Saturday, April 27, 2013

It Takes a Village: Part Two

Strategies booklet I made for student
 I didn't experience bullies when I grew up, but my husband had one in the junior high school stage he told me today. He finally let the kid have it with his fist. The teacher came over and thanked him while the bully went away crying, or so my husband says. Now mind you, some of his tales may not be true because of his dementia. The alligator in our backyard and flying in a plane with Jake are not true. They tell you to never argue with someone who has Alzheimer's and so I don't and these legends continue .

Today teachers will write up both parties in a fight. Both students will get suspended. Because of human nature people and kids get picked on. Bullying even happens in neighborhoods where adults spread gossip. I hate this! Talk to me face to face! I wonder what the neighborhood gossip is about the sheriff coming to our house last week. People do talk, you know.

I decided this week to do something about a victim in a middle school  where I substitute often and often hear about his bullies. I wrote a strategy for him and he signed it, a friend of his signed it and I signed it. He said his parents will sign it.  I gave him seven stragegies:
  1. Ignore the bully and hold your temper.
  2. If you can't do #1, talk to someone about the bully -- a teacher, school counselor or parent who may have ideas for dealing with the situation.
  3. Forgive them. They have weaknesses as my rap says: Bullies find excuses to mess with our weaknesses as if  THEY have none. Think to yourself but don't say what's your problem, bully?
  4. Keep a journal on how you handle bullies.
  5. Pretend you are not a victim and act that way. Use your mind, not your emotions. Have interesting things to do yourself rather than concentrating on the bully.
  6. Report crimes to 1-800-873-TIPS. (This is on a poster at school pictured above.)
  7. Have parents file a police report from your journal documents.
The young man and his friend seemed quite happy to have this strategy and I explained that it is a way to use your mind and not your emotion (name of one of my raps),

What I write on the white board

They say there is an African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child and as a substitute teacher I am in that village. I hope my simple raps and bully booklet will help kids cope.

* Added:  See announcement of YouTube raps in the tab above (MCAC The Rap Lady).


  1. I like the idea of an alligator in the back yard. Are you sure he's never lived in Darwin, N.T.? In my experience, the only thing that stops a bully is a fist. But most victims can't bring themselves to hit back.

  2. This is good advice. My middle son was getting bullied last year when he was in 2nd grade. I had to request the bully not be in his class this year. Thankfully, it all worked out and everything is fine.

  3. The bully thing is tough. My older son was dealing with this and we tried all the standard stuff (contacting the school, coaching him how to ignore it, etc.). At the end of it all, my son gave the bully one warning and when the kid harrassed him again, he pushed him to the ground. I'm not big on fighting, but I also don't want my son to feel that he can't defend himself. Had he gotten suspended, I still would have backed his decision. The bully has yet to bother him again. Sometimes I wonder if more people stood up to the bully, perhaps they'd learn not to do that. I think many bullies are empowered by the fear and intimidation they cause (fills the gap in their own obvious lack of self-worth). No matter what the cause or response, I'm so darn sick of bullies!