UPNetwork  

Go Back   UPNetwork > General Forums > Debate

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-25-2012, 06:35 AM   #1
kaisap112
Volcano Badge
 
kaisap112's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Finland
Posts: 2,206
Anti-Bullying Measures

First of all, I'd like to declare that I realize people have very emotional reactions to bullying. Since a good number of news about bullying and its after-effects have been floating around in Finland, and probably in Europe in general, I'd like to ask this forum:

How do we put an end to it?

To emphasize my point of bullying not being a case of "boys being boys" and "that's just how kids are" or something that "doesn't hurt anybody" (I have heard arguments like these!) I'd like to refer you to this video. It has been clipped from a seven-minute video of girls bullying their classmates in Estonia - or as it is called in the adult world, assaulting her. Note that these kids are 12-year-olds.

WARNING: THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY TRIGGERING TO SENSITIVE PEOPLE.


BORKED

As I assume Russian (which the bullies speak) isn't a majority-language on this forum, and to spare the sensitive ones from having to watch, here's what the video is pretty much all about:

The bullies in the video ordered the victim to bring them cigarettes to school. Since she didn't do it, this assault was orchestrated in a classroom of the school. The bullies verbally and physically abuse their victim with such things as punching (with fists), kicking, hitting with a belt and utter humiliation. Obviously, this event was also recorded on a cell phone as it happened. The bullies also discuss how to beat the girl up as much as possible without leaving visible marks and urge each other to beat her.

What has followed since the release of this particular video is a police investigation of the incident and whether teachers and staff were guilty of negligence (if they were around, they sure didn't step in and try to stop it) but also an investigation of who shot this video. The bullies, according to the school, have no prior record of violence. The victim in this case no longer goes to that school for rather obvious reasons.

This is only one example of bullying I can name on the spot, but I'm sure everyone here has been somehow involved in or witnessed bullying in their lives.

Now, I'll start off this conversation with this: I, for one, think it's high time people and the authorities stop using the word "bullying" and call it what it is, assault and abuse - a suggestion here in Finland has been "school violence" (to accomodate verbal and physical abuse among other things).

If two adult beat up another adult like this, it's jailtime and a charge with (aggravated) assault. But how come when kids do it it's "normal" and perfectly okay to society at large? At least judging by the lack of attempts to do anything about it!

I'd like to hear this forum's opinions on this matter, if you don't mind.
kaisap112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
Talon87
Nebby. Back into the bag.
 
Talon87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 20,461
Send a message via AIM to Talon87
I feel like "bullying" is a blanket term used to describe both the most innocuous teasing of children by children as well as the most depraved physical or psychological abuse. To me, this problem of terminology is something which must be sorted out whenever debating bullying. Are we discussing the typical teasings of children or are we discussing the sorts of criminal acts most of us only ever see in our entire lives either in recreational media or in the news? It seems clear from your opening post that we're discussing the latter category of bullying.

I believe that that sort of "bullying" isn't bullying at all but instead criminal abuse. And I believe that such criminal abuse is by no means an obligate part of society. Such acts aren't simply "kids being kids." I never heard of nor witnessed a single thing remotely like this happening when I was a kid. Spoiled/lucky upbringing? Maybe. But I definitely don't feel that this is something that society can't eliminate nor do I feel it is something seen in all communities worldwide.

As for the lack of attempts by bystanders to get involved, this is a problem which transcends age. There is an innate response on our part as humans to this sort of thing: "that's bad, and I'd do something to stop it if I could safely do so without repercussions, but alas I cannot. If I get involved, the bullies will just come after me too. And I don't want to wind up like her. So I will just stay out of it." This mentality is precisely why you never see a small handful of people challenging bullies: it is always either a lone soul who stands up to them all on his or her own or else it is an entire group (e.g. an entire classroom, an entire bus, an entire concert, etc). The reason there's never any in between is because usually once four or so people step forward to confront the bullies the entirety of the rest of the crowd feels empowered to do the same; but when you only have one person stand up to the bullies, people still don't want to get involved because one, they subconsciously realize, is usually not enough.
Talon87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
Mercutio
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 14,729
Yeah I mean, bullying is a fairly useless term in this setting because there is literally no way to stop 'bullying' from happening. It's a part of our constructed framework. The specific example you posit, of differentiating between types of abuse, is fine but there's nowhere clear to draw the line.

A good way of moving might be to stigmatise verbal and physical assault separately.
Mercutio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
kaisap112
Volcano Badge
 
kaisap112's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Finland
Posts: 2,206
I only used the term bullying because that's what people use of "assault in a school setting" these days, as much as Talon has a point and there is the "bullying" where little kids poke each other a couple times then it's all settled. Though for myself, personally, the division between all these terms is something like this:

Teasing: Things like innocent jokes and jabs that aren't meant to hurt anyone.

Assault: Actions (physical and verbal) used to damage another person with intent to cause harm.

As it happens, the only thing I've seen separating "assault" and "bullying" is the part where it's minors doing it to one another in a school setting.

Now, this might actually be an issue of language and/or culture, but in Finnish the word for bullying is the same as for teasing. It's also not illegal or even recognized by the law for the most part: kids that smash in the head of another at school get a few months of community service, if even that much, and that's it. Now, in the Estonia-case the video is about, the police are taking action under a new charge which I can't properly translate, but it's still a message that beating up your peers is not okay no matter what age you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
It's a part of our constructed framework.
I'd like to question this. What part about abusing other people is a perfectly normal part of human development that we shouldn't do anything about?

Is there a biological mechanism for it and that's why it can't be stopped?


I have never heard of such a thing.

Is it a part of teens figuring out their parts in the social hierarchy?


I'm fairly sure there are other ways of going about it than tormeting someone to the point of suicide.

Are the kids just not understanding the damage they're causing?


With non-physical abuse this could be the case (though it wasn't in mine: I was specifically told to my face that "we want you to suffer"), but when a person's brain works properly when it comes to reading other people's reactions (as in not a case of a mental, neurological or personality disorder), things like facial expressions and tears as well as verbal objections should light up a bulb that says "this is wrong". With physical abuse, I have to ask, how wouldn't it click in someone's brain that when you stick someone's head down a toilet it's painful and very possibly life-threatning?

I also feel I have to mention the "not my baby" effect: if bullying comes to light, the parents of the bullies often resort to "No way my child does that stuff! That kid is lying!" instead of even trying to deal with the situation. When children are raised to believe in the Law of the Jungle and that they're untouchable by law and authorities (due to status of a minor and the protection of parents), how can you expect them to act? Which would lead us to ask:

How big a part do people raising children and the society at large have in the birth of abusers?

I'll refer to this as physical and verbal abuse/assault from now on, so we're all on the same page with what we're discussing here: abuse of minors, by minors.
kaisap112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2012, 08:56 PM   #5
Shuckle
Mage of Mind
 
Shuckle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Land of Thought and Melody
Posts: 3,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
As for the lack of attempts by bystanders to get involved, this is a problem which transcends age. There is an innate response on our part as humans to this sort of thing: "that's bad, and I'd do something to stop it if I could safely do so without repercussions, but alas I cannot. If I get involved, the bullies will just come after me too. And I don't want to wind up like her. So I will just stay out of it." This mentality is precisely why you never see a small handful of people challenging bullies: it is always either a lone soul who stands up to them all on his or her own or else it is an entire group (e.g. an entire classroom, an entire bus, an entire concert, etc). The reason there's never any in between is because usually once four or so people step forward to confront the bullies the entirety of the rest of the crowd feels empowered to do the same; but when you only have one person stand up to the bullies, people still don't want to get involved because one, they subconsciously realize, is usually not enough.
The most wonderful thing about the Bystander Effect is that knowing about it is enough to completely nullify it. For instance, the typical reaction of a bystander is not to intervene because, as you put it, "one is not enough." But if you realize that if you don't do it, nobody is going to do it (due to the bystander effect), you will (should) do it. And once you do it, other people will do it, and then you have the crowd joining in.

It's my favorite psychological effect for precisely that heartwarming reason; one person can make a difference.

We now return to your regularly scheduled debate.
__________________
Shuckle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   UPNetwork > General Forums > Debate


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:37 AM.


Design By: Miner Skinz.com
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.