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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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"My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 24th 2009, 09:22 AM

Hi Everyone,

I hope you're OK.

Eleven year old Jaheem Herrera hanged himself in his bedroom closet. He was the victim of bully abuse and couldn't take it anymore.

NO ONE WAS HELPING HIM.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/23/bul...ide/index.html

Every single time I read stories like this - my heart drops to the floor. I find it SO upsetting. But soon after - I start to feel frustrated and angry. Not only angry because boys like Jaheem were not helped. But ALSO angry because the little creeps who bullied him will NOT be held accountable. [In any real way - IF AT ALL] Rarely - IF EVER - are bullies punished for their inexcusable behavior. Society MUST get over this nonsensical idea it has that bullying is just a matter of 'kids being kids'. And that bullying is just part of growing up and 'they' [THE VICTIM] will soon forget all about it once they get out of school. YES! I've heard people say things like that. But bullying is NOT just 'part of growing up'. It is NOT just 'kids being kids'. Bullying is ABUSE. And ABUSERS - no matter WHO they are AND no matter how old they are - MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. And in some real way. The consequence to being a bully MUST HURT the bully. He or she MUST realize that IF they choose to bully someone - there is a very real chance of THEM being hurt in some way. I suggest - an immediate transfer to another school - separating them from their friends. I suggest - being kicked off any sports team they might belong to. I suggest - denying them the right to get a driver's license for 5 years. [And so on] The punishment has to hurt THEM in a way that THEY can understand. And if their bullying results in the suicide of their victim - then criminal charges must be laid against them. It is a CRIME - is it not [At least in most countries that I am aware of] to assist someone in the act of suicide. So should it not also be a crime if you directly contribute to someone deciding to kill themselves? I think so. Some people will argue that it's not really the bullies fault that their victim couldn't take it anymore and chose to end their own life. But I say in response to that..... BULLSH*T!! An abuser [A bully] is DIRECTLY responsible for how his or her victim of THEIR abuse responds TO that abuse. To suggest otherwise would be like me always throwing a handful of marbles down on a path that your are walking on and refusing to accept blame IF you fall down. "Well - I didn't actually PUSH you down - did I"?! What a joke. Kids need to know that ADULTS are there to protect them. THAT is the responsibility OF an ADULT. And every time a bully gets away with whatever he or she is saying and/or doing - it is a FAILURE on the part of an ADULT. Kids need to know that IF they talk to an adult [A teacher, a parent, a doctor, a police officer, a neighbour, etc.] they WILL be taken seriously and they WILL be helped. This is why I also believe that the law must burden every adult with that responsibility. If a child/teenager comes up to an adult and says, "I am being bullied!", that adult - BY LAW - must report it to the police. And the police must - BY LAW - take that complaint seriously. Kids/teenagers need to know that they WILL be taken seriously. Far too often a victim of bully abuse has found the courage to talk to someone only to be either brushed off - or worse - BLAMED for what's happening to them. And what a horrible - and inexcusable - thing to do to a victim. Any victim.

End of rant!!!

GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!!
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 24th 2009, 12:05 PM

I don't really like this idea for several reasons.

1) In order to bring criminal charges against some of the kids who bully people you would have to lower the age of criminal responsibility which I do not really think should happen. It's where it is for a reason.

2) How would you show the mens rea (aka intent) of the crime. I think it would be fair to say that bully's should only be held accountable if they aim to cause the kid to kill themselves otherwise you have a strict liability offense which are always rather contraversial. Similarly some bullies do not think that what they are doing is actually bullying (I will come back to this later) and I would hazard that very few bullies actually intend to cause such damage to their victims. Also would the thin skull rule be taken into account for this or not? Sometimes it takes a lot to cause someone to kill themselves and sometimes it just takes a word in the wrong place. Should we treat both cases equally?

3) What would be the punishment when convicted of "bullying"? Jail? No that would be too harsh. Juvenile Delinquency Centre? Still too harsh I think as you're basically removing the kid from his family + Juvie rather makes kids worse in my experience. A fine? That wouldn't make sense as the parents of the bully would have to pay it rather than the bully him/herself which means he/she basically escapes punishment. Frankly denying them the right to a driver's licence is both petty and really really arbitrary.

4) Making it a crime would place an extra burden on the state, I don't think this should be so. If this became a subject for the law to become involved in it would make more sense to place it in tort law rather than criminal law. Firstly this avoids criminalising children for a stupid childhood mistake which I highly disagree with as a criminal record severely limits your job opportunities. Secondly this also takes the burden off the state and minimises the chances of all the frivolous claims which would take place if it was enacted under the criminal system.

5) Also, I would say that better teacher training is necessary first before resorting to such drastic measures.

6) I also think that requiring the teachers to notify the police everytime a kid claims they are being bullied is ridiculous. That wastes police time when any school can, with the right teacher training, deal with it internally. It also will lead to a certain amount of bureaucracy as even when the teacher knows that a kid is over-reacting and shouting "bullying" when it's not really they will be required to get the police involved. Also, just talking to the bully can end things; as I said earlier some bullies have no clue that what they are doing is bullying and getting the police involved is just far too heavy handed. The police should be used as a last resort not a first resort.

7) Bullies are victims too. The reasons they bully often stem from many many problems in their personal life. Now while I am not defending the fact that they bully people I don't see why we need to traumatise them by ending them through the very scary legal system. Remember, they're kids too and generally just a product of their environment.

8) From what I have noticed from these sorts of cases is that victims very rarely kill themselves for one reason there are generally various reasons on top of the bullying. How would you prove causality? If the kid kills themselves due to previous depression, poor home life, girlfriend dumping them AND bullying then how do you determine which caused his death and how is it fair to place all the blame on the bully?

9) To a degree it IS just "kids will be kids". It's human nature to dislike people who are different to you, it's tribal, kids will always pick out other kids who are different to them and shun them for those differences. This is because they haven't adequately been taught that differences are not a bad thing. Hence why teacher training and lessons which promote tolerance are what are needed rather than police intervention.

Last edited by Jack; April 24th 2009 at 01:04 PM. Reason: Adding (8) + (9)
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 24th 2009, 05:14 PM

Just something that should never happen, but untill teachers, students work togeter more to stop this kind of activity bullies will always exist.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 24th 2009, 05:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDGE View Post
Just something that should never happen, but untill teachers, students work togeter more to stop this kind of activity bullies will always exist.
I agree.
I'm not sure about actually pressing charges against bullies. Chances are that the boy who killed himself already had self esteem issues beforehand, and it's not strictly the bully who deserves all of the blame. I'm sure there were other things that went on in this kids life that may have pressured him to commit suicide.

I do think, though, that teachers and parents should do more things to stop bullying not while it's happening, but before it happens. Why not educate kids on how much bullying can actually hurt people emotionally. I think that often by the time a kid tells a teacher or a parent they're being bullied, emotional damage has already been done. Kids should know about these things, about kids committing suicide because of bullying, so much so that they don't even think of ever bullying and hurting someone that much. They should also assure kids that it's okay to stand up for themselves and simply tell an adult. I think to often parents or other adults accuse kids of being "tattle tales" without assuring them that there are certain situations in which they should let an adult know what's going on.





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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 06:49 AM

Your analogy with the marbles is flawed, as when someone is bullied, they always have a choice and suicide isn't after the first bullying incident.

Forcing parents and police to take the complaint seriously would involve the police being overwhelmed with bullying reports, more than they already are. This makes it a greater priority, which it really isn't compared to other crimes. The police would be out-staffed, the teachers would be spending too much time on bullying (having to deal with parents and police every time), and do you think that the adults would not suffer, especially the police and teachers emotionally and psychologically? You may have good intentions, however, you've disregarded the effect on adults, which could lead to worse parenting, more stressed adults, etc... . As a result, kids may be treated worse and bullying rates may increase.

When it results in suicide, I put a good amount of blame on the victim. They chose what to do, the bullies didn't help them in committing suicide, the victim consciously chose to commit suicide. If you want to have the bully charged, then prove their motive and their intentions. If the bully is unaware that suicide may result, then proving their intentions for suicide of the victim will be difficult and would fail.

Encouraging parents and police to be responsible for dealing with the situation puts less responsibility on the victim and teaches them, if there's a problem, run to someone for them to fix it. However, to charge the bullies, you need to lower the criminal age.

Suppose you did manage to do this, what is the sentence for them? How do you make it a "fair" sentence? If a person does commit suicide, then you'd have to, using your logic, blame the bully. What if one kid was bullied for 10 years then killed themselves, while another was bullied for 1 month, and both had the same type, same severity of bullying. Is the bully who bullied for 1 month going to get a sentence that a bully for 10 years would get or vice-verca?

Denying them the ability to get a driver's license seems random. I don't understand the logic behind that, as it seems to be a random punishment. If they're not drinking, not doing drugs, then why consider this?

Your whole point is flawed, in that the bullies too are victims. However, you refuse to show any sympathy for what they went through. Many bullies and the victims have hormones going wild, so to put a bully in jail at this age implies that the hormonal behavior is bad even if it's beyond their control. This doesn't address the root of the problem but rather just removing the problem and of course, you didn't mention any possible therapy for the victim either, which shows to me, you really don't care why they bully, you just want the bullies gone.

If you do this, then you're not solving the problem in the long-run. Whatever made them bully hasn't been dealt with, if they themselves were being abused by, say, parents, then who cares, toss them in jail.

All of this seems to be you speaking from your emotions, not objectively, not logically. So, relax, think it through then come back.
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 07:15 AM

Bullying is horrible, but we are talking about children here. Usually they bully other kids because of their own insecurities. Get them therapy and perhaps remove them from them school, but criminal charges are too much.

I also think the parents are sometimes a big problem. They are either in denial or just don't care that their kid is a bully.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 09:50 AM

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're OK.

The sad thing is.... I have been listening to ALL of the exact same arguments SINCE the mid 1970's. The bottom line of [almost] all of your ideas [Including yours Jack] can be summed up in two words.

DO NOTHING!!

And when it comes to what YOU said YourNightMare - the person that matters the LEAST [to you] is the VICTIM. You have great compassion for the ADULTS and for the bully. And you certainly don't want to inconvenience the police. Oh no. We don't want to burden public servants with the responsibility of serving the public. But nothing you said would suggest to me that you have ANY compassion for the victim. In fact - it would seem [to me - at least] that you could care less about the victim. And you try to defend that position by letting it be known just how 'logical' you are. Sadly - you're not alone. It's because the world is full of people who think like you - victims will ALWAYS be last on the list of who 'we' should take care of.

As for the argument that 'bullies are victims too' - I agree. But so what? They can be helped AFTER they have been arrested and/or charged and/or held accountable - legally - in some way. Besides - haven't most criminals been victims of one thing or another?!

I think it's time we redirected our compassion. And instead of always running to the defense of those causing so much harm - we need to focus more on those who are BEING harmed. I know that's a scary thought. In fact - it's human to want to distance ourselves from victims. Victims are targets. And few of us want to be THAT close to any target because we fear that if we get too close - we might become a target too. But we have to fight that fear and do what's RIGHT. And the right thing to do is to side WITH the victim. This may come as a shock to some of you - but the abusers of the world are NOT more important than the victims of their abuse.

GREAT BIG HUG
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 10:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
As for the argument that 'bullies are victims too' - I agree. But so what? They can be helped AFTER they have been arrested and/or charged and/or held accountable - legally - in some way. Besides - haven't most criminals been victims of one thing or another?!
THEY ARE CHILDREN! These aren't psychopathic murderers. They are kids who do not fully understand the implication of their actions, nor do they know how to deal with or get help for their emotional issues. I agree the victims need lots of help and support. I just don't think prosecuting CHILDREN is going to make matters any better.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 10:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khadra View Post
THEY ARE CHILDREN! These aren't psychopathic murderers. They are kids who do not fully understand the implication of their actions, nor do they know how to deal with or get help for their emotional issues. I agree the victims need lots of help and support. I just don't think prosecuting CHILDREN is going to make matters any better.
"THEY ARE CHILDREN!"

You're right. But legally speaking - a 17 year old is a CHILD. Are you trying to suggest that a 17 year old doesn't fully understand the implications of their actions?! Exactly who do you think I'm talking about? 4 year olds?! 2 year olds?! And what do you think I'm suggesting? SING SING prison for 8 year olds? Use your imagination. Of course a CHILD shouldn't be shipped off to the 'rock pile'. But even CHILDREN want abusive CHILDREN to be held accountable for their actions. Nothing says, "I don't care about you!", MORE than, "You are NOT accountable for what you do."

GBH - Craig
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 03:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're OK.

The sad thing is.... I have been listening to ALL of the exact same arguments SINCE the mid 1970's. The bottom line of [almost] all of your ideas [Including yours Jack] can be summed up in two words.

DO NOTHING!!
How so? I said nothing of the sort.

In fact, I stated that better teacher training on bullying and lessons which teach the value of tolerance are needed. That just seems an easy way of avoiding answering all my questions and points. Please try and answer them because then you will probably be able to see why criminalising children is a really silly idea. (Also because I didn't spend a while typing them up to be ignored )

Now also, supposing that I did say "DO NOTHING" (which I didn't), then how is putting forward a badly concieved idea with a high probability of backfiring better than doing nothing?

Quote:
As for the argument that 'bullies are victims too' - I agree. But so what? They can be helped AFTER they have been arrested and/or charged and/or held accountable - legally - in some way. Besides - haven't most criminals been victims of one thing or another?!
As for the only point you answered. So why not cut out the being arrested part? Give them help and don't give them a criminal conviction (which as I said above restricts your job opportunities. Not wanting a criminal record is also a deterrant for crime and if they've already got one then they'll be more likely not to care). Why do they need to be held legally accountable when a better system can be implemented? A kid at my school used to beat up other kids, they gave him the choice of getting chucked out or compulsory anger management. He took the anger management and he is now a changed guy. I would hate to see how differently he would have turned out if he'd been left to the police's tender embrace.

Putting a 4-10 year old in jail, juvie or even simply through the court procedure would be incredibly harmful for them no matter whether they're a "bully" or not. Most kids do not understand the implications of bullying and mya not think they're doing it even if they did, how is it fair to prosecute them?

Last edited by Jack; April 25th 2009 at 03:27 PM.
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 03:46 PM

As a personal victim of bullying, though none as severe as physical abuse, I can tell you that teachers almost never notice. Unless they catch the bully in the act of calling you a name loud enough for someone else to hear, they assume that it's nothing worth bothering about. Elementary and middle school were the worst times for me because kids would get me when the teachers weren't looking, or in the halls between classes. And shit, even IN class while we had group projects to work out, that was terrible.
The worst part of it was that I DID tell the disciplinary folk of my school, and the worst they ever got was a verbal warning. They were never written up (except the one time I was sexually harassed when some kid asked me to give him a blowjob on a dare from one of his friends), but even after the disciplinary folk spoke to them, the bullying got worse. Because I was audacious enough to step up and get them in trouble for making my life a living hell, they only came back with a whole new wave of insults and name-calling. Which, for an 11 year old, is really awful to deal with.

Honestly, I want to agree with you, Craig, but there apparently isn't much you can directly hold a child responsible for when their own cruel acts lead to an 11 year old's suicide. Because they're minors, you can't throw them in jail for "assisting/encouraging suicide" or whatever... I don't even know what you could do TO them to punish them. I'd suggest Juvi, but unfortunately, they don't throw bullies in to reform until later in life when they kill kids based on their race or sexual orientation.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 25th 2009, 06:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
"THEY ARE CHILDREN!"

You're right. But legally speaking - a 17 year old is a CHILD. Are you trying to suggest that a 17 year old doesn't fully understand the implications of their actions?! Exactly who do you think I'm talking about? 4 year olds?! 2 year olds?! And what do you think I'm suggesting? SING SING prison for 8 year olds? Use your imagination. Of course a CHILD shouldn't be shipped off to the 'rock pile'. But even CHILDREN want abusive CHILDREN to be held accountable for their actions. Nothing says, "I don't care about you!", MORE than, "You are NOT accountable for what you do."

GBH - Craig
I never said they shouldn't be held accountable, but there is no reason they need to be tried criminally. Especially when we're talking about the 12 and under category. The purpose of punishing kids is to teach them a lesson and make them stop their bad behaviour right? Well if adult intervention and therapy can make them stop, why prosecute them? What will it achieve?

And no, I don't believe many 17 year olds do understand the implication of their actions. They may understand better than a 10 year old, but they still don't fully understand. That is why we don't let them drink, smoke, vote, or gamble. You can't treat them like a child in some cases and like adults in others.

The parents and the school system are the ones that need to deal with this. Bullies can and should be expelled from school until/unless they complete therapy and the therapist has said they are ready to go back.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 26th 2009, 02:41 AM

Here's a question: How do you deal with those who will openly sign or say the "anti-bullying pledge" but behind-the-scenes will still bully?

How do you make tangible psychological torture like bullying?
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 26th 2009, 03:40 AM

I can't come up with a plausible solution at the moment because I just took some medication and it makes me feel all tired and stuff, but I do know that something should be done to stop bullying. This article really got to me because when I was in about grade 7 I was bullied extremely badly. The article also mentioned that the kid's mom complained to the school seven or eight times, and nothing was done. Similar situation... the schools don't do anything. I really hate it when people tell victims of bullying to just suck it up, because they don't know what it's like. Do you really know what it's like to have people you thought were your friends suddenly turn on you, tell you to go kill yourself? Have about a hundred kids trying to harass you, wrecking or stealing your things, sending emails, msn messages, etc. so even when you're not at school they bother you? Having no friends? It really triggered my depression, although apparently depression runs in my family. I'm actually a lot better now, but I feel really upset for victims of bullying, unless they deserve it. Sometimes you just have to beat someone up.

Anyway, what is the solution? First of all, people suck, to put it nicely. So the best solution would be stopping bullying before it starts, by teaching children to accept everyone. However, this isn't possible without a mass genocide of people who discriminate. While that would be fun, there are too many for me to kill without getting caught in my lifespan, and I doubt many people would be willing to help. Babies aren't born racist, sexist, etc. it's a taught belief. So eliminating discrimination would be ideal, but not practical because like forementioned, people suck.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 26th 2009, 04:46 AM

I think the mom should have done more to help her son. If 7 or 8 calls to the principal about it didnt resolve the problem, she should have moved him to a new school.

And really, I dont think theres anything that can be done about bullying. I've read both sides of peoples' arguments here and there are things I agree/disagree with both. I'm the kind of person that if I were being bullied or someone was giving me a hard time, I'd just approach them straight up about, but I know thats not something most bullied people can do.

In short, I think bullying is just one of those things that can never be resolved because there will always be people who dont care or dont know what damage they do and theres just no stopping it. I would personally like to solve these kinds of things physically, as in beat the shit out of people who give others a hard time unrelentingly, but that obviously is not the best way to go.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 26th 2009, 12:00 PM

Hi Jack!!

I hope you're having a dandy day.

I will respond to everything you said in bold font!!

1) In order to bring criminal charges against some of the kids who bully people you would have to lower the age of criminal responsibility which I do not really think should happen. It's where it is for a reason.

But when something isn't working - which is painfully obvious when it comes to the issue of bullying - YOU CHANGE IT. Laws are changed all the time. And new laws are created. And besides - a new type of law could be created that would be specifically tailored to those kids and teenagers who have taken it upon themselves [For whatever reason] to ABUSE their peers. This IS abuse we're talking about. Let's never forget that. A 10 year old who is abusive will quite likely become a 20 year old who is abusive IF he or she is not 'scared straight'. [So to speak] That said - it would be my hope that for the overwhelming majority of bullies - simply having to make an appearance before a ['Kiddie Court'] judge would have a tremendous effect on their behavior. It would - for most of them - let it be known that they have indeed reached that 'line in the sand' and will NOW be held accountable for how they treat others. This judge would order counseling - and not just for the abuser - but for his parents or guardian. By doing that - any abuse the bully has had to endure [That most likely lead to his or her abusing others] would - hopefully - come to light - and THEN perhaps - some healing for the BULLY [And his or her family] can begin. I would have the bully appear before the judge again one month later to report on how things are progressing. Kids are often very skilled with it comes to manipulating others. They know how the 'game' is played and they know how to tug at 'dear old moms' heart strings, etc. This is WHY I strongly believe that both parents AND teachers have to be bound by LAW to deal with a bully. We have literally decades of proof as to the ineffectiveness of placing the burden of responsibility for bullies on the shoulder of parents and teachers. Obviously - it's not working.

2) How would you show the mens rea (aka intent) of the crime. I think it would be fair to say that bully's should only be held accountable if they aim to cause the kid to kill themselves otherwise you have a strict liability offense which are always rather contraversial. Similarly some bullies do not think that what they are doing is actually bullying (I will come back to this later) and I would hazard that very few bullies actually intend to cause such damage to their victims. Also would the thin skull rule be taken into account for this or not? Sometimes it takes a lot to cause someone to kill themselves and sometimes it just takes a word in the wrong place. Should we treat both cases equally?

I understand what you're saying. But a bullies 'intent' IS to harm. A bullies 'intent' is to control and cause fear. And as far as that is concerned - they ARE aware of the 'cause and effect' of their actions. They KNOW that what they are doing is causing harm. If it wasn't causing harm - they would very quickly lose interest in being a bully. But let me make something clear. A person who says a one time nasty comment is NOT a bully. People often say things in the spur of the moment - things that ought not to be said. A bully is not like that. A bully goes out of his or her way to cause harm. Their abuse is PLANNED. But what IF the consequence of a bullies abuse leads to their victim committing suicide? I'm not absolutely sure - but it could be argued - could it not - that THAT is just the risk a bully takes? Kids are not nearly as stupid [i.e. 'innocent'] as society would like to think. A 13 year old in 2009 is FAR more aware of the possibilities for 'awful things' happening [Think 'Columbine', etc.] than a 13 year old was back in the 1970's. [In MY 'day' - in other words] Just read many of the messages posted hear at TH for proof of that. I never even thought of some of the things that many 13 year olds here at TH are talking about and worrying about when I was 13. [Or 14 or whatever] And besides - when did, 'I didn't know', become an excuse? And when it comes to KNOWING - THIS is where teachers come into it. To make SURE that every child is aware - from grade one on up - it should be taught that the society those kids live in WILL respond to abuse very seriously. It must be made clear that the school they go to - in fact - EVERY SCHOOL - has a zero tolerance for bullying. Kids also need to know that - sometimes - when a kid is bullied - he or she can be SO hurt that they end up causing themselves great harm. And if that happens - anyone who has bullied them WILL be held accountable. [In some way]

3) What would be the punishment when convicted of "bullying"? Jail? No that would be too harsh. Juvenile Delinquency Centre? Still too harsh I think as you're basically removing the kid from his family + Juvie rather makes kids worse in my experience. A fine? That wouldn't make sense as the parents of the bully would have to pay it rather than the bully him/herself which means he/she basically escapes punishment. Frankly denying them the right to a driver's licence is both petty and really really arbitrary.

I agree. Both jail and 'Juvie' would be counterproductive. And fines would only hurt the bullies parents. Which makes me wonder WHY would you consider the idea of denying a bully the right to get a driver's license as a 'petty and really really arbitrary' idea. It would have a DIRECT impact on THEIR life - would it not? Think about it for second. You're trying to influence a 15 year old male bully. He is a few months away from getting his 'learner's permit'. You don't think the threat of NOT being allowed to get that permit would influence his behavior?

4) Making it a crime would place an extra burden on the state, I don't think this should be so. If this became a subject for the law to become involved in it would make more sense to place it in tort law rather than criminal law. Firstly this avoids criminalising children for a stupid childhood mistake which I highly disagree with as a criminal record severely limits your job opportunities. Secondly this also takes the burden off the state and minimises the chances of all the frivolous claims which would take place if it was enacted under the criminal system.

I can't help but think that SUICIDE [also] severally limits your job opportunities. That said - IF a child/teenager has proven him or herself to have moved beyond their abusive 'ways' - then they would have earned the right to be go into adulthood with a clean slate. There would be no reason for a criminal record to follow them into adulthood. You have to open up your mind, Jack. Think outside of the box. And stop being so overly concerned with how ADULTS might be inconvenienced. When it comes to a CHILD being ABUSED - to hell with what ADULTS might have to go through in order to appropriately deal with that. A child's safety trumps any possible adult inconvenience.

5) Also, I would say that better teacher training is necessary first before resorting to such drastic measures.

Teacher training is very important. And I fully support that idea. But that's what 'they' have been saying since I was a kid. [Way back in the 1970's] Obviously MORE has to be done. And as I see it - ABUSE is a 'drastic measure'. And it is worthy of a 'drastic solution'. Kids - right this minute - are being ABUSED while 'society' [once again] TALKS about it. Victims are tired of TALK. Children desperately need to SEE that ADULTS care more about THEM than they care about themselves AND their abusers. Society has a DUTY to take care of its kids. [Whether it wants to or not]

6) I also think that requiring the teachers to notify the police everytime a kid claims they are being bullied is ridiculous. That wastes police time when any school can, with the right teacher training, deal with it internally. It also will lead to a certain amount of bureaucracy as even when the teacher knows that a kid is over-reacting and shouting "bullying" when it's not really they will be required to get the police involved. Also, just talking to the bully can end things; as I said earlier some bullies have no clue that what they are doing is bullying and getting the police involved is just far too heavy handed. The police should be used as a last resort not a first resort.

Here you go again. Let's not inconvenience an ADULT. I suppose - as an adult - I should be flattered. But I'm not. For I see that attitude as part of the problem. Again I say - 'think outside of the box'. Calling the police could mean - and should mean [As far as I am concerned] that a dedicated police officer [Who's JOB it is to deal with bully issues] shows up at the school. But I DO agree - IF it's possible for the school to resolve a one time 'bully incidence' - GREAT. But history tells me [My own history - among countless others] that schools have a HORRIBLE record when it comes to resolving ANY bully problem. That's WHY I strongly believe that schools [Teachers, etc.] must be pushed aside in favour of involving an outside, independent party [i.e. 'the police'] when it comes to an accusation of abuse.

7) Bullies are victims too. The reasons they bully often stem from many many problems in their personal life. Now while I am not defending the fact that they bully people I don't see why we need to traumatise them by ending them through the very scary legal system. Remember, they're kids too and generally just a product of their environment.

That's true. More often than not - bullies themselves have a history of some form of abuse. And in MY plan - they would finally get the help they so desperately need. But try to keep in mind that a 'reason' is not an 'excuse'. And society has to stop confusing the two. People - EVEN KIDS - must be held accountable for what they do.

8) From what I have noticed from these sorts of cases is that victims very rarely kill themselves for one reason there are generally various reasons on top of the bullying. How would you prove causality? If the kid kills themselves due to previous depression, poor home life, girlfriend dumping them AND bullying then how do you determine which caused his death and how is it fair to place all the blame on the bully?

Given such a case - it would be difficult - for sure. But I would argue [Perhaps not successfully] that 4 does not wipe out 1. In other words - the bully would still be accountable for his or her ABUSE of the victim - even IF there were other [possible] contributing factors. The bully doesn't become a 'bit player' because he wasn't the only one on stage.

9) To a degree it IS just "kids will be kids". It's human nature to dislike people who are different to you, it's tribal, kids will always pick out other kids who are different to them and shun them for those differences. This is because they haven't adequately been taught that differences are not a bad thing. Hence why teacher training and lessons which promote tolerance are what are needed rather than police intervention.

Education is VERY important. Kids need to be taught the importance of tolerance and acceptance, etc. They need to KNOW that it's OK for other kids - and indeed - other people [Of all ages] to be different than they are. To not only LOOK different - but to have different ideas and thoughts and beliefs and so on. Just as it is OK for THEM to be different than someone else. But abuse crosses the line. I'm merely suggesting that - given the historically shameful way that society has responded to the desperate cries for help from the most vulnerable among us - it's time to stand UP for the victims of abuse - even IF that means we must step on a few of the abusers toes.


GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!!

PS I trust you're no longer feeling ignored!!
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 26th 2009, 07:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig View Post
Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're OK.

The sad thing is.... I have been listening to ALL of the exact same arguments SINCE the mid 1970's. The bottom line of [almost] all of your ideas [Including yours Jack] can be summed up in two words.

DO NOTHING!!

And when it comes to what YOU said YourNightMare - the person that matters the LEAST [to you] is the VICTIM. You have great compassion for the ADULTS and for the bully. And you certainly don't want to inconvenience the police. Oh no. We don't want to burden public servants with the responsibility of serving the public. But nothing you said would suggest to me that you have ANY compassion for the victim. In fact - it would seem [to me - at least] that you could care less about the victim. And you try to defend that position by letting it be known just how 'logical' you are. Sadly - you're not alone. It's because the world is full of people who think like you - victims will ALWAYS be last on the list of who 'we' should take care of.

As for the argument that 'bullies are victims too' - I agree. But so what? They can be helped AFTER they have been arrested and/or charged and/or held accountable - legally - in some way. Besides - haven't most criminals been victims of one thing or another?!

I think it's time we redirected our compassion. And instead of always running to the defense of those causing so much harm - we need to focus more on those who are BEING harmed. I know that's a scary thought. In fact - it's human to want to distance ourselves from victims. Victims are targets. And few of us want to be THAT close to any target because we fear that if we get too close - we might become a target too. But we have to fight that fear and do what's RIGHT. And the right thing to do is to side WITH the victim. This may come as a shock to some of you - but the abusers of the world are NOT more important than the victims of their abuse.

GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!!
Craig, I've noticed this in some arguments of yours in other threads. It seems that each time someone disagrees with you, you're response typically is "But you say DO NOTHING!!! ARGGGGG".

What I may say may be insensitive to the victims, however, there's another difference I've noticed over and over with debates you're in or that you make, and this includes this one: you fail to note the practicality. Yes, it'd be all wonderful if we could get the police involved each time, blah blah blah, however, you fail to think what effect that will have on society (or if you think it, you certainly don't post it).

With debates involving possible changes to laws and society, you need to see how practical it is. You cant only view how much the victims benefit and bullies get punished (and may benefit from it) yet ignore parents, adults, police, etc... . You see how each party can get affected, then you see whether the costs outweigh the benefits.

Yes, we'd certainly over-burden the police, have hundreds of thousands of parents, teachers and students going to the police to deal with a bully meanwhile, also inforce the law to criminals of other sorts. You'd most likely need a completely separate division only for this, a rather large division.

You put the victims first, that's fine, no problem there. But, you put everyone else last, not caring about them.

Ideally, we help the victims and the bullies all while making sure society doesn't crumble. To help the victims, yet again, how? Whose to do it? The mental health care system, at least in Canada, is not the best. It certainly cannot handle a large wave of students who were bullied needing help of some sort. We'd probably need a whole separate division for this, presumably to work with the separate police division for bullying. But, of course, all of this you've failed to address. You've looked at it from a very subjective, biased, theoretical view, whereas I've been more objective, less biased and a practical view. This biased view is shown quite simply by you:

Quote:
abusers of the world are NOT more important than the victims of their abuse.
Essentially, put the victims first, be emotional, forget how practical it may be, and don't care about the adults and society. It's a scary thought, I know, but think and post rationally and at least put in some practical views. Society is practical-oriented, not theoretical-oriented.
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 26th 2009, 08:09 PM

schools never do anything, and most likely never will, my school had anti bullying support group i never used it, teachers never did anything. people should be doing things about bullying but they dont. the bullies will live with knowing they drove him to it, the teachers will have to live with the fact that they did not stop it and have pretty much left him to commit suicide. the teachers and bullies if they care will feel bad about what happened.
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 29th 2009, 01:56 AM

I've gotta agree with YourNightmare in a way. I don't have much sympathy for the victims to commit suicide. Granted I don't have sympathy for anyone who commits suicide (though I am for euthanasia if your gonna die in 3 months of a slow painful death but that's different). But the act of suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do. That being said this story scares the shit out of me and here's why. My younger brother just turned 12, last month a 7th grader flicked him off in the cafeteria and called him a homo. Now my brother is not gay but he happens to be a dancer, so he often gets teased for this. When this happened the principal met with my mother and explained that the boy was being talked to but he had I can't quite remember the name of the disease but it's some muscle deterioration disease apparently all of the kids in this boys family has it. So my mother figured that maybe the kid was just jealous because he's going to end up in a wheel chair while my brother can tap dance some adult's asses off. My mother said that didn't excuse it but she understood why it happened. You want to know my thoughts, I want to beat the shit out of the little bastard, I won't of course but I imagine doing it. Let me tell you that would make him think twice before making anymore comments. Anyway I'm off topic a bit. I have to say that even with my personal experience in bullying (I wasn't only verbally abused in middle school but physically too) I have to say that kids grow up, most grow out of it. I used to sit outside the bathroom where we changed for PE listening to the girls talk about me, but I have fine relations with them now. Really I think the only kids that you have to worry about not growing out of their bullying are the ones that are violent. But some of these "victims" need to just toughen up. I went through it and am fine my father went through it even worse and he didn't even have a family that cared but he's fine, and my brother's going to be fine. You take your insults and you go on because that's the way it is. It would be lovely if it wasn't that way and we should try to fix it but until it is fixed deal with it.

And one last very important thing, people seem to be missing the main problem with this situation. It's the fact that being called gay is an insult in the first place. That being called gay is seen as embarrassing and wrong. Because you know I bet gay people don't get to offended when you accuse them of being straight.


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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 29th 2009, 02:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigmole View Post
I've gotta agree with YourNightmare in a way. I don't have much sympathy for the victims to commit suicide. Granted I don't have sympathy for anyone who commits suicide (though I am for euthanasia if your gonna die in 3 months of a slow painful death but that's different). But the act of suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do. That being said this story scares the shit out of me and here's why. My younger brother just turned 12, last month a 7th grader flicked him off in the cafeteria and called him a homo. Now my brother is not gay but he happens to be a dancer, so he often gets teased for this. When this happened the principal met with my mother and explained that the boy was being talked to but he had I can't quite remember the name of the disease but it's some muscle deterioration disease apparently all of the kids in this boys family has it. So my mother figured that maybe the kid was just jealous because he's going to end up in a wheel chair while my brother can tap dance some adult's asses off. My mother said that didn't excuse it but she understood why it happened. You want to know my thoughts, I want to beat the shit out of the little bastard, I won't of course but I imagine doing it. Let me tell you that would make him think twice before making anymore comments. Anyway I'm off topic a bit. I have to say that even with my personal experience in bullying (I wasn't only verbally abused in middle school but physically too) I have to say that kids grow up, most grow out of it. I used to sit outside the bathroom where we changed for PE listening to the girls talk about me, but I have fine relations with them now. Really I think the only kids that you have to worry about not growing out of their bullying are the ones that are violent. But some of these "victims" need to just toughen up. I went through it and am fine my father went through it even worse and he didn't even have a family that cared but he's fine, and my brother's going to be fine. You take your insults and you go on because that's the way it is. It would be lovely if it wasn't that way and we should try to fix it but until it is fixed deal with it.

And one last very important thing, people seem to be missing the main problem with this situation. It's the fact that being called gay is an insult in the first place. That being called gay is seen as embarrassing and wrong. Because you know I bet gay people don't get to offended when you accuse them of being straight.
Ah, someone agrees. I do believe the victims definately need to toughen up and grow some skin. I find the act of suicide rather disgusting for some of the reasons you mentioned already. If someone insults you, then you insulting back isn't doing you any good, in fact, you're showing an even lower level of immaturity. The same goes for whining about it and eventually committing suicide.

I was bullied throughout much of school, had at times a rough childhood with parents, a good amount from my grandmother who lived at home (she's dead now, don't care though), anything from being called a worthless piece of shit to other things, although I'll return back to the topic of the thread now.

Kids are kids and kids will do some of this bullying stuff. You need to grow some skin, harden up and if need be, just not give a crap about anyone or anything else. If someone insults you, then you try to not insult back nor mope and whine. I tend to just laugh at the insults because the person is simply in their retardation, and cannot convey an idea to me in a more mature, objective way.
   
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Re: "My Bullied Son's Last Day on Earth" - April 29th 2009, 10:30 PM

Some kids deal with harassment better than others. Not everyone can simply "toughen up". I find it sad that these kids reach out for help and get none. It's not like they're called a name one time and they go and kill themselves. It's like, their life is just them being made fun of, told their life is not worth it. Once you hear something enough times, you start to believe it.

There is a difference between kids being kids and kids being insanely awful bullies. Not everyone can just stop caring so easily. Or else there would much much less suicides.



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