Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ZenTiger Authorities fearful about people protecting themselves

Bullying is a problem. How do the authorities respond to the news that students are arming themselves with knives to protect themselves?

The suggestion that bullying may be connected to these cases is very worrying because the alleged reaction is so extreme and violent

Will a light bulb go off? What if the reaction was considered normal because bullying was seen as extreme and violent?

The issue is that people are taking their own protection into their own hands, and this obviously has negative as well as positive downstream effects. The question is why do people feel they need to protect themselves rather than report it to "the authorities". The very authorities that are concerned people protecting themselves is a bad trend? Perhaps because the authorities have a very poor track record at protecting people from bullys?

When the comment is made that pupils were increasingly taking the law into their own hands by retaliating the comment was made: it's a reflection on our society which has an increasing disregard for the law". How offensive. It's because schools are unable to enforce the laws, the rules of conduct or carry through on any form of meaningful punishment or correction against the bullys that creates this issue in the first place.

On another page of the newspaper, an article about a hundred reported child abuse cases sitting untouched in a Wairarapa police station, a situation not unique to police stations in general - and some of these cases not investigated for 5 years now.

"Most of my inquiry files have named offenders, some of whom are probably still abusing victims, but I am resigned to the fact that is just the way it is".

So the authorities continue to be distracted with side issues and do not put the resources into following up on the serious ones.

The danger is that law enforcement always finds it easier to enforce the law on the wrong people, which just becomes another form of bullying.

7 comment(s):

KG said...

AMEN! to that!

KG said...

And really, the point is that even if the "authorities" had the resources, the skill and the will to do something about bullying (or any other crimes of violence against the individual) they can't possibly be on the spot in time to prevent them.
The only defence against violence is self-defence, by whatever means available.
The assailant has a choice--the victim doesn't.
I suspect too that teachers are still kidding themselves that a "good stern talking to" is going to deter would-be offenders. It isn't, because those types regard authority figures with contempt anyway.

Ozy Mandias said...

KG give us teachers a break. We are too busy fighting for our 4% and trying to implement pointless education standards to be worried about bullying???

Seriously, just to add a couple of my own views. The definition of bullying is becoming wider and wider. Students can claim 'bullying' for alot of things, both small and large. Now I am not saying that is wrong, as any behaviour that impacts on another is in that way is not right. What it does mean is that dealing with the issue can be hard.

As a teacher if a child comes to me and says "such and such called me a name." That can mean a lot of things. From one child that could be a cry for help, for another a cry for attention or some just mucking around. So dealing with it on an individual level is hard.

Also from my experience often it becomes a "he said, she said situation". This means that getting to the bottom of the issue is hard.

For me the overall solution to bullying is not done on an individual basis but on a larger 'culture' basis. This doesn't mean you dont deal with individual aspects but you look to educate and develop a strong antibullying culture in your school or work place.

The issue of people taking their own protection is sad and for me indicates a rather poor culture has developed in that school.

The sad reality is that bullying is seen as 'low level' on the scale of inappropriate behaviour that goes on in your local High School. If it was seen as 'extreme and violent' the ministry would soon have a problem with the amount of students on stand down and those with discipline records. Not a problem in my books as I am keen for the introduction of some rather innovative discipline procedures into our schools.

KG said...

Ozy, I'm fully prepared to concede that there are some good teachers. And that they face an uphill battle.
But the teachers I meet seem to be uniformly smug, PC types who are more interested in filling kid's heads with environmentalist garbage and a distorted leftist view of the world.
The young people I work with are uninformed,semi-literate (even those who graduated) and too uninformed even to realise how little they know.
I don't think teachers on the whole are doing a good job and I also suspect some of the violence in schools is due to the very attitudes (ie entitlement before duty, self-esteem before genuine achievement) which have been promoted by teachers.

Ozy Mandias said...

KG I would like to disagree with you but on the whole you are correct.

Your comment that teachers aren't doing a good job is interesting and we could debate till the cows come home. I dont teach a year 10 english class but even in a high decile school that is hard hard work. You have half the class who want to learn, 25% who dont care and then 25% who cause trouble.The odds are against you.

For me however it is not usually the teachers, but the educational experts, curriculum writers and our education system that is more to blame.

An example is that I have reports due in about 2 weeks. I am sure a number of my fellow teachers would love to put the following as a comment
"Jonny is rude and disrecpectful in class.He is arrogant towards teachers and support staff and has little respect for himself and others. His school work is never completed and he has poor work habits......
However, I know what would happen if I wrote a comment like that. Teachers are so controlled by the system it is not funny.

Education is now a broad term. By that I mean kids now learn almost everything but reading and writing. For some,that is good. However, I feel for most this doesn't actually help them in the long run.

Lucia Maria said...


KG said...

Thanks for the informative response, Ozy. :)
I take your point about the system--too many bureaucrats with their fingers in the pie and those at the coalface have been systematically disempowered.
At the heart of the problem is the current inability to face problems squarely and call them for what they are. You can't defeat or fix what you can't name.

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