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What do you think schools can do to help prevent bullying?

Asked at Dillons, 3000 W. 6th St. on December 12, 2011

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Photo of Kim Livingood

“Maybe be more involved on the playground — monitoring child relationships.”

Photo of Shannon Royer

“I don’t know.”

Photo of Tim Birdsill

“I’m not sure there is anything they could do. It’s something that’s going to be around, at least somewhat, forever.”

Photo of Pat Transue

“It’s a major concern. I’ve heard of a program that involves going into schools to change the environment so that people feel like they have a voice to speak up when they witness or are victim (of bullying). There needs to be a space to talk about what’s happened — if not, kids can feel it’s their fault. It takes a whole community to stand up to bullying.”


jackpot 6 years, 5 months ago

Keep their ears open, Kids talk. Don't think one place can stop it alone.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

Pay attention! When you are hall monitoring between classes, in the cafeteria, in the gym. Coaches need to be in the shower rooms during change out. Just pay attention. Be aware of what's going on around you and listen! Most important, if you observe something, do something! Don't just let it slide by like it was nothing.

pace 6 years, 5 months ago

I like what Pat said. I also think when a principal or teachers say' there is nothing they or you can do. They should be sent to training. They need better tools. Bullying can be curbed, even sibling rivalry can be curbed. If you feel it is hopeless. Get help, don't assume there aren't any answers. Like many social behaviors, people can be changed from negative, destructive actions to positive ones. It takes doing something different to get different results.. Bullying hurts both the bully and the prey.

Dayna Lee 6 years, 5 months ago

When my kids started school the teachers referred to them as "tattle tails". I explained to their teachers that a 5 year old does not know bad from really bad. I am glad that their teachers appreciated this view point and let them "tell" on their friends. I know that Lawrence schools are doing a lot to help with this problem! I challenge people to get to know the bullies while they are young and ask them why they act the way that they do.

Loki 6 years, 5 months ago

Like everyone is saying, be more observant. When any school employee sees any behavior from name calling, pushing and shoving to fighting, etc. it needs to be immediatly addressed. When addressed, it needs to not only be with the student, but with the parents because many of these behaviors begin at home and are learned behaviors. If changes don't occur counseling should be recommended for both the student and family. If still no progress is made, alternative education options that don't harm the general student population need to be explored.

Grundoon Luna 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with much of what you said but mostly they learn bullying from watching bulling by other children and learn the reward of seeing the bully's popularity rise.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

It does not matter what they can do. They will do nothing. Teachers and councilors are cowards. They did nothing when I was a kid, they did nothing when my daughter was a kid, and they do nothing now where my nieces and nephews go.

The kid getting bullied just needs to stand up and fight. Even if you lose, it often will stop the bullying from happening.

Hit 'em on the end of their nose!

ThePilgrim 6 years, 5 months ago

At first I yelled "Yeah!" when reading your post. But unfortunately if kids stand up to the bully, and maybe even beat the snot out of him, he will bring his posse to get revenge. No honor among bullies.

LadyJ 6 years, 5 months ago

Thank heavens I was in a position to take my child out of school and homeschool. Just wish I had done it earlier instead of making her suffer through most of elementary school. And for heavens sake, counselors and teachers need to quit telling the kid being bullied that they need to learn to be more tolerant of the bully because they have problems at homel

labmonkey 6 years, 5 months ago

Now your child will have no idea on how to deal with adversity as an adult. You should have taught your kid to fight back.

LadyJ 6 years, 5 months ago

Believe me, she can fight back and has faced plenty of adversity in her life. Not all fighting has to be physical. Homeschooling enabled her to concentrate on her education instead of bullies and reach her full potential.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

When my daughter was in grade school, she was being bullied at the bus stop by an entire family of three kids (and she was not the only one). I called the school who suggested I talk to the parents so I went around to their house. I rang the doorbell and was met by the biggest, fattest, most tatted, pierced and blinged out biker mama I have ever seen. The woman had to have her own Harley because nothing smaller would have supported her. I told her the problem and of course absolutely nothing was her precious little darlings' fault and my kid needed to stop whining and toughen up. In the end nothing changed. After I complained to the school a few times they banned the kids from riding the bus. This brought on a death threat and a call to the police. Bullies aren't just kids.

trinity 6 years, 5 months ago

I like your post-with the exception of the stereotyping of Harley owners. That's kind of sad.

Loki 6 years, 5 months ago

"The woman had to have her own Harley because nothing smaller would have supported her." Is this not teaching children that making fun of others is acceptable which is also bullying?

Kathy Theis-Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

Nah - the men in white hats got rid of the bullies on this forum.

Lisa Medsker 6 years, 5 months ago

Indeed, cait48. Kind of clears up the mystery as to where kids learn the behavior, doesn't it? Unfortunately, there is absolutely NOTHING constructive that can come out of talking to some of these parents...

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

In high school a fellow student repeatedly shoved me, knocked books out of my hands and threatened to "meet me after school". After ignoring him for several weeks he decided to follow up on his challenges. He cornered me after school and proceeded to smash his nose against my outstretched fist. After about eight repetitions he lay down in the grass, apparently satisfied he had taught me a lesson. His bullying ended after that, at with for me.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 5 months ago

Stalking is a form of bullying & imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, ban kids from the LJWorld boards for sure. ;-o] A couple of grade school & junior high (sorry, middle school) incidents are memorable. Oddly, at least to me, nothing from senior high. It's gotta start at home, don't you think? Monkey see, monkey do?
I hope people will treat their kids with respect because I think they'll be more likely to pay it forward.

fan4kufootball 6 years, 5 months ago

Kids need to be taught that it is NOT COOL to bully other children. I know children tend to be what their enviorment is - do kids who do the bullying see that type of behavior at home? Is it their "friends" they tend to hang with? What causes a child to bully? That is where prevention needs to start.

GreenEyedBlues 6 years, 5 months ago

It's disheartening to hear people shrug "I don't know", or worse, accept it as a permanent condition. If a child came home with a bruised body or ego, one would hope the last thing a parent would say to them is "I don't know how to stop it" or "bullying is going to be around forever".

When you witness bullying, call it out immediately. If you don't confront, you condone. Ask the bully "why?". A surefire way to stop a kid in their tracks is to ask them to ponder their motives.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 5 months ago

Make the teachers and administrators actually do something about it.

9070811 6 years, 5 months ago

If a school wants to actually provide legitimate education for children, then it needs to provide a safe place to learn. If a child is worried about being bullied everyday, this child will not be able to effectively learn. If a bully wants to keep his or her mind on bullying, this child will not learn effectively learn, either. Both of which can inhibit others' learning processes and it may also contribute to a school's poor standards' scores.

kenny_powers 6 years, 5 months ago

You know, there's only so much room at the top; there can only be so many superstars. I try to look out for the regular people, the people that have no chance of being where I am, even if they use steroids, they will never be me, Kenny Powers...superstar.

Kat Christian 6 years, 5 months ago

It's important that Parent are aware of what is happening to their child - one by asking them throughout the school year if they felt like they are being bullied. Immediately the parent should go to the Principal. The Principal needs to immediately address the bully behavior to the child doing it by calling their parent to come into school immediately. If it the first time a warning should be given to the child, if it is their 3rd or more time bullying they the child should be suspended for 3 days. When they return to school and it continues the school should notify SRS where they require the child and parent received counciling. If the child continues to be a problem it should be removed from school and the parents required to home school it or hire a tutor until counciling has become affective. Kids who cause these sort of problems need NOT to attend school until they can get therapy. Obviously, if they are that violent there is something severly wrong with them.

geoismeo 6 years, 5 months ago

I do'nt know, but that Shannon Royer is a cutie!

Stephen Roberts 6 years, 5 months ago

My daughter was being bullied by a student, she went to the teacher & then the teacher told the boy to leave her alone and not to talk to her. This really helped in the class but not in class because the student will bully her when she is not in class. My two suggestions to her was

  1. Make a statement in general that her dad is an excellent marksman with a shotgun & a rifle and loves to continue to practice his marksmanship.

  2. I told her to let him get close to her, then kick him in the nuts and continue to kick him in the nuts until the teacher or principal stops you. While doing this tell him that bullying is bad and this is how you deal with bullies.

She didn't do any of my suggestions and she still makes comments about the boy making comments, I keep reminding her I gave her two options.

goodcountrypeople 6 years, 5 months ago

People need to be educated to use better judgment about how and when to approach and bother strangers. Chivalry , or what southern-influenced people often regard as"good manners" is hopelessly sexist and ableist. There are schools in the nation--in places like VA-- that have set policies against things as simple as opening doors for strangers. I think this kind of thing would help in Lawrence. The only thing that helps people is to treat them like everyone else, which means treating them equally and like they can manage things for themselves. Independence equals dignity. People don't like being treated like material objects, and women don't enjoy dealing with a dullard community that interferes with their internal motivations of mind. Otherwise, you are enabling a mob mentality of allowing and encouraging busybodies to clap themselves on the back for what amounts to offensively patronizing others and interfering with their decent privacy, freedom, and personal space. It's an issue of safety! Who likes strangers pawing all over their person or belongings! The advice to beware of strangers is fundamentally sound especially in aggressive places like Lawrence where people seem really not to understand themselves or the effects of their actions very well.

goodcountrypeople 6 years, 5 months ago

No one should assume everyone else is playing by their rules or going by the same social script they are, especially when this is patently self-serving. For instance, no one has a right to force strangers into unwanted helpee roles. When you have a backward southern-influenced culture where intrusiveness is regarded as being friendly and kind--even when this involves behavior that politically aware, sophisticated people might deem discriminatory or harassing you are inviting conflict instead of harmony and respect. People have the right to defend themselves from perceived threats and aggressive, offensive intrusions-- despite what the twisted and dishonest KU HR people like that joke of a incompetent investigator Mr. Ramirez might think. He's heavy-handed enough to put smearing, false and illegal claims of racist and swearing comments against the innocent victim of a bigoted encounter, and his managers have no problem with this. If you complain about this kind of thuggish injustice on the KU campus you're the one deemed out of line.

MichelleSmith 6 years, 5 months ago

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Paul Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

What Is The Greatest Motivator of 'Man"? Pain or Money? Schools must create policies that allow these kids to retaliate under the threat of suspension...not expulsion. Empower them to fight fire with fire wisely. Teach them how. Bullies are cowards at heart. The only way to stop this kind of cowardice is to stand up to it. Teach them to stand up to it. Teach them to defend themselves. With violence if need be. The warm and fuzzy, naive, arrogant, self-centered, lefties of this sad ‘Blue’ community will propose their repeated and failed ‘Ghandiesque’ solutions to this growing problem in our schools.
Question: What are the two greatest motivators of ‘man’? Pain and money. Obviously paying them off only fuels their cause and is not practical. The only motivator left is pain. If you are a believer in the theory of natural selection...then this solution should makes perfect sense to you. We put our species on a pedestal century after century under the delusion that we are somehow more ‘civilized’ than previous generations, but decade after decade individuals display the same power plays they have since the dawn of time. Only the strong survive. Their fantasy is that we as human beings are somehow different...but the reality of history as well as this current power play in our young people is that there is nothing new under the sun other than the age of the players. Unless the ‘victims‘ rise against their predators...nothing will change. Never has, never will. The weak will become the ‘selected’. They will grow into adults who are weak and reclusive. They will be the ‘followers’.
It was an issue, a minor one, in years past within our young people because parents knew that their job was to be parents...not BFF’s. Now the ever spreading warm and fuzzy’s have created a generation of self-centered, disrespectful, me-me-me and what’s in it for me kids. Then they look at everyone but themselves when their kid is a Bully or is being bullied.
Parents on both sides are the only ones to blame. They will make every excuse to defend their neglect as well as sink to blaming the kids. The wise know better. Empower them to fight back. Bullies are cowards that will back off the strong and look for another weak lamb. If we reduce the population of lambs...we have succeeded. If you are a friend and not a parent when your kids are young...they will hate you the rest of your life. If you are a parent to your children when they are young...they will love and respect you the rest of your well as become your friend.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

well said.

Human wants and motivations don't change, never have, never will. Beat up the bully. Even if you lose the fight, he will respect you more because you stood up.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

well said.

Human wants and motivations don't change, never have, never will. Beat up the bully. Even if you lose the fight, he will respect you more because you stood up.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Being more observant won't help. They already see it. They just won't do anything about it because they are scared. They did nothing about it in the '70's when I was in school. They did nothing about it in the '80's when my little brother was in school. They did nothing about it in the '90's when my daughter was in school. Like so much of our schools, they talk, but won't do a thing because they don't care, and are afraid. If you are bullied, you are on your own. Just pound the bully. They will then leave you alone.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 5 months ago

Bullies exist because dominating someone else tends to raise your status in the primate hierarchy. Let's face it; primates admire strength. Bullying is a way of showing that you are stronger than someone else. Unless you are an ally of the victim, there is a tendency to see how the conflict plays out, because, probably subconsciously, you curious to know who is stronger, either physically or mentally.

The only two ways I know to dissuade a bully is for the victim to refuse to be the victim, or for other members of the group to defend the victim. In which case, the bully will either try to find some other victim, or try to find some other way to try to raise their status. I don't know that whatever adults do will have a lasting effect because they are generally not considered part of the peer group, and so their opinion of social status does not matter to the bully.

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