Bullying – Be Careful What Message Our Response Sends

no bully

Noah’s story is ongoing with some sad set backs but also some valiant steps forward.  What impresses me most is his incredible spirit and his desire to do everything he has the power to dream of.  He cries with the pain, and yet picks himself up and goes forward.  Can we hope for anything more?  Can we ask for anything more?

But, his brother, Elijah, who remains in the same school responsible for the original bullying with Noah, has had his own incident.  In this situation, a group of boys sharing a racial ethnicity, have become the bullies of the soccer field.  They refuse to be broken up to play on separate teams and together they wreak havoc with each game.  In this instance they bullied Elijah and threatened to kill his friend.  Now we have bullying that has racial overtones and a much more serious threat.  This happened in a school that advocates “zero tolerance” for bullying.

I have no idea why the police were not called in.

Instead, the solution is that the soccer program has been cancelled for everyone.

My concern is the message that sends to all the students about bullying.  As children, their experience with the school’s policy will do more to teach them about how to handle bullying than anything else.  The message here is that if you are bullied, don’t say anything.  If you do, the entire school will be punished for it, including the victim, and the end result will be that everyone will hate him instead of just the bullies.

Brilliant!

What is wrong with letting children understand there are serious consequences?  the consequences of threatening another child’s life is that the police get called and the kids are made to understand that in the future, should you touch this kid, it could be considered attempted murder.  The parents should be pulled in for a “come to Jesus” talk that makes it clear that this is serious and the boys who did it should be kicked out of soccer, NOT the victim and the entire school.

That is the way the real world works.  If my best friend steals a car and goes joy riding, I don’t get my car taken away too, not do I go to jail with him.  If I leave my room a mess and get grounded, I don’t get other friends to sleep over and keep me company while I am grounded.  Punishment is meant to be applied to the people responsible.  It is not a group sport.

What message did the bullies receive?  How were they singled out in a way that made them uncomfortable enough to ensure they might actually consider the inappropriateness of their actions?  How was anything put in place to prevent it from ever happening again?  Are they going to cancel soccer for life?  And since when do kids dictate what team they will or won’t play on?  As far as I am concerned, the school actually fed ideas of racism by allowing the boys to exclusively deny any other children to play with them.

Have other parents been informed about this situation? and if so, what is their input?

THIS HAS TO STOP!

All the programs to raise awareness will not make any difference unless we respond to the incidents with common sense and stand our ground regarding “zero tolerance.”  There HAVE TO BE CONSEQUENCES.

Stop bubble wrapping the kids and pretending that life is not hard sometimes.  Teach them how to stand up and be accountable.  Make them responsible for their actions in real and meaningful ways that not only teach the bullies, but also protect and help start the healing process for the victims and make it clear to all the by-standers that bullying, is a stupid, weak choice with serious consequences for THEM, should they choose to bully anyone.

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