Bullying and the Three People Involved

Remember the story about a bus monitor named Karen Klein who was bullied by kids? In case you missed it, you can watch the video here.

*Caution – there is strong (foul) language in the video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAgti_2uziA]

After this horrifying display of decaying morality one of the bullies dad’s offered a video apology to Ms. Klein in this video where he gave the age-old excuse in saying, “This is not how I raised my kids.”

Bullcrap.

Behavior like this is taught and kids learn it somewhere. If you’re not aware of what your child is capable of then you’re too disconnected from your kid and reality or perhaps you’re a bully yourself but I digress.

How does it start?

One of the ways bullying starts is that it’s taught by parents and is passed down to their children who grow up believing that it’s ok to bully anyone they perceive as weaker than them. A lot of it is gender-based with men bullying the women in their lives. They may also have a low self-esteem and feel the need to make themselves feel more important and lash out at those who cannot return in kind.

It starts at home with victims being bullied by someone they think is supposed to love them and have the victim’s best interest at heart.

We do our kids a great disservice in thinking that the only place that bullying occurs is at school. Nothing can be further from the truth.

It all starts with disrespect.

How does it thrive?

No one stands up to them. I remember when I was a kid there was a boy with “funny name” at my bus stop who used to get picked on by a guy who was a little rough around the edges. His hair was always a mess and he smoked heavily. He was also taller than me.

I’m not sure why I did this because I hadn’t started my studies in the martial arts yet but I remember (impulsively) pointing my finger up at the guy’s face and telling him (in so many words) never to do it again. Mr. tough guy’s mommy took him to school from there on out. Please know that I’m not trying to brag in sharing that because quite honestly, the guy was bigger than me and I didn’t know then what I know now but all that to say it seemed to have worked.

“Kids will be kids” is a cop-out.

Some parents excuse their child’s bullying in making ridiculous statements like “kids will be kids” or “I did stupid stuff when I was a kid.” Really? Give me a break.

Kids need to see parents stand up for them.

While my wife and I surely want to raise our daughter to have a backbone of her own we also believe that kids need to know that we as parents have their back and that we are on their side. Letting your kids see you take a stand is not a bad thing. If you suspect your child is being bullied, take action.

Bullies have a choice.

Later in life bullies become cowards who are insecure about who they are. This is one you don’t hear too often because at times there seems to be too much focus on how hard a life the bully had or how deceivingly non-threatening they may seem. Like any other choice, bullies can choose whether or not they want to continue being a bully. When I was a kid there was physical abuse in my home but when I became an adult I vowed never to allow it in my home.

Bullies can do the same if they choose to.

Have a bullying story of your own? Feel free to share.

Chat soon,

Leonardo Ramirez is an author of Science Fiction and Fantasy.Visit http://leonardoverse.com for more information.

  • Mattie

    In my English 110 class, I have my college freshmen read _Thirteen Reasons Why_ by Jay Asher. We begin by talking about how we were bullied in school and what we saw in school. It’s so interesting to hear my students’ stories as they reflect back. They’re in college now, and when I ask them to think about what happened in high school, their reactions are largely the same, “I/we were so stupid!” A lot of the time, I’ll ask why they think they bullied other kids. They usually say, “I don’t know.” Then I have them write a paper on some aspect of bullying after reading the book. They are so adult about it. They clearly recognize how ridiculous it is as they look at it from a mature and logical perspective. I remind them that they were in high school last year. Mere months ago. What changes by the time they’re in college? How is bullying a “natural” reaction to grade school? How is it, by the time they’re in college, most students can recognize and empathize? I don’t think it’s a “kids will be kids” argument. I think it’s loose evidence that the public school educational environment is set up to either encourage or disregard bullying.

    I don’t know. Food for thought.

  • Jane Christian

    Oh, definitely not just YouTube – because of a lot of reality shows there is more of an audience on school grounds and anywhere else that kids congregate or hang out.

  • Hi Jane – thanks for commenting. I’m not saying that YouTube is at fault but you’re on to something in saying that perhaps it’s because there is a wider audience. Watching the video boggled my soul. What happened is evil at its core.

  • Jane Christian

    The bullying of Karen Klein was so horrifying to me that I had a physical reaction. I broke out in a sweat and got nauseous. I was an outsider when I was in school but was never bullied that I remember. So perhaps it has gotten worse (?) because there is a greater audience for bad behavior. Disrespect is very widespread in all areas of life today. I think it is the root of a lot of the wrongs in the culture today – no doubt perpetuated by so many reality shows with people showing such bad behavior. But what kids learn at home is the most important because it is re-enforced with every interaction in that family.