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I was bullied in elementary and junior high school. I was afraid to stand up for myself for fear of repurcussions, however one day, I was going through a particularly sad time, I was late for class, I was cranky, and when the ringleader started in, I snapped back at her and verbally shut her down. To my great shock, she stopped. She never again bothered me and even became friendly in high school. I realized in that moment, that, like Dorothy, I had the power all along.
This taught me that there are two people responsible for bullying--the bullly and the victim. Humans are animals and they prey on the weak--the only way to stop it is to fight back by not allowing it to continue. As mothers, we want to shelter and comfort our children, but that only exacerbates the problem--bullying, like most other problems in life, must be taken head on. Problems like Columbine result from kids who are bullied yet not empowered to take their lives back--they are taught not to fight back and in worst case scenarios, pressure builds and builds until they snap and the anger and powerlessness floods out in horrible ways. If we teach kids how to safely stand up for themselves from the beginning, how to be firm and not taunted, bullying will no longer hold any power. It's a basic animal drive to dominate the weak--it's evolution, which is more powerful than any nice, evolved, progressive theory. The only way to stop bullying is for us to learn how not to be victims.
posted 2 years, 7 months ago
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