Bully For You? Bull $#!+

 

For an unbearably long time, my homeland’s K-12 schools… and their worldwide equivalents… have been the breeding grounds / training camp sites for bullies. Considering how the inter-generational cycle of abuse tends to kick in (pun intended), what becomes of the once-upon-a-time abused when they become… oh… say… today’s public / private school staffers? Well… in that capacity / incapacity… they oft either practically wink their approval at each new crop of bully bastards… or turn a blind eye to them.

It’s almost as if some educators’ measure of “scholastic achievement” focuses upon how effectively bullies can irreparably scar their victims (both emotionally and physically). Hmmm… instead of the failing grade bullies deserve, do they award them with an A+? Is extra credit assessed if the victims need [1] hospitalization… [2] a shrink… [3] a visit from the undertaker?

Adding insult to the victim injuries… on the rare instances where a tormented student does strike back… almost invariably… school personnel punish ONLY the retaliator (to the further delight of each bully). Hell… were school staffers’ favoritism any more blatant, the playground and hall monitors would be charging admission to the bullies’ verbal and physical attacks.

Perhaps such assessments are too cynical? Too harsh?

Let’s be fair here. Let’s look at this from the teacher’s side of the desk. Many underpaid educators are so overworked and over-stressed, it’s inevitable that they’d become nose-blind to the bully stench… to the point where the victims start falling through the cracks.

And, when victims’ only remaining options boil down to fight or flight… especially if it’s the latter… that’s when further damage kicks in (again, pun intended). Once these kids start feigning illness to avoid going to school… this all but guarantees both academic and developmental stunting / stagnation.

Let’s consider what happens once abused, stunted students eventually enter… no… strike that… DON’T enter grown-up society…

Social isolation… their learned response… to varying degrees… becomes their way of life. Such deep-down emotional stains don’t fade with time, either. And most assuredly, that’s no way to go through life! Hell… that’s not life at all!

Long Sigh….

I’m certain there are hundreds of thousands of bullying victims spanning our entire globe… each one waking up each new day wondering…

“Who might I have become… how much further ahead in life might I have gone… had insensitive school personnel heard my literal cries for help… had they come to my defense instead of enabling my tormentors’ indefensible, socially unacceptable behavior?”

How can I be so certain? Well… did you notice that above blockquote’s beginning / ending punctuation?

That’s me talking. That’s the very question I’ve been asking myself for the past 50+ years!

 

 

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Elise Ecklund vs. UnSocial Media ~ Vid of the Day

 

To keep this (mostly) on a positive note…

Mega-kudos to you, Ms. Ecklund! I commend you for your mastery of the ukulele, limitless singing talent, pleasant cheerful speaking voice and clever witty manner you’ve utilized to cope with ill-mannered comment posters and their absolutely inaccurate, totally uncalled for rude and vulgar remarks.

I cannot begin to fathom what motivates some individuals. Mind you… they login to a SOCIAL media platform, check their manners at the door and then go out of their way to single out and unleash their UNSOCIABLE tirades against an obviously wonderful, beautiful human being… such as you.

It would appear that such individuals are either unaware of… or have chosen to defy… the following wisdom…

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

That said, I am so glad that you were able to use their own words to illustrate your point… to morph their negatives into something positive… to make this a teaching moment… to deliver your much needed lesson of kindness all across the www.

We can only hope that hearing their own words will help them reclaim their hearts, take your message to heart and establish some semblance of civility.

 

Four-Play (Week #11) (Dedicated To All Bullying Victims)

Welcome to my eleventh Internet Blogcast. Duly saddened by recent events where cyber bullies have been attacking the defenseless, four-year-young Blue Ivy… daughter of Beyoncé… and in consideration of the fact that, with September upon us, the new school year is starting for millions of kids… this week I’m featuring four anti-bullying themed tracks.

As a “survivor” of five years worth of self esteem obliterating, grade school bullying… well… I think you can understand my motivation for utilizing music to set the record straight re this societal scourge. I won’t get into the details of my own horror stories since I’ve already blogged about them HERE.

As a DJ, I realize that most of us desire music, which provides escapism from life’s problems. However, considering that there’s little to no escape for bullying victims, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we all give these tracks the attention they truly deserve. Hopefully this music will raise awareness of the problem be you a parent or a school kid… or “just” someone who really gives a damn.

Since the song lyrics speak for themselves… that’s my cue to shut up and deliver the goods… well… except for performing some routine, blogcast housekeeping duties…

I’m now down to two remaining programs in my experimental 13 week run. I encourage you to give me a listen again… you never can tell what you’ll be hearing seven days from now.

For any of you who may’ve missed past blogcasts and/or would like to hear previous shows again, they’re all neatly archived in my music category.

Blog response will be akin to Arbitron / Nielsen “radio ratings”… so… if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, click that “Like” Star. Of course, comments (as well as song requests) are always welcome, too!

 

Mark Wills ~ Don’t Laugh At Me

Rachael Lynn ~ Dare To Be Different

Keenan West ~ Never Ever

Michael & Marisa ~ The Same

 

Bullying: Gateway “Drug” To Terrorism

While serving out my life sentence here on Earth, I’ve been singled out, verbally abused, spat on, sucker punched and blindsided. No… that is not my résumé and filled out application to the Vatican… ISO Canonization. No… I am not lobbying to win an Oscar in the “best supporting martyr” and/or “best original tragedy” categories.

And it’s just as well that I’m not actually seeking any of the above accolades. After all… one of the prerequisites for attaining sainthood is being dead. Ergo, that job interview with the Pope ain’t gonna happen (he wouldn’t hear me out when I’m alive and couldn’t hear me out after I’m dead). Furthermore, since I’m only acting happy in the real world… not on the Hollywood big screen, there’d be no red-carpeted ceremonies, awarded statues and acceptance speeches… especially since those categories I typed out above are actually non-existent.

Beyond that… I would never set foot on a carpet dyed red with my own blood… never want any awards to remind me of all the abuse I had suffered… never thank my tormentors for having made THAT all possible.

So… why start out my blog that way? Well, that’s to establish my credibility in addressing today’s topic… bullying. Now… before I go on…

For any parent who suspects or knows their kid is being bullied, don’t ever dismiss this as “Oh… it’s only a phase” and/or “It’s just a part of growing up.” Bullying can occur wherever your kid goes… even online. Take whatever actions are necessary to end this wide-awake nightmare… even if you have to get an assist from your local police department. YES, it REALLY IS that serious! 

My best advice to a kid who is being bullied… tell a parent, a friend’s parent, every teacher, coach, principal, vice principal, security guard and cop you can find… and don’t stop telling until someone listens. Trust me… I know it can be tough… but you must keep trying. There’s no need to let bullies ruin your life the way they ruined mine.

Yes, I am a survivor of being bullied, however, this is a double-edged sword phenomenon. Once the realization sets in that no amount of sympathy and time ever fully heals the deeply gouged, emotional wounds, the matter of survival almost becomes secondary.

As proof of that ~ For me, those above listed attacks had started in the fourth grade and did not begin to ease up until my high school freshman year… yet… here I blog about these incidents half a century later… still feeling the anguish.

What hurts even worse than that is my knowing that the people who should’ve helped me through those rough times had all turned a deaf ear to my cries for help.

My teacher, Mrs. L… even with my forehead’s visible knot and bleeding scrapes and contusions before her very eyes… had callously deadpanned, “It takes two to make a fight”… her implication being that my having been attacked had, somehow, been what? My own fault?

Well I had assured her then… as I assure you now… I had not fought back AND the only way I had provoked that bully was by merely showing up at school. Of course, for me to fly beneath any bully’s radar was next to impossible.

My principal, Mr. R… after reading the letter where my Dad had demanded that he put an end to this bullying… had replied in a unique, totally irresponsible and insensitive way. I had just taken a bite out my sandwich when he waltzed into the lunchroom and came over to my table to say, “Follow me.”

He marched me to the front of my school’s cafeteria, turned on the figurative, center stage spotlight and then, while hundreds of my classmates watched intently, he wagged his pointing finger within mere inches of my horrified face and verbally assaulted me… humiliated me… for what seemed to be an eternity. You see, in his addled mind, his school had no bullying problem and that could only mean that I was a liar.

At that precise moment he had become the biggest bully in that entire school. And once those like-minded “students” had realized that even the principal hated me / was on their side… well… need I even finish that sentence?

At that point, I was feeling nauseous… almost to the point of throwing up all over Mr. R… I wish I had. When it was finally over, after my classmates had rushed out the exits for our afternoon recess, I sat back down at my table… all alone. Staring down at my lunchbox I waited to see if my appetite would return. I wound up tossing that food into the garbage can.

I then managed to find a remote spot on the playground far away from my classmates… and as the minutes ticked down, dreaded going back inside for afternoon classes. The icy cold grip of the season and social isolation both numbed me. I was convinced that any friends, who I once had, were now siding with the bullies, too.

From that day onward, I kept a low profile… used every minor illness (and even feigned some) as an excuse to stay home from school… and I did miss a lot.

Fortunately, both of my parents had their degrees in education (My mother had briefly taught English and Literature prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom / my father’s career as a Science and Math instructor spanned four decades). I have their home schooling efforts to credit for keeping me current in my schoolwork AND on the “All-A” Honor Roll.

Nonetheless, I was missing out on the more positive aspects of social interaction with my non-bullying classmates. Home schooling, by its very nature, does preclude  that.

At least my parents had been there for me… had the circumstances been otherwise, I could’ve easily wound up becoming an Elementary school dropout. Hell, I might’ve run away from home or even committed suicide.

Sadly… my real life story / tragedy is far from original ~ Countless others, throughout the wretched history of humankind, have suffered far worse indignities than I have… at levels of severity inclusive of their being denied their basic human right to a peaceable, natural death.

It’s not too strong a statement to say… when teachers and principals fail to order bullies to stand down, that can only embolden them. Bullies will easily misinterpret an absence of any discipline as being tacit approval of their socially unacceptable behavior.

It’s not too strong a statement to say… today’s bully has all the necessary “job skills” to become tomorrow’s terrorist… be that the lone wolf who opens fire on an Elementary School… be that an al Qaeda operative who kamikazes a jet into high-rise architecture… be that a ringleader, rabblerousing presidential candidate who fans the flames of deadly hate crimes all across our once great land… and outward to every corner of our world.

Although each incident’s MO and body count particulars will differ… it’s all the same old sh–!.

 

Blog revisions posted on 03/28/2016 @ 18:29