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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.

DUH.

Comments

frenchpony
Jun. 2nd, 2007 01:43 pm (UTC)
That brought on, by my teacher, "see, you've got PROBLEMS."

Probably said in that sneering, condescending, mock-compassionate voice that nurses* and teachers use when they are about to scold you or stick needles into you, yes? Like having PROBLEMS (and oh yes you do have PROBLEMS and they're sitting at the desks next to you) means that you're some sort of freak who messes up the cute little happy school that they delude themselves into thinking they have.

Right after Columbine, when they were still saying that those kids did it because they were bullied? She said to me "I totally understand."

I said much the same thing, and I was twenty-two at the time.



*Little Sister Pony claims they don't learn The Voice in nursing school, but she still won't tell me where they do pick it up.
saadiira
Jun. 3rd, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
Yes, there was that, too. I LOATHE that voice, and have a habit of stomping on professionals (verbally, of course) who even THINK about using it on me as an adult.

Yes, indeedy, the problems were all around me. I was in a rock and a hard place situation in school. At one point, someone decided I might be 'hyper' or something, or might have a reading problem (Although by fourth grade, I was testing out at above tenth grade level. Yeah, real problem). No one ever found any real reason, but there was this continuing assumption there was something wrong with me. When I was bullied, they used this as ammo against me.

They placed me in that non-descriminant pile that included the idiots, the violent, and the ones someone labeled at one point or another for no reason at all (That actually turned out to have to do with a teacher early on who did not like little brown children, of which I was close enough to being to warrant her wrath, but that's a whole 'nother saga).

The others in that class LOATHED me, because I sat there getting easy A's, then reading novels. I also did not assault others, for all I was actually bigger than most (Which increased the target on my back). I clearly did not belong. The ones outside of there victimized me at will, because there was an extra level of no one believing me, and, again, I did not belong (Whereas many of them, clearly, DID, truly).

In eighth grade, I went mid-year from that, to all honours(The bulling and name calling lingered through twelfth grade, though no one knew why. They assumed it was my weight, and it became that, and I never got a shot at popularity, for sure, though I was very popular any time I left my home town, like at camp, etc).

They'd been using my being the victim of bullying to justify keeping me where I was, saying I had to be bringing it on, and therefore, be a behaviour problem. There was no other earthly 'reason', and my parents finally had had enough of it. I was testing at that point with a reading level of college graduate, and other than slapping that girl back in fifth grade, had NEVER done a THING to anyone else. Any rules I'd ever broken, actually, were directly related to attempts to escape bullies. School did not have anything to do with my abilities in reading. I got alot of that on my own (which is why I am still learning some of what I missed when it comes to basic spelling/grammar, in spite of the english degree. lol.)

-Dira-
frenchpony
Jun. 3rd, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)
There is a difference between being a problem and having a problem. It's a distinction that a surprising number of people just don't get. You think it's something in the water?
saadiira
Jun. 4th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC)
I think it must be. It's shocking the number of people out there who are more than happy to blame the victim. I think it might come from their own fear of finding themselves in the same place. If victims of anything do something 'wrong', well, then, they can feel safe, because obviously, THEY didn't.

It also might just mean they have to do something about it, and too many people in positions of power can't be hung to bother.

-Dira-
frenchpony
Jun. 4th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
It also might just mean they have to do something about it, and too many people in positions of power can't be hung to bother.

I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pounds!

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