Bullying: Is it changing, or are we?


#1

Since I didn’t want to derail the existing bullying thread, I thought I’d make a separate one by asking this question.

So here’s the question I’m wondering: Is the bullying problem is actually worse these days, or are we as a society just more sensitive about it?

I’m interested in hearing all perspectives. Thanks and God bless!


#2

For the most part, even the most horrible bullying that I hear about in the news is comparable to the bullying I endured in high school. (I especially can relate to the young girl who was bullied by a mother of a classmate until she committed suicide. Something very similar happened to me, but my suicide attempt was unsuccessful.) I think society is more sensitive to it now than we were then, and I think it's a GOOD thing that we're no longer just telling kids to "stick it out til graduation." After I attempted suicide, my parents agreed to let me take extra credits via independent study and graduate a year early. I am a stronger person because of what I endured (and further along financially due to early graduation), but just thinking about my children being bullied the way I was bullied breaks my heart.

I realize I'm a lot younger than some posters. :blush: The bullying I experienced wasn't that long ago. It began with moderate teasing in 1993, got nasty in 1998, and eventually ended in 2001 when I graduated early. Maybe those who think bullying is "worse today" think that 1998 - 2001 falls under the "today" category, not the "yesterday" category.

ETA: I am not voting in the poll because while I believe bullying is not worse today than it was when I was a teenager, I don't like that the poll option that indicates that is so flippant.


#3

I would say the bullying of today is more relentless than it was in the past. Where back in the day it was physical incidents that one could sometimes avoid. Now it’s every hour of everyday with the ability of bullies to pile on the cyber bullying onto of the physical.


#4

I think the internet/cyber age has certainly changed the playing field a bit. Bullying is recorded, captured, and saved online... "forever"... there is less opportunity for healing if the pain is still enduring out in cyberspace.

With that said, I think we're also becoming more sensitive to it and trying to approach it at the root of the problem. Progress toward general civility is always the goal...


#5

I don’t see that it is any worse. However it is unfortunate that the anti-bullying movement has been hijacked by advocates of so-called homosexual rights.


#6

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:2, topic:231223"]
For the most part, even the most horrible bullying that I hear about in the news is comparable to the bullying I endured in high school. (I especially can relate to the young girl who was bullied by a mother of a classmate until she committed suicide. Something very similar happened to me, but my suicide attempt was unsuccessful.) I think society is more sensitive to it now than we were then, and I think it's a GOOD thing that we're no longer just telling kids to "stick it out til graduation." After I attempted suicide, my parents agreed to let me take extra credits via independent study and graduate a year early. I am a stronger person because of what I endured (and further along financially due to early graduation), but just thinking about my children being bullied the way I was bullied breaks my heart.

I realize I'm a lot younger than some posters. :blush: The bullying I experienced wasn't that long ago. It began with moderate teasing in 1993, got nasty in 1998, and eventually ended in 2001 when I graduated early. Maybe those who think bullying is "worse today" think that 1998 - 2001 falls under the "today" category, not the "yesterday" category.

ETA: I am not voting in the poll because while I believe bullying is not worse today than it was when I was a teenager, I don't like that the poll option that indicates that is so flippant.

[/quote]

Im so sorry you went through all of that, God bless you.

I would say that it is not that bullying has increased as such or that society is getting sensitive. Rather the nature of bullying has changed, due to as someone mentioned, the internet which has turned it into something more insidious, if that makes sense. People's personal details are that much easier to obtain nowadays.


#7

It has not been hijacked. Whether we agree with it or not, people have always been bullied for being different in some way or the other. Two wrongs dont make a right, and bullying is incredibly juvenile at best.

We may not agree with the message of gay rights activists, however that does not change the fact that homosexuals should not face harrassment. The Church teaches that they are due our charity.

Bullying is not charity in any way.


#8

I think it is not worse, but we are more sensitive to it. I believe this is a good thing. Just because kids have been emotionally abused by their peers for generations does not mean we should not strive for a better world.


#9

That’s an interesting point, so are you thinking of information particularly from social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook?


#10

Good point, estesbob.

I have several thoughts on the subject.

I saw a bullying timeline of occurrences of the victim(s) hurting themselves "as a result of the bullying", but then there were many comments included that stated that the bullying wasn't the only, or biggest problem in the child's life. In many cases the child had mental health issues that were the main cause.

I also think that it is easier to bully without being seen through cyberspace, but then I think we're also hearing about more instances because of cyberspace. There's not a single bit of info that's not out there these days. Whatever bullying you didn't hear about back in the 80's or 90's, you're hearing about today.

Finally, I think that we need to step away from the idea that there are a group of bullies and a group of victims. I don't like to see reports of "the bully" left my child, "the victim", out, or called him a name, or pushed him. That child is not a bully. What is described could be called bullying behavior, but does that make that kid the all time bully, and the other the all time victim? Do we need to publicly lynch the kid for doing that? Because from where I stand, I see that as behavior most kids are capable of and have probably engaged in, including my kids. I don't even call that bullying, I call that trying to mature and get along socially. I definitely think we need to do all we can to stop it when we see it, but we also need to arm the other kids with ways to stay away from it, not because we are lazy, but because we cannot always be there.

It seems like the first person to yell "BULLY!" is in the right, and the other is immediately prosecuted.

Just my experience.


#11

I understand that you are genuinely trying to be diplomatic, but I find much of this post to be belittling to those of us who suffered true bullying, beyond the playground taunting you describe.

I WISH the “bullying” I experienced was as mild as what you describe in your post. It was not. It was cruel, traumatic, and permeated my entire life, not just my school days. They would call me at home and visit me at my part-time job to torment me. The bullies included one of my coworkers, so I would try to arrange my shifts to avoid her, but I couldn’t always. When I started dating my first boyfriend from a town in another state, they didn’t even know him, but they contacted him and random classmates of his to spread the false rumors they had fabricated. It was horrible, and it followed me around every day, everywhere I went.

I spoke to one of the bullies many years later and asked her why. She said “Maybe Carrie started it all because your mom [the school counselor] turned her boyfriend in for smoking so he couldn’t play football for the rest of the season? I don’t really remember. I guess we just thought it was funny at the time.”

Do you really think I brought the bullying on myself? Do you really think it’s unfair to describe me as a victim in this situation? If you were my parents back then, how would you “arm me” to “just stay away” from this bullying? It’s not so easy to flippantly say “just stay away from it” when it’s “real bullying,” not just a little shove on the playground.

All of this pain is SOOOO far in my past. All of the bullies have gone on to be absolute losers, and I have gone on to be educated, well-adjusted, affluent, happy, and married to a wonderful man. I honestly thought I was totally over it, but now that I am pregnant I’m realizing that the wounds they caused are a double-whammy for me. I know that every parent just wants to protect their children from the evils of the world. But since I have experienced first-hand how easy it is for children to experience evil that their parents simply can’t protect them from, when I think about protecting my child from pain, the wounds are fresh. I am very interested in learning more about bullying and how it can be prevented because I do not ever want to experience the horror that my parents experienced when they found me with my wrists slit.

(Forgive the ALL CAPS EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER. I’m 8 weeks pregnant and dangerously emotional.) :blush: :blush:


#12

When I was growing up, we were taught to "stand up to" bullies, and that would make them leave us alone. What is different today, from what I have read in various places, is that standing up to a bully can get you into trouble as well due to all this "zero tolerance" stuff, so in that way it is worse.


#13

Well said. And this sad state of affairs applies outside of schools as well via political correctness and cultural sensitivity.:rolleyes:


#14

[quote="estesbob, post:5, topic:231223"]
I don't see that it is any worse. However it is unfortunate that the anti-bullying movement has been hijacked by advocates of so-called homosexual rights.

[/quote]

When you use homosexual terms in a derogatory fashion to bully someone it has serious impacts later on in the mental development of homosexuals and attitudes towards homosexuals. This might be why homosexual advocates are trying to stop this issue at the source.


#15

I disagree. When I was a kid, if you were bullied you were safe when you got home. (Providing your parents weren’t abusive, of course)

Now when kids get home, the bullying, made all the more vicious because of its anonymity, continues via the internet. Some terrible incidents have occurred recently where I live.

I also don’t think there is anything wrong with saying that it’s not okay to bully homosexuals. They are, after all, human beings too.


#16

I like how everyone takes estesbob's statement and magically infers that he is advocating the acceptance of bullying homosexuals.

Not accepting a lifestyle is not the same as bullying. Identifying evil is not the same as bullying. Resisting the culture that demands that we accept immorality is not bullying. You do a person in sin no favors by remaining silent.


#17

That is the usual tactic of homosexual apologists.


#18

Homosexuality isn’t evil by Catholic standards, only the act of homosexual sex is. You do no favors informing homosexuals they are sinful for being homosexual, especially when that isn’t the position of the church. You need not accept homosexuality, but just know that Catholicism has no problem with homosexuals until they perform the beast with two backs.


#19

No, I do agree that all that you describe here is bullying. And I think that still does go on, sadly. But I think that what is happening today is that people are equating “she pulled my hair in gym class” with what you experienced.


#20

Great conversation.

One thing, though--------

The So-Called "Zero Tolerance" policy of schools nowadays fails to take into account one thing-------most bullies themselves are victims of their Environment, their Genes, and their lack of good spiritual values.

Kick them out and/or severely punish them, OK-------------

But what about the Bully? No Treatment for Him/Her? Just throw them out and let some other school deal with them?:confused:

No Treatment or Charity for them? Just "Zero Tolerance" and that's it?
I HATE Zero Tolerance, personally. :rolleyes::mad:


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