Mrs Chief’s and my only son will be 43 years old in a few days. He is 5′ 3″ tall. All the way through school he was the shortest person in his class. I was in the Navy and we moved a lot. He was bullied constantly. Always the ‘new’ kid, always picked on. It did not help one bit to go to the school and complain. There was no one monitoring the loading of the school buses.
This is not much of a story about bullying. Of course every school can have a ‘no-tolerance’ policy. But who is going to witness the bullying, who is going to enforce the policy ? It will be viewed by school officials as a case of ‘he said, he said.’
They do not know whom to believe so they dismiss it. Or worse, they know if they punish the bully, then the bully will eventually beat up the younger, smaller child being bullied, or have his buddies beat him up.
I grew up in Trumbull, CT. We move during the Christmas break in 1954. Trumbull did not have a high school back then. Where I lived, we were transported by bus to Whittier Junior High in Bridgeport, CT. I was 13 years old for the first half of my freshman year. All of us from Trumbull were white. We were, as I said, Freshmen. There was a 19 year old black Freshman. He would have all of the boys from Trumbull line up when we got off the bus and some black elementary school kids would take our lunch money. We were too scared of him beating us up to protest.
UPDATE: A few Hours after posting this I saw an ad on TV that got my attention: 3 out of 4 kids witness bullying and they listed this website Stopbullying.gov
From the site
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
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