When we start taking bullying seriously, everybody’s life will improve.
As a former teacher myself I know the pressure to cover the curriculum but I also wonder just how many children never complete their education due to bullying. In the end we were fortunate to find a school for our youngsters eventually, which had simply refused to tolerate bullying.(Yes it is possible.) They dealt immediately and firmly with such issues. As a teacher myself admittedly I was less concerned about a school’s ability to cover the curriculum than perhaps others might be (I was prepared to homeschool if I had to) and far more concerned with a particular school’s ability to keep their students safe. I freely acknowledge, I had struggled to deal with the issue (bullying) myself as a teacher but I did attempt to create an atmosphere in class, where everybody treated each other with respect. It was not easy and I stuffed up all the time, but I did at least try.
It is important that children be taught to recognise others as valuable human beings.
I witnessed one preschool teacher saying something like this one day,
Hey, this is Fred, He likes playing with trucks, building sandcastles etc etc but he really doesn’t like it when you use his head to bounce toys off.
I had thought it was a great approach and when my son had briefly entertained himself as a preschooler throwing things over the fence and upsetting the dog next door, I had remembered this teacher’s wise approach and taken him round to meet the dog. I figured the principle would work, whether we were dealing with children or animals. The problem had never reoccured.
When I read blogs like I did today about youngsters who have suffered terribly as a result of relentless bullying, as a teacher, a parent and as a human being it offends me. My theory has always been that if children feel safe and happy, they will learn. I have yet to see my theory disproven. Yet it seems to me too few schools make dealing with bullying, a priority.
I have come across way too many adults who have not completed their education because of bullying. What talent is being lost because too many schools consider dealing with the issue of bullying an inconvenience? Children’s safety should always be front and centre, especially in this day and age where there are a dozen new ways to bully and harrass.
Sorry I know this is a bit of a rant but reading what this young lady had been forced to endure has truly horrified me.
Heads up to parents. Speak up and don’t be intimidated. It is the only way things will ever change.