Page 21

KNOW_Summer_2016_Digital

THE RESPECTFUL WAY TO STOP SCHOOL BULLIES WHAT’S YOUR BULLY STORY? EVERYONE’S HAD AT LEAST ONE EXPERIENCE BEING BULLIED OR BEING THE BULLY. ASK ANY 80-YEAR-OLD AND THEY’LL SHOCKINGLY REMEMBER DETAILS OF THEIR CHILDHOOD BULLY STORY. THESE MEMORIES CAN STICK LIKE EMOTIONAL TOXIC GLUE FOR DECADES. www.gae.org | 21 Unlike our parents, students now don’t just deal with school yard bullies. The four typical bullying categories include 1) Physical attacks of pushing and intimidating, 2) Verbal attacks threatening gossip and hurtful words, 3) Social attacks excluding someone or slandering their reputation, and 4) Cyber attacks via social media. When using the Internet to bully, they don’t witness emotional cues, facial sadness or tears. Can our lack of empathy and compassion be blamed by too much screen time? It certainly can. My bully story happened in 6th grade when my two best girlfriends in school “Tina and Darcy” turned on me out of nowhere. They’d picked on me daily, until a really sweet boy “Jeff” finally told them to, “quit it and leave her alone. She hasn’t done anything to you.” He was my hero and I’m grateful for his bravery to this day. I remember his words verbatim, not theirs, but let me tell you, it took time to build up that mental strength. I realized “hurt people hurt people.” Tina came from a newly divorced family and Darcy was singled out as one of the few minorities in our school. I was color-blind, I didn’t care about her skin color, but she obviously did and overcompensated for it by being cruel to an easy target. Meanwhile, we all want our students to be a hero like Jeff, to be an UPstander to bullies, but not all kids handle social pressures the same way. Confidence and a sense of self-worth show up at different ages for different kids. As teachers, it’s hard to figure out which teaching tools are most helpful. In the spirit of one of America’s most famous coming-of-age movies Forrest Gump, every new school year BY PAMELA MCNALL


KNOW_Summer_2016_Digital
To see the actual publication please follow the link above