to school and feel safe, not feel like they are going to school to be tortured. Ldomm002 (talk) 01:41, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I was never a victim of bullying in my youth however, I have witnessed it on more than one occasion. While completing my observation hours in both the fourth grade an kindergarten I was surprised but also relieved that I did not witness any bullying in the classroom or even on the playground. I do see what I believe is a form of bullying working as a preschool teacher. Usually at some point in the day I hear "he/she doesn't wasnt to be my friend" or I hear the children telling each other they do not like them or do not want to play with them. I also see how it effects the children. I think teachers in the schools need to pay close attention and attempt to stop bullying before it starts. Lwill031 (talk) 21:37, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

I witnessed bullying in the elementary art classroom and it upset me greatly how they handled it! This little boy in the second grade makes it his call in life to terrorize and bother another boy in his class who is only in a few of his classes because he spends the rest of the time in a special ed classroom. During lunch, the "little bully" scrapped the other little boys arm with his finger nails, not enough to make it bleed but enough to make it red. The "little bully" was sent to the principals office and they had a little "chat" ... I actually heard the story from this principal who said she went and got the other boy and brought him in with the "little bully", and asked him what had happened. After looking at the "little bully" he recanted that anything had happened. The principal laughed and said I guess he didn't want to have to deal with what that "little bully" would have done to him later if he told. How is this justice!? In elementary school? Really, there must have been something the teachers and principal could do to stop the injustice of the kid in special ed being tortured by a bully! Hcogg001 (talk) 21:16, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

During my observation time with a 5th grade class in Virginia Beach, I was able to see a little bit of the "Family Life" unit covered at the end of the year. Included in this unit was the topic of peer pressure and bullying. The children saw a video (although I think it was from the 1980's) that was very informative and offered great advice. The video played out scenarios that are often seen in schools as well as some outside the classroom. This allowed the children to see how to deal with these types of situations and offered suggestions. In addition to this, the teachers paused the video and asked questions to the students. I was surprised at some of the great answers the children came up with on how to deal with a bully, how to say no to peer pressure and why these things occur. I think that 5th graders are at a great age to deal with these issues as they transition into middle school; however, I don't think you can start too young. These situations appear at every age and should be addressed in an age appropriate way. Khedl002 (talk) 14:46, 1 August 2009 (UTC)khedl002

This year our elementary school started using the Olweus Bullying Prevention program. While it seemed like a good idea in the beginning, a lot of the teachers seemed put off by the amount of surveying the program used. The other teacher in my department was in charge of tabulating the results and she was frustrated with the amount of paperwork. The kids meanwhile were receptive to the assemblies and information they received. If there was an easier way to track the data the teachers would be more receptive to the program. Jtmitchem (talk) 18:54, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

During my observation, I encountered many things that were new and different. I also encountered some things that were shocking, upsetting, and downright unfair. I observed chorus class at a middle school in Suffolk. All of my day was not spent in the classroom, though. The teacher that I observed had to do some lunch duties during the middle of the day- this was our time to sit and have her tell me all about the interesting, crazy, and weird students. One thing that she told me about that shocked me was the school's Anger Management program. At this school (and, as far as I know, all other Suffolk public schools) there is an Anger Management program for all of the students who qualify. Students who are in this program obviously have severe behavioral problems. The part that shocked me was what the students were allowed to get away with. Because it is Anger "Management" all of the students involved are allowed to deal with their anger in any way, including yelling and screaming when they find it necessary, fighting, and throwing things. I couldn't believe it. The real world isn't like that! Why should these "special" students be allowed to do such things? Behavioral problems should be dealt with on a case to case basis, but never like this. Sbutl016 (talk) 01:16, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Bullying is a subject near and dear to my heart. It performs the inverse operation of warming the cockles of my heart, whatever that may be. (Freezing the cockles? Chilling Cockles? I have no idea) Yet, even with my intense need to paint myself as the victim and future champion of the downtrodden I find myself split on the subject. Yes, bullying is horrible. Abhorrent. The tyranny and cruelty of youth, etc. But on the same hand I think it serves as a very real learning experience in school, a place strangely devoid of such lessons. No matter what your math teacher told you being able to multiply fractions will not be of very important in your day to day life, unless you happen to serve pie at a restaurant that caters specifically to anal retentive fraction fetishists. But that ass kicking and ridicule and just dumb mean-ness that kids can radiate, like weapons grade plutonium, day after day, is a wonderful lesson in life. Being a fat, Asian kid afforded me with plenty of opportunities to experience bullying and a smidgen of good ole fashion racism in my day, and while I hate to say it, these things were probably the most useful part of my education. I learned to ignore people, to use my head to turn a clever phrase or searing insult around, and finally, that none of that was important and never will be. I learned to scope a room and figure out who my friends were, I learned for a time to hide my money inside the lining of my shoes, and that if I could make someone laugh it was unlikely that we would be enemies for long. All these things have served me better than my ability to write in cursive or classify rocks. (Although I like knowing cursive, seriously, when is the last time you used it aside from signing your name?) BitterAsianMan (talk) 15:15, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Though I have not completed my observation, I can 'observe' in the outside world that bullying takes a traumatic toll on a person's life. As a future educator I would pay extra attention to this matter, because I don't want any of my students suffering the consequences of such actions. Even throughout my scholarly life, we were taught to deal with bullying and peer pressure because of the constant bullying in today's schools. When it comes to peer pressure (a usual side effect of bullying) students are forced into situations without account of their better knowledge. This can lead to disastrous events. Ehern004 (talk) 17:44, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Bullying is a serious occurrence happening in our schools, with kids of all ages. I have found that bullying occurs most often with middle and high school students. Unfortunately, we do not teach specific virtues or character education in our narrowed curriculum in today’s schools. We do not teach children how to respect diversity. It seems still that children who do not fit the “mold” get teased and ridiculed. It is unfortunate that this type of behavior happens so frequently and is completely overlooked. As educators, we need to ensure the safety of all of our students. We also need to create an environment where students feel nurtured and peaceful. It is part of our job to make sure this kind of behavior is not ignored whenever it occurs. Abitt002 (talk) 20:30, 3 August 2009 (UTC)