Bullying so bad bullied students turn to guns

When are we going to wake up to the destructiveness of bullying?

Bullied students turn to guns

Bullied students turn to guns SCHOOL students are being severely bullied at a rate of more than eight every week, pushing some young victims to threaten to shoot their tormentors.

There is ample evidence to suggest that victims are capable of becoming aggressors and often more destructive than many imagine.   The flight response can easily turn into a fight response that can be excessive and often misplaced.

Beyond the finger on the trigger – Opinion – smh.com.au

This is not a column excusing the Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-hui. But it is important to understand that what drove Cho to murder 32 people on his university campus last week is what has driven so many other school mass killers in the United States and beyond: severe bullying at school. “There is a lot of evidence that he was badly bullied at school, especially through ridicule and exclusion,” an expert on bullying, Professor Ken Rigby, of the University of South Australia, said yesterday. “This almost certainly increased his sense of alienation and desire to strike back.”

Maybe these findings will capture the attention of authorities.

Our kids in worst class of bullies

BULLYING in Australian primary schools is in the worst category in the world, a new study of education standards has found.

In the Trends In International Mathematics And Science Study, which surveyed schools in about 40 countries, more than a quarter of Australian year 4 students said they had suffered bullying.

The results have alarmed child-health experts and education bodies, which have been running strict anti-bullying programs in schools over the past six years.

I have no doubts at all about how widespread it is and even more concerning the trend is in workplaces – hence one of the reasons I’m so passionate about fighting the problem. I f adults find it hard to cope with how can we expect children to fare any better?

‘Workplace bullying worse than school’

Bullying in the workplace is even more rife in Australia than in the schoolyard, school and workplace bullying expert Evelyn Field says.

The US-based Trends In International And Mathematics And Science Study surveyed year 4 students across 40 countries and found Australia was in the worst category in the world.

Over To You

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70 Responses

  1. It’s interesting to see what comes up on possible related posts. This from the U.S.

    The Bully Blight
    By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK Monday, Apr. 11, 2005
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1047497,00.htm
    Bullies have lurked in hallways and on playgrounds ever since history’s first day of school, and until recently, dealing with them was considered just another painfully useful life lesson. But that attitude is changing. In 2002 the American Medical Association warned that bullying is a public-health issue with long-term mental-health consequences for both bullies and their victims. Just last month UCLA researchers published two new studies showing that bullying is much more widespread and harmful than anyone knew.

    During a two-week period at two ethnically diverse Los Angeles middle schools, says Adrienne Nishina, a post-doctoral scholar at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, nearly half the 192 kids she interviewed reported being bullied at least once; even more said they had seen others targeted. Also important, says Nishina: kids are frequently as distressed by witnessing bullying as by being bullied.

  2. I had a bully at school when I was in year 8 – had me terrified. Years later I ran into him in the local pub, and now I was much bigger. I walked over, got into his personal space and reminded him of what he did to me. The look on his face was priceless. I just told him that I should beat the crap out of him, but I would not – and so I just walked away.

    I was very empowering for me to finally be able to stand up to him.

    And in my previous contract, the boss was a bully, and so when he bullied me I immediately resigned. The look on his face when he took the call from my agent to inform him that I resign was priceless.

    He left the company soon after, and I subsequently found out that he has a track record of being a bully.

    He now works for his wife’s company.

  3. Joni

    This is such a serious issue I was hoping that yourself and other blogocrats can join me in petitioning various newspaper editors into taking a very serious look at this issue.

    I know the Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald have and interest.
    letters@dailytelegraph.com.au
    letters@smh.com.au

    Perhaps if Blogocrats can cut and paste this blog with their a personal message it may just reinforce how many of us feel.

    Pathological bullies do have track records

    Clinical psychologist Keryl Egan revealed profiling that could identify “psychotic bullies” who terrorise workplaces for example.

    Egan identified three types – ‘accidental’ bullies who bully when they’re under stress, ‘destructive’ bullies who lash out when challenged, and ‘psychotic bullies’, who bully “because they can”.

  4. Joni

    This brings a tear to my eye everytime

  5. What about the bullies w/ money to throw around?…& those bullies in the corporate media? Those who bully our politicians into ignoring the majority view of the people…& accepting policies that are bad for the common good. That affects all of us…or at least the majority of us.

    It seems that after all the hooplah the American stimulus bill does have a provision for capping the pay for top executives whose financial organisations took taxpayers money. And now David Axelrod & others on the Obama team are bending to the will of their donors & Fox News types and considering weakening the provisions.

    I don’t think characters like this will be impressed:

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/20281

    (Who Keeps Screwing Us Over?: Smirking Chimp, by Cenk Uygur | February 13, 2009)

    And who can blame them?

    Bullying goes on at all levels of society. It’s time THE PEOPLE pushed back.
    N’

  6. N’

    Bullying goes on at all levels of society. It’s time THE PEOPLE pushed back.
    N’

    I’ve come to the same conclusion some time back – probably 6/7 years ago now. It certainly is time to push back and on many levels.

    Cheers

    John Mc

  7. “Egan identified three types – ‘accidental’ bullies who bully when they’re under stress, ‘destructive’ bullies who lash out when challenged, and ‘psychotic bullies’, who bully “because they can”.”

    These are the kids you could describe as high profile bullies and the ones who get attention whenever a school has a bully purge.

    The problem with these kinds of classification is they miss the wider school environment where bullying of less obvious kinds happen every day. They also miss the role popularity plays in bullying – if you want to be one of the popular kids you have to hate or at least avoid unpopular kids.

    And why do we so rarely hear of the teacher bully? Most of us would remember one teacher who terrified the crap out of everyone. As kids we don’t often pay attention, but teacher bullies often bully other staff as well.

    While we ignore these other kinds of bully we’re missing how systemic bullying is and the systemic nature of lesser cruelty that provides cover for the worst ones.

    There’s a natural progression from the bullying school environment to the bullying work environment and so on. Focus on schools and you have a chance of ‘breaking the cycle’.

  8. Lyn

    I agree.

    I’d also like to point out a myth that was actually relayed to me by teachers some time ago, and since then the myth has been ‘busted’. However, I’m sure there are many teachers and officials that still rely on the ‘outdated research’.

    This research was allegedly carried out by the Education Department into the frequency of bullying among high school students and it claimed that after years 7 and 8 the incidences of bullying tapered off somewhat. The reasoning behind this was that students usually settle down and start blending harmoniously into their various peer groups.

    Sadly, the thin veil of harmony, as it has since been the discovered, is that those who are or have been targeted by bullies no longer trust that they will receive any support or protection from school officials and students become increasingly afraid of going to teachers simply they fear the repercussions of doing so, from those who are doing the bullying.

    The end result is that many children end up suffering in silence. And for the record, most bullying occurs against a single target or small group by a much larger group and the reality is, as Dr Helen McGrath “..many bystanders are afraid that their own social status will be negatively affected if they do the right thing and support the person being victimised”

    So, in short, when claims are made that bullying largely decreases after years 7 and 8, it simply means that victims have learned to remain silent and often suffer in silence.

    Another concern that cannot be ignored besides the potential hazard this poses to the victim’s mental health and wellbeing and the obvious risk of suffering severe depression to the point of suicide, is that some students may end up acting out violently against others when they can cope no more.

    All the information about students who carry out violent attacks in schools (and the US has many examples) confirms that often the perpetrators were kids who had been bullied and and were striking out against all those they believed were responsible for their suffering either directly or indirectly.

    Sadly, as we know, sometimes students who feel outcast, depressed are at risk of suicide, however add anger to the mix and the potential for heightened and potentially fatal violence also increases.

    We simply can’t keep turning a blind eye

  9. I give you credit John, you are one person who has the courage to fight back. And now a forum to do it.

    During my stint in teaching I found that teachers who thought & taught outside of the box were aptt to be bullied & cajoled by other staff & admin. who were terrified of change, difference and having to take on more responsibility. Or parental blowback.

    Often their fears were unrealised, just being temporary sticks in the mud who had become exhausted by the demands of the job…& by demonstrating respect for aspects of their work…and ensuring you explained your ideas/approach clearly…and providing them w/ practical ideas & the materials/resources & work units to support your case for change, you could often ease their tensions & bring them around somewhat. Sometimes you really do have to meet in the middle.

    As for students, I found that respecting each individuals abilities & uniqueness in the classroom…& allowing as an educator for both negative & positive feedback w/out being condescending & too defensive…& learning to smile & be imaginative…whilst taking a firm but fair approach…setting down the basic laws of the classroom, explaining the necessity for such, repeatedly over the year…but also demonstrating flexibility & listening to each students views & concerns can make a big difference in how they treat each other…particularly if you communicate w/ them in a passionate, vigorous & helpful way on the playground, as a supervisor/coach on teams…& so on.

    But you must teach them about boundaries…& about respecting yours & others.

    And help each to believe they are as ESSENTIAL to this planet as any other…& have much POTENTIAL that can be realised w/ honest effort & toil. And helping them to shift impractical & grandiose dreams to something more practical & realistic. W/out kiiling imagination & creativity in the process.

    It takes a great deal of time & effort…and requires administrations that are supportive…& contacting & meeting parents on an ongoing basis…gaining their respect.

    My wife tells me that Anna Bligh’s government has put in place, here in QLD, a far better approach than much of that I taught under…the Leading Schools approach put in place by the Nats & Libs back in the 90s directed funds to some schools at the expense of others…it led to low morale & a sense of unfairness in those schools that felt they were missing out…& that depressed mood can envelop a school…

    the prevention of bullying can go missing if “depression” & lack of egalitarianism is missing in a workplace. When educators are burdened by competing against each other for promotions, teaching on the smell of an oily rag, lack of teacher aids & other support staff, over-crowded classrooms and so on.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of positive, imaginative and effective teachers out there from ALL political persuasions…& bullying can come from all directions…but when my wife & I compare our teaching eras, she complains less about bullying & general meanness from higher-ups & other staff and more about sharing resources, cooperating effectively…and the willingness for educators to grow & challenge the ONE SIZE FITS ALL orthodoxy.

    I hope Anna Bligh wins this next election so these positive CHANGES can continue. I’m fed up w/ the combination of ocker & corporate meanness & pork barreling w/ see in so much of the RIGHT these days.

    My grandfather on my Mum’s side was a Headmaster & Mayor in the UK…one Mayorship as a Conservative (Tory) the other term he won as an Independent. He believed one should be FIRM but FAIR w/ students & staff…and barely made a penny over the years. He saw the children as his priority…not profiteering. A few pollies w/ BIG DONORS need to start rethinking their approach.

    I’m feeling more positive of late about Aussie politics…hopefully the money that is pouring in from Federal Labor’s “education revolution” will ensure that students feel they are getting a fair-go…and educators will have the modern resources necessary to ensure they can focus on areas like bullying…rather than running around like chooks w/ their heads cut off trying to find equipment that is working & are effective contemporary learning tools (such as computers)…& dealing w/ issues that professional support staff should really be dealing with.

    Governments, CEOs, sports & are influential people, like those in the media, oft set the agenda…& the national mood…perhaps if they bullied less, were less ocker, demonstrated more EMPATHY, prioritised less the elite demands, provided justice & appropriate entitlements for the workers & disadvantaged…then families would feel less reason to be anxious…& bully each other less…& bullying might lessen as in kids as a result…comes down to role models and such.

    Kevin Rudd is providing children w/ a top role model of late in his response to the Victorian & Nth. QLD environmental disasters.

    Cheers John.
    N’

  10. ” & are influential people”

    “are” should be “other”

  11. And teaching children to say “please”, “thankyou” & “your welcome” helps. Plenty of ways you can be polite & show respect. Grunting & taking assistance from others for granted is not teaching young ones appropriate ways to deal w/ others.

    And to pick up their litter. Respecting the environment we live in…is part of respecting yourself. The more you respect yourself & feel good about your environment/neighborhood the less you are apt to get agro & bully others.
    N’

  12. N’

    Very interesting insights

  13. “So, in short, when claims are made that bullying largely decreases after years 7 and 8, it simply means that victims have learned to remain silent and often suffer in silence.”

    Absolutely. The bystander effect is much, much worse in high school than in primary. High schools also tend to be larger, with the added problems that entails. Bullying with sexual overtones gets ridiculous, as you’d expect in the middle of teenage hormonal tidal waves. I’d be interested to know whether bullying among girls gets exponentially worse during their high school years. I suspect that low profile bullying among girls is a much bigger problem than violence among both boys and girls.

    Schools are huge institutions and need to be run along appropriate organisational lines. That’s probably among the worst contributing factors. As long as the organisation is predictable, so is everything else.

    We might do some bullying intervention today, but tomorrow it will be back to same old same old. And everyone knows it.

  14. To me most bullying comes under the last criteria. ‘psychotic bullies’, who bully “because they can”.

    And then we get to the lifestyle/home life of the bully. A bully is an empowered person, someone who believes that he/she is superior OR someone from the other end of the spectum, someone who is beaten.

    I agree with Lyn that the psychological bullying by females is often overlooked.

    Yes, go and tell the teacher on yard duty. So and so said that they were going to shove my head in the toilet. Yeah says the teacher to the child and you probably deserve it, just go away and deal with it!

  15. Min and Lyn, It just so happens that you’re both right.

    Bullying: secret women’s business
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24983846-5010800,00.html
    January 30, 2009
    Article from: The Australian

    IT’S the corporate stereotype – the ruthless alpha male. But is the real bullying going on among the women in the office? Shelley Gare investigates in The Weekend

    Australian Magazine. Here is an extract:
    A few months ago, I heard a horrible story. A young features editor had been working in a magazine office where one of the higher-ups had taken a dislike to her. The superior deliberately started excluding her colleague from the information loop. She organised office drinks or lunches but didn’t include the young editor. Others would be invited with an admonishing shush: don’t tell you-know-who.
    The young woman, whose desk was placed so that her back faced the office, used to sit at her computer and silently weep, thinking no one could see her. She sat there for another six months.

    When I first heard this tale, I felt terribly sorry for this young woman. I was repelled by the cruelty and that it had happened in a workplace supposedly devoted to helping women enjoy being women.

    But there was also a tiny bit of me that thought … well, she was an adult. It was a few women being immature, but she had her job. All she had to do was get through each weekday until 6pm and then she’d have her real life waiting for her at home. How hard could it have been?
    ________________
    FEW women can be as upfront in their bullying of their sisters as Queen Elizabeth I of England. Faced with a younger, more beautiful rival, Mary Queen of Scots, who also had a claim to the throne of England, Elizabeth simply had her cousin’s head chopped off. It was lethal. Direct.
    By comparison, when adult women bully each other, they are mostly indirect. They use weapons that are hard to detect and that leave wounds invisible to the eye. The adjectives psychologists and bullying experts use to describe such shadowy methods are “covert”, “subtle” and “manipulative”.

    The tactics are ostracism, exclusion, spreading rumours and playing favourites. Information is withheld; secrets are kept; a victim’s contributions – to either a conversation or a workplace – are ignored. It’s bullying by stealth.
    “Aggression in men tends to be worn much more clearly,” says Dan Auerbach, a Sydney-based analytic psychotherapist. “But those subtle expressions of dislike between women make it much harder to fight back, and harder for other people to see what’s going on.”
    But talking about the kind of bullying that can go on between adult women turns out to be secret women’s business, a no-go area, in spite of the fact that every woman to whom I spoke for this story knows it happens and knows how devastating it can be. It’s the last great taboo, as Anthea Paul, author of the best-selling Girlosophy series, puts it.

    Read The Weekend Australian Magazine for Shelley Gare’s full analysis of female bullying.

  16. Thank you John. The alpha ruthless male one can deal with..leave the job because a person knows in their heart of hearts that they have genuine reasons for leaving.

    The insidious sniping and sarcasm from jealous females against mostly other females is difficult to deal with – they do not want sincerity, they do not want the situation improved, they just want their position as Boss Chook reinforced. They want the other female to suffer.

    Also females have problems re bullying when the boss is a bloke as these subtle methods of bullying go over the top of many males or are dismissed as female imagination.

  17. Nasking. Yes I agree, as many teachers are bullied how can they then deal with playground bullying. There is also the expectation that all goes well on one’s watch (where is Adrian!). Nope, nothing to report, all is well. When it isn’t.

  18. Min

    “Also females have problems re bullying when the boss is a bloke as these subtle methods of bullying go over the top of many males or are dismissed as female imagination.”

    The senior managers involved in my case first tried their alpha male act on me and when I stood up, they all backed down. Then they started on the sniping and undermining. I’d much preferred if they all went toe to toe with me. It’s a lot less painful. The managers, started behaving like a bunch of females (no offense to females in general)

  19. Min

    Not all people who bully are pathological bullies , but some certainly are. And the amount of damage they can cause is disturbing. Underlying causes and excuses aside, in many cases , bullying is a learned behaviour that can be unlearned.

    In 2004 I spoke at a union conference where the topic of discussion was ‘workplace bullying in which clinical psychologist Keryl Egan, claimed in that profiling that could identify “psychotic bullies” who terrorise workplaces.

    Egan highlighted three types – ‘accidental’ bullies who bully when they’re under stress, ‘destructive’ bullies who lash out when challenged, and ‘psychotic bullies’, who bully “because they can”.

    AT least now, medical research is catching up. The interesting point about this research is that early intervention programs can be developed.

    Brain scans: Inside the minds of bullies

    BULLIES enjoy seeing people in pain in the same way others get a thrill out of gambling or taking drugs, new brain scan research shows.

    Australian experts believe the discovery partly explains why some people get satisfaction out of things that repulse others.
    The findings could help in developing programs to combat antisocial behaviour in young people.

    Scans of aggressive youths’ brains by researchers at the University of Chicago showed an area associated with rewards was highlighted when bullies watched a video clip of someone inflicting pain. Those without unusually aggressive behaviour did not have the same response.

    “This is the first time MRI scans have been used to study situations that could otherwise provoke empathy,” Professor in Psychology and Psychiatry Dr Jean Decety said.
    Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute executive director Dr Ian Hickie said it was a very important finding. “The study confirms what people have always thought – that people who indulge in these kind of behaviours process information, including emotional information, differently from other people,” he said.

    “It’s like differences between men and women – when you look at brain scans they’re different. The processing of emotional information is different from person to person.”
    Mr Hickie said a person’s brain kept developing until the early 20s.

    Psychologist Dr Helen McGrath from the National Centre Against Bullying said a link between reward and pain showed it was a learned behaviour: “Usual intervention with kids who are antisocial is to get in as early as possible – there are programs that start when they are four.

    “The Government should continue to fund early intervention.”

  20. “I agree with Lyn that the psychological bullying by females is often overlooked.”

    Especially the bullying by ex-wives who use the children as weapons in the self-proclaimed war against their father.

    I read that something like 50 of these fathers die each year at their own hand because of this bullying. The sad thing is that nothing is ever done about it. Yet a person dies from dvt following a plane flight and everybody is up in arms.

  21. Absolutely no offense taken..you of course are one of the lovely fluffy people John. Your addressing of the issue of bullying is not sexist, is not personal, it is just what I would expect from you, it’s addressing the issue.

    It’s probably just an academic exercise re categorising bullies, that is..unless this categorising results in differing strategies to help them cease.

    Bullying under stress – mostly kids and work mates understand this. And this type of bullying is mostly temporary.

    Destructive bullies – I’m not certain about. It seems to suggest maintaining one’s status and bullying rivals. This could be considered ‘normal’ teen behaviour, but carried over to the workplace..??? Destructive means would rather tear the whole place down rather than give anyone else an inch.

    The above 2 are random, intermittent and cannot be predicted nor are they likely (hopefully) to be a part of a peron’s regular behaviour. The last one, then is the one that needs to be addressed. From kindergarten up. The child who thinks that the way to achieve results is to slap their friend around the ears (just like daddy does).

    It’s not a biggy..just insist on please and thank you, insist on sharing toys and treat all of your children equally.

    I am not too fussed about so called anti-social behaviour in under 5’s. That is, as long as it’s a reasonably functioning family. And so what do you do, a 3 year old is hitting little friends because this is the only behaviour that he/she knows.

  22. Migs

    Here are some interesting statistics as shown
    on the ‘dads in distress’ website:
    • An estimated 1.3 million children live apart
    from their natural parents.
    • These children are statistically ten times
    more likely to be abused or neglected and
    twice as likely to have a mental health
    problem.
    • 200 children go through the family law
    system every day.
    • Up to 200 children will have their fathers
    removed from their day to day lives.
    • There is a divorce every 10 minutes in this
    country.
    • Young separated men are 10 times more
    likely to die by suicide than through road
    accident…..
    • The suicide rate among separated men is
    more than double the rate of contracting aids.
    You may like to verify these alleged statistics.

  23. Thanks for those figures John. I won’t need to verify them as I know that they are excessively high and I trust your word.

    I have a son who suffers severely from Aspergers Syndrome, and as a child was bullied excessively at school. A canteen worker identified the main culprit to my ex-wife, and she visited the parents of this asshole child to have the issue addressed.

    The father laughed it off and tossed my ex out the door. His occupation? School Principal.

    Defies belief.

  24. Migs

    “The father laughed it off and tossed my ex out the door. His occupation? School Principal.

    Defies belief.”

    It certainly does defy belief!

  25. John, it’s true.

  26. Yes it is true.

  27. I bet most of it goes on in Queensland.

  28. Reb. Time to be kind to people.

  29. The look on his face when he took the call from my agent to inform him that I resign was priceless…

    You have an agent joni? I guess you and I are worlds apart!

    And why do we so rarely hear of the teacher bully? Most of us would remember one teacher who terrified the crap out of everyone. As kids we don’t often pay attention, but teacher bullies often bully other staff as well.

    But Mr. Hinkley’s history class was the one I always studied for, so scared he might call on me for an answer. Mr Hinkley always said something sarcastic as he ‘invited’ you to answer by throwing his chalk or the duster at you. Mind you he was funny though! I actually believe that he had a passion for teaching, whereas some of the others couldn’t care whether you passed or failed. It was a class of 17 year olds too and now i remember Mr hinkley fondly for caring enough to get through to a lazy bunch of adolescents (which we were).

    Maybe the younger generation will be too busy making love not war! Did you catch the story about the 13 yo father who plans to study and parent his child?

    No prosecution in 13-year-old father case

    The news that 4ft Alfie conceived baby Maisie when he was only 12 renewed calls for better sex education for the nation’s children.

    England has long had the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in western Europe.

    Jenny Teague, of Dorset, was for many years regarded as the UK’s youngest mum giving birth in 1997, aged just 12 to Sasha.

    Zoe Hodgson, of Birstall, West Yorkshire, was 12 when she conceived and 13 when she gave birth in 2005 to son Leo, whom she used as inspiration to continue her studies, passing 11 GCSEs.

  30. Kitty

    It is an IT agent… more like a pimp actually. He gets a cut of the money and I get done over by the client.

  31. “4ft Alfie”

    Taking into consideration his name and height, this kid was always going to be wayward. “Alfie’ My God!

  32. And hence the difference Kitty..Mr Hinkley always said something sarcastic as he ‘invited’ you to answer by throwing his chalk or the duster at you. Mind you he was funny though! I actually believe that he had a passion for teaching..

    It’s the defining line between something and someone being funny and the other person throwing the duster in disgust and pouring scorn on the lesser kids which often resulted and encouraged bullying in the school ground.

    As above and as John McP states (it’s his thread), it’s the defining line between something being a joke where everyone joins in and it becoming ridicule and bullying.

    The situation of the 13 year old father and 15 year old mother..a couple of kids in Dorset England, and some other children in Yorkshire is no doubt giving people who read the ‘Graph their jollies.

  33. Min, on February 16th, 2009 at 1:07 pm Said:

    Absolutely no offense taken..you of course are one of the lovely fluffy people John. ”

    Min, I’ve been called many things but never a lovely fluffy person’ Lol

  34. I think that we should try this one again:

    Miglo, on February 16th, 2009 at 1:19 pm Said:
    Thanks for those figures John. I won’t need to verify them as I know that they are excessively high and I trust your word.

    I have a son who suffers severely from Aspergers Syndrome, and as a child was bullied excessively at school. A canteen worker identified the main culprit to my ex-wife, and she visited the parents of this asshole child to have the issue addressed.

    The father laughed it off and tossed my ex out the door. His occupation? School Principal.

    Defies belief~~

    Migs..having 3 children with Asperger’s in varying degrees, I would say that bullying is the most destructive.

    One of the main problems with Aspies is that they do not compute sarcasm and ridicule. They do not understand the subtle denegrating undertones in conversations. They do not understand the eye-rolling. Aspies are forthright and honest, they cannot tell lies because lies do not compute.

    My favorite is: Son’s friend trying to nut out how to write an essay, senior high school. The physics teacher said, You present an essay as if I was talking to you. Aspie answer: But I wouldn’t want to talk to you.

  35. Thanks John. Interesting statistics.

    Min said: “There is also the expectation that all goes well on one’s watch”

    Indeed…sometimes parents & administration forget how demanding children can be…& how diverse their ways of gaining attention or trying to get what they think they want. Dealing w/ a class of 20 – 30 + biologically hyped up kids (I’m thinking late Grade 8 – early Grade 11 here) when the day is hot, the equipment is not working properly (good reason for regular reporting & maintenance to go on…& the dollars must be there), a few students might be in angst over some kind of abuse, parental breakup and playing out there cathartic act…they’ve just come in from sports…there is the potential for that classroom to explode into mayhem & bullying can be a consequence…even teachers get bullied by students. I can remember having the occasional panic attack as the temperature of the mood rose & the voices got louder…every educator of that age group goes thru it.

    But if you have in place certain attention gathering tactics (I can be a real performer…a sense of humour helps…always remembering you don’t want to spend the whole lesson acting like a “chalk & talker”), an adaptable/quick thinking mind, alternative resources at your disposal (always be prepared), have earnt the respect of the students, ensured your classroom (if you’re lucky enuff to get a consistent one) is inviting & educationally stimulating…and plenty of support from your admin by suppling “time out” rooms…teacher aids, an appropriate amount of computers, counsellors…it all makes a big difference.

    It’s an emotionally & physically draining job if you take it seriously and are willing to put in the extra hours to ensure you gain student & parental respect & trust.

    Sure, we can setup classrooms to turn the wee ones into potential soldiers (I’m thinking Chicago here)…but in a sense aren’t we really bullying & cajoling students into repressing their individuality & uniqueness? In some ways as much as gangs bully & cajole students to belong. Some may take to such rigid approaches…but many will resent it in the long run…particularly if they come from families that have a background where their religious/ethnic group was oppressed &/or persecuted by authority figures. Bullied so to speak. And then society will have to deal w/ the explosion of the inner-character at a later date.

    Lyn, Min., Miglo & Kittylitter, your comments are valuable.

    In my experience, the intervention of a diplomatic higher-up can be helpful…finding time to sit down & discuss the problems & air the conflict…assisted by an independent mediator.

    I just watched Hardtalk onBBC World News.
    Absolutely fascinating interview w/ an ex-IRA soldier…who now represents his constituents in parliament. The roots of bullying can be complex. Sometimes listening to a so called “bullies” POV, attempting to understand their actions & helping to provide them w/ alternative approaches can make a big difference.

    N’

  36. “I have a son who suffers severely from Aspergers Syndrome, and as a child was bullied excessively at school.”

    I can remember a lad who enjoyed bullying me the moment I first showed signs of a tic disorder (minor Tourettes)…whenever I came across this character, whether it was in the classroom or on a bus and so on, he would mimic my neck & facial twitching in an exaggerated fashion, calling out to others to watch him. To this day his taunts run thru my mind on occasion…& those of the neighborhood bully who would pass my house w/ his group of girl friends and yell out “Hey hunchback!” (I was painfully thin in those days & so the effects of one higher shoulder & curvature of the spine were more pronounced)…

    but ironically, the fella who copied my twitching actually picked it up himself oneday…I was watching him on a train to work as an adult & he didn’t see me…he was twitching away & I thought “holy baloney, he was hiding it all the time & using me to distract others…or it became a habit”. I almost felt sorry for him. Realised how insecure he really must’ve been at school.

    The other bully was killed in the bus accident that 40+ of us experienced on an icy road in the late 70s in Canada. I looked at his picture and felt an overwhelming sadness. I thought, “fancy ending your life so despised by others because you couldn’t control your worst instincts”…& noone cared enuff to help you shift your energy into a positive direction.”

    BTW, I left teaching partially because of bullying and lack of administration empathy & them not putting appropriate alternative discipline measures in place…& my inability to sleep appropriately, manage stress & offer the students the mood consistency they required.

    I’m the type who likes to put 110% effort into a job…but the burnout thing is a factor. It took me years to accept that my brain wiring was a bit screwed up & long stretches of work w/ crushing time constraints, over-the-top expectations and lack of flexibility & emphasis on the “economic” over the “social” had enormous deletarious effects on my well-being.

    The early years were amazing…but after a few passionate, emotionally exhausting years …unrealistic demands…abrupt school changes…painstaking efforts to get permanency…it became a dreadful struggle (being suddenly shifted out to the country, away from supportive friends & routine did not help)…& you’re not doing yourself or the students any favours if you can’t sleep & gather your thoughts & remain calm & collected. That was me at the end.

    It was hard…but I got out…took a couple of years to get over a sense of “failure”. But I’ve moved on. I’m content now. Put the haunting, unrealistic expectations of others behind me.

    Adaptability & flexibility are good things…and being trained to ADAPT is also positive. And having safety nets & training in place to do so. That’s why I like aspects of a “planned economy”.

    N’

  37. N’

    You sound very much like an old friend of mine who went on to become a lecturer in psychology and sociology.

    As for everything else, I’m speechless. You’re obviously a sensitive and caring individual with a lot of self-awareness.
    Do you think those traits are the result of your sense of dislocation and isolation growing up?

  38. “You’re obviously a sensitive and caring individual”

    Kind of you to say so John…but unfortunately I’m inconsistent…get me on the piss too much…or if I see what I perceive as consistent conning, rorting & injustice…or if i’m not sleeping well & under financial/family problems…well, I can act like the most selfish, agro, pushy character you can come across.

    Look at the pontificating & inappropriate comments I made about toads to Min. & aqualung…i think based upon my copping out of the restaurant top 5 thread because I didn’t want to ruin the happy atmosphere by going on about vegetarian restaurants (yes, sometimes we do restrain ourselves because of the oft negative representations of us on TV, the party poopers, control freaks etc.)… and unfortunately by holding back it led to me letting off my agro elsewhere. And considering I have adopted 3 homeless cats who require meat & fish and don’t do the killing myself I’m a hypocrite to go at others. Sometimes I just get tired of seeing & hearing about killing…& it pops out in a furious fashion.

    It’s a contradictory & complex world in many ways…forces us to do things we despise in order to survive…or sometimes we take short cuts out of general fatigue & life exhaustion…& time constraints.

    Energy & anxious thoughts can erupt at the strangest times in the strangest ways. Particularly if you have a chemical/hormonal/neurological imabalance…combined w/ post-traumatic stress disorder.

    And a fear of “abandonment” due to my past inconsistent family life & being sent away to an asthma or whatever home when I was six for three months. All forced me to think about the suffering of others…& what can happen when families are under intense financial, mood disorder & time pressures…& the consequences for children.

    “Do you think those traits are the result of your sense of dislocation and isolation growing up?”

    As above…& yes, in part…I was an only child…an avid reader…& consumer of anything & everything on TV & the movies for awhile…tended to socialise less than some in my Primary years, partially due to family breakup & shifting from country to country, school to school…& trying to remain aware of my family & guardians moods…partially a self-protection thing, partially due to a desire to try & assist them, mediate etc…and obviously to try & not make the same mistakes.

    I also tended to see imaginary worlds in my head…places to retreat to…to ease my anxiety, distract myself…based on my reading & media watching…sometimes acted out characteristics of those fictional characters as they were preferable role models on occasion.

    Unfortunately, I made plenty of mistakes…realised that no matter how hard you try, sometimes your responses to situations can be dictated by that which you learn from your role models…& occasionally by genetic & biological factors that are not always predictable and initially controllable.

    Self-medicating can get out of hand too…as can reading bad advice…and if you tend to have allergic reactions to most pills, it takes a great deal of time, effort, finances & knocking your head against a wall until you learn to adjust your behavioural patterns…learn to forgive yourself & others…discover positive pathways…& create a healthy regime routine that suits your chemical, biological makeup.

    Whilst still allowing for some flexibility & accepting your gonna have the odd conflict & disappointment now & then. Reflection helps…but too much introspection can lead to brooding, bitterness, exaggeration of problems & so called “character flaws” and eventual self-inflicted depression and paralysis.

    Fighting the “good fight” & expressing your views w/ the intention of helping others can be a real healer. At least in my case.

    But as you well know John, views are diverse, it’s easy to step on others toes & opinion-making can lead to unintended consequences. That’s where reducing expectations, using reflection techniques, adaptation, flexibility & even taking time out now & then comes in useful.

    And demonstrating the confidence in yourself to admit you’ve made a mistake. Or been a bully…too pushy…or assumptive. Perhaps even paranoid…:)

    And it helps learning to ignore absurd replies from sh*t stirrers/trolls or those who are anxious & having a cathartic moment at your expense…:)

    Thnx for the feedback. Interesting & insightful thread…as always.

    cheers
    N’

  39. N’

    I don’t think I’ve met anyone who wasn’t dysfunctional in one way or another. Are you getting any type of treatment to assist.

    I can’t help but think from what you describe that you may be suffering from bi-polar disorder (manic – depression). Is there any history of mood disorders in your family?

    Sometimes we can mistake environmental causes when the problem could be a bio-chemical imbalance (listen to me I sound like a know-it -all, however, clinical counselling is something I studied whilst in the military)

  40. “I don’t think I’ve met anyone who wasn’t dysfunctional in one way or another.”

    I agree.

    “Are you getting any type of treatment to assist.”

    Not necessary now…flowing quite well. Just have my moments. Bi-polar disorder is quite an abstract concept. And can take in a wide range of mood shifts. I’m quite content now doing things the way I do. Took a few years…& not drinking too much, too often…:) And getting enuff sun.

    Anyway…on w/ the other threads & the rest of the night.

    cheers
    N’

  41. …well, I can act like the most selfish, agro, pushy character you can come across.

    We all can N’.

    Look at the pontificating & inappropriate comments I made about toads to Min. & aqualung…

    err, that’s aquanut N’, but you just reminded me to play some Jethro Tull, one of my old faves.

    I thought you were entirely appropriate N’, i’m pleased you stuck up for the toads. I can’t kill them either I just let ’em be and hope they’ll hop away.

    I think based upon my copping out of the restaurant top 5 thread because I didn’t want to ruin the happy atmosphere by going on about vegetarian restaurants (yes, sometimes we do restrain ourselves because of the oft negative representations of us on TV)

    Veggies are here to stay, your thoughts are just as valid as anyone else’s, and we want to hear them too, so don’t hold back on account of stereotyping.

    I also tended to see imaginary worlds in my head…places to retreat to…to ease my anxiety, distract myself…based on my reading & media watching…sometimes acted out characteristics of those fictional characters as they were preferable role models on occasion.

    An only child is a lonely child, and you are not alone in having a vivid imagination and an imaginary escape from emotional upheaval in your life.

    Thanks for your gentle and caring soul N’. I think you have an artistic or creative temperament. You feel things, you are very sensitive to yourself and others. They say it’s a fine line between genius and insanity, but where would we be without the imagination and thoughts of the creative geniuses?

    People like you make the world a better place for all. But when you’re pissed off with the world, you turn it inwards, in self destruction, erroneously blaming yourself for events and people that you really have no control over.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, that’s what I say to my sensitive and emotionally fragile first born who is prone to depression, it really isn’t your fault (unless it actually is, and then I tell him so too!).

    Some people go through their whole life without a clue. They have no insight into their own behaviour or thinking, have no idea of why they do what they do and are too scared to find out – their destruction is outwards, blaming and abusing everyone around them for their own problems.

    I prefer the sensitive ones, be kind to yourself N’.

  42. Kitty

    “People like you make the world a better place for all. But when you’re pissed off with the world, you turn it inwards, in self destruction, erroneously blaming yourself for events and people that you really have no control over.”

    This is so true and very profound Kitty. I think it’s extremely important to determine a relatively rational and objective view of the world. There are some things we have control over and others we simply don’t.

    Much of my training focused on the bio-psycho-social (biological/psychological/ social) model which helps clinicians and those seeking help try and determine at what level the a problem originated and how best a person can be helped. The complex interplay of functioning between all three elements is rarely straight forward simply because they all go into making us who we are as people.

    Sometimes it’s a bit like trying to work out which came first, the chicken or the egg. For example, depression can have its biological origins which effect a persons ability to function healthily . Or, like in my case, a particular situation caused significant distress which in turn impeded my ability to function well on each level etc.

  43. N’

    Kitty’s right…”be kind to yourself ’.

  44. N’

    I often refer back to a piece I had published in the SMH, which helps to remind me to keep things in perspective. And despite each day being a battle it helps to remind myself that none of us possess super-human abilities when it comes to living.

    The danger of denying that men suffer depression
    January 10, 2006
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/letters/the-danger-of-denying-that-men-suffer-depression/2006/01/09/1136771496816.html
    We must address the issue of depression and suicide that afflicts too many men. This doesn’t discount the problem among females but look at the ratios – males are more successful than females in finding ways to end their lives; this is tragic.

    You would hardly know it if you met me, but I hide my depression well. That is what I have been taught to do. Numerous visits to various specialists confirm my condition, which has become progressively worse with time.

    Recently it was revealed that Steve Rogers suffered from it; John Brogden suffered a bout of it, and so did Rene Rivkin. Many of us at various stages in our lives may be overcome by it.

    My cycle started as a reaction to adverse work circumstances; Mr Rogers’s may have begun with the death of his first wife; Mr Brogden’s possibly as a result of revelations in the media about his inappropriate behaviour; and Mr Rivkin’s seems to have been a combination of an existing illness and circumstances surrounding his criminal charges.

    Whether circumstances surrounding this troubling problem are situational or an inherent part of a person’s make-up, the stigma and shame remain the same.

    After two years of seeking support for the crippling problem I faced, the insurer in my worker’s compensation case has finally accepted that my despair runs deep.

    Unfortunately, the denial by others and myself that there was indeed a problem has only exacerbated my troubles.

    Have I contemplated suicide? Unfortunately, yes. However, I have been fortunate enough to have support that at times, in spite of my pride, I’ve begrudgingly accepted and which has helped me overcome some really dark episodes.

    Do we really accept and understand that males, in particular, can and do suffer as deeply on an emotional level as females, and are males really any better-equipped to deal with their pain than females? I would suggest not. The great shame in many cases is that if you’re not bleeding, you’re fine. And if you do express your pain, it is seen as a sign of weakness. This seems to be a uniquely male thing – take the pain, brush yourself off and get on with it.

    There really is no such thing as “superman”. We need to make it more socially acceptable for males to reach out for help, without making them feel defective.

  45. “They say it’s a fine line between genius and insanity, but where would we be without the imagination and thoughts of the creative geniuses?”

    Ain’t that the truth kittylitter.

    Much thanks to both you & John for your kind & wise words. I’m far kinder to myself now than in the past. I like to express my inner-feelings & situation now & then so others can compare, contrast & learn…as I learn from them.

    I actually wrote a substantial piece but accidentally closed it. Darn! Lucky for some eh?…:)

    That’s a heartfelt & useful article there John. It’s great to read others views and experiences that ensure the depressive-related episodes that individuals experience are seen in a more tolerant & understanding light. I’m fortunate in that I rarely get mental paralysis…unless I’ve been indulging in a certain herb that I tend to stay away from these days.

    Nor do I feel inclined to run naked thru the park, behead an authority figure (tho the imagination was running rampant during the Bushevik era & their dastardly wars…lol) or try out superhuman feats like jumping off tall buildings…but I have my odd grandiose, other worldly feelings now & then. Fortunately, I tend to watch sci-fi shows at that point & fart on about the future…or the dangers of the “apocalyptic” obsession of some religious institutions…or I write epic poems…and amazing lyrics…or at least attempt to…:)

    During my teaching stint I was able recognise students who were more sensitive & creative, desiring to be less caged, often anti-autthority, those often either withdrawn & painfully shy or quite grumpy & outspoken…& help instill them w/ more confidence…be more intrinsically motivated…feel they weren’t alone…and I found it gratifying to see them leave my classes at the end of the year w/ higher self-esteem, less cynicism and more focused on directing their energy more positively.

    Some were in fact seen as bullies by others…or had been bullied by staff who were less tolerant and unwilling to put in the time & counselling.

    Unfortunately, our institutions are too oft focused on teaching the maximum of students for the least amount of money. This is why I believe that funding a combination of homework centres, tutoring, teacher aid assistants, excursions, access to computer modules, after hours classes, practical training pathways and getting treatment & advice from a variety of counsellors & therapists can really help students…& reduce the incidents of bullying…provided the media, networking sites and influential role models focus on the issue appropriately.

    N’

  46. And Min., you need to contact the Education district office about the way your child was treated. Even Principals are accountable to someone. This is one reason I’m not keen on Principals getting the hiring & firing control like in NY. Power in the hands of the few can be abused.

    N’

  47. N’

    “During my teaching stint I was able recognise students who were more sensitive & creative, desiring to be less caged, often anti-autthority, those often either withdrawn & painfully shy or quite grumpy & outspoken…& help instill them w/ more confidence…be more intrinsically motivated…feel they weren’t alone…and I found it gratifying to see them leave my classes at the end of the year w/ higher self-esteem, less cynicism and more focused on directing their energy more positively.

    Some were in fact seen as bullies by others…or had been bullied by staff who were less tolerant and unwilling to put in the time & counselling. ”

    Maslow had very similar views especially about intrinsic motivation. I also have no doubts in fact, my own case, I believe is an overwhelming expression of my own inner drive (intrinsically motivated) to achieve an outcome I can live with. I often equate ‘conscience’ with ‘intrinsic motivation’. We have a lot in common I’d say N’.

    You really should stick with educating N’. You’ve got a hell of a lot to offer.

  48. Thank you Nasking, this was eons ago when I was a disability advocate.

    Like you it is of a concern when Principals have the ability to hire and fire as main task is to not create waves. Regard given to the fact that Principals (at least in Victoria) were there due to longevity and not because of any particular skill or managerial experience.

    My bestest-best school when I was a wee slip of a lass was Burnley Primary Vic. At age 19 (I completed high school age 16) I was in charge of Grade 4, 60% of the class were non-English speakers. They were little sponges who soaked up every single snippet of information that one could provide.

  49. Aqualung… lol thats new.

    Nasking if i could have a problem and be half the man with the morals you have, id be a happy chap.

  50. hope that came out right.

  51. It came out fine Aqua.

  52. Aqua (lung) I just cottoned on (lol)

    Yes, the way I read it, it did come out right. Nice complement!
    N’ does have high moral standards and that in itself can make life rough.

  53. “Aqualung… lol thats new.”

    Oh crikey! As kittylitter noted, Jethro Tull on the mind…methinks it was an unconscious act motivated by Lyn’s post…I think Lyn is the same who posted on RTS for many years & I enjoyed throwing up the odd Tull Youtube link for her on Fridays/Saturdays.

    “does have high moral standards and that in itself can make life rough.”

    I can be flexible sometimes…:) Living by too many moral absolutes means I wouldn’t enjoy much on TV…& make me as stiff as starch on the blogs…so I put aside the judgementalism now & then and try to enjoy myself. Or just sit there grumbling to myself as fast food & finance company ads fly by on fast forward…:)

    Hey Aquanut, I envy you on those underwater exploits…I’ve had a recurrent nightmare for years of being chomped on by a shark or croc so I don’t consider checking out the beauties & marvels below the sea…unless on digital TV. Damn Jaws! Widescreen cinema has alot to answer for.

    N’

  54. “You really should stick with educating N’.”

    Cheers John…but quite content w/ things the way they are right now. Strangely, doing the blog commenting and answering surveys (just so companies know that seaweed & tofu munchers w/ chilli addictions exist) has always felt like the right move for me. My wife is an educator, going on 9 years as a teacher, was a teacher aid & tutor for many years…& we chat about her days & discuss strategies & impart knowledge to each other on a regular basis. Mebbe oneday I’ll return to the deck…perhaps complete a PHD or Masters on educational media…something I started yonks ago.

    For now I’m happy. Guardian of Democracy & sometimes “local crackpot” role & such…:)

    Thank gawd for the blogs & you “intrinsically motivated” types John. We needs ya.

    “They were little sponges who soaked up every single snippet of information that one could provide.”

    Min. I can relate. I tutored Taiwanese students for 4 years & did a short stint at an immigrant education centre. Good for you. People should never underestimate the need for migrants…& how willing many are to learn, adapt & contribute.

    That’s another career I might consider in the future…tho I am getting on a bit.

    N’

  55. Thing is N the moment you start breathing underwater your fears disappear behind excitment. The most enjoyable part of diving is there first breath.

    Sharks are the last thing on your mind, i took my instructor 20 years to see his first shark in sydney harbour.

    the part of diving that gets most is going deep (Reb, miglo shh) . as you go down everything turns to one colour and goes darker and darker everywhere around you is empty and at times you can tell if your upright or sideways. just open water.

  56. Very cool aquanut…sounds inviting & relaxing…

    i did enjoy the movie ‘The Big Blue’…& the music:

    (Dolphins from Le Grand Bleu/The Big Blue)

    mebbe oneday the real thing. Perhaps they should gather up the worst school bullies & get aquanut & others to take them diving?…might alter their view of the world.

    N’

  57. two go out, one comes back.

    I think your onto something, if not then i’m onto something.

  58. The results have alarmed child-health experts and education bodies, which have been running strict anti-bullying programs in schools over the past six years…

    This quote from john’s article made me think about the bullying problem (apparently the worst in the world) it reflects very much the wider issue of bullying in Australian society in general and our acceptance of it. The kids learn from their parents and wider family circle, their teachers and their peers.

    We have a national cricket renowned for it’s ‘sledging’ or bullying by another name. Bullying is rife in the workplace public service institutions and in the home (domestic violence). Racism and our ill treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants is fear and prejudice, also expressed in bullying. So what does it say about Australians and our culture?

  59. kittylitter, I couldn’t agree more…and interestingly I found the atmosphere was the same in Australia when I arrived back in 1982 (think of the cricket team before Border as Captain…not Kim…but Marsh and the others…pretty full on types)…and I was bullied and spoken to quite abruptly by many locals for awhile cause i’d picked up a bit of a foreign accent…told to “go back where you came from” and such.

    I don’t think John Howard has a particularly good influence on this country…Treasurer then…PM for 12 years recently. Ockerism & sports-based boasting & bullying seems to prosper under his command. I noticed a big change in 87 when I returned again after a year working in the UK…& EXPO really helped bring out the best in the Australian people. Tho I guess Jo here in QLD didn’t help in the early 80s & before w/ his gruff & mean-spirited approach.

    And thx again kl for those most kind words, you are a highly articulate, intelligent & caring person yerself who obviously works very hard. Keep up the LIGHT bringing.

    OK, now i’m really hungry.
    N’

  60. Nasking at 8:05pm 16th Feb.

    I’ve been a bit busy and Blogocrats has not received the attention I’d like to give it. Hence, I just read your post.

    OMG. I thought you were talking about me!”(until I reached the part where you said you are an only child).

    But really, you could have been talking about me. The main difference is, that I don’t talk about it. I just find it too difficult. Or maybe – at my age – I’ve found a way to move on.

    I don’t know.

  61. Kitty

    “We have a national cricket renowned for it’s ’sledging’ or bullying by another name. Bullying is rife in the workplace public service institutions and in the home (domestic violence). Racism and our ill treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants is fear and prejudice, also expressed in bullying. So what does it say about Australians and our culture?”

    The results have alarmed child-health experts and education bodies, which have been running strict anti-bullying programs in schools over the past six years…

    This quote from john’s article made me think about the bullying problem (apparently the worst in the world) it reflects very much the wider issue of bullying in Australian society in general and our acceptance of it. The kids learn from their parents and wider family circle, their teachers and their peers.”

    One of my pet hates about JWH was that he was a little pathetic man wielding way too much power. He was an autocrat who had everyone around him too scared to oppose him.

    Bullying seems to be culturally accepted and glorified, in so many aspects of Australian life. Hence, the widespread problem. The only real way to address it is head on.

    I’d like to ask if yourself, N’, and others would be willing to forward this post in an email to a few editors. I’ve corresponded with them on a few occasions and know they’re interested. It simply reinforces that people do care very much about ‘bullying and the impact it has on so many lives.

    I know the Daily Telegraph and Sydney Morning Herald have and interest.
    letters@dailytelegraph.com.au
    letters@smh.com.au

    Cheers

    John Mc

  62. “But really, you could have been talking about me. The main difference is, that I don’t talk about it. I just find it too difficult. Or maybe – at my age – I’ve found a way to move on.”

    Miglo, Interesting you went thru similar episodes & behavioural responses. And yes, I’m beginning to move on myself. It’s a long journey…but a most fascinating one. Hardens you up…but softens some aspects of your character. Sometimes when I’m writing I can feel that boy, even that teen emerging again. I’ve made friends w/ them now…understand them better. We go thru so many developmental stages…morally, physically (cells being replaced continually)…

    Just thought it might provide others w/ an opportunity to speak out & feel less afraid of being “labelled” and such. There are plenty of tightly wound & archaic thinking people out there who despise males expressing their feelings & experiences. Too bad. That’s their problem. I’m over the demands & expectations of others…their perception is theirs…it doesn’t have to be mine. It’s my planet as much as theirs…plain & simple.

    I’m quite willing to discuss aspects of my experiences & feelings on occasion if assists others…as John’s opening up motivated me this time…his courage & depth of character is to be applauded…as are the comments of all those above & across the blog that have both altruistic and healing properties.

    Humanity is deeply traumatised & damaged…the past decade has added to the wounds…but we’ll adjust…improve…eventually we’ll move those few more steps forward that we need to. Think Obama…a Black man voted into the Presidency…who woulda thought it a few years back?…the American public, w/ the aid of many around the world moved the bullies aside…& gave us another chance to move on…ethically/morally progress.

    Sure I have my problems…somewhat based on chemical imbalances & past-related trauma & “abandonment” fears…but in some ways I’m a far different person than I used to be…less tolerant of stupidity & vicious acts…more willing to stand and fight for my ideological under-pinnings…and for the security & stability of my family & close friends…and there are some things I keep to myself, partially to protect those I care deeply about, sometimes for legal reasons…& of course some things are noones business bar mine, self-preservation and such. But like I said, if I can help by opening up a bit…then I’ll do what I can.

    And I failed to discuss my teenage years, meeting loyal & creative, quick-witted, imaginative, good-humoured friends in Canada, combined w/ the playing of various neighborhood-based sports & getting involved in TV making & theatre that assisted me in becoming more confident & gregarious. And years of travel & work that changed that painfully shy kid into an explorer of sorts…

    curiously searching for answers & lapping up diverse experiences in different cultures…across Canada, Europe, Britain, India, Australia etc…adapting to various environments & jobs…til eventually I attended Uni in my mid 20s…& yes, that HECS debt was a fcker to payoff…but I was proud to do so.

    We are complex individuals…& should respect ourselves & each other for the unique qualities we bring to this life…attempt to realise our potential…and bring LIGHT to where there is, once was, darkness.

    Cheers
    N’

  63. which post john?

  64. Kitty

    This post Kitty, the DT are running a campaign at the moment called ‘You Can Beat Bullies’ and from what I hear an inquiry into bullying is due to be launched soon.

    I’m a long-time activist in this area so I can’t help trying to get more and more people involved in ‘taking a stand’

    I think many of the comments attached offer some good insights and offer good feedback on impact ‘bullying’ has on people’s lives.

  65. Kitty
    From today’s DT

    Taunts turn to violence – bullying exposed
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,,25070761-5001021,00.html

    By Bruce McDougall

    February 18, 2009 12:00am

    BULLYING victims will be invited to tell their harrowing stories to a Parliamentary inquiry which has begun taking evidence.

    Since launching an anti-bullying campaign this week The Daily Telegraph has been inundated with complaints that schools and workplaces have failed to take action against the perpetrators.

    On Monday, The Daily Telegraph revealed school students were being severely bullied at a rate of more than eight a week, pushing some victims to threaten to shoot their tormentors.

    The family of one teenage male student told how their son was subjected to a series of assaults at an elite Sydney private college, which included:

    * A BROKEN arm sustained in an altercation with another student;

    * A KING hit from another student leaving him with a bruised neck and cheekbone; and

    * HARASSMENT by five students who called him an “emo” and told him to cut his own throat and wrists.

    State Parliamentary inquiry chairwoman, Coalition MP Robyn Parker said yesterday written submissions on bullying issues were being received and public hearings would be held from late next month.

    Join our anti-bullying campaign and win a $2000 video hardware package

    “We are looking for examples of good practice – what works and what doesn’t,” she said. “We will be looking at individual cases and for solutions.”

    Readers have inundated The Daily Telegraph with their own experiences of being bullied as students.

    “All throughout my school life I have been picked on,” a reader wrote.

    “As much as the advice of teachers helped me, I still had to deal with the majority of stuff on my own. I personally would like to see students coming to each others’ aid and not being silent and allowing this to happen.”

    Opposition education spokesman Adrian Piccoli accused the Government of endangering students’ lives by failing to stop to school bullying.

    Mr Piccoli said a Coalition Government would boost the number of counsellors in schools and ensure better liaison between schools and police.

    “Unfortunately it appears as though the instances of student bullying in our public schools are increasing both in frequency and severity,” he said.

  66. “I’d like to ask if yourself, N’, and others would be willing to forward this post in an email to a few editors. I’ve corresponded with them on a few occasions and know they’re interested”

    I’m not interested in contacting the Australian corporate media John. Sorry. Found this thread enlightening & stimulating…but I find the corporate media always find a way to take positive approaches and transform them into attacks on governments that support public institutions. I desire a rational discussion…not a witchhunt, the type the corporate media often enjoys manufacturing in order to increase their profit margins.

    Sorry buddy. Keep up the good work tho.
    N’

  67. No probs N’

  68. “No probs N’…”

    Thanks for understanding John. And don’t forget, you did a damn good thing bringing up this important issue on an independent site…& going w/ the flow…asking some essential questions and such. Thanks for the opportunity to express myself.

    I’m just generally allergic to the corporate news-makers…:) Apart from the odd columnist.
    N’

  69. John,

    I have seen the You Tube video a few times now and I cry too, which is why I wish to offer you and all the people here who share your view information about a remarkable individual that I GUARANTEE will make both an INSTANT & LIFE LONG impact on the youngsters (and adults) of Australia.

    Feel free to contact me at any time.
    Gary
    garylee@thescaryguy.com

  70. […] Comments Gary Lee on Bullying so bad bullied studen…jane on FROLYKZ!!!jane on A thoughtful U.S. President fo…jane on Union bites LaborDave55 […]

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