Webster's Dictionary defines a bully as: A person habitually cruel to others who are weaker. They like to browbeat, badger, insult, threaten and intimidate others. They exert their delusional sense of superiority by menacing, terrifying and demoralizing their prey and as a result, are able to coerce or compel them to do the bully's bidding.
Bullies have always existed among us and over the years, many theories about what causes a human being to perpetrate these excessively dominate behaviors have been considered. What is it about these individuals that make them believe they are superior and therefore deserving of the unquestioning obedience and subjugation of others?
We are all born with a temperament that steers us toward being introverted or extroverted; strong willed and aggressive or compliant and cooperative. Any of these personality types are just fine in moderation; however trouble begins brewing when these traits move toward the extremes. Mix in the parent's character types, style of childrearing and attitude towards others and things can get complicated very quickly.
It's said most bullies actually have low self-esteem, which causes them to overcompensate with their peers by acting strong and assertive because those traits are usually associated with popularity. I suppose this could be true in some cases. Unfortunately, many times when the bully is given extra attention by other kids or adults, the bad behavior tends to escalate, so I'm not so sure about this excuse.
The incidents of bullying are increasing exponentially, both in occurrences and the severity of cruelty involved. Whether your child is in public, private or even Christian private school, you can bet they will encounter a bully, but when your child becomes the target, the stress they suffer can become severe enough to drive them to suicide.
It's very difficult to know how to handle this situation. Despite a nationwide campaign in our schools declaring zero tolerance for bullying, teachers and administrators are all but helpless to prevent or stop it. Kids are very savvy when attacking others, lying in wait to taunt and threaten their victim when the teacher is out of the room or not paying attention.
It happens on the playgrounds and in gym class, and is prevalent in locker rooms and on the bus ride to and from school. Then the child tries to report the event, as they are instructed to do by the authorities, the bullying only tends to escalate in retaliation. The very fact that this is still a huge issue in our society, escalating in severity and so very difficult to overcome, testifies to the evil spirit behind it.
In case you haven't heard, one of the saddest, most outrageous examples of bullying has garnered world wide news this week, which prompted me to write this article. Karen Klein, a 68 year old grandmother living in the Greece School District near Rochester, NY, was recently verbally assaulted with outrageous insults and threatened with profanity laced taunts by at least 4 students while riding school Bus 784 as a monitor. Ms. Klein drove a school bus for 20 years and now rides as a monitor to help control the student's behavior. Unfortunately, no one monitored what happened to her.
According to my understanding, this incident happened two weeks before the summer break of this year, 2012. Ms. Klein was sitting in a bus seat alone when the surrounding students began picking on her while another student videotaped the 10 minute incident on his cell phone. He then stupidly posted the video on YouTube for the world to watch. Here is a very small sample of what you can hear on that tape:
Girl #1"Oh my God, you are SO fat, Karen!"
Boy #1(after poking Ms. Klein with a book) "Your reflexes are so slow, you freakin' fat f***."
Girl #1"She has reflexes like an elephant!" (laughing) then "Oh my God, you are such a ****ing troll!"
Ms. Klein leans over and says, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything."
Girl #1"Why don't you shut the f*** up?!"
Ms. Klein removes her glasses and wipes moisture off her face.
Girl #2"Are you sweating? Look at her sweating like"
Ms. Klein, "No, I'm crying."
Girl #2"Why are you crying?"
Girl #1"She probably misses her box of Twinkies."
Later, one of the boys say, "You probably don't have any family because they all killed themselves to get away from you!" (multiple laughter)
Again, this is a very small sample of what this lady endured at the hands of.wait for it.Middle School children! Not other adults. Not college jerks. Not even immature high school kids. These were children thirteen to fifteen years old!
Wake up parents! Welcome to the wonderful, wild and woolly world of early teenagers in this day and age. The father of one of the boys spoke on camera and expressed shock and disbelief that his son would be capable of such actions. "This is not the way we raised our kids. I would have never thought in a million years he would be capable of acting like that!" Rather than punish his son, he was planning to get him into therapy to determine the root of his problem.
Hey Dadthe root of the problem is your son is an unsaved child who, day after day, is at the mercy of the Godless public school system and is desperate to be accepted by his peers yet too immature to stand up for what is good and proper in this world. THAT, sir, is the root of the problem.
Let's take a closer look at the 'root' cause of the dangerous decline of morality and manners in this modern day of progressive ideas and government intrusion in the lives, homes and education of our children.
Before 1962, it was customary in America's public schools for the kids to pledge allegiance to this country's flag and to say a little prayer at the start of every school day. The prayer was this: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen" What an outrageous atrocity of abuse that was heaped on these students, being taught to respect and have pride in their country as well as reverence for the Creator of the Universe. Great time of day! How crippled and psychologically traumatized these children must now be as adults!
In 1962, the Supreme Court decided in the case of Engel vs. Vitale to end prayer in public schools, giving birth to the most overused and abused phrase in the English language: 'Separation of Church and State.' This was the initial step in removing God and His moral laws from our classrooms; a brilliant idea which has spawned a generation of self-absorbed, egotistical, greedy, loud mouthed, immoral God haters. Gee, what a great idea that turned out to be!
So, the people thought, 'OK, we can't pray anymore. At least we can allow the kids one minute to silently pray or meditate on whatever their groovy parents might be teaching them.' One lousy minute of silence in the classroom was too much. The Supreme Court outlawed this in the case of Wallace vs. Jaffree in 1985. And the thought police were born.
Then, in 1992, Lee vs. Weisman caused the Court to prohibit clergy led prayer at any public high school graduation ceremony. Lord knows we don't want to ask the Sovereign One to bless and guide the students who were about to venture out into the cold, cruel world!
And finally, until the atheists can dream up some other obnoxious lawsuit, Santa Fe vs. Doe banned in the year 2000, school sanctioning of student led prayer at public high school football games. That 'Doe' person sure has wreaked a lot of havoc in our society, haven't they?? Now, our boys can play football, bash their helmets together with the force of a 30 MPH car crash resulting in at least some degree of brain injury every time, all without the protection of that pesky God hanging over their shoulder.
The glorious Marxist experiment by our liberal university's intellectual and morally bankrupt elite, which spawned our messianic President, has been a smashing success! Our society is finally free from those bothersome mores of conduct such as kindness, clean language, obedience toward authority figures and respect for others, especially the weakest among us, our elderly and the unborn.
Thank God----whoops, no, we can't thank Him. He doesn't exist! In fact, I believe I heard "God is dead" somewhere. Hmmmwe can thank ourselves for ridding our society of any moral compass and introducing relativism into our lives. It's apparent by the example of the Middle School students on Bus 784, this social lie conceived in the same bed as political correctness, has made our lives and American culture is SO much better.
We have finally thrown off the chains of politeness as well as the basic Ten Commandments and can now feel free to act as the moment and situation strikes us, with no repercussions! In terms of bullying, well, what is bullying after all? It's simply one of many ways we can relate to others. If something we say or do negatively affects someone or hurts their feelings, that's their problem. They are free to feel or do whatever they wish. After all, there is no 'right or wrong' now! We're much too sophisticated for that nonsense!
How sad that the moral and spiritual condition of this nation has degraded to such a state that our children routinely pick up language and behavior so foul, it would make a sailor on shore leave blush. That it would even enter the minds of not only the Greece Middle Schoolers, but kids nationwide, to speak to and treat any adult the way Ms. Klein was treated is something we should grieve. How much lower can we sink before Almighty God has had enough?
I hate to break it to that Dad whose son was involved in this unconscionable verbal assault, but 'therapy' isn't going to help his little darling. He needs strong discipline, appropriate punishment that includes making restitution to his victim and to be introduced and educated in the precepts of our Holy God.
We must remember that the kids, who routinely act this way now, will eventually be the ones making the decisions about how to care for their parents when they are too old, weak and frail to care for themselves. Scary thought, huh?
Donna Wasson is all of the following: Married. Mom. Hospice RN. Avid reader. Animal lover. Needing to spread the Gospel while there is still time.