Autumn brings to mind school days…
Hats off to The Disney Channel! They’ve launched a “Choose Kindness” campaign to encourage children to stop bullying one another. October is Anti-Bullying Awareness Month. On the 1st, Blue Shirt Day, people were encouraged by an organization called Stomp Out Bullying to wear bright blue shirts to bring attention to the issue. Stomp Out Bullying deserves kudos, too.
Any organization that tries to stop bullying, in my opinion, should get as much applause as possible. I know what I’m talking about. Once upon a time, I was bullied myself.
Yet there’s a bullying issue that I feel does not ever seem to get addressed, no matter how many websites and organizations do their very best to bring the matter out in the open. It’s the issue of teachers bullying students.
And it’s bad.
I saw bullying teachers at their absolute worst not in the public schools I attended, but in one Catholic and one private one. I saw:
– A boy get flipped over background in his desk, crash-landing on his back on the floor, just for smiling;
– Another boy made to kneel on a hard wooden floor for an hour over a minor infraction;
– A girl whose skirt, deemed “too short,” was cut down by a screaming principal wielding a scissors;
– Two children who were daily berated in front of the class because the teachers deemed them somehow “unworthy,” though it was never specified just of what (though I suspect the fact they had a different European background than that of those teachers had a lot to do with it);
– Girls put down and threatened, daily, with expulsion for their grades;
– A teacher referring to an overweight kid as “Gross” in front of other students, thus encouraging them to also use the appellation;
– Children being downgraded so that other kids whose parents donated more money could have a better class rank;
– An entire week of abuse directed at several grades of children just because a few girls laughed during a class trip;
And more. Quite a lot more. Those stories were only the ones I saw happening to other children. I’ve got one of my own as well.
It’s one matter if a child is mistreated by other children, but when your tormentors turn out to be the adults who should be responsible, but aren’t, are supposed to be keeping order, but don’t, and are charged with keeping you safe, when they’re actually making a target out of you, that’s just unnatural, if not also surreal, and it’s the epitome of wrong. Ridiculous, too. Picture a 40-year-old calling a child names and you’ll get an idea of exactly how ludicrous it is.
So many people I know have horror stories like these about teachers abusing students with bullying tactics. While it’s wonderful that there’s so much attention given, now, to children bullying children, why is there such a dearth of information about adults, teachers, coaches, etc., bullying kids? Where is the outcry? Why does this never get addressed?
Does no one realize just how sick these adults have to be to behave in such a manner the first place?
Last night, on a re-run of Criminal Minds, one of the FBI agents said, “The smaller the victim, the easier to control.”
Really? Well, what happened to me was quite a saga. There were some teachers at one school who made my life beyond miserable, and did so deliberately. The worst one of them all is still alive, and so is another. I’ve been saving the full details about it for a book I’m planning to write one day.
Easy to control, are we? Let them try controlling that!