Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A revolutionary thought - public school bullying may not be good for children

A frequent criticism of homeschooling is the claim that the children will miss out on the benefit of public school socialization. Typically people say children have to learn how to deal with bullies.

It makes no sense to me. Why should we throw children into a hostile environment where they have little protection or guidance? As adults we would never tolerate the kinds of abuse that happen in public schools. If this happened in the workplace people would be arrested and some would be thrown in jail.

CT of Petticoat Government left a comment on one of my posts about this topic. She referred me to: Children Who Suffered Bullying Are More Likely To Develop Psychotic Symptoms In Early Adolescence:

A report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry (one of the JAMA/Archives journals) indicates that children who have been mistreated over and over again by peers seem more prone to suffer from psychotic symptoms in early adolescence.
Background facts sustained in the report demonstrate that hallucinations and delusions are common in childhood and adulthood and are characteristic symptoms of psychosis. Children experiencing these symptoms have a greater probability of developing psychosis in later life. The researchers say: "Recent studies have demonstrated an association between traumatic events such as abuse in childhood and psychosis in adults."

The next time someone claims public schools teach children how to deal with bullies, maybe I'll encourage them to read this study.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education, government schools, children, public school, public education


Luke said...

Yeah, the ways kids learn to "deal with" bullies never seemed particularly productive. Mostly they involved becoming more invisible, going the other way, or sucking up and taking it... with a few rare--mostly movie--cases of overthrowing the bully entirely.


Ayala said...

My father, Izzy Kalman, offers an excellent, free manual to help stop being teased and bullied:


If you are having doubts about its effectiveness, here is an article that tells of a hopeless mother of a bullying victim who finally turned to my father's free manual to seek help for her son, and watched his bullying problems disappear instantly:


Sebastian said...

I can say that I was harassed enough my last year of high school that it made my first year in the military relatively easy. The military was amazingly difficult, but at least I got the impression that the ultimate goal, was in fact that I succeed.
If bullying were such an essential part of developing into a well functioning person, wouldn't there be special summer camps for kids who might not be getting enough exposure during the school year?

Forgetfulmuse said...

I was bullied more or less all through school until I was 15 or so and I can tell you, it wasn't particularly useful. I'm not sure the effects ever completely go away when it's been such a pervasive aspect of growing up; I still have a lot of confidence problems to this day as well as being prone to depression, even though I went on to get a degree from a very good university. I'm more able to dismiss them now, but they're still there, and I feel I could have done better with my life without all that crap.