Father Pickets School Over His Son's "Bullying"

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by AragornElessar, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Yahoo ~ Texas Father Pickets School Over Son's Alleged "Bullying"

    The quotation marks are mine, as I *hate* the term, because "bullying" isn't what's going on in our schools. Physical, Emotional and Psychological Abuse is what's going on and I believe if we used the proper terms, then perhaps we might finally make some headway. The word "Bullying" IMO is nothing but a cover up word to use in order not to face reality.

    To say I went through Hell and still to this day trying to deal w/the long term effects is an understatement. I can't even imagine what the kids today are dealing w/thanks to the Social Media explosion.

    Good on this Dad for supporting his son and picketing this school. I can't even think how worse this must be for him, having come back from serving in Afghanistan/Iraq and seeing what he's seen and then this happening?

    From the sound of things, it was well known and had been going on for years, but when Max finally had enough *he's* the one who gets punished. Yeah, that makes perfect sense and teaches our kids just so much. :rolleyes:

    Anyway...Just thought I'd post this to see what others think.
     
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  2. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    It's funny you would start this thread. I just watched (like three days ago) this movie called "Cyberbully". It was of course an over the top, operatic, nonsensical afterschool special on so-called bullying. You can find it on Youtube.

    Remember the Judy Blume book "Blubber"? Awful. I'm glad Judy tackled the subject of bullying.

    There IS a difference to being picked on, and being bullied, IMO. Which is why that flick "Cyberbully" angered me so much. But whatever, you grow up, you succeed, you win.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  3. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    The term bullying is so overused now that it's often difficult now to tell what is considered bullying anymore. The boy was supposedly bullied by the same kid for several years. What had the teachers or the father done during those years to address the bullying?
     
  4. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

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  5. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    I'm always :confused: when a big (and important) part of the story is missing. One would assume over the course of the three years of bullying, the student and/or his parents would have been in contact with school administrators about what was happening. But this report makes it sound like a student was picked on for three years and then snapped (and nothing else happened). It ends up being a story that does not make sense (which makes it harder to take seriously...) :(
     
  6. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the student never told anyone he was being bullied out of fear that "tattling" make it worse. I was bullied constantly in school (I had a speech impediment, I was shy and I was ugly). I didn't tell my mom about the bullying and teasing until last year when she ran into one of my former classmates and couldn't stop talking about how sweet he was. (I'm 50 years old). Not every kid has the Cosby family where they can tell anything and it will instantly get better.
     
  7. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    And not every school will do anything either. I went through Hell my entire Public and High School career. Including the tip of the iceberg, which was overhearing this one group of kids plotting on the best way to get the right angles when they pushed me down the stairs so I'd break my neck. Since due to my visual impairment, no periphal vision, I'd never see them coming after all, so it was the perfect way to get rid of me forever.

    The Principal's reaction? To keep smiling and being the positive person I am and everything would be just fine. My Mom finally had to go to the Head of the Board of Education to finally get something done, and even that wasn't much thanks to this bastard. He made sure of that.

    This after I forget how many shoves into lockers and down the stairs I had to endure over the years. Not even allowing me to leave five minutes early helped, because only a very few of the teachers would allow it. I even once had to go through a "Now Honey, is Mom or Dad hurting you at home?" "talk" w/an ER Nurse because one of these encounters had left me w/such a badly twisted ankle, we needed to make sure it hadn't been broken. When I took off my pants in order for the X Ray to be done, the amount of brusing on my legs set alarm bells off. Rightfully so I might add.

    However, when I said Mom and Dad would never hurt me, but it was the kids at School who were, she brushed it off. It was "Oh, you're being picked on. It happens to everyone." and that was the end of that.

    I had to watch my Dad break down at our kitchen sink crying and saying that *he* couldn't take it anymore after I'd come home from yet another day of Hell School. Try living w/that memory and the guilt that goes w/it

    Just what can the parents/a parent do when the people in charge won't do a thing? So don't automatically "assume" a piece of the story's missing because you doubt the story of the parent when the School "says" they did all they could to resolve the situation. What else are they going to say when something like this hits the Media? Of course they're going to say the parent was wrong/we did all we could to resolve the situation even if they didn't.

    I'll say it again, until we start calling what's happening by it's proper term, abuse, I doubt anything will ever be done. :(
     
  8. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    I'm not assuming anything or doubting anyone. I'm saying the news story was faulty in that it should have said that the child/family reported the abuse to the school on a regular basis or that part of the abuse of the child was that if he told school officials or his family what was happening...then the bullies would do something that scared him into silence.

    I was bullied in school as well. I was burned with scalding hot lamps used in science class, kicked in the head, shoved into lockers, had my personal belongings taken/torn apart/thrown down the hallway and teased by both students and teachers about my gender/sexuality. School staff were either pretty useless or were abusers themselves. My Dad's reaction was to get me to lift weights. My Mom did some stuff, but taking action seemed useless on my part so I just got used to taking it.
     
  9. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    Though I retched at the Cyberbully flick, I think it did bring awareness to a problem. Nowadays this issue is taken seriously. I don't think a parent should contact the student's counselor or principal or superintendent. I think their legal counsel should. That would stop the bullying during school hours STAT. Without a doubt.

    This is a FS board. I would assume many members are gay and were tortured in school for it. At least now, GET A LAWYER, it will stop. You will win.

    And PeterG, you have had gender issues? I volunteer at the GLBT clinic. And yet you repeatedly try to denigrate me on this forum? Don't worry, I'm strong and now understand your issues. Just stop trying to denigrate me here, mmkay? I'd help you in a second, so stop insulting me. You are better than that. It's like the bullied finding someone else to bully. Sick stuff. God bless.

    ETA: Here is the Lifetime idea of 'cyberbullying'. Notice how the gay student offers her compassion and says he's been cyberbullied himself, being called fag, fruit, homo. And all the girl says is "But you're gay". Her pain at being called a slut online even though she's a virgin just is so much worse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKrUvahMz1w
     
  10. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    I have sent you a private message, Alex.
     
  11. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Well I doubt. A lot.
     
  12. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    Like MacMadame, I have my doubts as well.

    I was just reading that Amanada Todd the Canadian teenager who posted a youtube video chronicling her bullying experience, has committed suicide. This is just so heartbreaking to me. :(
     
  13. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    Bullies will bully whether at school or elsewhere. Bullied students will get cornered if the people are relentless enough.

    Amanda Todd is the latest tragedy. She flashed her boobs online 3 years ago and the slimeball who got a pic followed her to 3 schools to spread the picture around. She was atrosized and beaten up to the point she finally hung herself.

    I hope they find the sadistic jerk who started this.
     
  14. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    What can be done to him? He shared a digital image she freely gave. Morally and ethically, he's a slimeball, but there was nothing illegal in sharing the image, unless they can get him for child porn. I would hope the cretins who encouraged her to kill herself could be held accountable, and the ones who beat her up and posted the video.

    I continually stress to my students that once they put things out 'there,' they have no way of getting it back. None, zip, no how, no way. They are their own first line of defense when it comes to their digital footprint, whether it's on a computer or on their cellphones.

    Like Amanda's parents, I hope people use her tragic story as a lesson for young people on several fronts: a) the devastating impact of bullying; and b) the importance of being prudent in what they put online. Unfortunately, schools can only control what happens in school, during school hours. I know of schools that *have* disciplined students who bullied others via texting or Facebook, but only when it was proven the bullying took place during the school day. Parents also have to take control of what their children are doing online -- the schools can't do it alone, and can't be held responsible for what students do outside of school hours, away from the building.

    It takes a village to raise a child, and the village has to take collective responsibility for the wellbeing of ALL the children, ALL the time.
     
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  15. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

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    They can get him for child pornography. Amanda was in grade 7 or 8 when she flashed her boobs. He distributed it. He also cyber stalked her and all because she wouldn't give him a show when he tried to bribe her with the photo he had of her.
     
  16. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    Then I hope they get him -- and all the others. I just read an article on my RSS news feed that says the RCMP are now investigating what happened online before her death. I'm hoping they'll be able to do something with it.

    In the meantime, parents, PLEASE talk to your kids about their online presence and the potential ramifications of sharing too much. Please. One Amanda Todd is one too many.
     
  17. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Active Member

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    Poor kid. :(

    I do hope that the person who threatened her in the first place has legal issues and is not a minor so his name doesn't stay anonymous.

    I am sure that there will always be bullies, but I do hope more technology ethics classes become more mainstream so kids can have a better understanding of what they are doing.

    My little one likes to use online artwork sharing, it was very hard for me to get her to understand that the person on the other end could be nothing like who they say they are and it's not worth the risk. And I don't think she understands it more than "going to that website makes mom worried that I'm not safe."
     
  18. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I'm incredibly thankful that my kids were not adolescents or teenagers when the internet became so ubiquitous. Not so much about my son, he's a pretty private person and ponders a lot about things before he acts but my daughter is impulsive and considered herself a "free spirit". I could see her having got caught up in something.
     
  19. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what anyone can do to protect their online presence. Anyone with a cellphone can take a picture of you and post it online. Even if you never post about yourself on Facebook your friends and relatives do. My cousins are into genealogy and post all sorts of misinformation on the Family Tree website. I notice some people posting full names, place and date of birth for living as well as deceased relatives on this site. My employer posts my work address, phone, and email on their website. With the DMV and universities selling your home address to marketers it isn't hard for a robot on one of these "find a person" sites to scan the Internet and put it all together.
     
  20. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    But most of these stories involve sexting. Does your workplace put your boobs front and center, aliceanne?
     
  21. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    No, but kids can take a pic in gym class or at a sleepover and post it either maliciously or because they think it is funny. My point is that anyone who really wants to can find you even if you never go online at all.
     
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Sure that can happen - but it's not what happened here. RIP Amanda.
     
  23. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    That is a very naive statement to make.

    Bullying is the part of school culture and there are a lot of factors which contribute to it.

    First of all the structure of the school system, which is very hierarchical, very top-down so bullying fits into it very well and just recreates this structure in a twisted way.

    Teachers and principals look the other way and say that they are only their to teach, blah blah blah, not noticing that schools inherently carry certain values just because of the way they are organised, the things that are selected to be taught, the way teacher-student relationships are conducted and all other similar things that are part of what you can call the "hidden program".

    Another real major issue I think is that the post-industrial capitalist societies that we live in are very focused on "winning". Western, individualist culture promotes being the best, strongest, richest over community harmony. That is especially true within the US which is the most individualist country in the world, according to Hofstede's research and where neo-liberal values are pretty much universally espoused. Again bullying is a twisted way of recreating that, as it is applied to those perceived as "losers" for whatever reason.

    You could write tomes on this (and I am sure it's already been done) but basically what everybody needs to understand is that bullying fits in extremely well within the institutional culture of schools. You reap what you saw.

    There definitely are no easy fixes to this problem.

    You "just" have to promote a culture where bullying will be seen as something negative. Which we supposedly do but then at the same time if you have teachers looking down on students and not treating them with any respect, competition encouraged all the time and beating others being seen as the pinnacle of success, principals mobbing their staff, parents who are racist/homophobic and a number of other similar factors... Talk about mixed messages.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
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  24. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Ziggy...Well said and Thank you.
     
  25. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    He broke several laws. He could (and should) be put in jail.

    Not only is that not what happened here, but I have never seen a story about cyber-bulling or internet-sharing gone wrong that revolved around pics taken surreptitiously in gym class or at sleepovers. They are always of kids being deliberately naked and/or provocative.

    I would agree and even go further. Bullying doesn't just "fit in" with the institutional culture of schools. In fact, traditional schools are the idea growth medium for bullying.

    When you put a bunch of people together who have nothing in common except their age and where they live with minimal adult supervision, you have a pressure cooker situation that encourages bullying as a way of coping.
     
  26. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if it's out of fear of it happening or if there was an attempt, but I remember reading about a school district that did ban the use of cellphones in the locker rooms.
     
  27. Scrufflet

    Scrufflet Active Member

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    Wisdom from Really and others. My heart ached when I read about Amanda Todd. Those who do this stuff do it because they can! There are few consequences, if any. Read Rosie DiManno's article in the Toronto Star on Sat. Odd that I'm recommending something she's written because she usually eviscerates figure skating but this piece on bullying of AT is superb.

    There always were generations of people willing to spew hate but she is right that the internet culture that has developed is one with no accountability and where people jump to criticize and are encouraged to do so. Facebook? I hate it and am only on it to see family photos. I find it exclusionary and filled with everyone talking at one another rather than to one another. And few listen.

    I think that those who grew up with the net really dropped the ball and all of us now are starting to see the results. And I don't think that one action is going to solve anything. We are need a multifaceted approach: give the police powers to counter cybercrime;get active in the courts; do prevention; get the schools to follow through on zero tolerance; go after the bullies! We always hear about the victims; a whole section of tv is centred around victimology( can anyone even watch Criminal Minds anymore or Special Victims Unit?) and normalizes it. Let's hear how the bullies have been held accountable. Get those rotten pictures off facebook. That's not freedom of expression; it's abuse, a hate crime.

    And above all, parents everywhere, go see what your kid is doing online. If he/she is a bully or victim, you need to get involved. And motivate your kid to get involved and do the right thing for self and others. Can you imagine if every parent in B.C did that today, before school starts tomorrow?
     
  28. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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  29. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I've never had a single problem with Facebook--because I don't post pictures of myself that are not appropriate for public consumption, and I don't put myself in situations where I'd be embarrassed to have the photographs circulated (as far as I'm concerned, if an employer doesn't like that you have pictures up for all to see of you acting like a drunken fool, that's not Facebook's fault-you shouldn't have been acting like a drunken fool. That's not being a victim, that's getting caught.)

    Now, a 7th grader posting pictures of herself (which actually means SHE is distributing child porn herself!) speaks to inadequate parenting and supervision. I'd have gotten in HUGE trouble for doing something like that to the point where bullying would be the least of my concerns. I suspect at that point a convent school would no longer have been a joke. The guy who spread them around is guilty of possession and distribution of child porn, but he didn't make it, he just used what the "victim" put out there. MacMadame's right, I can't recall a single one of these cases where the picture wasn't something the person posted themselves (the dumbest examples being "But I just sent it to my boyfriend, it wasn't supposed to be public!" Even adult women, where they can legally give consent, should know better than that.)

    Her classmates latched on to that but if they decided they wanted to bully her it would have been anything. I don't think anything other than going back to rigid, unforgiving discipline and structure in schools could really help. The kids causing the problems know they're not going to punished in any way that really hurts them, so they aren't afraid to do it. Teachers are afraid to do anything in a lot of cases and don't really have anything they can do, especially when now if you punish little Susie for shoving a classmate her parents scream bloody murder instead of saying "We're sorry" and punishing her at home, too. And juvenile courts and different rules for minor offenders make it hard to get the police and the justice system involved.
     
  30. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about putting "victim" in quotation marks because she was the person who originally posted the photo. I teach in a 8-12 school so I see kids that age daily - and in general the decisions they make at that age are not well thought out.

    At the first pro-d day I ever did the guest speaker got us to put the palm of our hand on our nose (you have to do it to get the idea) and said "That is how teenagers see the world". It is the best metaphor I have ever heard for how their brains work and how they make decisions.

    I also don't agree with assuming that her actions prove her parents have been negligent. I have seem some amazing parents with kids who have done stupid, atrocious things.

    The other thing is danceronice - even if she did get in huge trouble from her parents as you said you would have and assuming there was a way for them to even know- the photo would still have already been out there.

    This girl made some poor choices - but those choices don't make her any less of a victim of the physical and emotional harassment.
     
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