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View Diary: A movie, review for National Bullying Prevention Month (31 comments)

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  •  Ah, the glorious normal curve: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoxerDave

    If you are an American school student and you're gay or lesbian or transgendered (or perceived to be), or if you're comparatively very short or tall, or comparatively overweight; or, if you’re black in a nearly all-white school in a nearly all-white town; or, if you speak with an accent because you are the only foreign-born student at your school; or, if you're artistically or academically gifted in a school that worships its athletics program; or, if you choose to wear your clothes and your hair differently than most of your peers at school, or if you are in some way disabled, then chances are you know all too well about the endless, psychologically tortuous days at school that Jamie Nabozny had.

    Yes, step outside of one standard deviation from the mean (except in the very few characteristics that are valued in your local area), and you are fodder for the bullies.  

    We need to get the message out that "different is OK."  But in the negative peer culture that is created by age-segregation in the public schools, we face an extreme uphill battle.

    Think about it:  the entire public school system is based on the "factory model school,"in which the raw materials are to be acted upon in a cookie-cutter fashion, and the end products are supposed to be all about the same.  Conformity is the whole point and "treating everyone just the same" is the administrative mantra.

    When students are pushed into being all the same, and someone comes along that is of a different mold, that is distressing to students, teachers, and administrators.  Teachers and administrators use positive and negative peer pressure to get the students to conform.  The students see this, and in their own humiliation at being forced into the mold, take out their anger and helplessness on anyone perceived as different or weak.

    The entire set up, of the blind leading the blind, of one's age mates being the arbiters of what is acceptable, you get this Lord of the Flies social structure.  Bullying is not only pervasive, it is inevitable.

    The age-segregated factory school model is largely to blame for bullying.  It is almost impossible for that set-up to be a humane place.

    To say that my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Fri Oct 01, 2010 at 08:41:34 AM PDT

    •  It seems to me that we need to have... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dar Nirron

      ....various types of schools and not just "the one".  Some kids are visual learners and don't do so well in the format that we have.  How to do this, I don't know, but I do know Dar Nirron, that you are correct:  we must get the message out that "different is OK."

    •  Nah - bullying has been around (0+ / 0-)

      forever.  The school set-up tries to show that we really ARE all the same, when you get right down to it.

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