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When Lines are Crossed; Bullying, How It Has Become A Social Problem
Have You Been a Victim of a Bully?
Have you ever been bullied?
When Lines are Crossed
We've all been on the other end of a mean comment that was aimed at us. Maybe you've been physically hurt by a bully by being cornered or pushed around. We all have been made fun of and felt bad afterwards. Our feelings are hurt and we feel intimidated, afraid to report the bully for fear we may suffer more insults or attacks. We get feelings of self guilt for not standing up for ourselves because of fear. Fear makes us feel like we may deserve the insults and antagonism. It is a horrible cycle. In most cases bullying is a repeated form of personal harassment in which the person being picked on is chronically hurt by another individual. It is wrong and it doesn't just happen on playgrounds or in neighborhoods with kids.
Bullying happens to people of all ages from the young to the old. It happens in the workplace, in public places, and now on the internet in what has been termed cyber bullying. Bullies seek power over others. They usually feel that they are center stage and are very critical of people they feel aren't as good as they are. By intimidation they are able to manipulate people to help give them an ego boost, some recruit others to help them in social bullying.
Bullying has become a major issue today, it is so prevalent in today's society that it has become a major social-psychological issue. Bullying has lead to suicides and even killing sprees. It can destroy lives and cause major psychological scaring.
My Personal Account
I can relate to this myself being a kid that was bullied in elementary and Jr. High school. I was called names, pushed into toilets, I was humiliated by my peers, had my books and backpack thrown on the roof of the school, and I was beaten up. When I reported what had happened the kids treated me worse by acting like I didn't exist. I felt that the only way I was going to be acknowledged ever again was by their taunts. I felt that their hurtful comments and ploddings were true. I began to hate who I was because I let their opinions of me tell me who I was. I was so low at the age of 12 that I wanted to die.
I was the victim of social out-casting by a clique of popular wealthier kids in my grade school years. It was so bad that at my 6th grade graduation this group of kids did not invite me to the 6th grade graduation after party that everyone else in my class attended. My mother came home to find that I was locked in my room sobbing uncontrollably. My mother and father broke into the room to get me out. My mother immediately called the mothers of the two girls who's mothers had worked with the school to arrange the graduation party and threatened to turn them in for discrimination against me. The mother's of the girls both apologized and had no idea that I had not been invited, both the mothers had made the invitations using the teachers class listings for all the students in the graduating class. The clique of kids had taken my invitation and thrown it in the outside trash at lunch.
I was so devastated by this event my mother took me to see the pediatrician to ask what was wrong with me. I had been so hurt by that rejecting act. I carried that pain with me into high school where I eventually retaliated years after that incident. I went on to high school and for a few years I became a bully myself. I used drugs, I committed crimes and I became a hood. I believe that those years of bullying influenced my teen years. Not until the later half of my high school years did my guard come down and allow me to be myself again. It took me learning to love myself again to overcome that pain caused by those other kids. I know that I hurt people myself and for that I do sincerely apologize.
Copyrighted Lyric of Shinedown's Bully, Atlantic Records
"WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THIS, BACK AGAINST THE WALL, WE DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THIS, WE CAN END IT ALL!"
Signs Your Child is Being Bullied
- Has change in eating habits
- Makes excuses not to go to school
- Has fewer friends
- Feels helpless
- Talks about suicide
- Acts out of character
- Avoids certain places or playing outside alone
- Feels like they are not good enough
- Has trouble sleeping
- Blames themselves for their problems
What is Bullying
What is Bullying?
Bullying is aggressive behavior it's intentional, hurtful, (physical and psychological), and usually threatening and persistent (repeated). In most cases there is an imbalance of strength (power and dominance).
Criteria to help you determine if a student is being bullied:
- The mistreatment must be intentional.
- The mistreatment must be hurtful (physical or psychological).
- The mistreatment is threatening. The individual fears harms. Fear their safety.
- The mistreatment must occur more than once. However, some disagree with this. They say one very hurtful event is enough to label it bullying.
- There must be a power imbalance.
Many Bullies are bullied or have been bullied themselves by older siblings, abusive parents, and even at times people in authority.
Why Do Kids Bully?
Studies show that there are many reasons why kids would choose to be bullies.
- Some children have abusive parents and emulate their behaviors towards their peers.
- Some children have parents that are bullies towards other people and learn the behavior from their parents.
- Some children have parents that have substance abuse problems and lack supervision and discipline and structure.
- In many cases older siblings may be bullying children who then act out aggressively towards other children.
- Children who lack discipline also lash out at other children since they have no boundaries.
Shinedown Bully Music Video
How Do We Stop Bullying?
Through education, just like drugs, sex, and other social issues it takes education and the teaching of tolerance. We are all different but those differences should never cause us to hate someone so much that we would make fun of them enough to want to die. It is one thing to kid around, it is another to purposely hurt someone that is different than ourselves.
By showing how empathy is a better path for students and children from an early age we can help to plant the seed that hate is a horrible thing. It leads to pain and suffering and nothing positive comes from hate. It breeds and festers in the darkest corners of our soul and we must not let that evil seed grow. Fostering hate makes for a tortured person. Acceptance is great and we all want to be accepted. Foster acceptance and everyone can benefit, foster hate and we all suffer.
Victim Fights Back In NSW Sydney School | 'Casey'
Grade school children will often be harassed and singled out if they are some how different than the group. Many times one person begins the bullying and others participate to avoid being the next victim. Bullies often use cutting personal remarks about physical attributes or any other differences they can spot and use against the victim. This often leads to lasting psychological damage to the victim.
Children do not often feel that what they are doing is wrong in that they derive a sense of pleasure from joining in with the group and being accepted for doing so. The child being bullied though is often deeply hurt by what is happening to them.
In High School bullying gets more complicated; the dynamics are more subtle and relational in nature. Teens have a hard time knowing when to get involved when they see a peer being bullied. Much of the bullying in this phase of life is very damaging since the teen years are your base from which your adult life will spring from. Many young men and women who are bullied in high school need to seek psychological counseling because of bullying. Many others have actually physically moved from where they lived to avoid the bullies at the former school.
The Cyber Bully
Cyber Bullies is any bullying done through the use of technology. It goes easily undetected because of a lack of supervision. Many of these bullies pose as someone else. They pretend to be someone they aren't by opening up fake accounts under fake names. This is why it is the most anonymous type of bullying. Cyber bullying is done by email, instant messaging, text messaging, websites, social networking sites, etc."
A cyber bully uses technology to spread rumors and hold public debates filled with insults about a person. They often post humiliating material about the victim on the web for all to see. Though there is no physical violence towards the victim the emotional psychological damage is extremely hurtful.
How to Handle a Bully Patty Inglish, MS profile image Patty Inglish, MS
- Do You Know a Bully at Work? How to Handle the Office Bully and Abuse: Financial, Verbal, Emotional,
Al types of bullying can occur in the workplace. Be aware of what may happen to you or your children at work, and help to spread the word. Some US States are considering Anti-Workplace Bullying laws.
Workplace Bullying is any behavior be it verbal, physical, or non-physical that is aimed at their gender, race, or sexuality. These can be carried out in front of the victim or behind their back and can happen to both men and women. It is commonly carried out in front of the person and is often sexual in nature. At other times it may be done through favoritism as when a manager is friends with a person that bullies you and gives them more hours or promotes them. Also it can be done through technology like cell phones, and the internet. If you use any of the fore mentioned as a way to hurt your coworkers it is usually thought of as a reason for termination.
If Being Harassed at Work (What to Do?)
- Ask the person to stop the offending activity.
- If they persist let them know that they are crossing a line and that you will report them.
- If they still persist then tell their boss or an authority that they are harassing you.
- If you complain and nothing is done contact an outside source for help like a lawyer or the labor board.
Pictures of People Who Were Victims of Bullycide
The Horrible Reality About Bullying
So many people have been hurt and killed because of bullying. Whether they were hurt by the bully or they retaliated and ended up hurting others far too much blood has been spilled because of bullying. There should always be a zero tolerance level in society against bullying. I read some horrible stories researching for this article. Rarely does my research draw out my own personal emotional feelings like this subject has. It is important that we learn to accept people, we must not form per-judgments about people we don't know. A person may seem different, they may act different than you but that does not give someone the right to make fun of them or to physically attack them.
Take the Time to Listen, You May Save a Life
If a friend seems like they may be suicidal it is your obligation as a friend to try to get them help. You know they are not thinking clearly if they do not want to get help. So let someone know what is going on who can help you approach them in a calm and caring way.
Suicide Prevention HELP
- Befrienders Worldwide
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - With Help Comes Hope
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, nationwide network of crisis centers
What are the signs of someone who is suicidal
Are There Warning Signs of Suicide?
Warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide include:
- Always talking or thinking about death
- Clinical depression -- deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating -- that gets worse
- Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death such as driving fast or running red lights
- Losing interest in things one used to care about
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- Saying things like "it would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out"
- Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
- Talking about suicide or killing one's self
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
Be especially concerned if a person is exhibiting any of these warning signs and has attempted suicide in the past. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, between 20% and 50% of people who commit suicide have had a previous attempt.
Tyler Climente Victim of Cyber Bullycide
"The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei allegedly placed a camera in the 18-year-old student’s room in the Davidson residence on the Busch campus."
Bullycide Suicides and Accidental Deaths Because of Bullying
Worldwide people have been victims of bullies and for as long as man has been on earth people have picked on other weaker people. It's wrong though now that we have moved on from our primitive beginnings. Every year more children die because of suicidal depressions, many of these suicide cases may be undiagnosed bullycides.
To the right is a photo of Tyler Climente. He committed suicide by jumping off a bridge leaving his wallet, laptop, and his backpack on the bridge. His roommate had hidden a camera in the room and linked it to a girls computer nearby. The two watched Tyler in his activities and then harassed him about it. Tyler later killed himself rather than face the coming humiliation that would soon ensue.
In some cases people have been beaten to death trying to defend themselves against the bullies. Some have even been chased into traffic and killed or have put themselves in harms way and died trying to escape chasing bullies. These accidental deaths are a form of negligent homicide. To bully someone into such a nonfunctional state as to have them seek an escape through death or through fear suffer a tragic end. This is bullycide.
They ,Could Be Unstable!
How do you know that the guy you just pushed up against his locker doesn't have a handgun in his waste band? You don't, none of the kids that bully think that the victim is going to fight back, but what about those that don't just fight back. Some will get the best of you and perhaps cause you to be badly hurt or even killed. Some bullying may prompt what are known as killing sprees. Psychologically unstable individuals plan out suicidal homicides and kill innocent people for what they consider injustices done to them. Below are a couple of cases that made wide media coverage.
Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris (Unstable)
School Spree Killers and Bullying
Cho Seung-Hui - killed 32 people and wounded 25 others in a shooting rampage known as the Virginia Tech Massacre. Cho was made fun of in high school, he was bullied. It was said that Cho was a strangely odd child having had selective muteness. He would be withdrawn from other children. Cho's family moved to the United States when Cho was just a boy. As Cho got into high school he was often made fun of because of his broken English.
When he committed the shootings he had killed Emily J. Hilscher (a girl it is believed he had a crush on but when he made it known she rejected his advances) and Ryan C. "Stack" Clark another student. He then went to his apartment changed clothes and went to a classroom building where in nine minutes he shot dozens of people, killing 30 of them.
Before the killing spree Cho had made a memorandum of videos, and pictures that after he killed Emily and Ryan he mailed to the news. Authorities found a note in Cho's dorm room. He said he hated "rich kids", "debauchery", and "decieitful charlatans". He also said in the note "You caused me to do this." Cho mentions in one of the videos he made the names of two other school shooters Eric and Dylan calling them Martyrsl; he is referring to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold featured in the picture to the right, the perpetrators of the Columbine High School Massacre. In both incidents the shooters were at times bullied or made fun of at school for being different.
My Personal Thoughts
Having been a victim of bullying I see it from both sides of the coin. From being hurt to want to lash out. I was a kid then though, the campaign It Gets Better and the Stomp Out Bullying campaign are two amazing programs teaching kids to speak out against bullying and showing them how damaging it is to other students. Schools have adapted 0 tolerance policies against bullying with it being an expelling offense in the United States. So I think it is going to get better as we learn to deal with these social mental disorders which we must watch out for in our kids, and in each other.