August 8, 2014 4:44 am at 4:44 am #613351
here is my simple solution….
every school should make a strong “no teacher schmooze recess polic”.
meaning teachers may not chat with their colleagues during recess, you’ll be surprised how many percents will bullying be reduced.
we all remember what we did when we were kids during recess. where were the teachers then? and where are they today by ourchildren?August 8, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am #1027517
As a teacher, I can tell you that teachers need breaks, too. We’re humans also, believe it or not.August 8, 2014 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #1027518
Teachers are much more likely to be bullies to the kids than the other kids are.
Think of how many teachers you knew who were bullies. Then think of how many kids.
Then compare the number of teachers you knew to the number of kids. Some proportional difference, no?August 8, 2014 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1027519
No bullying, no tolerance for bullies, no “boys will be boys”, or “girls can be so catty,” should EVER be acceptable in a Jewish environment (or ANY environment). You bully during recess – you lose recess. You bully on the schoolbus – your parents have to drive you. You bully anywhere, you are a delinquent.
In middle school, my son had his glasses broken when he got between a bully and the smaller child whom was attacking at the back of the schoolbus. The bully hit my son in the face, breaking his glasses. My son nevertheless got him off the smaller child and alerted the driver. When I called the parents of the boy (a known bully)to ask them what they planned to do about my son’s broken glasses, the mom’s response, “Maybe next time, he’ll learn not to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong.” Or something to that effect. They did not pay for his new glasses (our optometrist replaced it for free, as a result). With an attitude like that, how could any child ever develop a sense of right or wrong from such a parent?
PS – my son still sticks up for the underdog.August 8, 2014 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1027520
YW Moderator-29 👨💻Moderator
Of course teachers need breaks, but not during recess. Work it in during a less volatile time.August 8, 2014 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #1027521
🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Even with teachers supervising recces, there will be some bullying. It’s a sad part of life. Kids have a way of keeping teachers from seeing it- a quick shove and tell the teacher the other kid tripped, sly comments. There is no way to fully protect children ever.August 8, 2014 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1027522
If my teachers would have supervised recess, they would have been severely injured. A better solution is to eliminate recess altogether. Cut school short so students can go home sooner.August 8, 2014 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #1027523
To be or not to beMember
I agree it is terrible to bully school yards. I understand they are usually big , but how would you like it if you had a weight problem?August 8, 2014 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #1027524
I agree, they should shmooze during lunchAugust 8, 2014 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1027525
To Be… :p
RebYidd, kids NEED some downtime a couple of times during the school day. A fifteen minute recess is not a bad thing. Sending them home earlier will not solve the problem, and in fact gives the problematic child more time to get into mischief after school.
There IS a huge problem with kids being taught not to “rat” on each other. But there is a huge difference between telling a teacher one has been shoved (or worse), than telling a teacher another child hid the eraser or threw a spitball. Violent action must be dealt with immediately with ZERO tolerance. Little bullies often grow up to be big ones, and btw,quite often, so do the kids upon whom they pickthey pick. Abused children grow up frequently to become abusive adults.August 9, 2014 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #1027526
When would you like us to take breaks? During class time? We should walk out and allow the classroom to become a free-for-all? At least during recess, we are standing nearby and can see when problems arise.
Use your head.August 10, 2014 2:18 am at 2:18 am #1027527
yerushalmi in exileParticipant
as a former teacher i can tell u there is no simple way to stop bulling completely it is by recess, lunchroom, halls etc. teachers usually only can step in at an advanced stage. but a zero tolerance ruble is a good one.August 10, 2014 3:20 am at 3:20 am #1027528
Oomis, a school day should not be long enough to require recess.August 10, 2014 5:38 am at 5:38 am #1027529
Even if every Rebbe or teacher stays with their class to supervise recess, the fact is that they can not hover over the shoulders of all (or any) of their students for the duration of the recess break. Zero tolerance is a necessary policy (which schools do need to implement and enforce better) which will deter most bullying, but no school policy can absolutely protect against all bullying.
This is not altogether a bad thing, since bullying does exist in all levels of society, and it is not terrible for kids to have some exposure to it, provided that the school does not allow it to get out of hand by having a zero tolerance policy.August 10, 2014 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #1027530
chayav inish livisumayParticipant
I think bullies should be indefinitely suspended until it finally dawns on them and their parents that they are ruining lives. All parents of bullies shud be required to read riva pomerantzs Diamond DustAugust 10, 2014 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #1027531
The little I knowParticipant
Having a background in both mental health and education, I need to contribute my two pennies.
Some commenters are correct. Bullying will never be eliminated. But it can be addressed in a manner that will deter it, and save the victim if it does occur. There is something very sad about bullying. It is always easier for the school to deal with the victim, who is receptive, than it is with the bully who is not. Typically, the bullying is discovered when the victim finally tries to fight back. It is easy to get sucked into the position of disciplining the victim for throwing a punch. However, the faculty was oblivious to the fact that the tables had finally reversed, and that this new perpetrator is really the victim.
Firstly, teachers are entitled to a break. Leaving recess unsupervised is a breach of their responsibility. They need to address the matter to insure that kids are under constant supervision. And these teachers need to be properly trained to detect bullying. Remember that the response of the bully to being “ratted out” is likely to be intensification of the bully behavior.
Secondly, talking to the bully is close to a complete waste of time. Bullies must be handled with a strong hand, both definitive and direct. Many experts in the field consider this suspension or expulsion, doing something that exposes the bully as one to the entire class or peer group, and may even involve police action and arrest.
The effects of bullying on the victim can be profound. It is cruel to pronounce the victim as tomorrow’s abuser. That is revictimization. It is also not true.
There are several frum people who can be consulted to address bullying, whether it is the intervening in an existing case, or obtaining the continuing education and training to have a program for prevention and intervention in place. We may never eliminate every possible problem, but there is much to do that can reduce it and help us cope with it. Lastly, the families of the bullies should be mandated to enter professional treatment. They can do much to help resolve the problem, whereas their denial and resistance will only exacerbate the problem.August 10, 2014 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1027532
That’s ridiculous. The “bully” in school is most likely being abused at home.August 11, 2014 4:57 am at 4:57 am #1027533
but again the saddest thing is —that every school allows teachers to schmooze by recess.
dont kid yourselves you can not really do a good job while you’re shcmoozing.
YOU CANT TEXT AND DRIVE AND YOU CANT DO SCHOOL YARD DUTY AND SHMOOZE.
WHY DONT OUR MECHANCHIM GET THAT?August 11, 2014 6:49 am at 6:49 am #1027534
Daniel Q BlogMember
There are a lot of people with problems these days. Some problems lend themselves to bullying. It’s an issue that does not get solved by less shmoozing.
Recess is a lesson in life. Life does not always have teachers and rebbes. Of course, a school needs to be watchful and act if something occurs. But it’s never going to be perfect, just as life.
The main issue is to instill in the non-bullies the evil that is making someone feel bad, hurt. If a child saw another be embarrassed and had even somewhat internalized the Chazal that embarrassing a person is an aspect of killing someone (to the extent that the din is [disregarding the details] yareg v’al yaver if faced with the option of being killed or enabling an embarrassment of someone) – then would it be such a problem.
Now, this is mainly with somewhat older children. Young children (to throw out a number, up to ten) need very close (but at a distance) supervision of their social skills. This is as an importance job to a teacher or rebbe to help instill in children proper bein adom l’chaveiro. Just as a teacher cannot answer a lengthy call in the middle of class, they can’t when supervising. Note: a school should be set up that every teacher gets real breaks not supervising recess breaks. But older kids, need to learn to fix things for themselves. And that just does not mean with them themself but their surroundings and others as well. They need to stand up (after asking their parents or a rebbe how to proceed) and fix bullying dynamics. Just as if they saw that one of their classmates was being beaten or was starving, one would hope that all fair-minded classmates would speak up, so to with the matter of bullying.
I’d like to also say a potential thing to parents that children that are being bullied. This needs to be discussed with their rabbi. As stated, the din is that one makes someone’s face white from shame, it is as if they killed them. Now, if someone was actually chas v’shalom trying to kill your son or daughter, there would be no qualms. The person has a din rodef. Any means that are necessary (though not more). Extreme means are not out of the question. Digging up dirt on the bully. Extreme pressure on the parents of the bully. Of course, one must seek counsel. But the matter is of life and death, and those who can stop the matter, must. PLEASE READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH THOUGH.
Note: as stated, a lot of times the bullying is due to issues at home etc. Try to see if you can help the bully figure those things out (or the parents of the bully). Your daughter is being harassed by a girl from an unstable home. Contact a chesed organization (or make one) and try to help the bully. Get her a mentor. Get her babysitting jobs or something to build her self-confidence. Do what you got to do. Don’t hide behind that why should I do someone a favor, when I am the one that has been wronged. No, your kid’s (spiritual and emotional) life is in danger. No excuses. And no blame games.August 11, 2014 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #1027535
Oomis, a school day should not be long enough to require recess. “
Whether or not it SHOULD be that long is open to debate, but the fact is that the school day IS extremely long, and thus requires a couple of breaks for the children. In a household where both parents must earn a living (or where one parent is NOT earning a living), the longer school day enables them to to do their job, knowing their children are in ensconced in school.August 11, 2014 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #1027536
Daniel Q, you expressed yourself eloquently. I do think however, that it would probably be a huge challenge for most parents whose kids are being tormented, to find it within themselves to try to help the bully. Their own child’s physical and emotional well-being would take precedence (as it should). But I think you are generous of spirit, and that is a wonderful middah.August 11, 2014 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #1027537
Daniel Q’s point, the importance of which can not be overstated, was that often the best way to protect your own child’s physical and emotional well-being is by eliminating the problem through peaceful means rather than hostile ones. In helping the bully change their situation and self image, you are removing the threat in a more profound and lasting way than with a baseball bat.
Not to impugn Daniel’s generosity of spirit, this approach demands not generosity, but rationality and objectivity.
Simply put, if you will act in a goal-oriented way, and your goal is the protection of your child, you will often find yourself helping the bully.
On a side note, as Daniel alluded, the halacha of yeihareig v’al ya’avor does not actually apply to halbonas panim; the Gemara indicates that “mutav”, it is preferable, (based on Tamar and Yehuda), but this directly indicates that it is not required.
Once more, I will point out that even in a small recreation area with a small number of children, it is impossible to supervise all actions of all children for every second of recess. This is true whether or not the supervisor is shmoozing. As a Rebbe who supervises recess on occasion, I can tell you that nobody understands this better than the bullies. They are shrewd enough to make sure that their actions take place under the radar.August 11, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #1027538
I completely disagree with the suggestion to help build the self esteem of the bully, as was suggested, by getting them a babysitting job. You’re going to put a bully in charge of other children? The best way to show compassion to a bully is by not allowing them to get away with it.
I think a lot of institutions profess to have a zero tolerance policy towards bullying, but fail to follow through with action. They treat physical altercations differently than verbal ones. A physical fight results in a sure fire phone call to parents and possibly stronger interventions, such as suspension from school/camp or the bus, time outs, etc.
Kids who verbally abuse others MAY be spoken to, at most. Their parents are not called nor are they suspended from school/camp or the bus. Why would they be motivated to stop?
I know this as fact as I have kids who have been on both sides; perpetrator and victim.August 11, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #1027539
Bullies are usually also the teachers’ favorite students.August 12, 2014 2:43 am at 2:43 am #1027540August 12, 2014 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #1027541
“Zero Tolerance” needs to really mean ZERO tolerance. It is a problem that schools are not assertive enough about enforcing this stated policy.
In both of my school careers (as a student and as a teacher)there were times that I was the victim; I was never the bully. I have never seen an instance of the bully being a “teacher’s pet.”
I wouldn’t say that I (as a teacher) resent the bully among my students. Like all students, this child has a problem that it is my job to help him solve. It happens to be that this particular issue is one that precludes me from allowing him to interact with other students in a normal way. If, as a teacher, I am going to succeed with this student, it is imperative that I establish and cultivate a relationship with him that is based on respect and appreciation. Everybody (even the bully) has positive aspects which can serve as the foundation of such a relationship.
Baruch Hashem, I have been able to help bullies of various degrees overcome their problem and reintegrate into the normal school social system.August 12, 2014 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #1027542
I think the motivation behind the behavior has to be looked at.
If a child mismanages emotions, such as anger, by pushing another or verbally attacking another, then the school can recognize this and help the child by setting limits and modeling appropriate ways of responding (this is a teaching opportunity, not just for the classroom or that child, but for life and all the children).
On the other hand, if a child shoves or ridicules to demean and make themselves look special, then modeling would be of no help. The schools needs to take all reports seriously, and guide the child who perpetrated appropriately. The parents regardless, should be notified and encouraged with specific ideas of ways to intervene.August 12, 2014 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #1027543
Yentachaya, the teacher’s never find out about the bullying if the bully is successful.August 12, 2014 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #1027544
Kids who are bullied do often report it, either to staff or their family. That’s why it’s incumbent upon adults to take it seriously and respond (which sends a message to bullies that victims have power just through reporting).
Lehavdil eleph alphei havdalos, look at Hamas. They work very hard to silence reporters because they know that the power to stop them lies in the word getting out of their evils acts.August 13, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #1027545
The little I knowParticipant
In my experience, the bully has already succeeded in doing a lot of damage before there is any intervention. Some comments here are the equivalent (lehavdil alfei havdalos) of expecting to negotiate with a terrorist. Bullies know exactly how to respond to all these peaches and cream speeches. They shake their heads, they agree to all the admonitions, they look for ways to incriminate the victim, and they then do whatever they please. Ask any victim. The ZERO TOLERANCE idea means that strong ACTION needs to be taken. Aside from professional evaluation and intervention for the bully, there must be exposure to the class that there is bullying occurring, and that action is being taken. If that costs the rodef his/her place in the class, that may be a last resort, but one that the school is ready to take. Once safety has been regained for the class, all the lessons about midos, bein odom lachaveiro, social skills, etc. can be taught.
I find it offensive to read the generalizations about the home lives of the bullies. Neither the bully nor the victim is being abused at home – as a deduction from the bullying observed in the school setting. Kids just have certain tendencies. Blaming on parents is foolish. That does not mean that all home lives are without flaws. But school bullying does not necessarily reflect on the home. It is unfair to make this judgment.
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