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News Flash: Bullying Hurts Kids!

According to Reuters News, those fabulous Researchers have done it again. They have proved -- statistically! -- that, yes, Virginia, kids get bullied in school and that this may have "serious mental health consequences."

To which the huddled masses here in Ancient Armenia respond with a resounding "DUH!"

The huddled masses of Ancient Armenia had all of this figured out twenty years ago. Kids bully each other. Bullying is abuse. Abuse causes "serious mental health consequences." "Serious mental health consequences" is researcher-speak for "the severe fuckup of one's life," and can be physically as well as mentally devastating (as if mentally devastating wasn't bad enough). How nice of the Researchers to figure this out now. And how wonderful that it's made The News.

I'm sorry, but for decades now, kids have been trying to tell people what these Researchers have apparently just figured out. Kids are being hurt, sometimes severely. And the traditional adult responses have included such gems as:

"They're just jealous."
"Boys will be boys."
"Rub a little dirt on it."
"Don't let the bastards get you down."
"What, you can't take a little teasing? What kind of wuss are you?"
"There's nothing we can do about it."

And my personal favorite:
"These are the best years of your life."

Well, no, asshole grownup. They're not the best years of one's life. If someone is abusing you, those are the worst years of one's life. When just showing up at school is a trial, when going out into the hallway means that you run the risk of being assaulted, when just walking down the street means that you risk having rocks thrown at you or dog shit smeared on you, that does damage. It's the kind of damage that festers and eats away at your mind and your soul. It's the kind of damage that kills people sometimes. And the most well-intentioned of grownups just brush off the abuse that causes it, because the people doing the abusing are other kids.

Maybe it's an effect of grownups not taking kids seriously. "Oh, they're just kids, they don't have the power to really hurt anyone." Wrong. Abuse is abuse, and bullying is just as much abuse as a parent blacking a kid's eye.

I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm glad that the Researchers are finally waking up to what really ought to be a universal truth. On the other hand, I'm pissed off that it took them this long to see what should be as plain as the noses on their faces.

Bullying hurts kids.



May. 11th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this (including the resounding "DUH!" which I second without doubt or pause!).

I think I'm more interested even in finding out if they're ever going to research -WHY- adults do this. Is it because they "went through it themselves and didn't have any lasting wounds" (HAH!)? Is it because of the fundamental misunderstanding of children? And what's more... are they going to do something more than state the glaringly obvious and do a follow-up to see just HOW these effects are still felt years later?

(I've been reading psychology textbooks, can you tell?)
May. 11th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
I think that, if The Researchers would just open their eyes and get beyond the "Bullying hurts kids. Who knew?" phase, they'd see that they already know how the effects are still felt years later. There's a lot of fucked-up college students and young adults out there, and I'd lay even money that they were bullied as kids. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Even an ethnomusicologist can do it.

What I want The Researchers to do is to figure out a way to stop the abuse, to grow the cojones necessary to stand up and say that kids abusing kids is wrong and should be stopped.
May. 11th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
Is that really something The Researchers can do? We've had Anti-Bullying Policies here for years, and I can't say that I've noticed a decline in bullying, teasing and abuse by kids of other kids. Where do they get the idea that bullying is wrong? On television? The Intarwebs? Videogames?

(Btw, feel free to tell me to shut up if you'd rather not have this discussion!)
May. 11th, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC)
Maybe not The Researchers. Maybe it has to be up to parents, teachers, school workers, people who work with kids. They should get off their asses and really pay attention to the kids who are being abused, find some way to make the abusers stop, or separate them, even if it involves sending the abusers to a different school or a separate school, or a holding pen, or whatever. Just. . . take kids' complaints seriously, I guess. Don't wait for The Researchers to come up with some "scientific" plan, but get in there and be adults and protect the kids, from each other if need be.
May. 14th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Random tidbit I came across when doing my readings for Evidence earlier. It made me think of you. Without going into too much detail, there are two things that -don't- need independent proof in my country: judicial conviction and "facts known to the general public" (article 339 CCP). As for what made me think of you? From a verdict in 2005, reaffirming prior case law:

"In the case currently under review, this Court wishes to affirm that the long-lasting psychological effects of childhood bullying must be considered a "fact known to the general public", and is therefore entitled to the exception under article 339."
May. 14th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Perhaps they should change the wording to "a fact known to the generally enlightened public of Leany's fair country?"
May. 14th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd use the word "enlightened" ;)
May. 14th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
Would you accept "more enlightened than the public of French Pony's country?"
May. 14th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
How about we decide that the next time Dutchies do something really rather stupid?
May. 14th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
Well, when was the last time you did that? Aside from choosing to locate an entire country below sea level, that is?
May. 14th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
Ah! -Not- an entire country! Only about half :-D And the last time we did something stupid... oh, I don't know... (and that's not because it's so rare... it's because it happens so often!)


by Illsaysheis

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