Links, Page 15

The Pain of Bullying

Someone emailed me and asked if I was the boy whose photograph is on the Welcome Page of my website. In conjunction with that question, I am linking to one of several You Tube videos on bullying that I have viewed. I have chosen this particular video because I like its focus. That is, it attempts to allow the viewer to try to understand what bullying is like—as opposed to the emphasis within my story, allowing the reader to try to understand how such kids feel in their private moments. Thus, I thought this video complemented my story well.

Because there is no editorial content to the video beyond the self-evident, I preferred it to some others—although not without considerable merit—that I have viewed and have some factual and philosophical differences with their content. As I stated elsewhere on my site, I believe many way overestimate the amount of kids who are victims of what I, at least, consider severe school bullying, and I feel as though such cheapens the problem in the attempt to achieve the opposite result.

I also adamantly maintain that real bullying entails only acts of commission and not acts of omission as some anti-bullying advocates maintain. It is up to each individual to make his or her way through life and the social world and to maintain one’s own sense of worth and self-esteem. Simply being excluded from certain activities or school cliques does not rise to my definition of bullying. Children have the same right of free association as do adults and such should be recognized. By all means, I have sympathy for such youngsters, and I believe they should be helped by adults to improve their social skills along the lines I have already written about in my first essay on Tourette’s Syndrome.

I also believe it is incumbent upon educators to use their experience in trying to spot kids suffering from low self-esteem due to poor social skills and bring such concerns to the attention of the child’s parents and perhaps try to spot more popular classmates with a decent nature and persuade them to render whatever assistance they can. Still, social exclusion alone does not constitute my definition of bullying. As stated before, bullying is an infringement on a child’s basic right to be simply left alone when he or she is acting accordingly towards others.  Click to continue:

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