Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Anti-Bullying ~ Where To Start?

We all know bullying when we see it. We all know it is wrong. And yet we all have either bullied someone or been a victim of someone else's bullying or both.

There are as many reasons for bullying as there are bullies and victims. If a bully doesn't have a reason, s/he will find one. I grew up in a neighborhood that seemed to be full of bullies. One would throw rocks at me in the summer and ice balls filled with rocks in the winter. When I started crying, he'd call me a cry-baby. The only reason he did this is because he was a bully, and I was there.

On the other hand, my next-door neighbor was constantly annoying me. One day I had enough. I took off my shoe and started hitting him with it. I just wanted him to cry, but he wouldn't. The bullied had become the bully. And that's the way it often is.

Thank goodness I had parents who stepped in. When I was bullied, they would call the boy's parents. When I tried to be the bully, I was immediately taught right from wrong.

As for the boy who threw the rocks, I guess his parents didn't step in. About a year ago his name was in the paper for domestic abuse. It certainly didn't surprise me. I was only surprised that I hadn't read his name in the paper a long time ago.

There are no easy solutions for bullying. It has been around forever. Throughout history, there are stories of bullies. We all went to school with them. Sometimes they are parents or teachers or bosses. Wherever they are, everyone else must learn to deal with them. How much easier it would be to stop it at an early age as my parents did with me.

Schools and organizations are trying to combat the problem, but it will take everyone, including students, parents, churches, and the community. There are also programs that can help. A simple Internet search for "anti-bullying programs" will turn up quite a few. One place to start right now is with "No Name-Calling Week" January 25-29. You can register or get more information at . I'm sure it won't be the ultimate solution, but at least it's a place to start.


  1. Thanks for posting this, it can be really sad how mnny bullys are around and usually is a cry from a child with a very unhappy home. My daughter was bullied for being different for having cerebral palsy and one day the bullies pushed her down and cracked her head open.......the school did nothing and she walked around all day with her hair full of blood.........they said they never noticed......hmmmmmmm I noticed the blood from 20 feet away..........that was a long time ago and I remember how angry I was, she was only 7.

  2. To Rainbow Rivers: I hear stories like yours every once in a while. I don't know how people at the school wouldn't notice. Usually other students will tell if the adults don't notice. One thing I do know from teaching is that the bullies don't bully when there are adults around, so it's hard to catch them unless the kids tell. Hair full of blood, however, would be hard to miss. I don't blame you for being angry. The other thing I hated was that a lot of the bullies were in special programs and often couldn't be suspended or expelled if their behavior was part of their disability. Some of the bullies were only in school because they had been in trouble with the law and were court-ordered to be in school. Bullying is a huge problem with no easy solutions. I understand kids getting angry with other students, but to just be mean because someone is different (or in some cases just to be mean), is something I still don't understand.

  3. The thing with my daughter is that they did know but she said she was okay when they asked if she was hurt, it really was a huge gash and I still do not know how they missed all the blood. In any case as you said there is no easy solutions to bullies and as you it is hard to understand why people are mean just to be mean.....this goes for adults as well as kids.