The title of this blog is pretty harsh considering that the current generation of school-aged (and college-aged) children have skins so thin that name-calling is now a cause for suicide.
But I have a bully in my classroom, and he doesn’t pick on the weak, or the ugly, or even the nerdy. He picks on people that give him attention.
Ignoring him is his kryptonite. Paying attention to him gives him power.
Let me explain. The victim, Marco, is constantly putting himself in a position to be bullied. He sits by Tyrese. He offers Tyrese his mechanical pencils. He calls on Tyrese in class. And then, Tyrese steals Marco’s mechanical pencil right out of Marco’s hand, Marco cries and complains about it. Tyrese claims that Marco gave him that pencil. Marco’s an idiot. He likes the attention or something.
Marco’s mom complained to me this afternoon that Tyrese is picking on Marco at lunch. I’m sure he is. But Marco hangs out with Tyrese. The solution? Ignore him! But that solution is exceedingly difficult to teach.
I told Marco’s mom I’ll have a talk with Marco, because talking to Tyrese is only going to encourage him. He’s the devil, after all. I’ve told other students to ignore him and he’s been leaving them alone. Tyrese isn’t the problem. Bullies probably wouldn’t have so much power if victims of bullying knew how to deal with them.