Thursday, April 14, 2016

On Bullies

Written 21 August 2015, in response to a friend's Facebook video posting. I love this man dearly, but he's a tough guy: from a rough neighborhood, minority, now a United States Marine. I know the culture that teaches the best way for someone downtrodden is to get tough and push their way out, but it's not always that answer. I did not post this response to his video, but I wouldn't hesitate to tell him this over a beer in his Bronx neighborhood.
* * * * *
Its not this simple, and it never will be. If you've never been bullied, you can't possibly know this. Bullying is about abuse of power, plain and simple. Bullying is not ever going to be solved by making some kids tougher, because for bullied kids it's not only about size or strength. It's also about confidence and what they believe themselves capable of. For kids, both those factors have a lot to do with family and social environment. I knew plenty of kids who were capable of flattening their bullies with one swipe, but for them, power wasn't about size. I knew other kids who were scrawny the bullies never once would have considered picking on because of that kid's projected self image. If you simply make every kid able to defend him/herself without addressing the issues of power abuse, you will just make more bullies who can do more damage.

No comments:

Post a Comment