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    D.Hughes
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    Bullying

    Post by D.Hughes on Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:46 pm

    i read an interesting letter in MAI today, and id like to share it and put it up for discussion...

    whilst reading the june issue of MAI and reading the excllent article by steve rowe, about the young lad being bullied and harassed at school i found it struck many notes with m about the state of things in schools. one issue i found is that the article describes the near physical attacks simon recieves, these include spitting, sticking notes on his back, bumping into him etc.how do you think these can be addressed? they are clearly bullying devices yet not sever enough to be viewed by schools as a major bullying issue.
    it is my opinion that these common school yard approaches to near physical bullying need to be addressed by martial arts instructors. i have veiwed a fair few anti-bullying martial arts class's/seminars, yet none have addressed what to do in these middle stages of conflict and systematic bullying. often they train to resolve physical attacks of the punch/grab variety and address aspects of verbal dissuasion. yet how often do you see training to deal with the sneaky things that can be gotten away with in the eyes of many schools and these very slighting strikes and knocks do not allow for the child striking back without facing punishment from the school system.
    i think it is an issue that needs to be addressed and trained for, whether this is by RBSD type scenario work or somesuch, no matter what the style i think these are essential things to train against.
    As, if slighting attacks such as shoulder barging, spitting, and pushing are allowed to continue they are generally followed by more violent attacks when the bullies are more comfortable with what they can get away with.


    so how do you guys think this issue should be addressed?
    IMO, this should turn out to be a very interesting discussion.

    Rick.


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    Al Peasland
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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Al Peasland on Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:36 pm

    This is only a generalisation, so will not apply to all situations but in my opinion, the bully is only going to pick on and harass individuals that he thinks he can beat.

    It's not the type of attack that the bully uses, more the fact that he has selected a certain individual on whom he thinks he can get away with this kind of tactic.

    That individual will usually be underconfident, shy, quiet, timid, etc etc
    Classic characteristics of a bullies prime target.

    So it doesn't matter whether the attacks are sneaky pushes and shoves, or outright whacks and kicks. The one being victimised is probably there because of their own body language and mental state in the first place.

    It is this that we chould change - not the types of counter aggressive moves.

    The physical training will help develop that change in character and attitude in the bullied to help them avoid and not become part of the selection pool for the bully in the first place.

    Obviously, it's never as simple as this, and if the bullying has already begun then it may require a more forceful effort to stop it in it's tracks.

    Probably not said this how it sounds in my head - a long weekend means my fingers aren't quite doing what my head wants them too at the moment :-) (no jokes please Mr T)

    cheers

    Guest
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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Guest on Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:51 pm

    Nice one Al,

    My son himself went through this and to a certain extent still in. My son Ryan is 13 now and has been training on and off with me since he was about 9 or 10. He has done Aikido, and now wants to do boxing when he makes his mind up I shall take him a long, however, he is as Al said, Shy, Timid, very polite and well mannered, but because he is not boistrous like his friends he tends to get most of the crap when it is kicked.

    He tends to shrug it off and walk away, but he has been caught on a couple of occasions where he was left no choice but to take a physical approach. This was AFTER, he had told me, and jayne, his teachers, there had been meetings at the school and with the child in question's parents and relatives. still nothing got solved.

    He is no rocky marciano but can pack a punch when he needs to, but prefers to walk away and sort it out via other means. this has labelled him as being a wimp, chicken, coward etc etc. however his comment to me was. " I dont like fighting, I dont want to fight, and I dont want to hurt anyone " so he would rather find other means to do so. before he had done any training he would not talk about it and we were prone to temper outbursts and general disbehaviour. Now he has the self control, well mostly as much as a 13 year old boy can have. but knows now fighting is a last resort and there are other means to control it and he is much more confident in himself.

    I think Al hit the nail on the head, and even with children its target hardening just from an earlier age. Showing them they are not as weak as other make out, and by training or whatever pursuit boost their confidence to be able to walk head held high and deal with it the right way.

    It is a difficult subject to cover all the angles on, but keep the answers coming.

    Craig
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    Abnett

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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Abnett on Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:12 pm

    How did this topic go quiet? I agree with Al and Craig's comments. My mrs daughter is experiencing difficulty in the transition to her new school and comes home complaining shes being pushed around. She's 5 next week and does like to give my puch bag a good thrashing to let out the anger. Her teachers say she's quite forward with her attitude but is very well mannered. However, she's reluctant to stand up to the people pushing her around. I had similar problems in school until i snapped during a science lesson one day and floored my main bully with a rear hander to the nose. As a result he's now a good friend but still tries to intimidate and make me feel inferior now and again - even when i'm on the doors, but i quickly put him back in his place. I've not really had a problem with bullies since that day as i realised it's all about mindset and i vowed from that day not to be pushed around or intimidated. It seems to have worked for me.
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    Conor MacPhee

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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Conor MacPhee on Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:55 am

    I'm quite envious of instructors who live in areas where there are courses available that will enhance their knowledge-base around issues like bullying and other social and psychological concerns.
    I remember not so long ago, I took lessons where 99% of the instruction was in the physical concepts, and the other 1% had to do with the art's history...and that was it! Now, instructors will work on your child's self-esteem issues; correct his attitude towards his parents, teachers, and sister; and turn him into a humanitarian...all in 6 short lessons! (pardon the slight exaggeration)
    I guess the point I'm trying to make, is where does the responsibility or the instructor begin and end with our kids? Is bullying something that they should become experts in? Should the onus be placed on the parents, or is this strictly a school issue?
    As I believe my safety is my responsibility, even moreso, my child's safety is my responsibility. If I am not there to be able to protect, then I bloody well better give him the skills to deal with it effectively and efficiently.
    I find that people who don't know a lot about aggression or violence, really take a round about way in dealing with it. It centers on getting professionals together to find a reasonable way about dealing with it through non-aversive means...which always focuses on why someone bullies. Options for the victim can range from telling an adult (a teacher or parent), to using conflict resolution skills to sort it out. Kelly McCann has a nice way of putting it, "Teachers tell your children, 'Well, you just have to discuss your problems.' Yeah, okay, tell your child that when three or four little thugs approach him intent on beating him, he should say, 'Hey now, wait a minute, let's discuss this.' The whole damn situation literally disgusts me."
    So how do I deal with it? I tell my 6 year old daughter, that if someone pushes you, you push back harder. If someone kicks you, you kick back harder.
    Bullet Tooth Tony from 'Snatch' couldn't have said it better - "You're a bully Errol, but remember, I am a bigger bully."

    Dave Turton

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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Dave Turton on Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:01 am

    It would take ages to say fully what I feel, only to say that anything that effects anyone needs to be addressed.. the SDF's sister company "Your Guardians Ltd" has an "Anti-Bullying" programme that we have taught in schoools and other premises..

    our main tenet is 'talk & Tell', but that has to be done sensibly.. after we run a programme we leave leaflets with OUR number on, so that any child may contact us first rather than 'snitch' to teachers, and many kids simply cant talk to their parents.. but happily use us, and then we act as intermediaries in the situation..

    its a big subject and often forgotten or overlooked with al the 'knife' stuff
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    D.Hughes
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    Re: Bullying

    Post by D.Hughes on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:35 pm

    that sounds like a great company your running there Dave. big respect for taking up these issues and coming up with a viable solution Very Happy


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    Peter Skillen

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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Peter Skillen on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:06 pm

    www.roberthiggs.co.uk

    This guy is one of the best on this subject in the uk.
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:47 pm

    www.roberthiggs.co.uk

    This guy is one of the best on this subject in the uk.

    I can now back Pete's words up completely on this and I thank him for originally pointing me in Rob's direction. In fact, Rob and I will be launching a series of workshops for schools in 2009.

    Excuse the shameless promotion, but these articles may be of interest:
    http://www.roberthiggs.co.uk/article24.htm
    http://www.clubbchimera.com/?p=378
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    Steve Rowe

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    Re: Bullying

    Post by Steve Rowe on Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:08 pm

    This is advice we give to our children and parents:

    In the first instance, at a primary or junior school, see the class teacher and explain your worries in a friendly non-confrontational way. Ask how your child is getting on with others in class and raise any issues of conflict with other children.

    Ask if the teacher has noticed that your child seems unhappy and isolated and is being excluded from games in the playground or regularly not having a partner to work with in class.

    Ask the class teacher, or the head of year at secondary school, if he/she can keep an eye on the situation and let you know if they have any concerns. Ask what the teacher suggests would be the best way of sorting it out. At a primary school perhaps the supervisors could take a more active role in the playground by keeping an eye on your child and ensuring that people are not excluded from games.

    Some primary schools have “friendship seats” where younger children can go to sit if they have nobody to play with so that other pupils can ask them to join their games and the supervisors can spot whether one child is on their own too often.

    Secondary schools may not be aware that there are some areas of the school pupils feel are unsafe, the toilets often come into this category.

    By telling the head of year where the bullying is happening, supervision can be increased so that the bullies are caught red handed, meaning that your child can’t be accused of telling tales.

    At this stage it can be helpful to try to increase your child’s circle of friends, by inviting a number of children home regularly, to forge stronger friendships.

    If bullying continues:
    • Keep a diary of what your child says is happening
    • Or get your child to keep his/her own diary
    • Write a note to the class teacher or head of year, explaining that the problem is still unresolved
    • Ask for your letter to be put onto your child’s school file, together with a note of action taken
    • Suggest that contact between the bully and your child is monitored and limited, perhaps by the bully moving to another table or set
    • Ask for a follow-up meeting after a couple of weeks to discuss how things are going
    That often does the trick, but if not, it’s time to write to the head teacher, outlining everything that has gone on, and including evidence from the diary to back up your complaint. Putting a complaint in writing is essential so that there is a record of your concern.

    Schools have a duty of care, and allowing a child to be continually bullied when the school has been alerted to the problem could be seen as a breach of that duty.

    Unfortunately many parents find that bullying continues after they have asked the class teacher, head of year or head teacher to sort it out.

    The next step is to contact the chair of governors. You can get his/her name from the school office. Write to him/her at the school address. Explain the background and enclose any letters between you and the head. Ask for an immediate investigation.

    It’s unlikely that all governors will be made aware of your complaint.

    This is because many issues are dealt with as ‘Chair’s Action’ and the chairman may hope to get the matter resolved with the head teacher quickly.

    The other reason not all governors will be made aware of the complaint is because the matter may escalate into an exclusion of the bully and if that happens the bullied child’s parents will have a right of appeal and there need to be some governors without prior knowledge of the case.

    When you complain to the chairman, send a copy of your complaint to your local councillor and ask for a meeting with him/her. Political parties have representatives on school governing bodies and if your local councillor is not one of them, he/she will have contacts who are.

    Ask for a copy of your child’s school record. The governors have a legal obligation to provide this within 15 school days, excluding weekends and holidays, but you will be asked to pay for photocopying. (There is further advice on getting a copy of the record in the section on that topic).

    This is also the time to start asking questions of other parents. Your child may not be the only bullying target and you may find other parents are keen to back you up in your complaint.

    If this doesn’t work, the next step is for you to make a formal complaint to the LEA and ask for an investigation to be carried out and a report issued.

    In fairness to LEAs, it should be said that where pupils are removed from one school to another due to bullying the LEA would not necessarily know about the problem unless parents tell them. They do not need to be involved in a school transfer unless there is an appeal for a place.

    Ask the LEA how many other complaints of bullying have been reported to the LEA involving the same school. Ask if the LEA education welfare officer (education social worker) has been involved. She has to visit pupils whose parents have removed them and who are at home. This may prompt LEA officials into asking if the school has a problem if there have been a series of complaints.

    If you do not feel that your concerns have been properly investigated you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman - who cannot investigate the internal workings of schools but can look at the LEA’s role in investigating your complaint. Also make sure you contact your MP.

    Your final recourse is to the Secretary of State, at Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, Westminster, London, where your complaint will be dealt with by the Pupils and Parents branch. Officials can only order action to be taken if your child is still a pupil at the school, so if he/she has been removed, there is nothing the Secretary of State will do.

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