Friday, August 30, 2013

The Science of Bully Management in a School District; F- What a failure!

Bullying is a serious issue 

 Days after Suicide allegations arise about school district ignoring warning signs of bullying abuse!

Like it or not, realize it or not, bullying behavior is everywhere.  There is bullying in the workplace, bullying in College, and bullying in primary and secondary education.  Have you ever visited a nursing home? You will find bullying there too!  Nursing home residents may not recognize family members or be able to tell you what is on the dinner plate in front of them but rest assured when you go home they go on a bullying mission or get bullied by others and get hurt. Slips and falls, scrapes and bruises, minor skirmishes? Yeah right.  I know because I have been there, seen it, and well it is not pretty.

Bullying in the workplace is a high stakes game though  


The stakes are high because listen we are all adults here - adults play for keeps.  Sooner or later the habitual workplace bully is going to wind up in a dumpster because most adults don't stand for that kind of behavior.  Every year stories fill the pages of newspapers of someone murdered, left for dead, and everyone is clueless as to why such a thing would happen.  Ever think that the "Victim" was a victim of retribution?  Goin' Postal is the term for a workplace incident of violence but not like the Dr. Nidal Hasan kind of violence.  I mean the guy who has been pushed so far he doesn't care who is in the way - the goal is to get the bully target.  If the bully steals your lolli-pop you go get another pop.  When the bully steals your pay raise, bonus, vacation, benefit, etc, it can get real ugly real fast.

It is a sad reality that young people can viciously and relentlessly bully schoolmates till a grievous end.  So hence we have another story of a child suffering at the hands of bully(s) until a disastrous end of the story is reached.  A suicide committed by a young person in such a despairing condition it is hard to realize the anguish this child must have endured to inflict such a retribution on ones self just to rid oneself of the bully(s).  I am talking about the case of a 15 year old student attending school at Greenwich High School who committed suicide after attending first day of school post summer vacation.  How sad...   Of course, school district officials  have no idea how such a thing could happen.  They are just tickled pink the bullied student did not neutralize the bully permanently on school property.  They are head scratching and searching desperately for answers so this will not happen to any of the other students.  "How could this happen?"  "What can we do to prevent in the future?"  Let me tell you from experience how this can happen.  I am not trying to tell anyone here that I have cornered the market of bully victimization, No- by no stretch of imagination.  I can give first person account of bully activity in middle school, continued to high school, and then again in the workplace.

School Bullying is not a secret 


School bullying is not as secretive as school officials make it sound that they had no idea little Johnny was being bullied, or little Jane has been having her lunch money stolen by the same kid day after day after day.  The big kid in the class copying test work in class from other smaller meek students. Being manipulated by another person in any shape or fashion is bullying. Some bullying is often overlooked as Kids just getting along and settling into social network.  Situations such as kids having books knocked out of their hands, getting locked in your own locker, embarrassment, ridicule, coercion and theft by taking.  These situations are often overlooked by school officials, staff, and teachers which are treated as non-incidents of social behavior.  "The kids just have to learn to get along".  Well, kids are not the same now as when I was in their bullied shoes way back when.  Social media, electro-magnetic communication devices (Cell-Phones), and computers bring a large world down to a smaller size.

Unfortunately, these mediums also make it easier for the bully to become even more insidious, more aggressive, and even more dangerous.  There have been cases recently where parents of students have bullied other students at the same school by way of twitter, facebook, and other social media platforms.  When this happens and nothing is done, the victim is helplessly in a downward spiral of despair, depression, and self blame.  The child can think that there is something inherent in their nature, their disposition, or personality that warrants bully(s) to bully them.  When there is no resolution, no relief, no improvement in condition, drastic measures are taken.  In this case, there was social media evidence that something was wrong.  There was even warning that something was going to happen.  Something did happen.  The bully won.  The victim lost...but did he?  Maybe he is now in a far better place than a school building full of adults and school mates that turn a blind eye to see what the bully is doing today and chuckle at what the bully has just perpetrated.  Teachers looking the other way with self reflection "I wish these kids would just get along - maybe by next week they will be texting each other?"  Stupidity!  A oozing festering wound of  systemic mis-management, malfeasance, and incompetence leads to the death of so many of our children mandated to attend school districts that harm and permanently affect young people for life.  Some resources indicate that up to 75% of students in public schools witness bullying.  20% of students report bullying incidents or admit they have bullied others.  That is a lot of bullying going on.


Yes - I am talking about the Public School System in this country

We are not teaching young people how to be self assertive, smart, self reliant, productive adults in public schools.  No - we are teaching them tricks like how to get away with bad behavior, survival of the fittest,  and kill or be killed.  There is no discipline anymore.  Years ago we were ashamed to get into trouble.  Now, parents teach their kids that they can do whatever they want, not get in trouble, and the school officials reinforce that social pathology.  The hallways of these schools are retched battlefields full of rogue individuals equivalent to Genghis Khan, renegades pillaging and raping the innocence from our children.  It cannot be stopped.  Not with present School Administration techniques in place to help administrators manage a system out of control, spending gobs of money, completing satisfaction surveys to prove good is happening overall for the "average" student in attendance.

What a bunch of malarkey!  Here is a short little touching school story.  I had my head punched so hard one day in middle school I dropped my books and fell helplessly to the floor only to look up and see a teacher walking away that was just walking toward me a moment ago.  This bastard teacher was actually running from me after I was assaulted!  I guess he was on his way to lunch and could not be bothered.  I did have one good day in two years of middle school though.  Instead of a teacher coming to my aid, a fellow student that I knew of just an acquaintance in class, stood up after I was slapped in the back of my head by the bully [same one all the time]; and then proceeded to pick the bully up and throw him over some desks.  He used to lift weights and could bench press a small car! Gee-Whiz the teacher did something then!  He dragged my hero down to the principles office for "causing a disturbance" in class.

This is a tragic story about a young man bullied to the point of no help, no return, total despair, and desperation. It is not about me.  But what disgusts me as well is the stance of the school officials where this student attended school.  "We don't know how this could have happened"?  We are deeply concerned for the student body and will take steps to make sure this does not happen to any other students?"  Well let me tell you something about this school district...
  • Student body = 8,800 students total
  • 2013-2014 budget = $142 million up 2% from 2012-2013 budget
  • Psychologists are assigned to each school building
  • A RISE (Racial Imbalance) task force is in place because minority students are greater than 25% of student population
  • A Harris Survey process costing $42,000 per year is administered to ascertain student, faculty, parent, and taxpayer satisfaction with the school district
  • For the April 2012 poll  - Only 33% of parents completed the survey
  • Only 66% of teachers completed the survey
  • 94% of grade 3-5 students  completed the survey
  • 86% of grade 6-12 students completed the survey
  • Average Satisfaction of the school district was -2.57% less than Harris Benchmark
  • The School District website was last updated with a general school news report on 7/18/2008
  • On April 13, 2013 an executive school board meeting was conducted with presence of the Chief and a Sergeant from the Greenwich Police Department

If I was a resident living in Greenwich Connecticut I would be pissed!  I don't live there and I am still pissed.  That school district spends over $16,000 per student and can't figure out that the kids are so miserable they [students] are destroying themselves literally.  A school staff so hell bent on making sure kids don't draw a picture of a gun on paper, and carry a key chain to school, that they don't pay attention to what the hell is going on down the hall.  Oh ok, the staff can't keep a full set of eyes on the playground activities but what about that social media.  This poor kid was miserable for years.  Every school year picked on, bullied, suffering immeasurable anguish and nobody knew a thing?  The student posted on social media a final music request for his impending funeral service.  This is not just an aberration of the poor school district of Greenwich Public School.  How terrible, the school district was caught up in such a tragedy.

What bunk!  It is school districts that foster an environment of hostility, aggression, and neglectful behavior amongst students so much so that kids are driven to extreme emotional distress day after day.  Students these days have to protect themselves from teachers; the abuse, the groping, the sexual advances.  And society tolerates this.  These school officials see these kids walking the halls, head down, emotional distress on their faces day after day and do nothing.  These are kids for goodness sake.  When I was bullied I not only wanted to hurt the bully bad I also wanted to kick that teacher in the groin for running away from me.  What did that teach me?  Don't rely and you can't rely on institutions in general to look out for your safety and well being even though the hogwash in worthless charters says the safety of students, the well being, and the supportive environment of the school is most important.  I want to puke.  So what advice do I have with this rant?


 Teach Your Child Not To Be Be A Victim

  • Teach your children they have to rely on you and themselves for their own safety
  • Get your children trained to protect themselves with nothing more than their hands and feet
  • Teach your children to use those skills judiciously and efficiently and say nothing afterward 
  • Instruct your children to Say Nothing!  That will force an overzealous school official to call you promptly when there is trouble and little Johnny or Janet clams up.
  • Teach your children to stand up for themselves and to be resourceful in different situations
  • Lets face it the school is a lions den of danger; don't kid yourself.
  • A resourceful kid, confident, respectful, and able to protect himself or herself from the pint sized bully or the molesting teacher, all the same.  Protect self, inflict damage where necessary, clam up until Mommy or Daddy arrive.
  • Most of all teach your children to be respectful.  Even when there is trouble headed their way.  Teach them to be calm, act swiftly, and again say nothing post trauma.
  • Run practice drills with your children, repetition will reinforce necessary action and taper response to protect only and not permanently injure.  Yes this is serious stuff.  Treat it like such.
  • Seek professional training of you can afford it.
  • Maintain a relationship with a good attorney, you may need that as well.

The poor student who committed suicide telegraphed his intentions days before he took his own life. He communicated his anguish thoroughly that someone - Anyone should have stepped in and intervened.  Life is precious.  The innocence of a child can never be returned whole after being devastated by school based violence, coercion, bullying, and the insidious heinous  act of child abuse at the hands of school officials, teachers, and parents.

Take care of your children.  Don't be fooled by school officials telling you the school is safe.  Nothing could be more contrary from the truth.

Scott R. Mayorga  A.A.S. BS MT(ASCP)H CLS


sharlene said...

You hit it Scott!!!!
I posted a comment, but I am not sure that I did it correctly, so here I go again.
I do worry about bullying in our schools. Since Tom and I do not make enough to send our children to private school, we try to compensate on our own. We have taught them to keep their hands to themselves and if another student is bothering them, you tell the teacher. We are also well aware that our boys will forget this rule on occasion. I believe that most parents just believe that their child is a perfect little "angel". When in reality, maybe the "fallen angel". We know better, so when we get that report that one of our boys hit another, we are not afraid to "tear that behind up". I also believe that the words "I'm going to tell your father" no longer has any meaning. The family dynamic no longer has a meaning in some of these children. Anyway good article.

Scott Mayorga said...

Sharlene - Strong parenting skills is lacking in society of today. Fortunately for you and Tom the boys have a great head start to becoming grand young men in their development due to the excellent examples and role models they have in you and Tom.
Your children are beautiful and special for that reason alone. I have feelings of respect and admiration for you and Tom as great parents with outstanding boys.

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