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Bullying – Not just for Kids!

March 31, 2010

I was doing some research today for a policy paper I’m writing on efficiency in education (no, don’t laugh…it’s NOT an oxymoron).  I had started with statistics on student-to-student bullying, but also wanted to explore the idea of bullying/violence from students to staff.

Imagine my surprise (not in a good way) to run across this article from the Vancouver Sun just two days ago (March 29th) which states that violence against teachers by students has doubled in the last three years!

Now, I hardly believe that just because this is happening to my neighbors to the North, it’s somehow better here in the U S of A.  Hardly.  School violence of all types, in all forms, is increasing at unacceptable levels.

I was horrified, like many others, two years ago when a Baltimore teacher was assaulted in her classroom.  So horrified, in fact, that I recorded and posted a video on YouTube  in response. It got over 14,000 views, which I thought was incredible at the time (particularly because I didn’t have to do anything outrageous or lewd to get the viewership)!  But I was incredulous that our society — our KIDS, for pity’s sake — had sunk so low as to be beating and harassing what should be traditional authority figures, simply because..they were being authority figures.

Add this to the vast list of reasons for why teachers leave the classroom.  Uh, it’s safer to be a dock worker than it is a teacher these days?  You can never tell if the result of telling a student to sit down and be quiet leads to your being threatened at knife point?  Hmm…maybe kevlar vests need to become standard issue for teachers’ uniforms — what happened to “discipline by ruler and the dirty look?”

Again, if you want proof for how cheap life has become and how little respect there is between traditional relationships, I think you look here. While we know a LOT about anti-bullying policies and their “effectiveness” student-to-student, not so much is said about the other types of bullying and school violence that occurs in schools, every day, in our country and others across the globe.

Don’t want to sound like a broken record, but WHY are we not being more proactive by integrating pro-social skills in our curriculum. Teachers, do YOU think it might be a good idea?  Don’t tell me..tell your principals, tell your district administration…tell your UNIONS.

I don’t know about you, but you couldn’t PAY me enough where being assaulted by a student was a very real possibility.  Never mind job satisfaction.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2010 5:19 pm

    You have been talking about direct physical aggression but teachers endure lots of social aggression from their students as well. Kids are bullying teachers and each other using words and gestures. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Not true words and gestures are very hurtful. Just today in the classroom I have had to deal with 3 girls bullying another girl with words and gestures. . I went to admin. Lets see what happens.

    • corinnegregory permalink*
      April 8, 2010 7:25 am

      Elona, you are absolutely right. Sadly, it’s only the “extreme” cases that get the press, but as you pointed out teachers have to deal with social bullying on a regular basis, or less-overt forms of aggression like defiance or threats. All are bullying and NONE of this is acceptable.

    • corinnegregory permalink*
      April 8, 2010 7:28 am

      And, as you pointed out in the “sticks and stones” reference, words can hurt. What we say in our SocialSmarts curriculum is this:

      “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can break our HEARTS.”

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