Bullying (Pt. 2)
My Suggestions on Helping to Prevent Further Violence in Schools: Part Two (of Two Parts)
Continued from Bullying: Part One
Bullying in school doesn’t just affect the victim. It affects the victim’s family. It affects the community.
Children learn from the world around them for ways to cope with the fear, humiliation, depression, and the anger that being victimized causes them. These popular excuses have become ingrained in each one of us:
- Kids will be kids.
- Boys will be boys.
- Just ignore it and it will stop.
- Stand up for yourself and it will stop.
We hear that bullying is "normal" and we grow up teaching the same above lessons to another generation.
What we need to remember is the following:
- Bullying is not okay.
- Bullying is not normal.
- Everyone does not do it.
- Bullying can be stopped.
- Bullying can be prevented.
- People can change.
In my personal experiences (as shared in Bullying: Part One), children who bully learn from the adults in their lives. The cycle to abuse others begins when the child grows up engaging in abusive behavior that never received correction. Sometimes they become mentors, and/or have children of their own, where the abusive behavior trickles down again to another generation.
We are all human beings and we really need to start actively helping each other. We have heard so much in the media lately about how we have ignored warning signs for too long!
A new set of educational requirements that specialize in Child Development and Child Psychology for all school staff is long overdue. All teachers should be screened for their own mental health issues, and past patterns of negative behavior. Anyone who wants to join the military or law enforcement already has to undergo evaluations, and so should anyone who wants a degree teaching in grades Pre-K through 12th Grade. Do they have problems accepting the gender, race, culture, religion, or disability of another that would affect them guiding young impressionable minds into adulthood?
The people teaching our children, the law enforcement that patrols our schools, and we, as parents or guardians, are all on the same team here! If we act like it, children will see it!
Society should not allow teachers to arm themselves with guns. Instead, society should be urging teachers to arm themselves with different weapons: more education, greater awareness, deeper compassion.
- Society should be teaching children that it is NOT okay to pick on, harass, intimidate, sexually assault, or physically assault another child or an adult in any way, shape, or form.
- Society should be teaching each other how to respect boundaries, while also helping a fellow parent, or caregiver, who is raising children through a difficult phase in life.
Children need help in learning how to cope with difficulties and severe changes in life. Where are the tools found for tapping into empathy and expressing compassion and understanding? I have been told my point of view is naïve and that I have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't believe that my opinion is naïve. I am a mother. I am a survivor of bullying and abuse myself, and I really, wholeheartedly believe that we need to Let Love Rule, as Lenny Kravitz says!
We are the adults.
- Children learn by example. Almost as soon as we are born, we look to the adults around us for cues on how to communicate our needs and wants. We can't speak, so we mimic.
- Not a single one of us is born automatically knowing how to process the world around us. The world today has become an overly stimulating environment that is rife with gossip, sex, violence, and terrorism blasted from every internet media outlet available. Innocent children are always the most helpless victims in any violent situation.
School Police Force:
Today, almost every school has law enforcement officers. It has become the norm. They can continue to carry the weapons, since they are properly trained and specially licensed to use them. Enforcing the law is their job!
- There needs to be a tighter unity among the people who are hired to teach and those hired to protect. This way teaching staff and law enforcement can find quicker solutions to help students.
- A unit specifically trained in Child Development and Child Psychology should be mandatory for each district! I am not talking about the Juvenile Detective units for the differing legal jurisdictions. I am talking about a unit of officers, who have that expertise and are specific to the school and/or its district. If a child finds themselves on probation, their probation officer would not be in that patrolling unit. Law enforcement that wants to work a school grounds patrol detail position should be specifically trained to do so.
- There should be regular mandatory meetings between the teaching staff, school guards, with even the lunch monitors and janitors present. The meetings should be a time to talk about their concerns for the entire student body and a time to share their concerns about any of the students.
I am not talking PTA. I am talking about school staff positions being taken more seriously than they have been.
Schools should not be a revolving door of employment for those unsure of lifelong careers. Children respond to stability. A different group of staff every two years is not stability! Doesn't anyone miss the days when teachers and principal's were at the same school for 50-some-odd years? They would see multiple generations in an entire family get their educations! Today, we have educator's being shuffled to different schools like they lost a bet! There are media reports of teachers, who aren't very serious about teaching, being charged for various drug offenses and criminal sexual acts with minors!
We need to be realistic about guns.
Guns have been there and have always been accessible. Men and women share sport hunting with their kids. Other people choose to live off the grid and hunt for survival. Some people are specially licensed and trained to use their service weapons.
I do not believe that the problem is responsible gun owners (even though I hate guns, it's a fact that people own and use them)!
The problem is the illegal guns that find their way into the hands of those who have no training in gun safety, and who should not own a gun in the first place.
There is a point before a child gets their hands on a weapon and they need to be reached before that happens. There are other ways of expressing themselves other than picking up a gun and taking another person's life, or taking their own life.
Violence leads to more acts of violence, and causes even more pain.