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  • It would have taken all of two minutes
    February 20, 2012 - 08:35

    It would have taken all of two minutes to explain to a group of 10 year olds that we don’t torment each other over who had what for lunch. Why should kids be ashamed of acting like typical 10 year olds? Parents are always blamed. Teachers are always defended. How do you know someone other than the child’s mom didn’t put the incident in the social media before it took on a life of its own? Children aren’t getting the lesson about bullying because adults don’t practice what they preach. Fear is a method of control used by adults deficient in teaching ability and/or parenting skills. Physical punishment has been replaced by psychological punishment. Bullying is openly condemned but quietly condoned. People who speak out are ridiculed, shunned and harassed by the inner circle. People who want to discuss it are discouraged, intimidated and a lot worse. Everyone benefits from a safe environment but that’s not how it’s going to be. Self-esteem is absolutely essential in human development. We have the knowledge and ability to eliminate fear as a control tactic but we don’t have the will. Some portion of a teacher’s salary is paid in exchange for their vow of secrecy. To say nothing is to condone and to question is to be condemned. I don’t know any of the people involved but I know in my heart that the only hope for this young boy and his mom is to move out of Nfld. They probably don’t realize that their fate has been sealed. When the ‘antics’ of a teacher are made public, it seems to be the nature of all the inner circle of influence, all the privileged mucky mucks and even big burly husbands to gang up, reign down on, blame and further punish victims as an example and warning to others that they’d better shut up and put up or else. Isn’t that the real lesson here?

  • Lord of the Flies
    February 19, 2012 - 15:45

    Witnessed it a thousand times, experienced it personally and overcame it exactly the same way as Wakeham. Worked for him and worked for me, but of course doesn't work for every kid. There are always kids who are scarred physically or emotionally. It is a dark, enduring facet of human nature. In the wild it is known as 'survival of the fittest'. The assumption is that we have evolved beyond such predatory instincts. The truth is they're still there - suppressed to varying degrees by the legal, cultural and social constraints placed on it from one jurisdiction to another. Bullying by children is arguably the best marker of how well we're doing in minimizing it generally within society. Hence the need for aggressive programs to sensitize them to it in day-care and kindergarten. But we shouldn't be surprised by evidence that it persists. We live in a violent world. Aggression is evidenced everywhere from business to politics, from religion to race, and from rich to poor. Like the Romans, we even provide relief valves to vent our violent tendencies that include hockey, movies and video games. What is needed is a national benchmark for school bullying, compulsory reporting of incidents, and annual performance reports. What is not needed are well-intentioned moms who feel obliged to drag their children's particulars through the media to the extent that those children are singled out for unwanted attention twice over.

  • Mike Weakley
    February 19, 2012 - 00:23

    Bullying is a very hot topic in the media today, and the negative affects of it are numerous. An estimated 160,000 students refuse to go to school every day because of bullying, and students who are bullied often experience depression, poor grades, and low self esteem. To help combat this problem, I have put together an anti-bullying assembly called "The STOP Bullying Show". Based out of Orlando, Florida, this 45-minute presentation raises the awareness of bullying in a fun and interactive way; while teaching students very specific things they can do to help put a stop to it. It is specifically designed for grades 3-5; which is where bullying typically first begins to appear in school. Highlights of the show can be seen here... http://youtu.be/2qAvD01RD9E http://www.StopBullyingShow.com