Posted by: reneewildes1 | April 9, 2012

BULLYING Is A Mean Word…

What gives anyone the idea that “might makes right”? There’s the old adage the “sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Well, that’s a lie. Name-calling can hurt, and can instigate stronger reactions, leading to unfortunate consequences…

Thursday I went flying out of work early and over to the middle school, after receiving a call from the guidance counselor that my 14-year-old, 8th-grade son was “involved in an incident.” Translation–he and another 8th-grader got into a namecalling, shoving match and the other kid (twice Josh’s size) picked him up and tossed him down the stairs. Hard tile stairs. Took him to the walk-in clinic for bruised hip and ginormous abrasion on his R forearm. He was so stiff he slept on the couch b/c he couldn’t climb the stairs to his room.

He and this other boy have a history. Josh got tired of being called “hippie” and getting jostled in the lunch room and playground and took to calling the other kid “large” and there are also allegations of “big fat redneck” (which he denies). The other kid shoved Josh into a pillar, Josh stumbled and reached out to catch his balance, the other boy though Josh was trying to shove him down the steps and turned on him, picked him up and threw him–down the steps. Name calling can hurt, and hurt feelings lead to anger which lead to regrettable action with injuries.

I’m angry my son was a victim of another’s actions. I’m upset he didn’t tell anyone what was going on, taking matters into his own hands  until a Series of Unfortunate Events led to an explosion of bad judgment and flaring tempers, with someone getting hurt and someone getting suspended. Bullying is never okay. Namecalling hurts (Josh got lunch detention for his actions, which without a doubt incited the other kid’s snapping) and all anger and resentment do is fester and lead to more anger and resentment which leads to…

Well, we’ve all seen the news stories.

If someone pisses you off, STOP. Count to three. Then ten. Then a hundred if you have to. What’s the first retort that comes to mind? Swallow it. Say the SECOND thing that comes to mind. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Would you like someone to say to you what you’re about to say to them? No? Then, DON’T SAY IT. Someone maliciously making your life a living hell? Then SPEAK UP. People are here to help, but we can’t fix something if we don’t know it’s broke. You are NOT powerless. You have recourse, and advocates.

Josh learned a hard lesson. I hope the other kid did, too. I hope this is the last time the school has to call someone about a kid in the nurse’s office, but I doubt it…



  1. Words are not mean. People who use words to hurt others are mean. People who hurt others physically are mean. A bully is mean. The act of bullying is mean. Words are words and can be use to hurt or to help or to explain or to teach; but words are not mean.

  2. As a teacher I can sympathise with just how dame hard bullying is to deal with. I have group of students who tend to settle things with bullying because they are so angry at something else they lash out and feel like they have no other option. My fellow teachers and I spent countless hours trying to help the kids find alternatives, build strategies and basically build a rapport so the kids don’t reach that critical point when a problem with a bully becomes something they have use violence to deal with. We read books, watch video’s, bring in outside programs anything and everything we can. Some we reach – some we have to keep trying over and over in many different ways. Parents and teachers alike need to KEEP talking. We may not be able to watch the youngsters in our care every second of every day to prevent bullying from ever happening –in perfect world it would never happen as all – but as long as we practice what we are saying and keep talking sooner or later the message, and hopefully the idea of there is another way to deal with a bully will get though and it will make a difference. Words can be used help or hurt but one way or another they are a power in and of themselves and they are what actions grow out of.

  3. Sorry your son is being bullied. Been going on along time in schools. Happened when I was in school and also to my son. Hope things get better for your son.

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