Are You A Bully, Tormentor Or Habitual Teaser
What Is Bullying
To be more concise I researched the definition, and found one that I think best suits my idea of bullying. This statement is taken from an article by Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. I'm quoting Mr. Olweus verbatim, "A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself." Mr. Olweus also added three other components to bullying:
- It's an imbalance of power or strength
- Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying is a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
Before I go any further I'd like to give credit where credit is due. The quotes in this section is taken in large part from a site that I highly recommend. Because I feel this subject needs as much coverage as possible I'd like to encourage readers to go over to the site, OLWEUS, Bullying Prevention Program.
Who's Being Bullied
While doing research for this article, I noticed that the first two pages of Google on the Subject of people dying from bullying centered on boys being teased for being gay. While this is very disheartening, sad and intolerable, there are girls that are summarily being bullied to death. So, to them I'd like to dedicate this article.
Serious Cases Of Bullying
To reiterate, in my opinion, this matter appears to be under reported, so, I'd like to shine a little more light on it. The cases that I'm mentioning here are just a tip of the iceberg.
- The first case concerns 15 year old Phoebe Prince. Miss Prince's body was found hanging in the stairway leading to her family's second-floor apartment in Northampton Massachusetts. She had recently moved to the area with her parents from Ireland. For almost three months she had been mercilessly verbally abused, threatened, and generally harassed, and some of it had been done in the presence of not just the students, but faculty alike, with no actions taken. For more of the story please follow this link, Phoebe Prince.
- The Next case is of Holly Stuckey. One of the saddest things about this is she was only 12 years old. Holly was tormented because she didn't know much about sex. She suffered in silence, not being able to explain her situation to her parents. Only after she died did her parents find a stash of letters revealing her heartbreaking plight. Holly had asthma, but it was believed to be under control, however her father believes the emotional strain of the bullying may have been too much for her heart. At just 12 years old Holly died in her fathers arms. To read more about this story follow this link under Holly Stuckey.
- It's not just the young girls that bullying affects, it can come at any age, as proven by the next situation. This is the case of a 29 year old teacher, Britt Pilton. Ms. Pilton was a young woman that seemed to have it all together. She was engaged to be married in the summer, she was a well loved and popular teacher, but none of that could help her during her torment. She was said to have been tormented and bullied by a co-worker who had a record of this type of action, he had a reported habit of using this technique on others. It was said, "This one person would go round and bully a different teacher until they left and Britt felt she was the next one,’ said Kelly Parkin, a teacher at the school and close friend to Ms Pilton." Even though Ms. Pilton was scheduled to marry the love of her life, which should have been the happiness time of her life, the pressure from her tormentor was just too great to bear, she collapsed at school after a particular stressful event. To be fair she did have an underlying problem, however it was exacerbated by the continued bullying of her reported tormentor. For more on this case please research Britt Pilton on the Internet.
These cases are but a few of the many that occur on a regular basis, they don't even touch on cyber bullying, which I won't either at this time.
When the question is put to you, "Are you a bully, teaser, or tormentor," before you answer consider the ramification of your actions. Some might answer with pride, "yes I am," others with dismay, after learning of the devastating consequences of their actions. In either case, put yourself in the shoes of anyone of these aforementioned young women. Each and everyone of us has something that we would call a shortcoming, over which you have no control. Maybe you're short, tall, wear glasses, big feet, crooked nose, even red hair, (more about that later), or it could be a speech impediment. Just think of what it is that you don't particularly like about yourself, and picture being mercilessly teased about it day after day. Simple analogy, but in some cases that's just how simple it is. However, in a lot of cases there are other things a person is dealing with, before the teasing begins, that would make the torment harder to deal with.
Surveys say that 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally and physically. What a sad commentary of our society today. Speaking of things over which you have no control, I just heard of something called Ginger abuse, that deals with the teasing and tormenting of anyone with Red Hair, never heard of it until now.
Just imagine, if after you've, "innocently," chided someone on a regular basis about a physical feature, that they already feel bad about, and one day you find out they're dead at their own hands, because of not being able to deal with it. Do you think you could live with that, (just asking)?
Looking back on the three aforementioned cases: In the case of Phoebe Prince, looking at her picture, one wonders what was it that caused her to be teased so badly, it didn't matter, she just couldn't take the pressure. Then what about, Holly Stuckey, 12 years old, how much should she know about sex at that age? And Ms. Pilton, imagine being tormented because of being good at what you do. In all of these cases the torment was just too much to bear.
What about you, who don't tease, bully, or torment, but take no action when you see it done to others, especially if it is in your power to do something. I came across a very interesting statistic on this note, it was dealing with the playground. It's said that every 7 minutes a child is bullied, with 4% adult intervention, peer intervention was about 11%, leaving 85% no intervention. So, are we part of the 85% that stand by and let someone suffer unnecessarily at the hands of another? As was seen in the case of the adult that was bullied to death, the same can be said of this situation, taking no action could lead to the same consequences.
So think twice before you set out to, "innocently," tease someone, it could lead to something worse, stress, depression, or even death. Do you think you could live with the consequences of your actions if this occurs.
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