Friday, November 10, 2006

Report on bullies

The London paper reports that 7 out of 10 children are bullied at school.

Seven out of ten children bullied at school, says survey

Seven out of ten pupils complained they had suffered at the hands of school bullies with each victim claiming their tormentors had used six different techniques.

These ranged from name-calling and bullying by text message to physical attacks.

The survey of more than 8,500 children, parents and teachers also showed that youngsters were regularly kept off school because of fears over their safety.

Even I was surprised by the numbers. I would have never guessed the problem was that big. Though, this policy might explain why the problem has gotten so big.

Some schools have adopted trendy "no blame" approaches which involve bringing tormentors and victims together to try to build "empathy" between them.

But the technique has proved controversial as culprits escape formal sanctions.

Remember, at school there is no such thing as right and wrong.

The survey, conducted by Bullying Online between January and July, suggested that reporting bullying to teachers failed to stop it in more than half of cases.

"What comes across is that school anti-bullying policies are not working. Even the best policies are only seen as successful by 53 per cent of children" added Mrs Carnell.

Here's a few more interesting tid bits.

More than half of bullied children had been physically hurt and 34 per cent needed to see a doctor. Three per cent of attacks had involved a weapon.

Meanwhile 65 per cent of the parents questioned said they had kept their child at home for safety reasons and 63 per cent of those pupils had missed more than five days at school.

This is what I find most aggravating:

"If assaults were happening in the workplace the attackers would be prosecuted, but in many cases the bullies are getting off scot-free without any punishment at all."

In high school I endured quite a lot of harrassment. The school was basically no help at all. The bullying stopped when I physically fought back. Actually, it was a tray of food dumped over someones head in the lunch room, but that's another story.

It was also when I decided that pacifism doesn't work. I did the whole "turn the other cheek" thing, and the harrassment escalated. I fought back and it stopped. I was suspended for three days because of the incident, but my teachers let me make up my work and perform with the band, even though technically that was against the rule. One of my teachers even sent me a congratulations card. This is just an example of how out of touch school policy and reality can be.

I wouldn't say that we homeschool to avoid bullies, but it was a factor in our decision. My experience negatively effected me. It was one of the reasons I was so eager to change my name when I got married. I felt safer. What a sad commentary on school.

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George said...

Being ridiculed in school was no fun. I am so glad my kids don't have to put with all the name calling and junk that goes on in school.

That news is just crazy.

christinemm said...

Great post I am going to link to it!

Janine Cate said...

>I am so glad my kids don't have to put with all the name calling and junk that goes on in school.

Me too!

christinemm, thans for the link.

Karen said...

The only thing that is different in this news report from the years that I taught is the text messaging form of bullying.

At all the schools I taught at, the policy was that if you fought back, you would get the same punishment as the bully who started things! This always struck the kids as unfair. And it is--we let mitigating factors be presented in criminal cases, after all.

One of the things that was a constant frustration to me was the attitude that school was some kind of special place where the laws of the land didn't apply. Assault, battery, sexual harrassment, gambling, drug and alcohol possession and use--I personally witnessed these things happen. I heard frequently of even worse things. And even though we had cops on campus, no one was ever arrested or charged for things that happened on campus.

Imagine two g-school teens whalin' the tar out of each other during school time. Teachers wade in and break them up. The two are sent to in school suspension. The police are never called, charges are never filed.

Now imagine two homeschool teens beating each other up during "school time." Witnesses call the police, who take the two into custody, even though the "school" (the parents) assure the police that they will administer the appropriate punishments.

Which scenario most closely resembles what would happen in the adult--or real--world? Now, remind me how it is that public schools do a better job of teaching kids about "the real world?"

Janine Cate said...

I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me in the least. My 3rd grade daughter has been the target recently of the other girls in her class. (She attends a private Christian school) The school has started "intervention" though I'm not holding out much hope. I'm hoping and praying my husband will agree to homeschooling soon!

Janine Cate said...

Private schools can and do have the same bully problems as public school.

Hope you get to try out homeschooling. It is wonderful.

George said...

Great example Karen. So why is it that school is so different from the "real" world?

Janine Cate said...

In the "real world" there are legal remedies. You hit someone at work and they need medical attention, you could be fired and possibly go to jail. You could be sued.

That's not the case at school. Crimes committed at school are almost never prosecuted. Children have a "right" to an education, so even if a student is temporarily kicked out of school, the school or another school has to take him back. A few day suspension from school is like a holiday. Where's the deterrent in that?