“They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred, their elaborately designed hopelessness and sucked it all up into a fiery cone of scorn that had burned for ages in the hollows of their minds- cooled- and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path.”
I thought that was a rather astute analysis of bullying from Toni Morrison’s “the bluest eye”.
The issue of bullying has been bugging me for a while now. At the start of the year, one of my students ( we’ll call her L, I’m no good at making up names!) told me some of the boys were throwing things at her in the corridors to get a reaction out of her, encouraged by some of the girls. I dealt with the situation by putting everyone involved on report. The boys eased off after a while, but the girls just made things worse for her. Comments, giggling and excluding her from the group- all of the things teenage girls are so good at. It got to the point where L stopped coming to lessons. I eventually “dealt” with the situation by transferring her to another tutor group, which of course is not really dealing with the problem at all. The other girls involved are actually quite nice. They admitted it’s just group mentality and not wanting to stand out from the crowd.
Recently two students, F and C, had a falling out. They used to be friends so I tried to investigate what it was about. Apparently, F had “stolen” C’s boyfriend. C is very popular in the college, and started a campaign to make sure F was as hated as possible, which included spreading some very vicious rumors and name calling. F has now missed a whole week and is thinking of leaving the college. I have been advised by her form tutor to just stay out of it, as F will probably be leaving anyway, due to a range of other problems. But it’s the name calling and the backstabbing that gets tome the most. No one deserves to be treated like that, it’s not nice.
So anyone have any ideas or tips on how to deal with bullies? was anyone bullied at school and found a way of dealing it. Or maybe some of you were bullies yourself… hhm that would be a good way of getting an insight into how bullies’ minds work. So come on, own up. You can remain anonymous of course..