Bullies, Is Our Society Creating and Nurturing Them?

From an early age of childhood

From the time we begin to socialize, we are taught to 'share' as well as to 'play nice with others'. Children must give their favorite toys to others for play time activities. If those toys are broken, they must accept scripted apologies from the child that the child's mother tells them to say. Do the children learn from this? Yes, they learn that they can do anything to other children's things and all they will have to do is apologize for it as a consequence.

The more aggresive children are encouraged to continue the behavior since they have basically been given permission. As they move into the first grade, there are, again, few consequences for such behavior. You might get a red marker on your name, or you might lose the chance to pick from the prize box. They already have most of their classmates things, what do they need with more.

The grammar schools teach the children to be 'nice' to each other; but, at the same time they teach competition at any cost. The aggresive child might push a child out of the line to be first in line since first in line means attention, notability and even occasional leadership. No one sees the aggressive behavior so on one acts, even if the victim complains--or is it that they are all afraid of the aggresive child and so won't talk? Even if there is a bit of belief, both children are reminded to be good to each other and the day moves on. The aggressive child taught that the push was okay to do and the victim taught that on one will help you unless you become aggresive yourself.

9 year old Grayson Bruce, his mother, and the 'offending' bookbag
9 year old Grayson Bruce, his mother, and the 'offending' bookbag | Source

Have we made more than we think?

Today, bullying is so wide-spread that, although the school's now have strict bullying rules in place, it seems the victim is the one who is punished. Why? Because it is the easier battle to fight. Why punish the bullies who are numerous, when punishing one victim is so easy. Go back to Grammar School. Everyone make nice and the day moves on smoothly.

In North Carolina 9 year old Grayson Bruce was bullied and punched because of his bookbag. The school sent him home and told his mother that the bookbag was the reason for the bullying and that it could not be brought back to the school. The mother, angry about her sons bullying and the school's apparent lack of common sense, told news reporters that saying the bag is the cause of the bullying might be compared to saying a short skirt is the cause for the rape.

This video was recorded on You Tube on July 6, 2015

We can do it electronically now!

So now we have the internet. We can talk to each other for hours without tying up the family phone. We can text and we can messenge all within seconds. We can even make videos and upload them to a video site. Once there, people can click on them, share them, and even comment on them. Once they are uploaded, the sky is the limit, as my family used to say.

So here is an eleven year old boy who makes harmless videos with his father and posts them on a video site. People see the video and make horrible, rude, and cruel comments on them. In the video to the upper right, the young boy reads some of those comments for the first time. It is easy to see and hear the hurt this boy is feeling as he reads. Why would people do such a thing? Because they can bully from a distance and not get caught? Because no one knows who they are or where they live; not even their town, state, or high school, How convenient is that?

Tell me what you think about the subject so far.

Are we making bullies?

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Rebecca Sedwick
Rebecca Sedwick | Source
Amber Rose Caidel
Amber Rose Caidel | Source

Children are killing themselves because of cyberbullying.

Within the school system, as extra ciriculicular activities, our children are given the means to be even more aggressive. Football, Cheerleading, Basketball, Soccar, Karate, Homecomming Queen or even scolastic competitions are all things that teach our children that the smarter, stronger, more aggressive or even prettier, more developed child is better than the rest. Those who do not excel in these activities are considered less than perfect by teachers and children alike.

On October 6, 2013, Dough Stranglin and William M Welch reported in USA Today that a twelve year old girl, named Rebecca Sedwick, jump from the tower of a cement factory after being cyberbullied by at least fifteen of her classmates. Two of her classmates, aged twelve and fourteen, were arrested and charged with felonies after bragging on facebook that they had bullied her and were glad she was dead.

On May 12th, 2015, Alex Rozier from KING 5 News reported in USA Today that twelve year old Amber Rose Caudel from Evergreen Middle School in Washington State committed suicide according to her family. Her father went public with his belief that it was because of cyberbullying and he urges anyone who is contemplating suicide to contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Hundreds of students walked out of Evergreen on Monday, May 16th in suppoprt of their classmate whose life was taken way too soon.

There is so much evidence.

What do you think about cyberbullying and its connection to suicide?

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High School

High School is deadly for bullying. By now the 'popular' kids think they can do no wrong and the 'not so popular' kids know to stay out of sight or they will be subject to accepted bullying. Teachers turn their heads. Coaches see nothing. Principles believe those whose parents' have the most influence on the school. The bullying gets worse, especially since you are now talking entire teams. The entire football team is bullying the nerd. Who does the Principle deal with: the football team that may win the playoffs, or the nerd who sits in the corner reading? Take a wild guess.

Cyberbullying is so easy to do as well. Teenagers are old enough to have the better equipment which does more than take pictures and allow a person to text someone. Social media offers the space through which everyone can tease and pick on others without anyone being the wiser. A whisper passed quickly through the teams guides everyone to the pages. The taunts and insults are repeated throughout the school-over and over again. No one steps in to stop it. If a complaint is filed, students are told that they can leave the school; parents are told that their child is causing a great deal of chaos and should be disciplined at home or they will be suspended from school. Punish the victim while awarding the bully(s). Remember children, everyone make nice.

Is society Creating and Nuturing Bullies?

Grammar School
Competition
Influence and High School
Everyone make nice, no punishment used
The more aggresive the better
My son is Captain, he would do no such thing
Share, even if it is your favorite toy
Beauty Pagents
He's a nerd, what do you expect
I didn't see it so it did not happen
Of course your daughter can be a part of our cheerleading squad, thank you so much for the donation to our library
A new Gym--of course we will conduct further investigations into the matter, I'll bet the nerd just made the whole thing up

The future

As our children grow, we, as parents and influencial guardians, hope to instill in them the best morals and values. We have fought to ensure that they are strong, intellectual, talented, informed about the latest in electronics and well versed in world events. With this in mind, why would we ever encourage them to be bullies? Bullies are mean and cruel. They step on people to get ahead. They lie to make themselves look better. They take information from others hard work and claim it to be their own. They are ruthless in the effort to climb the ladder to fame and fortune. And they get plenty of help and encouragement from mom and dad. Wait, does that mean that the sons annd daughters who have been taught since Grammar School to be aggressive and whose parents are always encouraging them to succeed---are the bullies of our future?

But we fight so hard to discourage bullies; and in doing so, we are also making it dificult to discipline the existing bullies because there are so many of them. We, therefore, make it easier to treat the source rather than the outcome. In other words, the nerd, the shy trumpet player, the frightened skinny kid who can't even reach the basketball hoop or the poor child whose been teased for her ragged clothes are the ones we seek out and send home to avoid any further bullying--Problem Solved. Or is it that we have only touched the tip of the iceberg and, like the Titanic, we are about to sink, and sink fast?

In summary:

  1. Children are taught at an early age that aggresion is approved and rewarded--everyone make nice.
  2. As children get older, they are pushed into competitions. The smarter, prettier, stronger, or the most popular ones win. They are allowed to bully any not in that catagory because those types are useless except for entertainment.
  3. High School teaches our children how to use electronics and gives them permssion to abuse any who do not meet their standards. Football players, cheerleaders, beauty winners, etc. are encouraged to shove the others further back on the social ladder. And they do, with a vengeance.
  4. Once the eclectrics come into play and social media is used, bullying is brought to a whole new level. Cyberbullying is born. Anyone can bully someone via social media and generally remain anynomous. Whispers point the chosen few to the site and the torture begins.
  5. Adults, believing they are helping their children, use their influence to keep them from punishment no matter what it is they might have done.
  6. Many adults, learning the same lessons that their son or daughter is now learning, will go to any length to make sure the bullying is done by them and not to them. Just like they did in school, just as they do now at work, just as they do at home; they are teaching what they have learned. Perhaps it should have been a less violent lesson.

Where are the bullies and victims today?

The bullies are the bosses and managers and the victims are their secretaries, clerks, janitors, etc. Why?

  1. Influence
  2. Ease of dealing with the situation
  3. Peer pressure as the bullies rise through the ranks and the victims do not
  4. Fear, the victims fear to retaliate or even to report the abuse for fear they will be punished
  5. A growing sense of worthlessness due to the bullying--Some victimes become suicides-some become mass murderers-some just waste away

Are there exceptions? Always. But the number of victims is growing. What does that say about the number of bullies?

Though I can do little for those who have perished,

I wish to dedicate my hub to them. The pain they must have felt during those days prior to their death. The sadness we all feel at the loss. It is sad to believe that our own society, built to give us freedoms never before imagined, could have so many bullies. Where could they have come from; if we, ourselves, are not responsible for them?

© 2015 Cheryl Simonds

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There are no easy answers, but all are welcome. Please leave a comment below. 2 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 11 months ago from USA

Look at who we glorify ... bullies like Donald Trump who verbally accost women, veterans, immigrants, the disabled plus sports stars who beat their wives and get away with it. Is it any wonder?


cherylone profile image

cherylone 11 months ago from Connecticut Author

FlourishAnyway, changes need to be made, sadly, it looks like they will be slow in coming.

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