The Bullying Issue . . . - The Missourian: Opinion

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The Bullying Issue . . .

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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 8:30 am

Bullying isn’t necessarily a way of life in America and elsewhere. We suspect it has always been around in one form or another. Is there more bullying today than ever before?

There appears to be because there are more people in the mix and it’s receiving more publicity.

It does happen, especially in schools. We come from a generation that handled it, or tried to, by settling it on the playground. If successful, that put the bully on the run, or at least he or she looked for other targets. Can’t do that today — too many rules, with some enforcement and then there is litigation . . .

Bullying occurred, and still does, we believe, on all levels of schools — from elementary to college. It also could occur in the military, and we aren’t talking about the discipline that is imposed. It can occur in factories and white-shirted offices. One of the aspects of bullying that may be (we have no statistics to back this up) a bit more prevalent today is that females practice bullying more than in the past. It was there, we are sure.

For proof of that, talk to parents of young girls, or to teachers, or to school administrators. If one person with evil intentions believes he or she can dominate someone they usually don’t like, the practice of bullying prevails. If the person being bullied is scared, physically and mentally of the “bull,” the stage is set for the practice.

Often the person doing the bullying has an inferiority complex and or personality defect. He or she tries to compensate for that disorder by bullying another person.

You are right. We don’t have a degree in psychology. Our outpourings come from years of observations.

Of more than passing interest is that the United State Conference of Mayors (USCM), in partnership with The BULLY Project, is launching a major new initiative — the Mayors’ Campaign to End Bullying — to combat the epidemic of bullying in school districts across the country. A news release from USCM said Congress isn’t acting, so the initiative’s purpose is “to establish policies and programs that would improve the lives of 13 million children bullied in America each year.”

Mayors in cities across the nation are encouraged to use their offices to raise awareness and foster safe school climates for all students by hosting events and taking action during National Bullying Prevention Month this October.

We can’t help but ask the question, what about the parent factor in all of this? What are parents of “bullying children” doing to stop the practice if they are aware of it? We don’t know of any teacher, or teachers, who have reported to parents that their Johnny or Mary is a bully, but it undoubtedly has happened, probably with no positive response. “My Johnny or Mary would never do that. I’ve asked them and they said they were innocent!”

We say bull as in bullying!

We are not politically correct in most instances that can be common today. All we know is, you have to fight back if at all possible if being bullied. That doesn’t mean in all instances by being physical. One can play the mental game if coached. But from personal experience, at an early age, we know that being physical does work. Should it be the first or last resort? That’s an individual call but remember we have a litigious environment today, and plaintiffs like to name many defendants.

Now we aren’t advocating being physical. You could lose!

Bullying is a serious problem and all possible efforts should be made to curb it. The mayors are aware of this and have stepped in — good for them.

/opinion