(3 CYBER-BULLYING) BULLYING…MEAN, UGLY, and PERSONAL (CONNECTING)
BULLYING…MEAN, UGLY, and PERSONAL (CONNECTING)
Bullying is nasty business. Kids can be incredibly cruel face-to face. Digitally, even worse as they have no filters! I can manage most face-to-face bullying, but digital is a whole ‘nother animal. I need help!
Bullying has been my #1 hot button from my days of being a young parent and too-active three-sport youth coach, up to now as a (great!) grand parent and very busy 7-12 sub. Most kids in my class rooms know my zero tolerance views on bullying. In extreme situations I don’t hesitate to bring the room to “pin-drop” silence and remind the entire classroom as one where that line is. Kids know where I stand, some will thank me afterward, and several have approached me with cyber-bullying issues. I’ve passed some along to “the experts”—school counselors. Most kids are comfortable with my help though.
I have a small handful of personal stories that are used sparingly for extreme classroom situations, because I usually bawl… my first and only physical encounter knocking a ginormous bus stop bully out only to becoming great friends (mutual respect, boundaries) until he tragically died in a skip-school car accident. Coming in to sub in a grand daughter’s class that had one glaringly empty desk-her friend and class mate had hung himself the night before and word had not officially spread yet. (“What do you say? What would YOU say?”). More recently and all too often connecting a handful of tormenters to the real possibility of their meanness leading to the target dangling from a rope….”how would that make you feel?” Take no prisoners, this sh*t WILL stop!
Again, I am just a sub, thankfully one who the kids like a lot, trust and pay attention to. Even when I throw a loud tantrum to make a point…but I suppose that is NOT “policy” and I could get in big trouble. But I could also save a life.