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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-11 10:47 AM
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32. As a student,
I was the victim of some mild bullying in middle school; mocked and derided for being smart, and followed home on the bus once because I was an ex-girlfriend, and the new girlfriend wanted to establish territory by attacking me.

I attended 10 schools K-12; I didn't get bullied much, but by the time I hit middle school I was so used to being the new kid who wouldn't be there very long that I didn't bother to make many, sometimes any, social connections. I was good at avoiding people. I also didn't show the kind of intimidation that loners usually show; I was used to being on my own, and by the time I hit high school nobody bothered me.

In 8th grade I attended DeAnza Jr. High in Ventura; it was pretty rough. Girls fought every day. I never saw the guys fighting, but the girls were terrorists. Other than the girlfriend who followed me home, and she found her efforts unproductive, I was left alone. Because the biggest bully on the block didn't mess with me. She could have, but we had something in common. We met in the locker room, and both had "Double Ds" or better. She was the first person my age I'd ever met with BIGGER breasts than I. For some reason, she saw me as a fellow victim of sexual harassment, and she left me alone. I did see her, though, bullying others. She reigned as queen of the restroom in one block; she skipped class and hung out there frequently. Nobody got into that bathroom that she didn't approve of. She could be brutal.

My own kids? They didn't have any problem with bullying until they started high school. Then it was bad. Administration turned a blind eye and did not respond to parent requests for action, so my boys learned to travel in groups for protection. My younger son learned to fight pretty viciously; they caught him alone a couple of times. He did enough damage that they kept sending larger groups after him and he had to develop some pretty sophisticated avoidance techniques.

My grandson...we've had to work with him as a boy with potential to BE the bully; he has ODD, which includes an obsessive determination to "get his way," no matter what. He's made great progress, but has a way to go. He's been in middle school for a month, and has already been in trouble. Why? He snapped a towel at a kid in the locker room. He thought it was "funny," was "playing around," but the kid didn't. He chased my grandson down and gave him a thorough pounding. They were both suspended.

As a TEACHER? There has been some bullying among my students, but not much. We're a small school, and our structure makes it really hard for bullies to thrive. They get caught early and dealt with aggressively in terms of both consequences and opportunities to change. A new student who just started last month has been suspended 3 times already, we've had 3 long meetings with parents, student, admin, teachers, and counselor, and have been in contact with his therapist; he has a behavior contract with specific goals, teacher notations, and frequent check-ins with the counselor to see how he's doing.

It's much more difficult to intervene in larger populations.
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