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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.



Jun. 2nd, 2007 06:28 am (UTC)
Oh...continuation of the above thought. Posted too fast. :). On the hated myself side? Yeah. After years of hearing 'what did you do to deserve it?' (Not that it took years for the message to sink in and start working on me), I decided that I was just bad. Unworthy. That I should never have been born. That I was somehow soiled, rotten, that people could tell just by looking that I was no damned good. That's what bullying did for me (Plus, it didn't help that I came home to an emotionally abusive step parent by about halfway through, but this REALLY set me up good for that). It took me half a life time and more to UNDO that. I still feel that I may have gotten much further, been better off socially, etc., had I had all those years not to be getting over complete self-loathing.

Jun. 2nd, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I still feel that way. But I learned to overcompensate for that pretty well, I think (it's amazing what a B.A. in theater will do for you). Being loud and snarky distracts people, as does the ability to say out loud what you know everyone is thinking but doesn't have the guts to say. And then they give that shocked laugh, and never think to look beneath the surface.

You're not surprised that I do this, right?
Jun. 3rd, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Oh heck no. I also have become very good at voicing opinions strongly, under most circumstances. I stopped long ago trying to pretend I was someone else.

But for a long time, it hurt, alot, and there are still times I have to remind myself that I am NOT less than someone else.

It's not easy, tho, even now, at times.



by Illsaysheis

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