School Bullying: A Case Study Facing the Deadly Consequences

Bullying is a consistent pattern of control and aggression against other kids.  They are often the school athletes or popular girls, considered charismatic leaders by peers and adults. This skill, sometimes masked as a positive leadership trait, can be used by those who are socially savvy and, therefore, misread by many adults. 

Bullies perceive themselves to be in charge and the authority for others to follow.  They are king or queen of their social group and no one dare's challenge them for fear of retaliation.  Their control may be through physical confrontation but often it through verbal comments in front of others or anonymous postings in cyberspace.

All too often the children under attack find no other solution or escape but death. Their anxiety mounts as they see no way to combat the attacks.  In an alarming number of bullying instances, the victims have committed suicide as a their means of escaping the verbal brutality.  This is unacceptable. 

What are the Misconceptions?

  1. Kids will be kids and do what kids do. There are those adults who still consider that the kids are all just trading barbs with each other. Mean behavior cannot be a way to get the "right people" to like you at the expense of others.
  2.  They will grow out of it as they mature.  Bullies may feel that this behavior is ok because they have been victims themselves.  So now they are looking for followers or "wannabes" who will emulate this destructive behavior.  Instead of growing out of these behavior traits, they learn to hone their skills.
  3. They are just being nice to others.  Actually, these bullies learn to be great controllers who manipulate other children, threatening severe consequences for telling anyone.

This book, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, is an excellent reference for parents who are concerned about the many situations the children negotiate during their school years.
Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World

Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World

If you think that your child may be a victim of bullying or internet taunting contact the school officials and meet to determine an action plan to stop the attacks.  Get involved with your community to publicly denounce this form of behavior.  Make certain that students are aware that this behavior will not be tolerated and engaging in such behavior will have serious consequences.

Meet Sirdeaner Walker

Sideaner Walker had eleven year old son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  He tragically took his life when he could no longer endure the constant harassment and verbal abuse.  This included anti-gay slurs and being called the f-word.  This took place at school. Yet Carl had never identified himself as being either gay or straight.  He was eleven! His solution was to take an extension cord and hang himself in his bedroom.

Carl was a mother's dream: scholar athlete and regular attendee at church.  His goal was to attend college.  Now, since his death, and in his honour, Ms Walker honours her son and his memory by raising awareness about the dangers of school bullying and the need for creating a safe and respectful learning environment. Listen to what Sideaner Walker advises.

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