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Violence in Schools

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    After reading the topic "Getting in fights" in the relationships section a memory came back to me about a piece of advice I was given by a teacher when I was in high school.

    When I was about 11 my mum briefly dated someone she met who turned out to be a teacher at the High school my brother was at and I'd just joined. This just meant we got to have a few in jokes. Anyway! Like many students at high school, my brother and I were both victims of bullying - my brother, who's a few years older than me, had it much worse but both of us had it to a point where students were, at some points, physically violent. But somehow, these students were never actually caught.

    Our Mum did tell this guy she was seeing about it and ask what she should do and his advice was to not tell members of staff. His words were something to the effect of "Just get him to break someone's arm. They'll leave him alone after that."

    Neither my brother, nor I, did break someone's arm and the bullying didn't stop for either of us until after we left. But we're both strong individuals so need not worry about that!

    My question is; does anyone think there is any point in which violence is a justified course of action? Especially in schools, where violence is actually more tolerated and accepted than anywhere else? Should schools be doing more to protect their students from violence, or is physical bullying 'just part of growing up' - as a surprisingly large number of people would have us believe?

    And what does it actually say about our society when a teacher says they cannot do anything about bullying and students have to take the matters into their own hands?
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    As much as schools would like us to believe that they act upon their (often bull****) anti-bullying policies, not many teachers are prepared to do anything if they see someone being obviously mistreated/bullied in class. Many teachers will just turn a blind eye to bullying.
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    (Original post by Ketchup'n'Mustard)
    As much as schools would like us to believe that they act upon their (often bull****) anti-bullying policies, not many teachers are prepared to do anything if they see someone being obviously mistreated/bullied in class. Many teachers will just turn a blind eye to bullying.
    Sadly, this is true. Some schools, including mine, also go to extraordinary lengths to try and maintain the school's integrity and status (for example, in my school there was a minor knife crime and, being a top Grammar School, it didn't want to have the blemish of excluding/suspending anyone on its record, so it simply gave the student many after-school detentions which is hardly fair). This process is the same for bullying...
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    (Original post by Ketchup'n'Mustard)
    As much as schools would like us to believe that they act upon their (often bull****) anti-bullying policies, not many teachers are prepared to do anything if they see someone being obviously mistreated/bullied in class. Many teachers will just turn a blind eye to bullying.
    Completely agree with this. Schools anti-bullying policies are all for paper (at least at the schools I've been to). They couldn't give a monkeys if it actually helps the kids who are being bullied. I've had problem with many a teacher who just stands there and lets it happen -ignoring it- (and one who even joined in- happy days ) and not only does it totally crush the victim but it makes the kids loose any respect they had for the teacher.

    In my experience, the teacher just can't be bothered with all the hassle that goes along with confronting a bully. It's easier for them to either ignore it all or tell the victim to 'deal with it.'


    EDIT: Sorry- bit of a rant there! To answer the question- schools should be doing much, much more to deal with it but I don't agree with people 'taking it into their own hands' and attacking the bully physically. Unless of course, they attack you and it's in self defense which is another matter entirely.
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    Children themselves are spoiled. There's nothing better than a solid boot up the backside to keep them in line. Children have this repulsive attitude that they're owed something, and that they shouldn't be expected to take responsibility for their own actions. Bullying thrives in such an environment.

    All I know if that if my children are ever found bullying other kids, they'll regret the day they were born. And if other children are found bullying my kids, I'll be making sure it ends - right then and there.

    So, to answer the question - no. I think that violence begets violence. I've been in school. When you're on the receiving end of bullying, it's a lose-lose. You just take it - you're a wimp. You fight back - you're a psychopath. Children need school administrators and parents (on both the receiving and doling-out end of bullying) to be committed to their well-being first and foremost.
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    Bullies are often ignorant but that does not mean they can't be clever. They know when they are being watched and you can't watch them all the time. When I was bullied I was well aware that school staff may be able to stop the abuse some times, but they can't change opinions and behavior all the time. When school officials fail to be proactive in preventing bullying they are wrong. When students and parents expect the school to be omnipotent within and beyond it's walls they are being unreasonable.

    This is why I believe that at some point it is acceptable a necessary to take matters into your own hands. If anyone ever bullies me again I will.
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    There was a kid in Australia called Casey who had been bullied for most of his life until one day he picked up one of his bullies and did this:



    He has since become a hero to bullying victims in Australia. I'm not saying that violence is always the answer. Every available non-violent option should be taken, but if all of that fails, then you have to stand up for yourself.
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    Schools these days are way too lenient when it comes to offences. They should just permanently exclude pupils after something like 2 or 3 suspensions. The fact that schools are letting students get away with things like this just makes them think that they can keep doing it without getting in trouble. It's ruining the environment for proper students who actually want to get a decent education and get somewhere in life.

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Updated: April 13, 2012
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