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Can Bullies To Change?
I remember when I was a five year old I witnessed my first instance on bullying. A kid in our kindergarten class had brought a silver dollar to school and was showing it off. Another boy who was known for emotional outbursts and hitting other kids ran up and grabbed the silver dollar away. He then pushed the kid that had brought the silver dollar to school and started walking away leaving the boy on the ground crying. Back in then (I say that like I'm so old) teachers actually did something about bullying without having their hands tied by risking lawsuits, etc. After telling the teacher she got the silver dollar back from the bully and made him sit in the corner. Things were simple at that age.
I recall as I reached my early teens still in public school. A boy, we'll call him Park, used to ridicule me and another boy who didn't want to take showers after gym. Keeping in mind I was just reaching puberty and the boys shower room was just one large room with no dividers in which everyone went in to take a shower at once. Park would call us gay and just about everything else under the sun because we didn't shower with them after gym. Of course that made little sense. If we were gay I'm sure getting into a shower with a large group of naked boys wouldn't have bothered us. At the time I found it rather gross for us all to be showering together.
Park would change though as time went on. I think as we finished our last year of elementary school he experienced a personal tragedy in his life and it forced him to grow up. Less than two years later we were in high school and playing volley ball, another teen, we'll call him Liot, was angry because he was losing. He threw the volleyball and hit me square in the face. Park who was in the same class I was ran up to Liot and began yelling at him for what he did. Telling him to apologize to me. Liot didn't but at the time I was incredibly surprised by Park. He had grown up and was no longer a bully.
The same thing would eventually happen to Liot a few years later. By that time we were in our late teens and our last year of high school. He had mellowed and we even had an occasional conversation. He would ask me how I was doing, we discuss what we were going to do after graduation. It seemed he had grown up as well.
Throughout life as I got older I have seen that people do change, especially from children, to teens, to adulthood. The message I am trying to get across is that teachers, parents even other peers should work toward helping bullies fit into their future roles as functioning members of society. It is better to rehabilitate a bully as a child than to simply punish them and forget it because it is much easier than trying to rehabilitate an adult criminal who hasn't had anyone try to put him on the right path his whole life.
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