Bullies in schools = Suicides

Discussion in 'Bullies and Stalkers' started by travelgal, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. travelgal

    travelgal New Member

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    Here's my first attempt at starting a thread. I am open to any and all suggestions, so please feel free to comment.

    I have been very disturbed about the young children that have chosen suicide as their way of dealing with bullies at school. In the past weeks, two 11 yr old boys, one in Massachusetts and one in Atlanta decided they couldn't take it anymore. I find this very alarming and I want to know what we can do, if anything, to change this trend.

    Why is this happening at an increasing rate? I know that some WS members have posted heartbreaking stories of their own experiences and concerns. Perhaps through this kind of sharing we can put our heads and hearts together and come up with ways to help.

    Here are links to the most recent casualties that I am aware of:

    http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/al...cord/2400.html

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met..._newstab&imw=Y
     
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  3. travelgal

    travelgal New Member

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  4. pb6656

    pb6656 Inactive

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    I think this issue is a growing concern. It is so heartbreaking. My sister works with a gal whose nine year old daughter attempted suicide. You know why? She was being teased at school because of her weight. She is not even what I would call a big girl She is just a regular nine year old girl size who is just a bit chunky. Baby fat. A friend of mine at work did have a very large son. He was teased and picked on every single day of the school year. Every single day. What warrants that? He never drove until he was 22. He had to go to school an extra year to graduate. Broke my heart one day when she was looking at pictures of my son's of the latest school dance. She asked me if I knew how lucky my boys were popular and good looking? What do you say to that?

    I started calling her son and talking with him. Sometimes it's easier for a kid to talk to someone outside the family. Another friend of hers and I are the ones who finally were able to teach him to drive.

    It's simply heartbreaking how cruel kids can be to one another. I think parents and authorities should stop with the kids will be kids way of thinking and get the problems under control. The world is not like it used to be and there are new pressures that all kids are under. They don't need the ones created among themselves. There is a little thing called respect that all kids should be taught and too many don't get their certificates.
     
  5. Angels_Not_Forgotten

    Angels_Not_Forgotten Anxiously Awaiting a WINNING NFL Season!

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    You know, I had a whole lot of things I was going to say, things to list, add on about, stories to tell, but this sums it up so well, I don't need to say anything more. Until, as PARENTS, we instill a sense of respect for others, this will continue to be a growing and become even MORE of a problem than it is now. Children are no longer just saying "your mama" or "your fat" its gotten vulgar, unbearable, and just plain ugly.
     
  6. PattyCake

    PattyCake Gypsy By Heart

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    I've come across too many parents that insist their children are NOT bullies. One former neighbour in Canada was so appalled by my insistence that her MUCH OLDER boy was constantly bullying my son when he was 5 - 6 yrs old, I made a video tape and gave it to her telling her that if she doesn't wake up and put an end to it, the police WILL be brought in.

    She laughed and said "oh whatever, my brother in law is LE, they won't do anything to my child". So it wasn't DENIAL, it was an unwillingness to parent her child! :mad:

    I online / homeschool my children now. Not for any bullying reasons but because we travel so much and we want to keep their schooling consistent & to remain on the Canadian curriculum should we move back to Canada at some point.

    I'm glad we don't have to deal with how much worse kids are today, because they are. When I went to school, we never had locker raids looking for Meth, no one ever brought a gun to school, wasn't metal detectors at the doors, nor police having an office in the building, etc etc etc.

    We make sure they are involved in sports, music, and a variety of social activities that generally include our involvement or our presence to a large extent. If other parents refuse to take responsibility for their childrens' actions, make excuses for their behaviour, etc, then I guess it's my job to be vigilant in assuring that my children will have the least amount of exposure to hardships like this.
     
  7. lew657

    lew657 New Member

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    I agree parents play the key role here - not the teachers or administrators, to be honest there is only so much they can do and it typically becomse a he said - she said event.

    There are 2 sides here - the parents of bullies, they need to closely review what in their life makes their kids think this is appropriate behavior. For the parents of the children being bullied - you need instill the coping skills your child will need through life to deal with these issues.

    I just heard a story on the radio the other day that over 60% of adults have been involved in or witnessed work place bullying - this is not a problem that is going to go away overnight.

    It comes down to that children's verse "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." We (society) need to work to give children the self respect to realize that these words can't hurt them if they don't allow them to.
     
  8. Blackwatch

    Blackwatch Former Member

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    Excellent post! I remember growing up and being bullied to some extent by a girl down the street. My family complained to LE and they DID pay that family a visit. The bullying stopped.

    I believe the problem today is lack of parenting. With so many families where 2 parents work to make a living, there isn't a lot of time left over to teach the kiddies good values. Also, I believe there is MORE of a tendency today to believe the child over an adult, like, "MY child would never do that.". Rot, says I, my kids said they didn't either, but they did.

    Maybe it should be mandatory to attend a school night where bullying and its effects are talked about in living color.
     
  9. PattyCake

    PattyCake Gypsy By Heart

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    LEW657 - yes, I think we need to instill confidence, self worth & strength in our children. The world is a harsh place and not preparing kids for the reality of the real world does nothing for them.

    A pastors teen daughter comes to mind. She was so very protected, no 'regular tv', only religious cartoons, homeschooling, only having friends from church and so forth.

    When she was 18, moved out on her own, she became immediately very out of control and eventually died of a drug overdose. While that has nothing to do with bullying, it lends to your comments about how not preparing our children to live in the real world can possibly harm them or not equip them to make the best choices when they go out on their own.
     
  10. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    My fiance was bullied horribly as a kid. He grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood, he was the only white kid in his class, his family was poor, he was gentle natured, loved animals, liked to read etc and kids picked on him mercilessly, beat him up, one time they beat him up and stole his brand new shoes he had saved up for the last 6 months for. There was one kid in particular who was bad and he stole fiance's bike and sold it, he stomped on fiance's pet rat killing it, would beat him up etc.
    Fiance's dad called this kid's parents and they just laughed it off as boys will be boys.

    I can still see the emotional scars the bullying has left in him in how he reacts to things, his insecurities, his need to feel like he can protect himself and me. It is sad and some of the stories he has told me about what some of these kids did to him is heartbreaking. I cannot imagine how it must have felt. Kids doing things like befriending him and gaining his trust only to humiliate him later on purpose.
     
  11. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    I went to Jr. High and High School with a boy who was mildly mentally retarded and kids were so, so mean to him. He was overweight on top of his mild retardation which just made matters worse. The stupid jock guys would pick on him, beat him up, they would throw stuff at him in class and openly mock him and the worse part about it is never ONCE did a teacher say anything. They just acted like it wasn't happening.

    He had his lunch stolen from him almost every day and one day I saw some guy smack the bottom of his lunch tray sending his milk and lunch all over the front of his shirt and then picked up the sandwich and smushed it into his face. Not one person said or did anything except for me and guess what? I got suspended for instigating a fight. That, I'm afraid, is the reality of the situation. The boy who teased him was a star athlete, was popular and was a complete ******* and got away with it. It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.
     
  12. Blackwatch

    Blackwatch Former Member

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    Sadly, I believe the story you've told happens over and over. I also believe we, as parents, tend to believe "school officials" over children who are trying to help and/or tell the truth. On another thread I posted that I once worked for a school and let me tell you about the teachers and administrators I met -THEY LIE, THEY OVERLOOK, and SOME OF THEM SHOULD BE IN JAIL THEMSELVES. If anyone doubts my word, just read, Echoes in The Darkness. That isn't the school I worked for, but many of them were almost as bad.

    My opinion only
     
  13. travelgal

    travelgal New Member

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    While I totally agree with so many of the posts stating that parents are responsible for providing the groundwork & training opposed to bullying, as a former educator I must say that children often behave differently away from watchful eyes of parents. That said, I also can say I have seen children as young as 4 yrs old that were little bullies in training. Some of this behavior was no doubt coming from home to some degree. Movies are another place that bullying is glorified by picking on the small, weak or gentle that won't fight back. Much as I hate to say it, standing up to a bully seems to be the one step that often works. I don't condone fighting, but if a child is able sometimes it works to back a bully down. However, in most cases that is not possible or even acceptable.

    I am appalled at the number of teachers and school staff members that turn a blind eye to this behavior. Parents aren't likely to witness this happening so who, if not the schools, do we hold responsible for this growing trend?? We, or the school officials, can't go into students homes to make a difference. I do like the idea of a poster that perhaps parent information classes be held. Great idea if the parents that need to participate show up. Many of those are going to be the ones saying "not my kid!". It's sort of a situation of preaching to the choir. I just want to save these kids before they are hanging from an electrical cord for lack of knowing what to do and feeling desperate.

    Thanks for all of the great sharing and suggestions that have been contained in your posts. :blowkiss:
     
  14. twirlygirl

    twirlygirl New Member

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    I don't remember it being so bad when I was in school and NOW it's seems so different. This year in particular has been a really tough one for me. Because my daughter who is 11 yrs old has been experiencing bullying in school. My daughter went from maybe 1 to 2 days absent last year to 17 absents and 12 or so tardies this year. It's been an uphill battle and I have to be honest the school hasn't been much help. But I will tell you this...I do not condone violence but I strongly told her guidance counselor if this girl continues to take her lunch and hit her. That my daughter has every right to defend herself. I'm so tired of the lackadaisical attitude towards handling the bully. My daughter's life should not be disrupted because of this. This child's mother whom I have met gave me a strong impression as to why her child is the way she is. Parents should stay on top of their children and explain to them this is NOT acceptable behavior period! I can honestly say if I even see my child remotely say something hurtful towards another child I don't take her side and I immediately tell her this is not acceptable. I don't hide in denial and say NOT my child! I truly hate it when parents don't teach their kids accountability.

    Sorry I'm ranting I know...
     
  15. lew657

    lew657 New Member

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    I found this interesting from a letter written by an 8th grade student about a new "anti bullying program".

    "The problem is that those who are bullying don’t recognize that what they are doing is bullying. How can you change something you fail to recognize?"

    The full letter can be found at: http://www.thereporteronline.com/articles/2009/04/22/opinion/doc49eefbf9beb2f808230824.txt

    Although I do agree that the ideal solution would be to find ways to stop the bullying - this may never be 100% possible. So why not focus our energy and money on campaigns to help the children learn how to deal with these situations. There is a reason that out of the - probably millions- of children bullied each year some feel the need to take their life or are left scarred as adults. I personnally know others who lived through the same situation and it has not had a negative impact on their adult life. Why? Are there certain skills children could develop to be better able to handle these things?
     
  16. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    It's hard to know what to change to solve this crisis. And I do think it is a crisis.

    In our own school we are dealing with a child who has needed extreme discipline methods for his age; i.e., detention and suspension for a child in 2nd grade, which are normally reserved for older kids. The school administrators are at their wits' end trying not to kick this kid out, but he reacts to the bullying in a totally inappropriate way (punching, screaming, kicking, running away).

    The bullying is hard to stop. The kids, even at 8, are already good at teasing this boy in a way that is difficult to pinpoint. Tripping him is "just an accident;" laughing at him becomes, "my friend told a joke;" and many taunts are muttered under their breath so that it becomes a he said-he said situation. And who would believe the boy who has already been in so much trouble when the one he is accusing is so cooperative and pleasant???

    A group of boys has gone through the victims and figured out that this boy gives them the biggest bang for their buck. Even if they get caught, it will be for something minor like calling someone a name or excluding him from a game. But the cumulative effect on this one child's psyche over time, this one child with a short fuse or poor coping skills or whatever you want to label it, is like the straws on the camel's back. The one that brings him to his knees may be minor, and thus his reaction seems even more inappropriate.

    But constantly disciplining these kids for minor infractions is a challenge. Some low level conflict has to be ignored so that the teacher doesn't become the tattletale police. Just like in a family when a parent tunes out a certain level of bickering, a teacher can't punish the class for every single issue. Nothing would ever get learned and the kids would all hate each other!

    I think a critical point is teaching teachers and administrators how to recognize the difference between normal bickering and bullying. I think a lot of the time when a parent complains, that parent is labeled as "over protective" or "in denial" about their own child's part in the situation.

    How do parents communicate concerns without putting the school on the defensive? How do schools address both bullying AND the over-reaction to it? (Can we all agree that assault, murder, or suicide are an over-reaction, no matter how much we might feel for the victim?) How do we teach kids the skill that some seem to come by naturally of letting things roll off their backs?



    AND...for those who say it was better when we were kids...I call BS. I lived in this same area when I was the age my kids are now. It is exactly the same. Even the insults are the same. If my 5th grade year were going on now, the teacher would be fired, several kids would be in "alternative school", and there would probably be an active sexual harrassment lawsuit. Yes, 5th grade, and I was nothing special. It went on until 10th grade and we moved. Kids are selfish little beasts until someone teaches them that the world doesn't revolve around them. Unfortunately there are always a few parents who can't be bothered (or haven't learned that lesson themselves yet).
     
  17. Yakwoman

    Yakwoman 25 cents a look!

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    Bullying makes life hell.

    I was teased and bullied by a classmate all through elementary school (back in the late 60's). My mother complained to the school officials and the girl's parents (who were teachers at the high school!) dozens of times and nothing ever changed. It was several years of hell.

    One day in the fifth grade, I'd finally had enough. She approached me on the playground with her two nasty friends. I honestly can't remember what she did to me that day, only that I snapped. I grabbed her blond pigtail, pulled her to the ground, sat on her and proceeded to pound on her until she got a bloody nose. (By the way, her buddies didn't stay to help her - they fled!)

    I was in big trouble. Our parents got called into the principal's office and a big deal was made about how I'd beaten the girl up. My mother sat calmly and listened to what everyone had to say about the AWFUL thing I had done.

    When it was her turn to speak, she said, "I have been calling you people for years and complaining about the bullying and you've done nothing about it. My daughter finally stands up for herself and you want to punish her? I don't think so. It's about time she (pointing at the bully) got what was coming to her."

    She then stood up and told me we were leaving. I never did get punished, either at home or in school. And the bully steered clear of me from that day forward until we graduated high school.
     
  18. passionflower

    passionflower Just 1 tip to find a killer

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    A friend of mine is a school bus driver of 7 + 8th grade children from a well to do area of our town.
    The boys bully bad!
    Allot of sexual stuff with girls..........and want to bully and beat up boys also.
    She has written them up, told school, teachers, wrote letters to parents and guess what?
    She is being sued for picking on some rich persons pervert bully kid!
    When it should be that the kid should LOOSE HIS riding rights on the bus.
    So even school bus drivers are scared to death to say anything now, afraid to loose their jobs or be sued by parents like my friend.
    Allot f kids are in danger if the bus gets into a wreck because these kids won't behave.
     
  19. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I agree!
     
  20. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I don't think bullying has gotten worse. I do think that we have gotten more aware. That is a good thing and the direction where we need to keep heading. Parents and school officials must be ever-vigilant regarding unkindness. I mean no offense, but children en masse are fairly savage and selfish, constantly jockeying for position (adults can be too!) - it is our job to tame them.

    I am not quick to blame parents willy nilly. More than once I have seen boys and girls being raised by two kind, respectful, empathic parents engage in bullying behavior. Of course, I have also seen kids being raised by buffoons bully.

    As I mentioned on another thread, many schools in my county now have policies as well as ongoing counseling courses regarding bullying. But policies must be backed up by wise, supportive adult behavior - at school and at home.

    In the end, it is my job to be in tune with what is going on with my children. That can be tough. My boys (Kinder and 2nd grade) and I talk constantly, and they are open with me about what goes on in their life at school, at church, with friends, etc... I can foresee a day when they might not be so open with me. I am able to be present a good deal at my boys' school - that's incredibly helpful - but not every parent has that luxury.

    Also, we have to remind ourselves that even though one single child killing themselves because they feel unloved and unwanted among their peers is too many, suicide is not a common response to bullying. More common is suffering silently and holding fast to those wounds for the rest of your life - this can be at least as debilitating as a suicide - just in a different way.

    I don't have any great answers, but I wanted to throw my 2 cents in.
     
  21. momtective

    momtective Lifetime WS Non-Mod

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    True story:
    We have a young man in foster care in our home, he is 16 and has been in care most of his life. At one of his recent placements he was kicked by a horse and broke his hip, the hip did not heal properly and has left him with one leg about 5 inches shorter the the other. He's a tall lanky kiddo, good lookin' and has a heart the size of Texas but he has had some very serious anger issues over the years...lot's of anger built up in him. Well just a few weeks ago a kid at school (known bully) was taunting him horribly and had been for several days prior. Making fun of his limp, challenging him to a race, calling him names and then it finally happened...the kid shoved him and knocked him off balance and back a foot or two...within a split second the bully kid didn't know what hit him...my tall, lanky, good lookin' kiddo busted the bully right in the nose. Now I don't condone violence but in this case I actually felt a sense of vindication for my kiddo and all the other kiddo's that have had to tolerate "bully kids" behavior throughout the year.
    yes, my kiddo was placed in Alternative School for 3 weeks but all in all I think he got the better end of the deal. I'm told by school staff that there was a silent wave of "atta boy" for my tall, lanky, good lookin' kiddo who still has a bit of an anger issue but was fully able to control himself this time and not beat the "punk bully boy" to a pulp, which surely would have happened had this incident taken place a year ago.
     

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