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School Bullying & Gov't Involvement?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, Aug 31, 2011.

Should police be involved in school bullying cases?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    40 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Sep 1, 2011 #41 of 157
    Stewart Vernon

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    Thanks... For some backstory... I come at this from two angles. I was bullied quite a bit as a kid... but I was also the kid who tried to welcome new kids or kids that others were excluding. There were kids I didn't like, of course, but I never bullied.

    I've always found it quite odd that I've known people who wouldn't help a person standing right next to them BUT would go out of their way to cross the street and harass someone.

    True... and I hoped I chose my words carefully... I did say school should be safe and if not, adults should be working at it. I know nothing is 100% safe in the world... but what I don't like seeing are cases where adults don't seem to care to make an effort in an environment where kids are not safe.

    IF a kid is being bullied, and can't turn to adults in the school for help... that's when I see the system failing for our kids. I'm not saying adults should be hovering over the kids all the time... but there should be an environment where kids know they can go to the adults and that something will be done to stop bullying. It seems to me that we haven't been doing that in all of our schools.

    Sorry... I didn't mean to imply that. What I was meaning was that the statistics are so high for suicides, and suicides among teens, and that there are ties to bullying being part of most of the reason in many cases... that there is probably more of this happening than we sometimes recognize.

    No. Don't be silly. Should I call the police if my neighbor gives me a mean look? What about if my neighbor steps onto my lawn with one foot, which is "trespassing"? Of course we can come up with silly over-reactions to almost anything... but I would hope that people would have more sense than that.

    Should be similar protocols for when any person might call the police for any reason.

    Would a teacher call the police if another teacher takes his lunch from the fridge? Probably not... but what if it was taken by force and with a shove or punch? Maybe... or what if it happens everyday? Or at least a couple of times a week? I'd say yes... at some point the police would get involved.

    I'm not sure why people are trying to make this out to be different than when adults are involved.

    IF you see two adults break into a fight almost anywhere in public, I can bet you that police are called... and if the fight lasts long enough for the police to arrive, warnings will be issued if not arrests for disturbing the peace and so forth.

    Why shouldn't our kids be afforded the same kind of protection in society?

    See above... for the most part we should be able to treat what happens in schools between children as if it were between adults. IF it can't be handled (or isn't being handled) by authority figures in the school, then police should be involved, just as they would be IF adults were being abused.

    I am beating the horse here... but I'm amazed that people are balking at the idea of involving police where kids are being bullied BUT those same people would want the police involved if they as an adult were being bullied/harassed at work or in public.

    Heck... just last night I saw the police called to pick up a vagrant who was at the roadside asking for money. He wasn't hurting anyone, though pandering is illegal, and someone called the police to pick him up.
     
  2. Sep 1, 2011 #42 of 157
    BattleScott

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    Already answered previously.

     
  3. Sep 1, 2011 #43 of 157
    Rich

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    I dunno. I just think it kinda over the top to have to call the cops on kids. And I have the same history of being bullied as you do. But I also had an abusive (physically and emotionally) father and was used to getting beaten up. Never really got hurt all that much by the kids at school, just had my feelings hurt. My father, on the other hand, really hurt me at times. Ever get a beating from a 6'4", 230 pound person who knew how to fight? Not pleasant.

    Anyhow, what's next? NYC already uses metal detectors in most of their schools, will NJ be next? Will we have to station cops in and around our schools? I see more and more cameras popping up all around town. By the way, I live in Piscataway, the 23rd most desirable town to live in in the US, according to Fortune Magazine (I think it was Fortune).

    Police state? I'd fear that more than unruly children.

    Rich
     
  4. Sep 1, 2011 #44 of 157
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    :scratch: As I understand the case, the Rutgers student was 'outed' via webcam as a prank, while having gay sex. That is not bullying in the strict definition of the word.

    Can we not label everything that happens to a kid as bullying?
     
  5. Sep 1, 2011 #45 of 157
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Secretly filming someone having intimate moments and then broadcasting it to people via the internet is a "prank" to you? That's not a prank. It's a massive invasion of privacy. The Rutgers young man seemed uneasy regarding his sexual preference, and now everyone in the small group saw what he was privately doing. The 2 students who streamed it, one of whom posted on Twitter about it, appear to be directly responsible for aiding in pushing him to suicide. Seems very bullying to me and not a "prank." :rolleyes:
     
  6. Sep 1, 2011 #46 of 157
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    I see it differently -- you are wrong, and you and I will just have to disagree.
     
  7. Sep 1, 2011 #47 of 157
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I'm wrong because you say so? Great discussion. :rolleyes:

    You know that people can have opposing positions and views with neither being wrong.

    Here's a good definition of bullying:
    http://www.olweus.org/public/bullying.page

    Seems to me the Rutgers situation meets that. No?
     
  8. Sep 1, 2011 #48 of 157
    phrelin

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    Must be nice.

    Having police available for this, I mean.

    In many parts of California (and I thought New Jersey, but what do I know), police officers and sheriffs deputies have been laid off in large numbers. And school staffing - well, let's just say the cuts are similar.

    In other words, I agree with this portion of the article:
    What's even more confusing to me is the fact that the key incident was at Rutgers University, not some middle school.

    Living in the State that embraced the whole self-esteem-for-its-own-sake movement, I've had to defend my opinion that by the time one reaches college age you need to have learned that self-esteem comes from achievements, particularly the small ones as they accumulate. From that, you build a circle of friends who respect you for what you've achieved and what you are becoming as a human being.

    But I guess I'm just not in tune with the Facebook generations. I don't think it's very important what every moron you've ever met thinks about you, and that includes those related to you.

    I just don't see how another silly law is going to change the social and psychological dynamics of group interaction. And I sure hope no one is killed in a convenience store holdup because very limited police resources were being used to deal with an elementary school bully.
     
  9. Sep 1, 2011 #49 of 157
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    By the way... I appreciate the candor. It seems to me a healthy thing when people can openly discuss past abuse in this kind of conversation and context. Not everyone can or is willing to do so... and I get that... but when someone can, it adds a lot to the conversation.

    Meanwhile... I was fortunate not to be in an abusive home. It wasn't all roses, and I have told my parents in the past that I didn't think they supported me as much as they could have when things happened away from home... but by and large my problems were outside the home AND were fortunately more emotional than physical. I say "fortunately" because I know people like yourself who suffered both... and I don't envy that.

    I was able to mostly deal with the emotional torment of the time... though I'm not naive enough to say that it didn't affect my otherwise social development and follow me to some extent today in adult life... but at least I don't also have physical torment to remember too... so I can kind of put it aside and discuss objectively in a way I don't know if I could had I also been subject to physical abuse.

    I grant you that this one incident doesn't seem like bullying... but it is surely more than a prank. It's actually quite illegal, and would have resulted in lots of punishment and perhaps expulsion had that been just one incident.

    It is likely, though, that those same "pranksters" had done other things. I would be surprised if the webcam event was where they started tormenting that guy.

    So... while it might be tough to label one isolated thing as bullying in the traditional sense... it pays to consider that it may be part of a larger pattern of bullying tactics.

    I agree with you on this point... As sensitive as I am to bullying... I don't want to see it minimized by labeling every little annoying thing as bullying. That hurts real victims of bullying in the same way that women have been hurt by people who blur the line between actual sexual assaults (rape) and people making false claims.

    That's a little extreme and disingenuous, though...

    One could say I really hope no one is killed in a home invasion because police are being used to deal with a convenience store robbery... or I hope no one dies from a mugging because police are out ticketing speeders... or I hope no one is kidnapped because police were arresting a bank robber.

    Police don't work that way... Crimes of all nature happen all the time all over the place... and police try to deal with as much as they can as best they can with the resources available. Given the nature of humanity, it would be impossible to ever have enough police to prevent all crimes from happening.

    FYI... the way I see it happening, evolving, is that schools should be trying to handle and "police" bullying themselves without involving police... but sometimes police might be necessary when they can't handle it. BUT, some schools will pass the buck and do nothing... and more police will be involved than necessary... and I would expect that to result in the county/state becoming more involved with that particular school and replacing school administrators, teachers, principals, etc. until they have people in place there to handle things with less police involvement.

    Basically like most adults do in their life. You don't call the police every five minutes for everything... you try to engage your neighbors and have community watch and so forth... and the result is that the police aren't getting called consistently for all homes every day for silly stuff.
     
  10. Sep 1, 2011 #50 of 157
    MysteryMan

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    +1......unfortunately there are those who feel it's better to raise a child as a whimp.
     
  11. Sep 1, 2011 #51 of 157
    sigma1914

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    Sometimes the parent can't help it. My buddy has a kid that he's tried to raise fairly normal and instill a toughness in his son. It's gotten a little better, but the kid just isn't tough...He's just soft. The girls love him,;) so he's luckily popular and not bullied as he used to be.
     
  12. Sep 1, 2011 #52 of 157
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    What does that mean? How do you define wimp?

    I've said before... if two adults get in a fight, police involvement is considered normal and expected.

    IF we lived in a society of survival of the fittest without authority and police and we all had to scrap and fight for our lives daily to defend our homes and eat... THEN I would say kids need to learn to fend for themselves because life will get worse.

    BUT... civilized society isn't like that. Adults can call police and press assault charges... meanwhile kids are supposed to "fight back"... It is unrealistic to adult life to put those pressures on a kid that he will not have to use as an adult to survive.

    We need no police force at all IF we think that people should "handle" things on their own without involving others.
     
  13. Sep 1, 2011 #53 of 157
    MysteryMan

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    So, don't teach our children self reliance and problem solving. Just powder their ass and have them run to someone else and have them handle it for them. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Sep 1, 2011 #54 of 157
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    When your kid fights back and loses...and keeps getting beat down...then what? Let him continue getting beat?
     
  15. Sep 1, 2011 #55 of 157
    MysteryMan

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    Then you go to school with your child, address the situation with the principle and have he/she do their job. My wife was a school teacher for forty years and that was the standard when dealing with a bully. If it happens out of school then address the bully's parents.
     
  16. Sep 1, 2011 #56 of 157
    sigma1914

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    Not every district deals with it like your wife's, so these mandates and education are needed.

    And when the bully's parents don't do anything, then what? Do you ever think law enforcement should do something?
     
  17. Sep 1, 2011 #57 of 157
    phrelin

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    Well, actually I don't know what you mean by police don't work that way. When I was a Police Chief how officers were assigned determined response time. And if investigative staff were directed to use their time on specific incidents, then they just don't have time for other incidents.

    How police do work is based on the reality that those giving out the assignments are frequently politically responsive. When it is portrayed on some TV shows that "the Mayor's office" influences the assignment of resources it isn't misleading.

    So the article in question begins with "lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line."

    I don't know anything about East Hanover. Maybe there's a cop on every second street corner. And they have Wojo, Harris, Yemana, Dietrich, and Captain Miller sitting around all day in the station house with nothing to do but run down to the schools to deal with bullies reported by every kid with a cell phone (which seems to be almost every kid).

    So....
    That's sort of true. You'd be amazed at how much silly stuff police dispatchers have to sort through, though. And given what kids do now with access to the internet, announcing to every kid from Kindergarten to graduate school that we've set up an open anonymous bullying tip line just doesn't seem like a well thought out idea to me.

    My reaction is focused on this paragraph:
    If I understand what is going on, resources will be taken away from presumably education-oriented activities. And/or resources will be taken away from current law enforcement activities. Nobody said which activities should be sacrificed. Nobody budgeted an extra $20 million in New Jersey to hire and train special "anti-bullying" personnel. Somebody - the New Jersey Legislature which sounds an awful lot like the California Legislature - simply said, "well were done cutting the state budget 20%, so let's assign some new tasks for the remaining personnel because of an unfortunate event at Rutgers University."

    The costs for these things gets a shrug. I'm waiting for the day when such a bill would automatically increase a tax rate - sales, income, or property - to cover an honestly projected cost based on a desired goal. Save one kid from bullying - increase everyone's sales tax rate 0.001%. Save 80 kids, - increase everyone's sales tax rate 0.06% (there's savings in quantity).

    Or just maybe it's not what people are willing to pay to have school or law enforcement personnel do. Filter through reports from an anonymous bullying tip line?;)
     
  18. Sep 1, 2011 #58 of 157
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Look, is bullying right? Hell no. But the world is full of bullies and not just in our childhood. A spouse can be a bully. So can a employer as well as governments. Hell Mother Nature can be the greatest bully of all as she displayed with hurricane Irene. What Chris, I and others are saying is first teach our children self reliance and problem solving skills. They're going to need them. Then use the other avenues of approach should those skills fail.
     
  19. Sep 1, 2011 #59 of 157
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    No one has disputed that we shouldn't teach children that. The kids who aren't taught it still need a safe outlet to get help. In some cases, like violence when schools have done nothing, law enforcement may need to be a last resort before a kid really snaps and kills there self or others.
     
  20. Sep 1, 2011 #60 of 157
    MysteryMan

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    I believe the topic of this thread is bullies, not psychopaths.
     

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