My 9 year old sons Moral Compass is being skewed by bad school policy in practice, on bullying
What lessons do we want to teach our children who are confronted by bullies?
Stand up for yourself?Fight for your rights? Face up to the bullies and don’t give them the power over you?
But, don’t get into a physical fight when you’re bullied. Rather call an adult?
The reality is however that whether it be teachers, Social Workers or School Psychologists in South Africa, none of these so-called “Professionals” have any idea in-terms of dealing with the act of bullying, the bullies themselves and in interactions with the parents of those bullies. The reality is that they all would rather first turn to the victim to look for fault, and seldom to the instigator, the bully, the perpetrator who as an adult quick becomes the Criminal.
How often do we hear this : “The stronger one is the one to walk away. Not to retaliate. Not to fight back? And that biblical cliche “Turn the other cheek?”
I know of a Grade 3 who is victim to bullying. This has been ongoing since the start of the year. The teachers know about it. The School Principal knows about it. The Social Workers and School Psychologists know about it. The other kids in the Grade know about it. The perpetrators parents know about it. Everyone knows about it. Teachers say “We know that he (the perpetrator) is a problem child. As if knowing is an excuse for not doing. Nothing whatsoever has been done since the start of the year however to address the actual situation. The Bully Child is not in therapy. His parents are not in therapy with him. No warnings have been issued. The child has never been suspended, nor even reprimanded. Everyone is pussy-footing around this nine-year old like he is so fragile that pointing out the obvious to him, or his parents may break him.
I am beginning to wonder if this is a new type of treatment regime for bullying which I am the only one in the world not to know about? Is this a way of treating bullying which has been so successfully developed in the secret hallows of “Professional Practice” within the private schooling system and which has to be so phenomenally successful, that mere mortals such as myself have no place questioning what is going on?
What I do know is this, every lesson I have taught my son about respecting his elders, trusting in his teachers, respecting the Social Workers and Psychologists at his school, and trusting that they would never, ever leave him dangling out there, alone and in the lurch, is actively being disproved in a school where I pay a premium for him to be properly educated, nurtured and protected, but where he is witness to this rampant disregard for his friends welfare at the expense of the louder, brasher bully with the louder brasher parents.
The lesson my son and his friends are learning is not to trust adults. To question their parents judgement. To want to be like the Bully because that criminal gets away with literally “bodily harm and aggravated assault” on a daily basis. The lesson they are learning is that society demonises the victim rather than deals with inherent evil in that society. The lesson is that there is more power, respect fear of and influence, in becoming that Bully. The lesson is to be the bully.
How should Bullies who are unresponsive and pervasive in their behavior be treated?
I dont know! I dont care! What I do know is that they should not be allowed to co-exist in normal society. They should be identified. They should be marked. They should be separated and then the “Professionals” should get stuck into a reformative programme. But not on my money or time and certainly not on that of my childs. Their parents should be held accountable for dealing with their errant child and mainstreaming is seldom the answer until there is evidence and proof of reformation.
You remove the cancer. You give the body Chemo and then you slowly start reintroducing the body back into circulation in the hope that remission is permanent. You don’t leave the cancer in to fester, grow and to kill off the rest of that body. Not when you can actively do something about it and you are being paid to do just that!