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Monday, November 14, 2005

Bullying in Schools

Bullying in schools is becoming more and more prolific; children are subjecting each other to horrific attacks. What is going on and where is this coming from?

I think I have an insight into what is happening. Teachers are in a sulk. They are no longer allowed to hit children as a form of “discipline” So what can they do? They could apply a fair and just set of sanctions for unruly behaviour, children could be rewarded for good behaviour by a Star or points system. This system, again, to be applied fairly.

They have apparently decided not to do this and instead to keep order they play mind games with the children. They are bitchy to the girls and patronising to the boys. Teachers keep children in a permanent state of confusion as to what will happen and how they will be treated. If a child should object to this behaviour teachers will single out that child for special treatment. Yes the teacher will bully the child.

Bullying affects all children, not only the child being bullied but children observing the bullying will think that it’s OK to bully they know the teacher doesn’t like the child they are bullying and will believe that is how people we don’t like, for whatever reason, should be treated.

Why are the children who bully so frustrated and angry? The scale of the current attacks which are both prolonged and frenzied would seem to indicate quite a degree of bottled up aggression, I believe it is because of the behaviour of the teachers, children have a strong sense of fair play, they also understand when people are being unkind. Bullying tactics from adults are bound to upset children.

(I hesitate to add this but it is one of the characteristics of Indigo children that they understand that what hurts one of us hurts us all, they will react to unfairness by displaying anger and sometimes, this anger will be misdirected.)

Why is it that every time a child is bullied we are exhorted to look outside the school, to the television, to the “bullying culture” in society, to the behaviour of parents “No, no there’s no bullying here” head teachers declare. Government sanctions more powers for schools. I think it’s time we looked into the schools, into the behaviour of teachers, how are children treated by adults at school?

I believe a lot of people would be shocked, not least by the number of times teaching staff will undermine parents, “Your dad doesn’t know everything” “Your mum isn’t always right” etc. It’s about time society really looked at teachers, their abilities, their attitude and their knowledge and understanding of life. They have a huge responsibility to parents to ensure that children are treated fairly at school, that they do not undermine parents, and that they do teach our children to the best of their ability.

Teacher is not always right, I think our grandparents had the right idea when they referred to teachers as “Little tin gods” “Men amongst boys, boys amongst men” They said of teachers “Those who can do and those that can’t teach” They looked into the behaviour of a child’s teacher and reacted accordingly.

Once society stops treating teachers like little tin gods and again bears in mind that teachers and children are human after all, we may begin to address the problem of children hurting each other at school. Until then we are just wading through the smokescreen.

That does seem to be the plan though, isn’t it Mr Blair?

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