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Our BetterMost Community => The Polling Place => Topic started by: David In Indy on April 03, 2010, 03:43:15 am

Title: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: David In Indy on April 03, 2010, 03:43:15 am
Did you get bullied in school? And if so, did you contemplate committing suicide at the time?


Tough Questions Linger in Wake of Bullying Tragedy

(Apr. 2) -- Bullying is no longer child's play.

Since Phoebe Prince's death, only that much is clear. On Jan. 14, the 15-year-old freshman at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts could take no more of the taunting. So she hanged herself, ending her life and launching a thousand questions about how her schoolyard harassment had turned deadly.

Prince's parents and friends say she was chased to her grave by a gang-like clique of her peers that launched a three-month campaign of harassment and slander against the teen after she briefly dated a popular football player. The attacks she suffered were by all accounts particularly vicious, and included everything from being called a "druggie" and a "slut" to being stalked by "gangs" of girls who at one point threw an energy drink at her head.


(http://o.aolcdn.com/photo-hub/news_gallery/6/5/655676/1269889131237.JPEG)
Nine students have been accused of harassing Phoebe Prince, 15,
before her Jan. 14 suicide.



Even in death, her tormentors would not relent. In the days after Prince committed suicide, some of them continued to mock the teenager on Facebook.

School bullying is nothing new. But since Prince's suicide, it has taken on a much darker significance, one that prosecutors are taking seriously. On Monday, criminal charges were brought against the nine students who allegedly led the harassment. And parents and school administrators in South Hadley are under intense scrutiny as well. They face tough questions about what happened to Prince and whether they could have done more to prevent her death.

1. What did school officials know about the bullying, and when did they know it?

Under fire from prosecutors and angry parents, South Hadley school officials are defending their handling of the case and insist they were unaware of any bullying until one week before Prince committed suicide.

"The message is that we as a society are not going to sit back and allow the incessant, nonstop bullying of children which can lead us to such tragic consequences as what happened to Phoebe Prince," Plymouth, Mass., District Attorney Timothy Cruz, who plans to prosecute school officials, told the Boston Herald earlier this week.

But South Hadley Superintendent Gus Sayer says the district did all it could.

"The kids have a way of communicating with each other without us knowing about it," Sayer told The Boston Globe this week. "They really have their own world.''

That answer doesn't satisfy everyone. According to reports from students and Prince's parents, Prince had been bullied for months. They say the harassment was blatant and took place on school grounds, and insist that the district is partly to blame for not doing something to stop it sooner.

"If teachers truly didn't know of the bullying until a week before the suicide, how might they have learned earlier?" The Globe asked in an editorial this morning. "If some knew and failed to take sufficient action, what might have prompted them to do so?"

The Globe called "protecting the well-being of students" a "core function of schools" that "didn't happen in this case."

2. Did the abuse happen on school grounds?

In January, Sayer insisted to The Boston Globe that "the real problem now is the texting stuff and the cyberbullying,'' the kind of harassment that can be difficult for schools to put an end to. But if most of the bullying Prince suffered happened in person, on school grounds, some say the school district is in real hot water.

The Atlantic's Wendy Kaminer, for example, wrote that "old-fashioned, in-person harassment and stalking -- not cyberbullying -- allegedly drove Prince to suicide, and, if these allegations are true, then old-fashioned criminal laws can bring her abusers to justice."

3. How did school officials discipline Prince's bullies?

A Facebook page with more than 37,000 fans has cropped up in recent months demanding that the school "expel the three girls who caused Phoebe Prince to commit suicide." But once the school found out about the abuse, it's not clear what action it took against Prince's alleged bullies.

The New York Times reports that many of the students accused of harassing Prince remained in school until this week, when nine of them were charged by the prosecutor. Only a few of the accused bullies were "removed from the school" earlier this year, the South Hadley school district told the Times. And officials so far refuse to say what their punishment was.

4. Is the town of South Hadley serious about stopping the bullying?

Prince's death has sparked anger and inspired a renewed push for anti-bullying legislation around the country. So some observers think it's odd that the town of South Hadley is protecting its school officials from scrutiny instead of calling for their heads.

For example, Slate magazine's Emily Bazelon, who has been covering the case, says adults in South Hadley would rather move on than accept responsibility for Prince's death.

"Recall that [anti-bullying] task force meeting in February," she said. "Protesters were expected to call for the superintendent and the principals' resignations. Instead, the school district's supporters came en masse. They handed out 'I Support Dan Smith' stickers and gave the principal a standing ovation," Bazelon wrote, referring to South Hadley High School's principal. "Some people sat stony-faced, but the majority clapped."

5. Are we in denial about "mean girls"?

Besides Prince's death itself, many say the most disturbing part of the case is the viciousness of the harassment. In January, Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen said the town of South Hadley -- like much of the country -- is in denial about the viciousness that exists among adolescent girls.

"Kids can be mean, but the Mean Girls took it to another level," Cullen wrote, referring to a popular movie that documents a similar kind of harassment. "They followed Phoebe around, calling her a slut. When they wanted to be more specific, they called her an Irish slut. ... You would think this would give the bullies who hounded Phoebe some pause. Instead, they went on Facebook and mocked her in death."

But is that evidence, as some have suggested, that there's a "mean girl" epidemic afoot? No way, argue scholars Mike Miles and Meda-Chesney Lind in a New York Times op-ed. They take a hard look at crime data and point out "every reliable measure shows that violence by girls has been plummeting for years."



http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/tough-questions-linger-in-wake-of-bullying-tragedy/19424278?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link1|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fnation%2Farticle%2Ftough-questions-linger-in-wake-of-bullying-tragedy%2F19424278 (http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/tough-questions-linger-in-wake-of-bullying-tragedy/19424278?icid=main|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link1|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fnation%2Farticle%2Ftough-questions-linger-in-wake-of-bullying-tragedy%2F19424278)
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: David In Indy on April 03, 2010, 03:46:05 am
Yes. And yes.

Yes I was bullied in school and yes I contemplated suicide.

What can we do about our youth going through this sort of thing now? 

Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: tampatalon on April 03, 2010, 03:58:17 am
I am not sure if I was bullied because I would bullie the smartass right back.
They would be shocked.

TampaTalon ^">
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Sheriff Roland on April 03, 2010, 07:11:25 am
I answered 'yes bullied, but did not contemplate suicide'

However...

My bullying was more in the form of taunting - teasing - cause I spent more time with the girls and their games than I did with the boys and theirs - and it was pretty much limited to elementary school (grades 1- 8 ). Even my grade 6 teacher (in his freshman year, thinking maybe it was just a nickname) called me the same name 'Fifi' as the boys in school.

I talked to my mother about this situation - that I wasn't happy with it - and she suggested I talk to the teacher ... It was very difficult for me to confront him, my first male teacher but he did stop using the 'nickname'.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Sophia on April 03, 2010, 07:45:56 am
Thank you all for telling your situation how it was, thats very strong of you!  :)
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Berit on April 03, 2010, 10:30:38 am
Oh yes, I was fat and I was bullied......for 9 years I was bullied.....but I never contemplated suicide - or, I sometimes thougth that "I'll kill myself and then thy will be sorry" but never seriously contemplated suicide. But there is still people I don't want to talk to, 40 years later......they took away my pride for myself, my self esteem (SP?) lots and lots of trust.....they hurt me deep down in my soul just because I was fat......

I'm still fat. I now know that this only mean that there is more of me you all can like  O0 :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Kelda on April 03, 2010, 11:14:24 am
i was bullied but never ever contemplated suicide
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: southendmd on April 03, 2010, 11:48:06 am
Yes, Berit, we love all of you!

Like Roland, I too was bullied for hanging out with the girls.  Also, for being more bookish than athletic.  Kids can be extremely cruel to one another.  It's particularly egregious when adults, teachers or priests, either join in or do nothing about the bullying. 

I wasn't suicidal, however.  I tended to react stoney-faced and was determined not to let it get to me. 
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: CellarDweller on April 03, 2010, 02:21:16 pm
Yes I was bullied in school and yes I contemplated suicide.

I voted the same way, but I didn't contemplate suicide until after I graduated high school.

The bullying started for me in grade school, and was the typical name-calling and such.  When I got to Jr. High, it became physical.  I would get punched, shoved into walls, pushed up stairs, slapped around in study hall, and physically intimidated.

I got through high school, and thought I was free.  I started a new job, and unfortunately, a few of the jerks I went to school with got hired there as well, and that's when the abuse started at work.  Name calling again (in front of customers) and the basement and men's room were both filled with grafitti about me and various sex acts I was fond of (taking it up the ass).

Management wouldn't pay to have the rooms repaited as "it would only happen again".

::)

One day I had enough, and took a bottle of sleeping pills home.  I ended up flushing them down the toilet.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: tampatalon on April 04, 2010, 04:53:32 am
I am said to hear these stories.

TampaTalon^">
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 05, 2010, 11:19:05 am
We must erase the hate. As adults and parents, we must teach children that this is not tolerable!
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: milomorris on April 05, 2010, 11:57:31 am
Yes, I was bullied. No, I did not contemplate suicide. I was bullied at school, and in the streets for being black. I fixed the problem by kicking ass instead.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: trekfan on April 05, 2010, 12:02:01 pm
I was bullied in school.  it got worse in Junior High when I got my first pair of glasses and then when I got acne.  Didn't take much for them to find something to make fun of me   It wasn't until around the 10th grade when they slowly stopped. 

I never contemplated suicide when I was in school (though over the years as an adult there have been some very dark moments for me)
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Brown Eyes on April 05, 2010, 12:10:40 pm

I was bullied pretty routinely in junior high.  I remember those 3 years being absolutely horrible.  But, we moved at the end of 8th grade to a different state.  So, I had a clean slate to start high school, which turned out to be just fine... actually a pretty nice experience overall.  But, even during the bad years of junior high I didn't contemplate suicide.  I can understand how bullying might lead some kids to feel that terrible though... bullying truly can be a totally demoralizing thing to have to deal with.

Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on April 05, 2010, 01:47:29 pm
I was bullied in school, and suffered depression because of it, contemplated running away from home but didn't. I sought solice in religion, which kept my mind occupied by the never ending goal of being a worthy person.

I am glad to see the education system taking it more seriously now. I think in a way a lot of it is hormone induced among the students, but I also felt persecuted and picked on by teachers and administrators as well. Any step forward is a positive one.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: ifyoucantfixit on April 05, 2010, 05:24:09 pm


    These stories just break my heart.  I wish I would have known you all.  I would have taken up for you, and
told those other people to drop dead from leprosy or some other horrid disease.  They deserve to have someone
say hateful and mean things to them.  Tease them about their ignorance, or some other thing that you know they
have, that causes them insecurity.   I am so so sorry.  I want to apologize to all of you for the bad things you had
to suffer from others..Love Janice
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Sophia on April 05, 2010, 05:31:30 pm

    These stories just break my heart.  I wish I would have known you all.  I would have taken up for you, and
told those other people to drop dead from leprosy or some other horrid disease.  They deserve to have someone
say hateful and mean things to them.  Tease them about their ignorance, or some other thing that you know they
have, that causes them insecurity.   I am so so sorry.  I want to apologize to all of you for the bad things you had
to suffer from others..Love Janice

 Was very lovely thing to say, Janice.  I just wished every school had teachers and classmate like you! And every bullying workplace too!
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Kelda on April 06, 2010, 04:29:41 am
Hopefully hthese days things can be different.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: zephaniah on April 08, 2010, 12:58:10 pm
  Shunned in grade-school, bullied by my dad and older brother - I just figured they were all stupid and so ignored them - I think this is why I understand Ennis: in my childhood, other people were dangerous jerks that had to be dealt with only when absolutely necessary.  This, of course leads to big gaps in one's socialization skills, which pushes one further away from the rest of the world.  I accepted isolation as the only way I could find happiness.  And I did, which only re-inforced that sad state of affairs.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: ChrisC on April 09, 2010, 06:24:45 am
Yes I was bullied at school.
Quite a bit of name calling and spitting. I could never really understand why, I put it down to being different and not having a girlfriend.

I didn't like school at all, I found it a very lonely place to be. 
I did have some friends who I used to hang around with away from school, but never kept in touch with after I left school.

Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Monika on April 09, 2010, 04:53:47 pm
Bullied - yes.



I played around with the idea of suicide, but I always knew deep down I wouldnīt really do it.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Luvlylittlewing on April 09, 2010, 05:10:26 pm
Oh yes, I was fat and I was bullied......for 9 years I was bullied.....but I never contemplated suicide - or, I sometimes thougth that "I'll kill myself and then thy will be sorry" but never seriously contemplated suicide. But there is still people I don't want to talk to, 40 years later......they took away my pride for myself, my self esteem (SP?) lots and lots of trust.....they hurt me deep down in my soul just because I was fat......

I'm still fat. I now know that this only mean that there is more of me you all can like  O0 :laugh: :laugh:

Berit, my friend, your situation mirrors mine almost exactly.  I was (still am) fat and the bullying could have been worse if not for those poor boys and girls in school who were fatter.  My mom says the bullying was not as bad because I was also quite pretty.  She says I looked like a big doll.  Anyway, I was also teased because I was often the teachers pet and was a good student. I was always at the top of my class.  I felt alone and put upon, but somewhere inside me I found a strength.  I knew my life would change for the better, that I would graduate and the teasing would cease.  I never, ever considered suicide.  
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Marina on April 09, 2010, 05:25:49 pm
This breaks my heart to read all of your accounts of unhappy times in school, when children spend so much time in school it should be a rewarding time.

No, I wasn't bullied - I do recall small things with other kids, there's always that, but nothing major.   I remember once in grade school an older boy was behaving in a threatening way, but it turned out he wanted to kiss me!  lol  No way he did.   I was always at the top of my class too (except in Math! lol), and nobody ever bothered me about it, some kids liked that.    Maybe I was in my own little world, I don't know; ah, just as well.

While not the most popular kid or in "the" clique, I had friends across the boards - if I liked them, I was friendly and hung out with them, regardless of their "social status".   I wasn't raised to pick on people, and I'm a very empathic person anyway, and I wouldn't stand for it if I saw someone picking on anyone or anything, still won't.   I didn't feel the need to follow anyone or fit in, I kinda did and do my own thing.   :)  

Schools need to be more active in stopping bullying - it's very serious.  I feel very badly about this young woman who felt she had no other alternative than to end her life because these people are not worth it.  I hope they and their families are held accountable.  :(
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: David In Indy on April 10, 2010, 03:29:23 pm
I had a terrible time in Catholic school and also in Junior High. I was bullied literally every single day, non stop. If I tried to tell my parents about it they would get upset and tell me to "man up" and to quit being a baby about it. They told me I should stand up for myself and put a stop to it. In other words, if I am being bullied at school it is because I want it. Otherwise I would put a STOP to it. Most of my teachers had the same attitude.

It never was quite that simple though. And besides, I was afraid to report the bullying in fear of being labeled a tattletale.

Things got better for me in high school. I played violin and cello in the school orchestra, and one of the bass players was a star athlete of the school - football, basketball and wrestling. He was very cute and very popular. He and I became good friends and because we were friends, his other friends also accepted me. So I was under their protection and the bullies started to leave me alone. I still got bullied but not nearly as much as before. Thank God for orchestra! lol

It was a completely different story in college. I was totally accepted by nearly everyone and I didn't have any problems at all.


Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: Marge_Innavera on April 10, 2010, 03:45:10 pm
I was bullied in the 4th grade, and no I did not contemplate suicide.

It was three boys, which I'd guess is unusual (i.e., girls usually bullied by other girls; boys by other boys).  Never found out why.  I never mentioned it at home because 1) my teacher consistently looked the other way and my mother was convinced that she was the World's Greatest Teacher and 2) to an 8-9 year old, bullying often seems like a condemning judgement and you never even know what the charges are.

It only stopped after one of them egged me on too far at recess and I punched him and knocked him down -- rather doubt I could hit him hard enough to do that; he was probably just so astonished he lost his balance The next day the second kid, who sat across the aisle from me, started poking me in the leg with a ruler. I finally gave the ruler a hard enough kick to send it flying across the room; the teacher didn't see what had happened and he got into trouble because she thought he'd thrown it.

It stopped after that but that approach woudn't work for every kid, especially not in high school.
Title: Re: Were You Bullied In School?
Post by: tforster on April 10, 2010, 04:47:06 pm
I was bullied in 7th & 8th grades... name calling & humiliation and some physical threats... I don't think I ever seriously contemplated suicide... I was the smart, not very athletic kid in an inner city school where athletics were king and academic achievment was looked down upon by the students. Those were two miserable years that still make my stomach churn when I think of them. Fortunately, I got into an arts high school and life was heaven!

I have to say that despite my misery in the 7th/8th grades... I learned a lot from the experience and I think it did make be a bit tougher... looking back, I so wish I had fought back more, but that could literally have gotten me killed.

My heart goes out to the Prince family. I read where they wanted Phoebe to have the "American High School Experience"... that makes it even sadder.