Thursday, February 28, 2008

This Week In Peer Abuse

Dear Reader,
Well, another week and more news on what everyone knows as “bullying” but what I know “Peer Abuse”.
I have to commend the Police Department in Novi Michigan for getting on top of this problem. They are aware of the dangers of this and have suggestions to combat the problem. In Overland Park Kansas, Lakeview Middle School has decided to add the Olweus Program to their curriculum. In Altoona Pennsylvania, a group of kindergartners to third graders had to do an exercise where they shut their eyes and imagined what a bully is. Many saw a bigger boy picking on a smaller child. That was the first thing that came to their minds. In Pueblo Colorado, a girl was fined $230 for abusing another girl. In Salt Lake City Utah, some legislation is being worked on to combat this problem. In Savannah Georgia, a video was taken of a thirteen year old boy sitting at his desk minding his own business while a couple of kids came up and kept hitting him and hitting him. Then, the video showed up on My Space but was removed. The bully faces expulsion and possible charges. The officer on campus is an Adult Survivor Of Peer Abuse.
I am glad people around the nation are cramping down on this. Taking some sort of action towards education. Reaching kids while they are still young. Punishing the bully for their behavior and holding them responsible. For one adult survivor to speak out on his own experiences. It does my heart good that some are actually “getting it” so to speak. Kudos to them!
However, there is a couple of elements still missing. Why are we still calling this bullying? Folks, a thirteen year old boy had been attacked and attacked while “trying to ignore it” and then was more humiliated as he was videotaped and had the tape thrown up on My Space for millions to see. The eleven year old girl was cited $230 for disorderly conduct yet was standing up to the real bullies. A group of girls had been aggravating this one girl and bullying her since Christmas yet she is the one in trouble. For what? Fighting back? Taking it and taking it until she cannot take it anymore? After this group started to harass her, her grades dropped and she started having other problems. Yet, she gets charged and the other girls? Well, my guess is they are getting off with nothing. Which is par for the course. Blame the victim in all of this. Yes, two elements are missing here. Bullying is a form of abuse, its PEER ABUSE! How can someone just attacking and harassing someone over and over and OVER NOT be considered a form of abuse? Man, in other forms of abuse these issues are seen as such. Also, in other forms of abuse, the victim is protected and the abuser is punished. In one case, this happened but in another, it did not.
Its time to get real, America. Time to call a spade a spade here. This problem is growing worse by the minute and the same tactics are not cutting it. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was bullied nearly to death and nothing was ever done about it. So I KNOW how these kids feel. Peer Abuse is probably one of the worst things anyone can go through. Yet, we still enable the problem and again, another victim is punished for the bullies own crap. Also, what really baffles me is that a video camera was used in this assault. How does a video camera even get in there? Evidently it was brought to school by the bully for them to even get the video downloaded online and placed on My Space. The video has shot out the actual faces of the abuser and his victim but the movement is on the screen. The adult survivor said it was one of the most disturbing things he had ever seen.
Society, please…..PLEASE wake up! This is not kids being kids but is outright abuse! It needs to stop and needs to be treated seriously and brought to a clinical and psychological level. People have died and are continuing to die from this. Open your eyes! Please!
Elizabeth Bennett
“Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective” on sale now for $13.95. Visit the website to learn more.

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