25 Feb 2011 Leave a comment
by kadja2 in crime, Education, humor, Life, non-fiction, Opinions, Politics, victims of bullies, writing Tags: children, crime, education, Life, news, non-fiction, opinion, opinions, politics, Post a week/2011, teenagers, Teens, writing
25 Feb 2011 Leave a comment
by kadja2 in crime, Education, Entertainment, harassment, Life, non-fiction, Opinions, Parenting, Politics, teaching, Teen Bullying, Unrest Tags: children, crime, education, Life, news, non-fiction, opinion, opinions, politics, Post a week/2011, womanhood
I was very reclusive in my youth. I joked around about drinking and partying and such, in the fashion of Cheech and Chong. I discovered after a while that I was merely trying to “fit in”. I have since discovered that I don’t have to fit in to any particular niche. I am who I am. People can accept me or not accept me, but there are two things about me that never change over time. I am honest. I speak my mind. Not many people can handle that trait. It comes from having been through a lot of hell, much I do not really discuss, but when I hear people talk as if their pain is the only one that matters, I can come unglued.
There are different types of suffering and abuse in this world. I know it from a place no one should ever have had to experience it–at home. I am currently writing a book on this, but for those of you who follow my bullying blogs, I don’t see how we can possibly stop bullying or get anything productive done in society by isolating ourselves from one another. The pain of the homosexual child being bullied is every bit as real and intense as the child who gets beaten, raped and abused at home–only to come to school to suffer the taunts of those bullies (and sometimes get assaulted even further).
Here is the point of my post. Anyone who has ever been bullied has experienced their own type of prison. That prison was the closest thing to Hell on Earth for many people. However, as intense as our pain is, we must unite with others who have been bullied and abused to make our voices heard as one voice. If not, we are failing every generation that follows. It does not matter if one is homosexual or not, or if one is from another country or not. What matters is that a united front stands a better chance of accomplishing anything than a divided front. We are failing our children if we do not address this as one voice, one people and one nation.
I am no activist and do not wish to be so now. However there is/are voice(s) out there that people will hear. You voice might prevent the next Jonesboro. Your voice might prevent the next Columbine. Your voice might stop the next child from taking matters into his or her own hands to address his/her abusers and ruin the rest of his/her life.
Where are you? This country needs you to get together and speak up. The children are depending on you. Forget the news networks. None of them talk much about this until something major happens! It is time to be proactive and not reactive. You do not have to have a child in public school to ask a school board what is being done to stop school violence and make them answer. People around the world must unite to stop bullying on a global scale as well.
It is time to quit comparing battle scars with each other (and with other groups and unite). My pain is no less or more intense than yours even if it is a different situation. Being separate does not solve anything. You will get told what you “want to hear” and then nothing will come of it, but if people who have been severely abused and bullied were to rally together–someone would listen and take notice.
I am going through a healing process myself–even after all these years. I am starting to see some things differently, yet some things are unchanged. I suppose we will all be evolving and changing throughout life. Give me time. I am getting there and so will you. We can work on this together, can we not? I do not feel that isolating ourselves as groups from one another is an option any longer.
15 Jan 2011 5 Comments
by kadja2 in crime, Education, harassment, Healing, non-fiction, Opinions, Parenting, Post a week 2011, Teen Bullying, Teens, writing Tags: behavioral issues, bullying (all kinds), children, crime, cyber bullying, education, harassment, health, news, non-fiction, opinion, opinions, Post a week/2011, teenagers, Teens
If you read my previous blog on bullying, then what I am about to say may be of some surprise to you. Yes, I do feel that forgiving others enables us to move forward, but what about those that are broken and can take no more? I have my own ideas on this.
We have different types of bullying–but in all cases I feel that there are common threads in all. Some bullies go after anyone they perceive to be different and/or lesser than themselves. I feel that they gain a false sense of empowerment at someone else’s expense because either they themselves have been bullied and now this is an outlet, or they simply feel that they are above anyone else. I also feel that all bullying can stem from resentment or hate.
Bullies are EVERYWHERE. They are in school and in the workplace. If you don’t believe me, look at all the lawsuits. Bullies all use different tactics. Some use physical violence (especially in schools) and others use either cyber bullying and/or they use a position of authority they have in the workplace to exert their will over those they perceive to be beneath their station. I also feel that bullies look at their victims as a step below the species of mankind on the evolutionary chain.
The abused tend to become abusers–but not always. Now substitute the words “the bullied” and “bullies” in that sentence. Bullying is a learned behavior–not an instinct or a mental disease. If you want to stop this in our society, then it has to be stopped at the schoolhouse first! To stop it in the schoolhouse, there are many ways–mediation, sensitivity training, etc…I think the best way is for school districts to hit the parents where it counts–their wallets, especially when it is a severe case and/or a repeat case. I am also willing to bet that if a study were done, those conducting it would find out that the children who are bullies also had parents who were bullies when they were in school. Parents who were like that tend to dismiss their own children’s actions as “kids being kids”. Today this is simply false. As I have stated previously, “kids being kids” will get people harmed physically and psychologically nowadays–if not killed. It is important to hold parents accountable even if it entails parenting classes and/or going to school handcuffed to their darling boy or girl for a few days.
If districts could impose fines (like $25 per offense) on parents whose children are out of control, the money could be used to do many things–fund classroom supplies so teachers won’t have to pay for it–etc…Face it–parents often don’t buy the kids what they need, so use the fines for “bullying” to provide things like pencils, paper, crayons, map colors, etc…Also parents love their pocketbooks enough that they will eventually control their children when they get tired of paying fines for their ridiculous behavior.
Kids who are bullies and get caught should also be suspended from extracurricular activities and sports for at least three weeks after each incident. For severe cases of physical bullying, charge the kids with assault because that is exactly what they are doing on school grounds! Some districts and state laws already allow for this, others do not.
It should also be mandatory for victims of severe and/or repeat bullying incidents to see a crisis counselor as soon as possible after the incident is made known to school officials in order to try to ensure that there are no suicidal thoughts (or thoughts of harming others) developing. Also, in less severe cases, transfer the bullies–NOT the victims. In fact, find out if the bullies are running in a clique and split them all up into different schools. When the cliques see that their buddies can’t go to school with them anymore, then they will back off of everyone else nowadays. If there is one thing a group hates it is having their social lives monkeyed with for someone’s actions.
It just seems to me that unless the case is extreme, transferring the victim should be a last resort–with the PARENTS, not the administration making that judgment call. Why should the bullied child be punished? It would be more of a punishment to the bullies to separate their groups into different schools. It would also send a strong message to other students that there would be no tolerance for THEIR behavior. To me, transferring the victim is virtually equivalent to punishing the victim. However, in the case of severe physical assault, and/or sexual assault of any kind, then I say move the victim to a new district to lessen psychological trauma and lock up the assailants in a juvenile facility. I do not think many will object to this for the simple fact that removal of the worst types of bullies from the learning environment in a regular public school would only ensure a more positive and cooperative learning atmosphere in the classrooms, and thus the entire school.
Being bullied does not justify the victims taking the situation into their own hands and they need to be taught this. That is why it is important to get the victims to a counselor. When a person cannot take any more, they can become irrational and they can do things the normal person would not normally do–like harm others and/or themselves. I believe that we have to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to this subject. There are lives at stake and the last thing I want to hear about is another school shooting or bombing by some kid(or kids) who were victims of bullies (and/or abuse) who were themselves out of control.
The handling of bullying cases should be treated with no difference as to the reason behind the bullying. A bully is a bully and whether the victim is gay, straight, pretty, not pretty, athletic or whatever (insert your own word here) is not important. All are created equal and should be treated no differently–whatever the reasoning behind it. This is true for the victim and the perpetrator. All bullying is equally horrifying and I do not want to see it continue. I worked for 4.5 years as a corrections officer and spent over a year of it as a sergeant. Anyone can draw a parallel between the bullies who beat up kids for stepping into “their corner” of the playground and the offenders who will beat up other offenders for sitting at “their” tables or simply playing handball on “their part” of a recreation yard.
I also am a certified teacher. The same behavior exhibited by bullies in the school yards is also exhibited in the prison systems. IF you don’t believe me, then do a study. I’ll bet my last $10 that if a study is done comparing this behavior in the school with the behavior of the offenders who do this in the prisons, they will find so many similarities that it will shock them–especially when they find out how many of the schoolyard bullies are in families where one or more of its members are behind bars for violent crimes.
Our public schools should be a safe haven in America for these children, but to me it seems that they are growing in similarity to correctional facilities. At some schools, there are armed guards, fences, gates, etc…Is it any wonder that such a comparison can be made? What has happened in our culture that has made this so? I won’t go deeply into this subject here, but part of the problem lies in the devaluation of Education in America. We now have a culture that doesn’t view education as being necessary and important. Until power is given back to parents and educators to stop this ongoing problem, schools will continue to evolve into something reminiscent of correctional institutions. After all, it is teachers who try to instill social values into these children and they when grow up and get to the prison system–it’s up to the officers to do that. Am I right or wrong? I really want somebody to prove me wrong on this. I challenge anyone to do a study on it. The children who visit family members in prisons can easily make comparisons to their own schools–right down to the high fences and such.
I have seen grown offenders where I used to work who felt “fated”, and young people who now feel “fated” to end up in a correctional facility because it appears to be somewhat akin to a family tradition. A whole lot of offenders will tell you openly that their dads, grandfathers, moms, grandmothers, etc…had all been in prison and saw it as their being headed down the same path early on. Trying to inspire young people to take a different path is challenging for any teacher, but it can be done, and it HAS been done. The teachers who influence children in such a positive manner deserve medals.
America really needs to start thinking and re-thinking. The clock is ticking and our childrens’ futures are at stake because of what society has done to them. The school system has to be changed. I think we should seriously take a look at overseas educational systems and find out what makes theirs different. What makes them work? Something is working well for them because you don’t see nearly the problems there that you see in our country right now–especially school shootings and such. What are they doing right and what are we missing as a nation?
13 Jan 2011 8 Comments
by kadja2 in crime, harassment, Life, non-fiction, Opinions, Parenting, Politics, Teen Bullying, Teens Tags: behavior, bullying, children, crime, education, health, news, non-fiction, opinion, opinions, parenting, Post a week/2011, teenagers, Teens, writing
I often get asked how I deal with my past issues. I don’t often discuss these things with others, but people in my hometown know me well. They could not understand for the life of them how I managed to keep my marbles in tact…Seriously! I had a crazy childhood! I know many that had a hell of a lot worse, but mine was unique in that I lived in Bedlam, TX! Anyway, that’s what I called my house.
The only thing the past can do is throw up pictures into your memory. Those things cannot hurt you. I had to let go of mine. I can tell you all personally that the hardest thing to do is the very first step I had to take, and that was to forgive people one by one. I will say this, trying to NOT become a creature like some of the people I had to be around was one hell of a challenge in itself. I will discuss more of that issue at another time. For now I will discuss what took place in what should have been a safe-haven for me. I am referring to the bullying I endured in middle school and in high school. I will also discuss how some of us handled our own issues due to the fact that the adults failed to address these issues EVEN then!
In my opinion, there was a big difference in being bullied then, as opposed to being bullied nowdays…When I was a kid, I got even. If they bullied me to do their term papers–I did them alright! I made sure they got nothing but “F’s” too. I took a few beatings for it, but it was worth it to me. It was also like I didn’t know what it was like anyway. They didn’t have me to another one because I told them I would do exactly the same thing. I was dismissed as being “crazy” by that bunch. I fought with brains more than anything else.
There was a boy in particular who was on the track team who used to make crude sexual remarks to several of us–one at a time of course. Sometimes he would push us down. Other times if we were wearing a skirt, he tried to lift it or pull it down in the hallway. We started talking one day. NONE of us knew the others were bullied by this idiot. Our solution: We decided to make sure he got a dose of what he dished out–together!
The coach wasn’t watching one day and we dragged him down into the theatrical prop room. In our school, costumes, make-up and every thing was kept in that location. Four of us held him down while the other three stripped him down to his boxers, put a dress and petticoat on him and colored his lips with red lip stick–the kind that is hard to wash off. I don’t know HOW the hell we got away with this, but we took his clothes and scattered them all over the front lawn of the school! He had to go out there all dressed up in his frock to get them too!
I did see the look in his eyes. There was pure fear in them. I saw the look in the other girls’ eyes. They were looks of pure determination. He thought we were going to kill him or something, and due to the noise above us all in the gym, nobody could hear him. We didn’t even gag him or anything. We knew that when Coach Carson had the multi-grade level PE class playing dodgeball, there were only two audible types of noise anyone could hear. One cold hear the screams of the 7th and 8th graders getting slammed by the high school students. The other noise was that of the juniors and seniors yelling as if they had just won the prize on Dialing for Dollars or some crap.
He never revealed who did it, and he never bothered any of us again either. We know his fellow team mates on the track team laughed at him for DAYS! We now live in an age where a bully is liable to get killed or severely injured if his or her behavior is not quickly addressed. I don’t think anyone would dispute that even in our day we would wonder what life would be like if those bullies “died or disappeared”. The difference is, we knew it was wrong to actually kill someone and feared the consequences back then.
Now I fear that young people have no such fear and some have no conscience either judging by what is filling up our juvenile justice centers. I am not joking when I say I feel that most of our generation merely fantasized about killing the bullies or making them disappear…When did it become okay in our culture to allow these kids to cross that line between right and wrong? Even if one is a bully, kids should be taught at an early age that MURDER is wrong. Period! I get really tired of some type of “disorder” getting credit for everything wrong imaginable in society anymore.
Now were the actions the group I was with took “wrong”? Yes, they were. Were they abusive? Yes because of the humiliation he felt. Granted, at the time, we felt vindicated for how he made us feel, but we still felt an emptiness there…I think that emptiness came from the fact that getting “even” changes nothing about what has already happened. On top of that, we proved we were no better than he was–but my cousins would have literally beat him to a pulp if we’d told them about it and we would have felt even worse. Does that make it okay? No it does not. And people will say, “Awww you guys were just kids being kids.” Really? OH REALLY? Hmmm…Nowdays “Kids being kids” can lead to abuse, murders and suicides. If you don’t believe me watch the news and the talk shows that deal with the subject of bullying! It is out of control, people!
Having the ideals of right and wrong on THIS subject instilled in me in the seventh grade made it easier to forgive others. If one cannot forgive others, they cannot move forward because anything from the past for which we harbor a grudge will poison our present every time–we just don’t realize it until later. As I said earlier, forgiveness is that hardest first step that we have to take, but it can be done. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to let things go–especially if we are the ones who were abused, taken advantage of or whatever the case might be.
It can be done though–one day at a time–one issue at a time.