Friday, March 13, 2009

Hannah and her Bullies

My column on a Springton Lake bullying is up.

In response, I received this e-mail:


I am 26 years old and a former student through the Rose Tree Media School District. Currently I am in law enforcement and am highly respected by my peers. However, in High School I was threatened and made fun of almost every day. I was humiliated daily at lunch. It was so bad that I broke down crying in the principals office when I went to complain about it. Nothing was done. None of the kids were removed from the lunch. No action was taken against them. To be honest my self esteem is still screwed up because of it. I constantly worry about what people think about me behind my back and I have almost no confidence in myself. In almost any situation I am in I am seen as a leader and have people look up to me but I still can't stop second guessing myself or beating myself up if I make a mistake. Bullying is a serious issue and I thank you for covering it.

Powerful stuff


Anonymous e said...

This is what happens when you don't allow kids to fight. Fighting is a natural part of growing up and weeds out most bullying. If Hannah stood up for herself she would be fine. What is going to happen when Hannah is an adult and she has a problem at work or with a neighbor. Mommy and Daddy won't be around to solve it. She needs to learn conflict resolution as a child. The current system allows many more bullies to exist. You used to have to be able to back up being a bully every once and a while. Now any wimp with a quick wit can be a bully.

March 13, 2009 at 4:34 PM 
Anonymous said...

I am afraid I didn't have it in me then nor would I now to physically confront someone and would only do so unless there was no choice. It does not come naturally to me. Does that make me a coward? i don't think so. I'm just not that strong.

I too have, like you, struggled with the same feelings all these years later after being harrassed and bullied endlessly. The problem is, it still happens today though you don't hear much about bullying in regards to adults. Do people think that it automatically stops when you cross some invisible boundary? I think there are some among us who emit a pheromone-like attraction to predators. Like hounds after the lone fox they are quick to catch our scent. One thing positive that comes from it is that I am very sensitive to it happening to someone else and while I am reticent to deal with it very well in my own life, I am not reluctant at all to defend someone else who is being treated unfairly.
I long for the day, if it should ever come, when we can realize we are all passengers on this trip and choose to be more tolerant of those we deem not like us.
I am intelligent enough to know it is possible but also realistic enough to know it is not likely, sadly.

March 14, 2009 at 7:56 AM 
Anonymous Bob 1 said...

e - We might agree on something here. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was stand at the kitchen window, and watch my son being picked on by another kid. I could have stopped it, and had it escalated to another level, I might have. But my son survived.
He's now 30, on his 12th year in Army Intel., and he's one person you wouldn't want to mess with.
However, I am grateful that Gil is addressing this issue. Quite often, a bully is the result of abuse and disfunction at home. A lot of these bullies (I've known my share) turn out to be abusive adults.

March 14, 2009 at 9:09 AM 
Anonymous e said...

Right on Bob. I'm not saying bullying is good or fighting is good, but it is part of growing up and kids have to learn to deal with it or they are losing out on valuable life skills. If you get in your first fist fight ever when you are an adult, you will be going to the hospital in the back of an ambulance when it's over.

Next time you see a litter of puppies watch them bat at each other and bite at each others necks and ears. They're learning how to deal with it right off the bat.

March 14, 2009 at 1:50 PM 
Anonymous Bob 1 said...

e - This is where your theory falls short. I have a 5 yr old granddaughter that was complaining about being sick every day. She didnt want to go to school. Turns out an 8 yr old was picking on her on the bus. She threatened to pull my granddaughters hair out and make her look like a boy. Lets face it. A five yr. old has no chance standing up against an 8 yr old. Your "stand up" theory is only good when the playing field is level. And thats rare. The evening news, I think it was ABC, did a story on bullying tonight. They confirmed what I was saying about bullies having issues at home that make them agressive. They claim that 160,000 children miss school every day because they are picked on.

March 16, 2009 at 12:43 AM 

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