Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bullycide - The Bullying Continues In Our Schools

 BULLYCIDE - The Bullying Continues

Bullycide is a term that describes the tragic taking of ones own life as a result of bullying.  Some of my readers can remember from August 2013 I wrote a post about one such Bullycide that occurred in the Greenwich CT Public Schools system.  A young boy killed himself at the commencement of school after summer break.  This was a tragic case of a student suffering incessant long term bullying.  This suffering student telegraphed his fears to fellow students, school officials, and even posted on facebook his music request for his impending funeral.  Bullying in our schools and workplaces is a big problem.  The insidious act of bullying is a more widespread and serious problem than most parents realize.  School districts and school boards have a vested interest in keeping reports of in-school bullying close to the vest and will cover for and protect not only the victim but also perpetrators under the guise of "protecting the student".  This results in gross under-reporting of incidents on campus.  Make no mistake about it - Bullying continues on school campuses across the country as sure as these campuses of rampant torture are awarding teachers as "Teacher of the Year".

According to bullyingstatistics.org, for year 2010, 30% of students 6th through 10th grades experience bullying as either a victim or bully.  That is 1 out of 3 students exposed first person to bullying.  I myself was victim to physical bullying as a young boy in middle school.  No wonder we have Police officers dedicated to school campuses.  Bullying in schools is such a large problem as many as 70% of students in public schools acknowledge that bullying is an ongoing problem.  As kids get older and progress to college bullying also follows them their in the form of hazing rituals whereby serious injury and death are common conclusions to hazing activities.  Something needs to be done.  Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst children under 14 years of age. With the massive influx of children from neighboring Mexico and South American countries the epidemic of bullying in our country is only going to get worse and the inherent yearn for school officials and main stream media to hide such bullying incidents is only going to get stronger. 

Become Informed
What can we do as parents and grand parents of children school age and older?
Look up information on bullying.  Learn what forms and types of activities that occur on campus and off which constitute bullying.
Even subtle name calling which continues for long periods is harmful.
Gather  as much info as possible on the school district you are concerned with in respect to incidents on campus.
Attend school board meetings, ask questions, request documentation and statistics on bully cases, raise issues, and hold school board officials accountable for issues happening on school property.

Protect Your Child and Grandchildren
If you ask school officials what you can do to protect your child against bullying you will get weak responses and diversion from reality.  Don't bother asking.  You will be labeled a troublemaker.  School literature such as student and parent handbooks will give the impression that all is well, your child is safe, and officials are trained and equipped to handle bullying cases effectively.  That is a half true pile of bunk.  School officials are trained more on damage control than protecting little Jane or John while in their charge.  So, what can you do?  Take heed of these guidelines that are common sense, empowering, and self supporting of your child taking an active role in self protection rather than simply encouraging your child to report what they see and feel.

Talk to your child about bullying and the different forms of such behavior.
Talk to your child about protecting ones self and not to rely on school officials to protect them.
Learn about situational awareness yourself so you can teach your child.  No one else is going to teach this to them.
Practice makes perfect.  Practice through drills of demonstrating bully tactics with your child.  Have your child act both the bully and the victim.  This includes physical contact as well as verbal and electronic bullying.  If you are not capable of the physical training get your child enrolled in a practical self defense training course.  See below on how to evaluate a self defense, Karate type school for your child that will teach reality based skills.
Train your child to be resourceful with materials that can be used in a self defense situation if necessary.
Teach flight or fight response.  It's ok to run.  Sometimes that is not an option.
Equip your child for school.  You can't send little Billy to school with a club, brass knuckles, or a gun.  You can send him or her with non-lethal practical tools to protect and instill confidence.  See below my list of items every child should have on them or in their back pack.
Most importantly teach your child about what to do if bullying happens to them.  What to do if they have no choice but too physically defend themselves against an attacker.  Most important is to tell your child you are their protector and advocate.  No matter what the circumstance or predicament they are to say nothing to anyone until you join them at the school.  Nothing means nothing beyond Name and your contact number.  No details, no names, no lies. Nothing.

Lets say you prepare your child and you did it well.  Bullying has occurred and your child has witnessed it or is the victim.  Your child had no option but to use self defense against an attacker and felt his or her life was in danger.  Training really paid off.  Not only did your child defend but now the attacker has serious injury or worse had to be taken off campus in an ambulance.  It is imperative that your child clam up.  At that point Police involvement is a necessity.  So will legal representation for you and your child. Clam up, shut up, and keep quiet until Mommy or Daddy get there or your attorney arrives whether at the principles office or heaven forbid Police Station.  Prepare your child for the worst.  As a parent, walk you child off campus post incident if possible.  Say nothing if possible or at minimum state your name, relationship to the [your]child, and your child was fearful of "serious bodily harm".  If there is police presence and leaving is not an option everyone clam up until you can lawyer-up.

Here is my list of items you can equip your student with to protect and command self confidence.
  • A pocket Spy pen; USB memory with camera.  The police wear body cameras.  Why not your child. Remember no inappropriate use and only for capturing evidence of bullying, bad behavior, or attacks.
  • Keys on a key ring with at least three keys.  One key in-between each finger.  Johnny can't have brass knuckles but a fist full of keys is almost as good.
  • A good solid metal pen.  You can't equip a knife in your child's bag but a good sturdy steel cased pen is almost as good.  Learn and teach various strike points to your child for such an improvised weapon.
  • A strong draw string bag.  One that can hold some money-coins, keys, or some other heavy and dense object or improvised with items such as a rock, can of soda, bottle of water, etc.  This can be swung at an attacker with devastating results.  Attach the bag to a belt from around the waste, swing with great velocity, and an attacker is going down quick.
  • How about a small bottle of artist ink, the darker the better.  The bottle can be opened and splashed on an attacker even in the dark.  This will positively identify the bully attacker or even teacher with the roaming hands of a pervert.
  • How about a loud audible personal alarm.  These 70+ decibel screamers are an excellent distraction.
These are all legal, non threatening, non-violent passive tools of protection your child can carry on their person.  However you can train you child to use what is available within their reach as a weapon or distraction as well.  A broom handle, dust pan, chair, lunch box,  some hard dense object, or anything that can be implemented as a self defense weapon.  Schools are full of safety equipment that can be used as a last ditch effort to defend, distract, or deflect an attacker.  Fire extinguishers are excellent pieces of equipment.  Especially the dry chemical types can blast an air depriving blast of powder in an attackers face.  Fire alarm pulls can be a great distraction as well in a dire circumstance.  When your daughters or sons life depends on quick action all is fare.  Teach them to use what is available and don't be a victim.  That is why school buses particularly scare me.  With a distracted driver struggling to keep 4 tons of metal in control, some bully's surround your child, and then start the pummeling.  The school bus environment is a very risky place for an unprepared child to be in.

The School District of Shame and Awards
So what about the School District in Greenwich CT almost 2 years after a student was tortured to death in classrooms and hallways?  Since my post in August 2013, the school district has posted all school board meeting Minutes and is up to date.  After a few mentions in school board meeting minutes containing some empty promises and pep-talk memos to school staff and concerned parents does anyone think the kids are any safer than before this terrible tragedy took place in 2013?  You would think that a school district that lost a child to bullying would take active measures to get staff training, document monitoring of bully activities on school property, and report progress in School Board Meeting minutes.  Well think again.  No such activity commenced after this poor child was tortured to death in the hallways and classrooms.  Since the burial of that poor student in Aug 2013, nearly 14 teachers in that child's school district have been congratulated as Teacher of the Year.  You can rest assured that the teachers are covering for themselves and are getting their pay raises.  They could not care less about the bully crimes on-going in the school.

More and more there are stories on mainstream news mediums about teachers abusing trust granted to them and perpetrating horrible crimes of abuse such as molestation, cruelty, and rape.  These are some of the most dangerous bully's with access to our children.  Teachers having "affairs" and resultant pregnancies with students is sick.  School districts prepare students for this insidious festering atrocity by assigning reading lessons containing sexually explicit stories of rape, incest, homosexuality, and even bestiality.  All under the guise of a nurturing learning environment.  Take a gander at little Johnnie's reading list.  Then go to open school night and orate the worst sexually explicit dialogue from the reading list, article, or distributed pamphlet.  Likely, you would be threatened with prosecution for lewd behavior if you did that in the kids play area of your local fast food restaurant.  Why is it acceptable for your child to read that material while alone but if read out loud at a school board meeting  it is not.  Schools have become sewers containing some of the worst behavior of human kind.  Protect your child.  Prepare your child.  Prepare yourself.

Martial Arts Training
Get your child some professional training in self defense techniques with a practical martial arts school.  Navigating the multitudes of schools available practically on every street corner can be an arduous task.  When selecting a school for your child keep in mind the purpose for that school and your child.  Not babysitting, not someplace to go after school until you get off work, not a club, and definitely not a school boasting a huge pile of trophies in the front window.  Ask friends, neighbors, acquaintances about schools in the area and if their kids go to those schools.  Inquire about the schools philosophy, instructors, structured curriculum, and training activities before even asking about cost.  Run a background check on the instructor(s) before enrolling your child.  Here are some things to look for when deciding on a martial arts school.
  1. Does training occur always with bare feet?  This is a big mistake.  In the "Real world" bare feat self defense only happens at the beach or pool.  Training with street shoes, school shoes, sneakers is imperative, real world, and practical.
  2. Is training always in the classroom?  Dojo?  Again real world is not the Dojo.  Training in a public park, on different surfaces, and close quarters is ideal.  Remember the school bus scenario?
  3. Is situational awareness taught along with the fighting disciplines?  This is incredibly important.  Knowing your surroundings and risks can be half the battle of keeping one safe.
  4. You want a well rounded training for your child and one that will prepare for real life situations.  Bringing home a bunch of trophies because your kid is quicker than a matched opponent at slapping an arm or leg is not going to protect anything.
Be safe my friends.  Click the links below for more information about the epidemic of bullying across our nation.


bullyingstatistics.org
teencentral.net
Megan Meier Foundation
www.ncjrs.gov
www.sheriff.org
Spytecinc.com
Brickhousesecurity.com
Blackbelt daily self-defense



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