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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:14 AM

Mother reports school suggested teen get breast reduction surgery to stop bullies

http://news.msn.co.nz/worldnews/8596137/school-suggested-teen-get-surgery-to-stop-bullies

Missouri mother Tammie Jackson phoned the local school district to report that her daughter, Gabrielle, was being bullied because of her large breasts.

But she said a school employee suggested a breast reduction because the young girl's breasts were so large that she would always be teased about them.

131 replies, 7979 views

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Reply Mother reports school suggested teen get breast reduction surgery to stop bullies (Original post)
TalkingDog Jan 2013 OP
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #1
Scuba Jan 2013 #2
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #4
Scuba Jan 2013 #5
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #6
Chorophyll Jan 2013 #11
OneTenthofOnePercent Jan 2013 #14
randome Jan 2013 #21
morningfog Jan 2013 #26
randome Jan 2013 #32
morningfog Jan 2013 #36
Heidi Jan 2013 #40
randome Jan 2013 #51
Bake Jan 2013 #114
CreekDog Jan 2013 #84
Scuba Jan 2013 #109
Chorophyll Jan 2013 #122
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #106
randome Jan 2013 #107
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #7
Quantess Jan 2013 #3
trumad Jan 2013 #17
davidpdx Jan 2013 #54
davidpdx Jan 2013 #53
Tansy_Gold Jan 2013 #55
Heidi Jan 2013 #56
davidpdx Jan 2013 #125
Quantess Jan 2013 #129
Quantess Jan 2013 #130
Quantess Jan 2013 #131
treestar Jan 2013 #63
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #119
Heidi Jan 2013 #8
duffyduff Jan 2013 #112
Heidi Jan 2013 #128
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #9
zazen Jan 2013 #10
Chorophyll Jan 2013 #12
Iggo Jan 2013 #47
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #71
Orrex Jan 2013 #72
Bandit Jan 2013 #75
Orrex Jan 2013 #79
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #91
Orrex Jan 2013 #97
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #102
Orrex Jan 2013 #104
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #85
Squinch Jan 2013 #126
randome Jan 2013 #77
Orrex Jan 2013 #80
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #81
randome Jan 2013 #92
curlyred Jan 2013 #13
randome Jan 2013 #23
morningfog Jan 2013 #27
randome Jan 2013 #30
morningfog Jan 2013 #35
randome Jan 2013 #43
morningfog Jan 2013 #58
randome Jan 2013 #61
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #73
randome Jan 2013 #94
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #103
randome Jan 2013 #105
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #113
morningfog Jan 2013 #29
CreekDog Jan 2013 #87
Recursion Jan 2013 #49
randome Jan 2013 #50
treestar Jan 2013 #66
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #83
CreekDog Jan 2013 #86
randome Jan 2013 #93
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #111
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #118
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #123
curlyred Jan 2013 #127
Heidi Jan 2013 #16
trumad Jan 2013 #18
Heidi Jan 2013 #19
zazen Jan 2013 #38
Heidi Jan 2013 #45
treestar Jan 2013 #67
CreekDog Jan 2013 #88
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #90
randome Jan 2013 #24
morningfog Jan 2013 #28
zazen Jan 2013 #41
randome Jan 2013 #44
treestar Jan 2013 #70
randome Jan 2013 #76
gollygee Jan 2013 #20
treestar Jan 2013 #65
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #117
hobbit709 Jan 2013 #15
Chef Eric Jan 2013 #22
hobbit709 Jan 2013 #25
gollygee Jan 2013 #31
randome Jan 2013 #33
gollygee Jan 2013 #34
randome Jan 2013 #42
gollygee Jan 2013 #46
randome Jan 2013 #48
gollygee Jan 2013 #82
morningfog Jan 2013 #37
randome Jan 2013 #39
Orrex Jan 2013 #59
randome Jan 2013 #60
Orrex Jan 2013 #62
randome Jan 2013 #69
catbyte Jan 2013 #52
Orrex Jan 2013 #57
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #64
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #68
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #74
Heidi Jan 2013 #95
rrneck Jan 2013 #78
CreekDog Jan 2013 #89
rrneck Jan 2013 #96
CreekDog Jan 2013 #98
rrneck Jan 2013 #108
Coyotl Jan 2013 #99
MadrasT Jan 2013 #100
MineralMan Jan 2013 #101
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #110
LWolf Jan 2013 #115
smirkymonkey Jan 2013 #120
LWolf Jan 2013 #121
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #116
Matariki Jan 2013 #124

Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:22 AM

1. Were these guys or girls teasing her about them? Article doesn't say. nt

 

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Response to OneTenthofOnePercent (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:29 AM

2. Why would it matter?

Any school official who made such a suggestion needs some long-term counselling.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:41 AM

4. DIfferent dynamics.

 

Young teenage girls are brutal. The teasing won't stop if it's girls until they're about 18 and start worrying about other things. Young teenage boys will grow out of this REAL soon - probably start following her around and fighting each other for her attention.

As for what the counselor said... should've just kept their mouth shut. I'm not sure there's any way to stop young teens from teasing anyone. If he school officially comes down hard on the offenders, they will just get worse with the teasing. It's sad really.

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Response to OneTenthofOnePercent (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:49 AM

5. Again, why would it matter?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:11 AM

6. It doesn't, really. I'm just interested in more information on the matter. nt

 

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Response to OneTenthofOnePercent (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:15 AM

11. The point is that to suggest a child get SURGERY in order to stop bullies is victim-blaming

taken to its most absurd conclusion.

The school counselor should lose his or her job, or at least receive some stringent re-training.

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:24 AM

14. O.K. n/t

 

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:07 AM

21. And how would you stop the bullying?

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Response to randome (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:21 AM

26. Are you defending the suggestion?

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Response to morningfog (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:25 AM

32. I'm saying that if the school employee is not a surgeon, how would he/she know...

...it was a harmful suggestion?

If the suggestion of surgery is a ridiculous one, then it needs to be dismissed, not trumpeted to the world as evidence of malicious intent.

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Response to randome (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:38 AM

36. What do surgeons know about school bullying?

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Response to randome (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:49 AM

40. Oh, perhaps by Googling, just as I did.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #40)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:10 AM

51. Well, most schools barely have pen and paper available.

A switchboard operator should have kept her mouth shut and forwarded the complaint to the principal. I doubt everyone has a computer sitting beside them for just these occasions. And if your job doesn't depend on computers, you're not likely to say, 'Hold on while I Google this.'

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Response to randome (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:43 PM

114. Let's see ... common sense, decency, etc.

Those should have told the counselor to STFU.

Nobody is saying malicious intent, just stupidity on the part of the school person.

Bake

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Response to randome (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:02 PM

84. can we agree that the solution to other people's behavior is not surgery on the victim?

or perhaps you are asking because we cannot agree on that.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #84)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:45 PM

109. You wouldn't think it would take convincing, wouldja?

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Response to randome (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:40 PM

122. I don't know. Why not suggest the bullies get brain surgery?

I'm being facetious, but changing a kid's body around to make other people behave? Seriously?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:38 PM

106. No, that official needs to be terminated and barred from

further positions involving authority over children.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #106)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:42 PM

107. The official was a switchboard operator.

Still should have received training in how to respond to parents and bullying, etc. The mother probably expected someone more authoritative but it was a remark made by someone who apparently does NOT have training in how to respond to parents, bullying, etc.

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Response to OneTenthofOnePercent (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:15 AM

7. That's entirely irrelevant to the issue. (nt)

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:39 AM

3. Great to know that New Zealand is gossiping about Missouri schools.

Seriously, don't they have any problems of their own, there in New Zealand, on the opposite side of the world?

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Response to Quantess (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:45 AM

17. Huh?

Looks like they picked it up from American sources..

http://fox8.com/2013/01/18/mother-school-told-teen-to-get-breast-reduction/

What---American News Rags don't report on things like this as well?

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Response to trumad (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:17 AM

54. The person you responded to is a bitter bully themselves

*holds nose to make nasal sound* "I have an idea let's go look at everyone's profile and tell them they don't belong here"

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Response to Quantess (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:15 AM

53. Do you know there are ex-patriots who live around the world who are US citizens?

Then again we have people from all over the world who are members who are not U.S. citizens. Seriously who died and left you DU monitor?

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #53)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:20 AM

55. That's "expatriates" n/t

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #53)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:22 AM

56. Thank you. I am a US citizen living abroad,

and my husband (a Swiss citizen) is a longtime DU member. I appreciate that most in the community don't treat him or me as outliers.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #56)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:48 PM

125. I am as well

I've been in Korea for 9 years. You guys have a much better organized Democrats Abroad organization then we do here. *jealous* I think it has to do with the more transitory nature of the people who come here to teach English.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:35 PM

129. Hi!


Do you even know me? I am kind of at a loss, here.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:41 PM

130. I am a friendly and welcoming DUer in general.

Last edited Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:18 PM - Edit history (1)

I don't really know what you are getting at. You seem to be.one with a lousy attitude.

Edited to add: Davidpdx, unfortunately is probably related to me sadly... WalMart-type cheap sadness... unfortunately.
If you are in fact related to me, I am ashamed of it.

However, if I've got the wrong person, never mind!

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:42 PM

131. We might share the same DNA, unfortunately.

Last edited Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:30 AM - Edit history (1)

But that doesn't mean I have to recognize you
as being related to me.

I grew up with your mom, and she was nice. What the fuck happened, is what everyone is wondering.

All of you, (your mom and her worthless boys) just go fuck off because none of you have any idea the damage you have done.

If you are who I suspect you are: I would like to announce to you personally, as though it were a special announcement: that you are not my family anymore.

signed, your ex-aunt

Edit to add: in case you are not who I suspect you are, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:14 AM

63. The internet makes it possible

If it happened there we might be talking about it here.

When I was in college you could go the library for week old newspapers from abroad.

Now everything that happens is knowable right away. Cool.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:24 PM

119. Grown-ups can think about more than one thing at once.

If you're so upset at that making foreign news, might I suggest adding "find something to do about situations like these" to your own mental queue?

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:39 AM

8. Doesn't Title IX offer some protection and/or recourse?

If the school isn't acting to correct the harassment, I would file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, or at least call the OCR for guidance.

http://www.equalrights.org/publications/kyr/shschool.asp

From the link:
File a Complaint With a Government Agency. If nothing happens after complaining to school officials, you and your parents can file a complaint against the school with the U.S. Department of Educationís Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Generally, you must file a complaint with the OCR within 180 days of an act of discrimination. You can call them, and they will explain how to file a complaint. (Contact information is listed below.)

Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
(The federal agency that enforces school sexual harassment laws)
800-421-3481: National toll-free hotline to report any educational discrimination, to
request information on civil rights compliance programs and procedures for filing
discrimination complaints.

www.ed.gov/offices/OCR/index.html

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Response to Heidi (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:08 PM

112. It's her word against everybody else's. n/t

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #112)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 01:15 PM

128. So? (nt)

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:56 AM

9. Perhaps someone should suggest

that the school employee see a doctor also, to have her brain enhanced. I hope the family seeks legal counsel.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:00 AM

10. why do we rush to demonize people trying to help?

One prevalent reason for breast reduction surgery is the harassment. Not only is the woman subject to the stares of insensitive humans like she'd get for any other physical "abnormality," but she's brutally sexually harassed at the same time.

It's terribly unfair and abusive and no one should ever have to feel that they have to cut into their own bodies to stop harassment.

But any therapist would suggest this to a patient were she in her 20s and it was still going on. I doubt this counselor was blaming the young woman for the abuse but simply suggesting one option she could consider in a terribly unjust world where the harassment IS NOT GOING TO STOP. I've seen how women with massively large breasts are treated and I don't feel like I can judge them if they decide to take advantage of modern medical options to reduce the harassment. Who am I to say they should somehow transcend this spiritually and psychologically, if I haven't walked in their shoes?

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Response to zazen (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:17 AM

12. Re-read your own second paragraph until you figure this out. nt

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:56 AM

47. Amazing, isn't it. (n/t)

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:36 AM

71. Here. Let me help with this.

It's terribly unfair and abusive and no one should ever have to feel that they have to cut into their own bodies to stop harassment.


It's terribly unfair and abusive and no one should ever have to feel that they have to cut into their own bodies to stop harassment.


It's terribly unfair and abusive and no one should ever have to feel that they have to cut into their own bodies to stop harassment.


Just trying to be helpful in promoting a concept that shouldn't be difficult, but is for some people.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #71)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:18 AM

72. I can't quite see what you're driving at.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #71)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:31 AM

75. What if the person had a serious birth defect that could be easily remedied by surgery

And it was a defect everyone would see immediately upon meeting the person. Also the person was teased and harassed about their defect since early childhood. Do you think a family doctor or councilor would not suggest surgery?

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Response to Bandit (Reply #75)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:49 AM

79. Possibly, but that's irrelevant to the current situation

The student does not have a serious birth defect, and the surgery was not suggested by a family doctor or counsellor, nor was the possibility of surgery raised in an appropriate setting or after appropriate discussion.

As such, what you've suggested has no bearing on the issue at hand.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #79)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:20 PM

91. Here's another excerpt from the article in the OP.

Ms Jackson said her nine-year-old son Elijah had talked about suicide after he was also targeted because of surgical scars on his chest.


By all means, Dr. Frist. Tell me what brilliant medical procedure would stop the bullying this child is experiencing.

Clearly, the school has a bullying problem. It is the school and its staff that is responsible for intervening and putting a stop to it, and if they don't, it's their liability for the damage done to the child.

I've been in plenty of situations in a kid where I was bullied, right under the noses of the children, and the teachers refused to intervene. They played the usual bullshit "blame the victim" ploy that half the people in this thread are using.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #91)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:57 PM

97. Um. Are you addressing me?

If so, then I'm a bit puzzled, because I thought that we were on the same page on this.


No?

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Response to Orrex (Reply #97)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:11 PM

102. I was addressing the people in the thread in general.

I think we're in agreement on this.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #102)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:23 PM

104. Cool

Whew! I thought I was having a brain fart.

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Response to Bandit (Reply #75)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:04 PM

85. See post 81. n/t

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Response to Bandit (Reply #75)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:59 PM

126. What if it were a boy and the school told him he had to get a circumcision to stop bullying?

Would you be OK with that?

Because, although there is nothing wrong with being uncircumcised, a bunch of high school kids have deemed that it's unacceptable to them. So let's appease those 15 year olds, and cut that boy up.

Does that make sense?

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #71)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:37 AM

77. Not everyone wants to live their life as a martyr, you know.

Geeze. What zazen said makes perfect sense. Seems like there's a bit of bullying going on in this thread right now.

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Response to randome (Reply #77)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:49 AM

80. I'm sure that their intentions are good.

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Response to randome (Reply #77)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:54 AM

81. I did have to live it.

I didn't and don't have breasts, because I'm a guy, but I was born with club feet, walk a little funny, am a terrible athlete, and was bullied endlessly for it.

I was tripped in the halls, spit on in the Phys. Ed. locker room, got in occasional fights.

And guess what, the problems I have with my feet are the kind that cannot be completely fixed by surgery. I didn't have a choice. And some of the surgeries required me to wait until my body stopped growing.

So let me say it again.

It is the school's duty and responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all the children that attend. If the child's being bullied, the school must intervene and hold the bullies accountable. Why is this hard?

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #81)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:28 PM

92. I agree it is the school's duty and responsibility. No argument from me.

I was responding to the idea that someone might not want to fight their entire life and choose to get the surgery. It seems like that's tantamount to calling someone a coward because they 'give in' in order to stop the bullying.

Not everyone wants to be a martyr, that's all.

In no way is that an 'endorsement' of bullying. Or breast reduction surgery.

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Response to zazen (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:17 AM

13. Seriously?

You are suggesting this young woman should alter her appearance surgically? The bullies should alter their behavior- they will find something or someone else to pick at if their behavior isn't addressed.

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Response to curlyred (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:08 AM

23. How would you MAKE them stop bullying her?

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:22 AM

27. Why do YOU ask that as if the breast reduction surgery idea is legitimate?

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Response to morningfog (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:24 AM

30. Because I'm not a surgeon. Other than getting info on DU about it...

...I wouldn't know what I know now.

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Response to randome (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:37 AM

35. Whether one is a surgeon has nil to do with bullying

and telling a 13 year old girl her breasts are too big.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:53 AM

43. I know. I agree. How can the bullying be stopped?

Does anyone have any suggestions other to pile on the school employee who is probably not qualified -by virtue of position or gender- to know breast reduction surgery was a bad idea?

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Response to randome (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:42 AM

58. How else? Punish the bully. Up to and through suspension and expulsion if it doesn't stop.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #58)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:10 AM

61. Agree. But like Recursion pointed out, that requires the teachers to be out and monitoring the kids.

Not sitting in a teachers' lounge. And it requires enough teachers to do the monitoring. Hopefully the school will have learned a lesson from this. And hopefully their finances are good enough to rectify the situation.

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Response to randome (Reply #61)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:22 AM

73. Exactly. It's the teachers' and staffers' jobs to be watching the kids and stopping bullying.

If the school won't take action to put a stop to the bullying, then the parents may be forced to move her to another school. Then sue the first school for failing to provide a safe environment for the child.

Telling a child to go get cosmetic surgery to stop bullying is completely unacceptable.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #73)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:36 PM

94. Expecting practical advice from a switchboard operator is probably not for the best, either.

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Response to randome (Reply #94)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:19 PM

103. Yeah, that switchboard operator should have stifled it.

That was an astoundingly stupid and insensitive thing for that operator to say.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #103)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:33 PM

105. Or maybe simply 'ignorant'. Not knowing who this person is...

...a semi-addled retiree filling in with a part-time job? A janitor who monitors the phone lines during lunch? Everyone even ASSOCIATED with a school should receive training on how to deal with bullies and other things. Unfortunately, that's not always done.

I bet some things change at this school because of this 'advice', however.

I'm not blaming the mother, either. Maybe she didn't know exactly who she was speaking to and assumed it was someone more knowledgable.

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Response to randome (Reply #105)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:03 PM

113. Then we're in agreement.

The school and the district failed to properly train the people working there to sensitively deal with bullying issues.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:23 AM

29. Punish her. Jesus, why is this hard for you?

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Response to morningfog (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:08 PM

87. yes it is, on this and many issues

it's not limited to this one. sadly.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:59 AM

49. Expel without exception anyone who does

Get the teachers out of the lounge long enough to actually control the situation in the halls.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #49)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:05 AM

50. Finally some sensible suggestions.

Apparently the employee who suggested breast reduction surgery is a switchboard operator. Hardly qualified to serve as a spontaneous counselor but I wonder if the school is so hard-pressed for funds, they don't have counselors.

Anyways, the mother's complaint should have gone straight to the principle.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:16 AM

66. Threaten them with breast reduction?

I don't know, but make THEIR lives hell.

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Response to treestar (Reply #66)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:59 AM

83. or if the bullies are boys, breast augmentation... n/t

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:07 PM

86. by making THEM STOP

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #86)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:31 PM

93. Why are you arguing with me? I agree that's best.

My question was how do you MAKE it stop? There have been a few suggestions in this thread. Keeping teachers where they can monitor the students better. Expulsion for any incident of bullying. It took a while for some common-sense suggestions to appear.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:07 PM

111. And your ethically-parallel solution to bullying students because they're gay would be...?

And your ethically-parallel solution to bullying students because they're gay would be...?

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:23 PM

118. There's a whole range of options up to and including expulsion.

If a school cannot discipline a student into behaving appropriately at all, then the student needs to be somewhere else anyway.

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:43 PM

123. Expell them.

 

How hard is that?

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Response to randome (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:30 PM

127. Thirteen years old and you recommend surgery?

Seriously? You offer no solution to bullying except blame the victim. Good Lord.

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Response to zazen (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:33 AM

16. The child is 13 years old. Mammoplastiy is not usually performed

until breast development has stopped.

Do you have any suggestions that would:
1. hold the harassers, rather than the victim, accountable.
2. not jeopardize the health and well being of the victim.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:46 AM

18. I'm beginning that some here simply are not to bright.

Yeah lets carve the girl up to shut the bullies down.

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Response to trumad (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:52 AM

19. Good morning, trumad.

Yes, it does seem that both empathy and intelligence are in short supply in some quarters.

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Response to trumad (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:46 AM

38. that's preposterous

I've been a radical feminist for 27 years. I'm active in the anti pornography and battered women's movement.

I most certainly don't think a 13 year old should be carved up to appease bullies. Nor did I say that.

But if a therapist suggests that at some point someone who's being mercilessly harassed in an insane culture because of a correctable physical feature might make the choice to cope with it that way, that is not the same as blaming the victim.

If a child's face is covered 50% with cafe au lait marks and he or she is mercilessly teased, it's the bullies' (and larger culture's) fault.

But according to your line of reasoning, that child should never, never as a teen or adult ever consider anything that would change that feature so that they aren't immediately a target for insensitive abusers.

I'm glad so many on this thread can be morally superior and know exactly what they'd do in others' life circumstances. My life experience has taught me to shut the f**k up about the choices others make to cope with blatant sexism, racism, ablism, ageism, etc. You go ahead and call me stupid and clueless and a victim blamer if that makes you feel better. Meanwhile, I'll keep my focus on the trivial things like men beating the crap out of women and the ones trafficking them and spewing torture pornography, and you keep your focus on these evil school counselors who are the true source of women-hating.

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Response to zazen (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:54 AM

45. The school employee who made the suggestion was a switchboard operator,

not a counselor, accordingly to this article: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/341785

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Response to trumad (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:18 AM

67. Exactly, some people seem to accept bullying

as a legitimate activity - in fact that's how it has been seen until recently.

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Response to trumad (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:10 PM

88. or maybe they don't think we are that bright

but i'm not just judging the intelligence of the comments made, but the motives.

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Response to trumad (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:11 PM

90. Speaking from my own personal experience, even surgery won't stop the bullying.

Once a kid's "marked" as a bully-target, nothing aside from adult intervention will stop the bullying. So even if the kid has the breast-reduction surgery, the kids will invent some new reason to bully her.

The school must be held responsible. The school's staff must intervene in cases of bullying, and if they don't, they're responsible for creating a hostile environment for a child, and must be held legally accountable.

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Response to Heidi (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:10 AM

24. So the main objection to this is that the school employee is not a surgeon?

Sounds like it was a suggestion made in good faith, not an attempt to demonize the victim.

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Response to randome (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:22 AM

28. Wow! Good faith? Incredible.

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Response to randome (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:50 AM

41. I think gray areas aren't too popular here, randome

The idea that someone could kindly intend to help and that it could unwittingly (or not) collude in sexism isn't an option, apparently. You'd think from this discussion that the school counselor was one of the Steubenville rapists. Of course, the person, who was probably doing their level best, in an underpaid job, to help kids and families, has probably resigned or been fired by now.

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Response to zazen (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:54 AM

44. I know about the gray areas. But I like the give-and-take they provide.

And I usually learn something from the process.

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Response to zazen (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:21 AM

70. Couldn't it at least be the second thought?

the first being, get the bully and punish THEM?

It is a reaction to the way people in this country (and probably others) traditionally respond to bullies, which we are trying to change. Which is that bullying will always happen and is fine and to be expected, it's the reaction that matters.



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Response to treestar (Reply #70)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:32 AM

76. Well, we weren't privy to the entire conversation, were we?

Who knows how the employee came to his/her suggestion? Sure, it's not the appropriate answer, I think we're all agreed on that. I just don't see the need for outrage. Just set this switchboard operator right and get on to stopping the bullying at the school.

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Response to zazen (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:53 AM

20. There are so many reasons why this is inappropriate

For any age, it is inappropriate for someone to suggest the victim of bullying undergo surgery and alter her ber body to accomodate the bullies. As if they wouldn't then find something else to bully her about, or just start bullying her about hte fact that she's had breast-reduction surgery.

But at her age, it is especially inappropriate. Breast reduction surgery is not recommended at that age. And she will someday be an adult, and might want children, and might want to breastfeed children, and breast reduction surgery can cause problems with that. She shouldn't have to create potential problems in her future adult life to appease bullies. That's ridiculous.


Not to mention that surgery involves risk. All surgery involves some level of risk. She shouldn't have to take on that risk either.

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Response to zazen (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:15 AM

65. Maybe but the idea now is go after the bully first

Instead of re-making ourselves to avoid bullying, why not go after the bullies first? They are the ones in the wrong.

Weirdly there is something about it that we tend to say just adjust so they won't bother us, when it's THEY who need adjusting.

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Response to zazen (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 05:22 PM

117. Yeah, fuck that.

I'm okay with demonizing school staff who push "it's your fault you're bullied."

Especially if they suggest someone taking a scalpel to the kid, rather than punishing the fucking bullies, is the appropriate solution.

If they want the harassment to actually stop, then the schools can compel the bullies to stop it. If the school isn't able to get them to leave the kid alone, then they should consider getting rid of the bullies before requiring their victim to get surgery in order to fit in.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 07:25 AM

15. don't know about the bullying but the health aspects of surgery.

My SIL had VERY large breasts until she went through the reduction surgery about 30 years ago. Id did wonders for her physically-her back quit hurting, she didn't feel unbalanced and ready to fall over. Psychologically people quit staring at them and in some cases drooling.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:08 AM

22. Was she thirteen years old at the time? nt

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Response to Chef Eric (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:13 AM

25. No she was in her 20s.

But she said if she had known and convinced her parents in her early teens she would gone for it. Her back hurt for 10 years.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:25 AM

31. It is one thing to choose for oneself, as an adult, to undergo this surgery

And it's another to suggest it to a child not as a result of the child wanting it, but because other people have expressed that they don't like how her body looks, to the point of bullying her over it.

Even for an adult, we can't possibly think that the world around us has a right to demand we undergo surgery to make ourselves look acceptable to them.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:34 AM

33. No one 'demanded' a thing. It was a ridiculous suggestion so it should simply be dismissed.

Besides, we don't know what the girl looks like. Is it possible her breasts are so large as to be unhealthy for her? That doesn't mean she 'needs' surgery, of course, but it's possible the school employee's suggestion was made because of an obvious problem the girl herself has with the size of her breasts.

Just saying it's too easy to 'jump on the bandwagon' here for something that the mother could simply have dismissed and said, 'What else do you have?'

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Response to randome (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:35 AM

34. Taunting to the point of bullying is "demanding"

The adult suggested, but her peers demanded.

And unless the school employee is a doctor (or maybe a school nurse - if this is the only school that can still afford one), he or she isn't an authority on what would be healthy. I would be surprised if a doctor would recommend this for a 13-year-old.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:50 AM

42. I get your point about the bullies 'demanding'. You're right.

But the school employee is probably NOT a doctor and NOT an authority so I don't see the point of going ballistic on his/her ass. Educate the employee and find another solution.

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Response to randome (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:55 AM

46. Well it isn't an issue of educating about this surgery

It's an issue of educating that bullying is not solved by altering the victim of the bullying. The problem is the bullies, not the bullied person. If a school employee handles bullying in this way, the whole school might need an education. Bullying is a huge problem and a lot of schools still need help.

I didn't hear that the employee was fired or anything, just that the parent was upset about this suggestion. The employee wasn't even named to my knowledge. The conversation about bullying is worthwhile, though. This problem - blaming the bullied person for bullying and trying to change the bullying situation by changing the victim - is widespread. Bullies need to be held accountable for their behavior, and I can't imagine who altering the victim would help anything. She isn't being bullied because of her breasts. If the breasts were changed, she would still be bullied, but about something else - maybe even the fact that she underwent surgery.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:59 AM

48. So more school discussions about bullying would help? That sounds right to me.

I'm not sure what else a school can do to prevent bullying other than to stop it when it occurs. But often it's subtle and unseen.

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Response to randome (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:57 AM

82. Well it's even more unseen

when the schools ignore the bullies and suggest the victim is the one who should change to stop the bullying. Bullies need to be held accountable regularly, and the victim never should be blamed, so would-be bullies know what will happen if they bully. Right now, too many schools don't deal with the bullies, so they know they won't have any consequences. They have to have consequences, and see other bullies have consequences. And NOT see the victims of bullies be the ones who are blamed or told to deal with it themselves.

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Response to randome (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:41 AM

37. So now you need to see her breasts to evaluate

whether this was an inappropriate suggestion? Of course, once you do finally admit it was wrong, you want to dismiss it without trumpeting it, do I have your position right?

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Response to morningfog (Reply #37)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:48 AM

39. No, I don't need to see anything.

I'm saying the intent of the school employee's suggestion may have been an honest one. It's deemed an ignorant one -and rightfully so- but the solution to ignorance is education.

Maybe the mother could have done what I suggested and told the employee why the suggestion was a bad one and then worked to find another solution. Instead of filing a public complaint or going to the media or whatever she did.

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Response to randome (Reply #39)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:00 AM

59. I have difficulty believing that the suggestion was made in innocent ignorance

Any adult working with children in a professional capacity should have the sense not to make such an idiotic suggestion, even if that adult hasn't been trained as a surgeon.

You're going to unrealistic lengths to justify the school employee's dumbass comment, which makes no sense. Even if the suggestion were somehow offered in innocent ignorance, it's still a culpably stupid thing to say. The school employee shouldn't get a pass simply because you can envision an unrealistic scenario in which it might not have been a wildly inappropriate and ill-considered piece of advice.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #59)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:07 AM

60. As it turns out, it was a switchboard operator who made the suggestion.

But I agree that every employee in a school -regardless of position- should have training in bullying and other related topics.

Not knowing what the school's finances are like, I don't know if that's likely. Still, we should never stop aiming for a more perfect world.

I'm not trying to 'prove' anything, simply pointing out that the intent may have been good.

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Response to randome (Reply #60)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:12 AM

62. Whoops--I edited after you'd already started your reply

I originally thought that she was a school official, but I corrected my error.

IMO the school's finances can't be used as an excuse. For instance, kids wouldn't be excused for bullying simply because their families are in the low income bracket; basic acceptable interaction with students should be required as a minimum for any school employee who might conceivably have contact with students or parents.

Ultimately, the switchboard operator's intent is irrelevant. If I made a wildly inappropriate comment about a coworker's breasts I would face serious (and reasonable) consequences, regardless of my "intent."

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Response to Orrex (Reply #62)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:21 AM

69. I suppose it depends on whether one sees the comment as 'inappropriate' or 'ignorant'.

Or, in this case, maybe both. But I think the solution is to better educate the employees, in this case.

Finances DO enter into it if the school employees are working as a skeleton crew and are rushed and don't think before they offer 'advice'.

It should not be that way.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:13 AM

52. That actually happened to a classmate of mine in the early 1970's. Although she was also having back

problems. She ended up having it and her back improved and so did, I am sad to report, the bullying and teasing.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 09:38 AM

57. Sounds like the school employee also needs surgery

The classic cranial assectomy.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:15 AM

64. The school staffperson probably meant well but said something stupid.

It happens to us all the time, something said as a throwaway comment as part of a long conversation, and we're later told that's all we said.

I'm not justifying what the staffperson said (it's stupid), but all we have is the one side and a snippet of what was probably a longer conversation.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #64)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:20 AM

68. He was our supt several years ago

He's in a very troubled district now in the St. Louis area.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:23 AM

74. If only those kids were as non-cliquish and judgemental as the posters here... right?

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #74)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:46 PM

95. Do tell, even if you must do it in Meta, which of us in this thread are cliquish and judgmental.

Thank you in advance.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:39 AM

78. Wait, this sounds familiar...

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Response to rrneck (Reply #78)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:11 PM

89. What are you doing?

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #89)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:47 PM

96. *sigh*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eye_of_the_Beholder

Janet Tyler has undergone her eleventh treatment (the maximum number legally allowed) in an attempt to look like everybody else. The details of the treatment are not given, but Tyler is first shown with her head completely bandaged so that her face cannot be seen. She is described as being "not normal" by the nurses and doctor, whose own faces are always in shadows or off-camera.

The outcome of the procedure cannot be known until the bandages are removed. Tyler pleads with the doctor and eventually convinces him to remove the bandages early. After a climactic buildup, the bandages are removed. The reaction of the doctor and nurses is horror and disappointment. The procedure has failed, and her face has undergone "no change ó no change at all". The camera pulls back to reveal to the audience that she is actually beautiful.

At this point, the doctor, nurses and other people in the hospital are revealed to be horribly deformed by our perspective, with large, thick brows, sunken eyes, swollen and twisted lips, and wrinkled, pig-like snouts. Distraught by the failure of the procedure, Tyler runs through the hospital as the disfigured faces of everyone she runs into, the norm in this society, are revealed. Projection screens throughout the hospital project an image of the State's despotic leader giving a speech calling for greater conformity.

Eventually, a handsome man (by our standards) afflicted with the same "condition" arrives to take the crying, despondent Tyler into exile to a village of her "own kind", where her "ugliness" will not trouble the State. Before the two leave, the man comforts Tyler, saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".


I thought everybody had seen this episode of Twilight Zone. Surely you can grasp the metaphor of a beautiful person persecuted because they are not as ugly as everyone around them and compelled to get surgery to conform to that ugliness.

Why don't you read some fiction before you knock over furniture dashing to Meta to piss and moan.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #96)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:59 PM

98. Ok, I'll start with your posts

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #98)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:43 PM

108. Have fun. nt

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:00 PM

99. I understand that eunuchs are less likely to bully

Just saying, go after the problem, not the victim

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:03 PM

100. Sweet Jesus.

And on top of it, there are people on this thread defending it.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:06 PM

101. Highly inappropriate of the school.

That's a matter for the girl, her parents, and their physician.

Bullying isn't solved by any action of the person being bullied. It is solved by bullies stopping their bullying.

When I was in high school, way back in the early 1960s, a girl in my class, whose name was Barbara, was bullied for having large breasts. Some people called her Boobra. It was the cause of much misery for her. She was a wonderful person, but the hurt caused by those bullies was hard to watch.

Ugly crap is ugly.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)


Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:07 PM

115. As a teacher,

I would never recommend breast reduction surgery to a student. As a woman, I wouldn't recommend it to any underage young woman.

As a too-heavy-breasted woman, I would recommend it to any heavy breasted woman of age. I wish I'd done it when it could have been covered by my insurance, 12-15 years ago when I had better insurance.

I was precocious. I was in a "C" cup by age 12, a "D" cup by age 16, and a "DD" after the birth of my first child.

I had back pain even as an adolescent. I also, before there were good athletic bras, had trouble with any physical activity that created bounce.

At the age of 12, I attracted way too much male attention. Not to my mind, my personality, or who I was; because of my breasts. It created self-esteem problems, and I learned not to trust males at an early age. I also began a lifelong struggle with back pain well before I reached 18.

I've dealt with the chronic inflammation and soreness of the mid/upper back and shoulders, the shelf that gets in the way of everything, the need for heavy-duty constricting bras, the limits to the kinds of shirts and blouses I will wear, for 52 years now. Back when I had insurance to cover it, a friend had breast reduction surgery and told me that she felt free to stand up straight and square her shoulders for the first time since puberty began. Her back didn't hurt and her wardrobe limitations were gone. I should have listened. I thought I was too busy, and I was busy, to limit my activity for the duration of the recovery. I was a fool.

If I could afford it today, I'd ask for a flat chest that would never again necessitate the wearing of a harness.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #115)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:01 PM

120. I have had breast reduction surgery for the same reasons that you mentioned.

I have not regretted it and my insurance company paid for it since I am so small and had such large breasts. I can't tell you the relief I felt at not being burdened by so much weight on my chest. Also, I am relieved by losing the male attention focused solely upon my breasts.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #120)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:15 PM

121. If my personal economy

ever improves, it's still on my list of things which would benefit my life. At 52, I'm no longer treated like a life support system for breasts by men, but it sure as hell influenced the way I reacted to male attention most of my life.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:49 PM

116. The school shouldn't have suggested the surgery.

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Response to TalkingDog (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:46 PM

124. If they want to recommend lopping off body parts, why not the bullies'?

Maybe their tongues for starters.

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