Bullying in high school
A parent offered her time to help with the girls basketball team at a catholic high school, her daughter was on the senior team at the time and there was only one coach for both the junior and senior team. The team only had one schedule practice per week for about an hour and a half but they had two scheduled games per week. Her daughter recognized that the teacher could use some help and since her mother had some knowledge in basketball she thought that she would ask her teacher if he would like her mother to help. The teacher seemed excited and told the daughterthat it would be great to have her mother on board and of course the daughter related that to her mother. They were two games away from the next scheduled practice and the coach wanted the mother to start at the next practice, so the mother was there to watch the girls play the next two games. At the first game the mother spoke to the teacher to reaffirm that it was okay with him still that she would help out and the coach reconfirmed his acceptanceof her help. After the second game the mother took time out to go up to the coach again and asked him if he still wanted her to come to the practice that was scheduled for the next day. At that time the coach again confirmed that he did indeed want the mother’s help at the practice.
The next day the mother showed up at the basketball practice to help out with the team that her daughter was playing on. When she arrived she spoke to the coach and showed him the plans that she had in mind and the coach voiced no objections, in fact he encouraged her to continue with the warm ups she had designed. The junior girls participated with practice however several of the senior girls seemed to be discontented with just the fact of seeing the mother there.
The mother knew only a few of the girls there, her daughter was in grade 11 now and when played for the junior team last year the mother only focused on her daughter at the time. She recognized some of the girls that wereon the senior team that was made up of grade 11 and 12 students, however she only knew the girls that were friends with her daughter and as for the grade 12 girls she did not know them at all. It seemed odd to the mother that some of these girls seem so discontented with her presence.
As the hour rolled on the teacher divided the group into the senior and junior team and then he asked the mother to work with the senior team as he worked with the junior team. As the mother tried to teach the senior team a basketball play several of the girls seemed reluctant. They were not keen on running the play, they rolled their eyes as the mother spoke and on their water break or any time they had a chance together they seemed to be conspiring. The mother however just continued to focus on teaching them the play and getting them to run it properly. The time was short so the mother recognized that the basketball play that she was trying to teach may not be ready to use in the game which was the next day. At the end of practice the mother went up to the girls and asked them individually if they felt that they could run the basketball play the next day or did they need more time, the girls all responded that they had it down pact and that they were okay to run it the next game which was the next day.
Before the mother left the gym she noticed that their were a few girls, two from grade 12 along with some grade 11 girls that were sitting in a group and seemed to be waiting for the basketball coach but the mother felt that if there were issues that the coach would discuss it with her at the game that was taking place the next day.
The next day when the mother arrived at the school’s gym for the senior girl’s basketball game, she did not see the coach right away, so she did not know what the coach wanted of her. She noticed that the usual two chairs that were normally by the girls bench for coaches had been reduced to one, so the mother stood waiting for the coach to enter. When the coach entered the mother spoke to the coach asking what he wanted her to do, she made him aware that she was fine sitting in the stands and watching the game from there. The coach however said that he would like the mother to sit on thecoach’s side, he told her there were no more chairs but she could sit on the bench beside the players. The mother asked the coach for the instructions as to what he wanted her to do and he gave them to her. The coach asked for no input as to who to play in the game from the mother and he did not involve her in any of the one on one chats that he was having with one of the old basketball coaches that wassitting in the stands. The mother realized that she had been given no power of authority or position on this team and she recognized immediately that even though the coach did not have a conversation with her about what had taken place with the girls the night before, that he had formed some kind of opinion.
What the mother also recognized was that the coach from last year who was sitting in the stands was being approached by a few of the senior girls basketball players. As the senior girls basketball team warmed up the mother went over to them to go over some last minute things about the game.
The game started and the girls began to play, the mother immediately recognized that a few of the girls on the court were doing whatever they wanted to do and not playing together as a team. Her daughter was playing point guard but even when she would call the play that the mother taught them three of the girls were not doing what they were taught to do. Her daughter feeling upset and frustrated by what was going on, asked to be taken off the court because she did not want to continue with the obvious rebellion of the other girls, it was destroying their chances of winning. The position of point guard was now given to one of the girls that were already on the floor and the rest filled in. The mother recognized that the girls were not following the play, so she stood up and yelled out “call the play and flow it through”, but she could see that the point guard would then call the play but neither herself or a few of the other girls were moving, to set up the play or to follow it through. Then the point guard shouted from the court that the play was not working, one of the grade 12 players who was taken off the court had sat down on the bench and also yelled again that the play was not working and then a third girl that was in grade 12 followed suite. The mother brought the play over to the coach and showed it to him and showed him the positioning of the basketball play and that even though the point guard was calling the play several of the girls including the point guard were not in the right position and did not even attempt to move to the correct position. The coach called a time out and had the mother go over the play with the girls and again they went on the floor and did nothing. The mother sat on the bench next to her daughter who was refusing to go back on the floor and she explained to her mother that the girls were purposely not doing the play. It seemed that they had had a discussion with the coach voicing their opinion of not wanting the mother to coach the team and then they had brought the old coach to the game so that she could intervene with the mother and the present coach of the team to get their way. They had heard that a teacher who had also coached the team before but had been transferred was now coming back to the school, they wanted her to coach the team so they had gone through the trouble of premeditating a plan to get them what they wanted.
The mother knew then that between the coach and the defiant students that their was not much she could do, so she sat back and watched the girls do as they chose and the coach allowing them to do so. The girls lost the game by a great landslide; they ran three other plays that did not work, however not one of them yelled from the court, “This play doesn’t work”.
This all stems from a few girls from the senior basketball team that for some reason dislikes the daughter of the mother who tried to help out. It was because they disliked the daughter that they set up to disrespect a parent who had taken time out to try and help out the coach of the team from the get go, from the time she set foot in the gym, they didn’t give her a chance to show them that she could help them. However it went beyond that, these young girls, premeditated a plan that would not only disrespect, embarrass, humiliate and emotionally hurt the mother, they hurt her daughter as well. This is beyond bullying.
To add insult to injury, during half time the few senior girls went over and spoke with the old basketball coach that was sitting on the bench. The old basketball coach then got off the bench, spoke to the present coach in private and ignored the mother that was helping as if she was of no importance. Then she said aloud to the senior girls basketball team, “don’t do that play it is not gonna work”. She said it with contempt and an intention to impale the mother with her dominance. The mother showed no reaction, she only sat there and watched as all the involved parties became smug. The mother also noticed that her daughter had just sank into humiliation because of the disrespect shown towards her mother, the mother was heart broken. While sitting on the bench the mother noticed the grade 12 player, slapping a high five to her partner in grade 11 responding, ‘great job”, then looking at the mother and smirking. This is beyond bullying.
There are times in this world that I am constantly asking why and how, bad things happen. Young teens going with guns into a school and shooting up the school, young teens killing themselves or they turn into adults whowould rob you blind in a blink of an eye, it doesn’t matter if you are familyor a friend. It doesn’t bother them to swindle, manipulate and connive to steel or cause harm to other people to benefit themselves. I look at all these horrible things that are happening and I want to know where did it start, when did it all go wrong for these people, for these teens.
I am aware that a mass number of the world is not in the spot light right now but from where I stand I can see that there are a large number of people who are continually, conniving, manipulating and destroying other people to benefit themselves. It doesn’t matter who they harm, it doesn’t matter the lives that they destroy all that matters is that they succeed at getting what they want by any means necessary, this is the world that we seem to live in. What I never wanted to imagine was that girls in a catholic school and on the verge of graduating and heading out into the world, have nothing better to bring into the world than what is already out there. I was naive to think that sending your children to a catholic school would build moral and character, that by the time they were ready to graduate they would have a sense of right and wrong, and a conscience. I believed that what they were learning in a catholic school was about peace and love, tolerance, and patience and above all else respect.
It is a disturbing awakening to hear that these girls premeditated their actions and followed through with it without even considering the damage it would cause the mother who generously volunteered her time, the daughter who asked her mother to help and had to watch as these girls disrespected her, the teacher who asked this mother to help and the catholic school to which their actions would not play favourable on. They did all this to get what they wanted and to get rid of who they didn’t want, not because someone had done something to them but because they have some dislike for her daughter. This is beyond bullying.
The question I have is, when teens have gotten to this age and are not concerned about the damage they are causing other people, what are we to expect when sending them into the world? My views have always been that our children are destined to change the world for the better so I have raised my children to be respectful of others, to be independent in their thoughts and to recognize the harm they may cause others if they don’t think before they act. I have labelled this senior girls basketball team’s actions as beyond bullying.
At what age are we expecting our children to have a conscience? If by the time they are ready to graduate high school they are still premeditating their harmful destruction of other people’s lives then have we failed and should we be afraid now that we are sending them into the world?
We are focusing on bullying and the damage it causes to the victims, but this goes beyond bullying. I think we are not paying enough attention to the bullies and just how much damage they will continue to do throughout their lives if at some point, somewhere throughout their lives they do not acquire a conscience.