Social Question

Berserker's avatar

What can be done against bullying?

Asked by Berserker (33500points) April 11th, 2015

Inspired by Safie’s question on bullying.
We’re all against it, that much is clear. But what can we do to help prevent it, or even stop it? On a large scale, it seems impossible. Not unless you ruled the world or something…bullying others into not bullying…heh. But in all seriousness, what methods can be used against it? What can one do in one’s community, on the internet, your kid’s school, the workplace? This question applies to both children and adults being bullied. We all despise it, but just saying that is not enough. What can be done?

As I point out above, there has always been bullying and always will be, it’s probably in man’s nature to do so, especially seeing as children do it all the time, but surely there must be something that can be done against it in one’s community. To make it known, to understand what bullying and its many forms are, to understand what it can do to victims, and then to apply some method which might smooth it out significantly.

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12 Answers

janbb's avatar

I don’t have school children any more but I believe it is addressed in most school curriculae at this point and also that there is zero tolerance for it in the schools. How much this affects behavior in the larger society, I’m not sure of.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think the only real threat to bullying as a culture is to actively teach empathy – to children, while they are young.

Most of the measures people seem to want to take against bullies appear to me to be just another form of bullying. Hard to fight that particular fire with fire.

Berserker's avatar

When I was in school, there was a zero tolerance thing applied for bullying, but it did nothing. Bullies were lightly punished, if at all, and it was always happening.

Safie's avatar

I have always told my child if they ever get bullied (Touch wood they have not) first tell me, i will do everything with regards of going through the proper channels and bring it to the attention of the teachers, and never run or back down look them in the eye and show them you are not afraid, far too many children suffer in silence through fear of more aggression from these bullies, many go as far as taking their own lives over it, well the truth is staying quiet does not help the situation. If someone is being bullied stand your ground because bullies feed off fear so if you don’t run that in itself will make them think twice.

In my son’s school they did not tolerate bullying what so ever and the frequently had people come into the schools to do talks about it in the school assemblies, but i also know in many other schools i have worked in before instead of dealing with the bully they would remove the child that was actually being bullied which left them feeling like they had done something wrong which made them feel even worse…Bullies need to be faced up to even if you are afraid show them that you are not! it’s you being afraid that gives them power don’t give yourself away.

Whether it’s in schools, or the workplace where ever never give bullies the pleasure of seeing you crippled by fear of them, they are cowards that need to deal with their own issues instead of projecting it unto others Facing them is the way to make them think twice.

It also starts with parents in the home and how these children are raised.

janbb's avatar

@Symbeline I believe they are coming down on it much harder now in the States.

@dappled_leaves I think and hope the emphasis in the schools is on teaching tolerance for diversity and empathy for difference. I just hope there is enough time devoted to it in between teaching to the test.

ucme's avatar

Be nice if kids could be taught that cowards are destined for a lonely, bitter life.
Right from wrong, simple, fundamental & natural.

josie's avatar

Beat the shit out of the bullies. This is a fundamental rule in nature. There is no social convention or legislative act that can over ride the most basic of natural truths.

auntydeb's avatar

This article ‘What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll’ from the Guardian newspaper in the UK says something profound about how to confront the real people who bully.

Most bullies are actually deeply vulnerable; caught young they can learn how to behave better, how others feel and become both better as people but also happier. Children hate being left out of peer groups, isolation and confrontation can be deeply affecting If a bullying child is identified, taking them aside and confronting them with the reallities of their behaviour is at least a start. This surely requires support, not punishment? Involve whoever is available to provide safe, adult and ethical input. Parents, teachers, youth leaders, police – and most important – victims and survivors of bullying at all levels.

It is so endemic in our culture that it seems easy to give in and let it take over, but that’s just sad and unnecessary. We could do with encouraging more people to speak truthfully about their feelings on both sides and being more open to understanding the reasons behind some of the bad stuff. People who are afraid, lonely or sad can be just as nasty as aggressive bullies. Bill and Ted say ‘Be excellent to one another’ (or similar, I am middle aged!) and that basically is all it amounts to. It can be done, it really can!

Berserker's avatar

I agree that punishment is not the way to go. Support and comprehension are better tools I would say. Although sadly I have rarely seen them applied. Not saying I could do a better job, mind.

longgone's avatar

What @dappled_leaves said. Bullying kids are often bullied by their parents, older siblings, teacher, or stronger bullies. Punishment just adds on to that spiral.

ragingloli's avatar

Simple: Death penalty for bullying.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The first question that must be addressed is, “What causes one to become a bully?” The fascinating article that @auntydeb posted and @longgone‘s supposition that bullies create bullies is a start. I suspect that there are other reasons based upon personal experience.

What I’ve learned is that it needs to be addressed. I also agree that punishment is highly unlikely to to do any good. It needs to be something long-term and conducted by a person trained to do so.

The problem is that there are too many challenges on the front end. Most bullying occurs away from a potential witnesses’ eyes. Then it becomes a He Said/She Said scenario.

At this time, it seems like the only way to address the issue is to ramp up awareness of the bullying issue. It rears its ugly head in many ways, from physical to emotional and from personal contact to internet trolling. It impacts children and adults. Anyone can be a target. Until we, whether the victim or the observer, take action, the culture of bullying will continue to grow.

As a sidenote, there were two contestants on Britain’s Got Talent last year whose audition addressed the issue of bullying. In case anyone is interested, here it is. I found it quite moving. Here are two kids who addressing an experience with bullying in their own way.

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