Monday, February 06, 2006

Bullying

This year, the Utah Legislature is sponsoring a bill to encourage school boards to adopt anti-bullying policies.

Cliff Lyon has started mybully.org to promote this bill.

Bullying is a topic I know a thing or two about. When I first started in education 2 years ago, a small part of my job was to be partially in charge of working with kids on bullying (or non-bullying, which is more gramatically correct?). However, any efforts I had made were unsupported by the administration. Their main concern was to make sure that the school did not get labeled as "failing" again for No Child Left Behind. It was leaving children behind.

However, this was not my first exposure to bullying. In Elementary School, I was picked on for being the big kid who talked funny but was really smart (too smart). My parents talk about how wonderful that Principal was in taking me under his wing, and putting a stop to the problems. In sixth grade, my family moved to Holladay, and I started a new school in a new school district with my seventh grade year. The bullying started over again, as I was still the big kid who talked kinda funny. The bullying happened mostly on the way home from school, but also happened during school. The administartion there was not as supportive, and didn't get why it was a problem.

But, in the middle of seventh grade, something happened. I was goofing around in class one day, talking funny, my friend noticed that I did a fairly dead-on impersination of Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. The bullying continued that year, until it all came to a head near the end of the year. Having been fed up with getting shoved against my locker all year, I chased the pusher down the hall, and shoved him to the ground. The "fight" amounted to a pushing match until someone stepped in for me, taking the fight on. You see, kids had thought that Cookie Monster was cool, and were willing to get into a fight for me.

The next two years at that school were great, with me having lost a close election by 3 votes for school historian. By the end of high school, I had confidence, and practically owned the school. I was still the big kid who talked kinda funny, but I had overcome the bullying.

Unfortunately, my story is the exception, not the rule. You see, most victims continue to be vicitms, or they end up beating up or killing the bullies (i.e. Columbine). Most bullies grow up to work for FOXNews. I bet Karl Rove terrorized the halls of Olympus High before I got there.

However, on reflecting back on the period between the elemntary bullying and jr high bullying, I realized something. I had become a bully. Nothing major, most of the time, but there was this one song I sang with my friends...

"Jeremy Pool, he thinks he's cool, he even likes to go to school..."

I don't remember the rest, but it had something to do with liking girls. Now, the kids tease each other about being gay, but I digress.

For singing that song, I feel bad. I am a bully.

-Bob

1 comment:

Cliff said...

Hi Bob,

Great post, and thanks for linking.

You might be interested in a little converstation going on at http://www.mybully.org/?p=26

It began as an email debate among bullypolice.org liasons as per the letter posted there.

I used you as a classic example proving that not bullying does not always start at home...on a leap of faith.