Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Snitch Policy and Bullying!

I apologize to my readers for the two month hiatus.  So much has been happening in the world of Bullying.  Bullying in our schools is still rampant.  The problem is, the reporting of bullying within the schools is virtually non existent.

Lesson One:  As a former prosecutor for the State of Florida, I know that kids typically have a no snitch policy.  I don't care how many speakers, motivators or even law enforcement tell our kids to stand up and speak up, it just is not going to happen.  At least as often as we would want.  Why?  The fear of retaliation.  Retaliation in this  day and age is not just a slight push or shove.  Retaliation can take the form of severe violent acts.  The Juvenile courts are full with violent children and some even are removed to adult court due to the seriousness of their acts.  Kids are for the most part, are scared to protect other kids, they are scared to snitch, and as evidence has shown, rightfully so.  So lesson one: Don't rely on other children to report the bullying of others.  Even if the school states the reporting is anonymous, it won't stay anonymous.  School Districts [public schools] are mandated in Florida, to investigate.  With that investigation comes talking to the witnesses or how others like to call it, snitches. As fast as rumours start in school, you better believe the bullies or perpetrators will find out who the so called, snitches are.  Kids have a right to be scared. 

Lesson Two:  Teachers know.  Oh yes they do know.  But will they report?  Are administrators telling teachers to, "shut up" or "Keep it quiet" You betcha. Evidence from bullying accounts across the country and the world documents that fact.  Available online are civil complaints in various cases.  For example the Anoka Hennepin case in Minnesota. I urge all of you to read that complaint.  There the school district was very well aware of the bullying.  The children there committed or attempted suicide.  There the school district did absolutely nothing. If teachers and or administrators don't tell, then parents won't ask. 

Lesson Three: Kids are not resilient.  Kids may seem like they are, but they are not.  Adults who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other traumatic mental injuries many of the times suffer from incidents that happened to them as children.  Children don't have the ability to rationalize or seek therapeutic help like adults.  Many times they suffer within themselves or act out their suffering through abusing drugs, alcohol or people.   

Bullying is truly sad.  It is an act that has no positive outcome.  Bullying has now become a very real dangerous social issue with no end in sight.


  1. Kids today have also figured out the system. Because it has "worked", and continues to work, they evade punishment by stating "they were only playing", "it was all in good fun", "they were just joking around". These excuses are bought, which makes the victim child feel even less as a person. Law enforcement excuses violent behavior by deminishing the violent acts by commenting on the victim childs "size", appearance of "physical ability", even have heard the statement, "he seems like a tough kid and can handle himself". I also believe with the lack of attention and punishment on such acts, we will start to see children claiming the "stand your own ground act" because they are left to handle these violent acts toward them alone, leaving no choice in the childs mind but to take matters into their own hands.

  2. A 2002 U.S. Secret Service and Department of Education study found that two-thirds of school shootings in the past 30 years were committed by bullying victims, according to Espelage.
    A child in Atlanta was found guilty of aggravated battery for stabbing one of his bully's during a fight instigated by the bully. Apparently according to the news report [see my blog post about the Snitching post] the victim was sentenced in juvenile court including jail. School officials stated he was taunted and teased, constantly by gangs of bullies. All this boy wanted to do was defend himself. Law enforcement needs to be educated on bullying. This is a huge social issue and it is not going away.

  3. Warning signs your child is being Bullied:

    1. Shows an abrupt lack of interest in school or refusal to go to school.
    2. Takes an unusual route to school.
    3. Suffers a drop in grades.
    4. Withdraws from family and school activities, wanting to be left alone. (When you feel isolated, shamed, scared, and humiliated, you just want to curl up in a ball and not talk to anyone, or lock yourself in your room and cry.)
    5. Is hungry after school, saying he lost his lunch money or wasn't hungry at school. (The bully takes great pleasure in extorting lunch money. The lunchroom ranks third behind the playground and hallways in the order of places where bullies attack their targets, so it's a good place to avoid, even if you do have your lunch money.)
    6. Is taking parents' money and making lame excuses for where it went. (Once again the bully separates you from your money. The threats of retaliation can convince you that stealing from your mom's purse or your dad's wallet poses a lesser risk to body and mind than not showing up with the money for the bully.)
    7. Makes a beeline to the bathroom when he/she gets home. (Since bathrooms are number four on the list of places bullies like to attack, you figure it's best to "hold it," even at risk of a bladder infection. A bladder infection can't possibly hurt as much as having your head dunked in a swirling toilet or seeing your reputation attacked via insulting graffiti on the mirrors over the sinks.)
    8. Is sad, sullen, angry, or scared after receiving a phone call or an e-mail.(You don't know how to tell your mom or dad that the girls on the other end of the phone line called you ugly names and then all laughed before hanging up. you are ashamed to talk about the obscene lies the boy in your English class wrote about you and sent to everyone on his e-mail list. You are paralyzed with fear after opening your e-mail. The bully assures you there is no escaping his taunts. What could your parents possibly do that would help and not make it worse?)
    9. Does something out of character. (You would rather get caught skipping school than caught in the school yard by the bunch of bullies who circle around you every day and "pretend" to be playing. You would be willing to pull your pants down at recess if those girls promise to quit taunting you and will let you into their social circle.)
    10. Uses derogatory or demeaning language when talking about peers. (If you're being called ugly names, poked, shoved, shunned, and laughed at, you won't have any terms of endearment for the kids who started the bullying or for those who joined in or looked the other way. Who's left to talk about?)
    11. Stops talking about peers and everyday activities. (If you're being bullied, you have no everyday activities that are not colored with pain, frustration, fear, and terror. What's left to talk about?)
    12. Has disheveled, torn, or missing clothing.
    13. Has physical injuries not consistent with explanation.
    14. Has stomachaches, headaches, panic attacks, is unable to sleep, sleeps too much, is exhausted.

  4. Previous post came from The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso.