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Anyone else disturbed by the latest surge in teen suicide/ bullying? - Page 3

post #41 of 44
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
naw, it was like that in my schools, though. bullies would bully in front of teachers, and sometimes even teachers joined in, and admin and parents turned a blind eye and blamed me for being "different" and "a loner" and "antisocial" when i was really just an introvert.

anyway, that's a whole other deal.
That was my experience, too. I was unpopular and I was teased, but I was never bullied. I knew a bunch of other kids who were seriously bullied, though. Sometimes even teachers joined in, and I have such a vivid memory of sitting in 8th grade science and the teacher making fun of one kid, who was a frequent target of other kids, and of thinking "this is so WRONG." My math teacher that year also frequently ganged up with the popular kids on the unpopular ones.

Honestly, I don't think that would fly today. I've worked in schools and there is sooooo much teacher training about respect and bullying that wasn't there even 10 years ago. Certainly not 20 years ago. Not saying that there aren't still some bad apple teachers with no concept of boundaries, but I think that most schools at least try to take things seriously. Starting in the very late 90s there were a rash of lawsuits about bullying that made administrators really understand that they needed to protect themselves.

And I think that everyone takes sexual harassment MUCH more seriously than a generation ago. Such a concept was completely unheard of until the 1970s (ever seen Mad Men?), and pretty much a joke until the 90s.
post #42 of 44
Bullying is nothing new. It's been happening for ages. The extent to which it happens-kids getting beat bloody, sexual harrassment etc, is nothing new either. That's been happening for ages as well. Teachers and other school officials turning a blind eye, that's nothing new either. And suicides due to teasing, that's all happened in the past too, that's not new either.

What's changed is the way that it happens (by text message on the cell phone or with facebook posts, instead of being cornered while walking home from school, etc.) Also, the media coverage has changed.

And honestly, I think the media coverage itself is partly to blame for the most recent rash of suicides. I don't think suicide on average has increase (though I don't have numbers) but I do think there's been a very recent uptick in the numbers. And I think part of that at least is that I believe that kids who wouldn't otherwise think of it on their own see one or two or three stories, on tv news, on yahoo, etc, and they think "man, at least that kid doesn't have to deal with it anymore." And suddenly a seed is planted. Now, to be clear, I am not saying that the news media is directly causing kids to try to end their lives. Only that because the idea is more prevelant out there, because of the media, there might be more kids considering it than otherwise would have.
post #43 of 44
Originally Posted by ChetMC View Post
Even if parents and kids are more similar in their tastes, and have more free time together then they did generations ago, the key element of the author's argument is that peers matter more and more with each generation. Moreover, peer influence is dangerous as peers lack the maturity and selflessness that parents (and other adults bonded to the child) naturally offer. As a result, peer oriented children are at greater risk for all sorts of things, including becoming bullies, and also damage by being bullied. While kids have always been bullied, a strongly peer oriented child is more likely to be crushed by bullying and to come to school with a gun, or to commit suicide than a child who has a world outside of their peers that they are strongly attached and connected to.
All of which I find kind of funny because I think parenting was much less connected in the days before birth control, when it wasn't really a choice, and that there are so many clear accounts of bullying in literature going way back. I mean Tom Brown's schooldays anyone?

I truly believe Newfield is myopic and distorts social history in a very self-serving way. What's more, I believe that his book can be interpreted in such a way that families do not support attachment to the community in their kids OR support developmentally appropriate friendships and that this in itself can lead to depression and so on. I'm not saying it's his intention but I have seen it implemented this way.

Although there has been some research on bullying and weak attachments, there has been competing research that suggests that bullying is related to respect in families, a family history of bullying (a strong attachment to a bully parent leads to a bully) and other things. Weak attachment often comes along with other issues - substandard caregiving in the first two years of life, socioeconomic issues - and I really think the jury is out on what the primary cause of bullying might be - assuming there is only one.

I was bullied in elementary school and I definitely engaged in some bullying behaviour in secondary. Same person, same attachments, same family - different results in different groups of peers.
post #44 of 44
Interestingly, my DH who is a PS teacher just told me about a talk he gave in his 7th grade homeroom. the teachers had been alerted that there was cyberbullying going on among some of the girls and he explained to the class (without targeting specific kids yet) that the rules governing interactions between students in the classrooms and hallways apply to their interactions in cyberspace as well, that namecalling and such wasn't acceptable in any format, whether shouted out, written as a note or, worst of all, typed up on a messaging board for everyone to see, and that he wanted everyone in the class to consider whether they were playing by the rules or not until next week and maybe change what they'd been doing accordingly. From next week, disciplinary measures were going to come into effect. On my asking how teachers found out about cyberbullying, he said the students come up and tell them - usually those who have formerly been punished themselves! I think that's great - it doesn't mean tattling but that they accept that the teachers want to create a positive culture, trust them that they are enforcing the rules and want to help them doing so. (Yeah, and if there's a little spite involved, who cares if cyberbullying is nipped in the bud?)
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