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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 10/20/2010

New data on bullying: 17% report regular abuse

By Valerie Strauss

New data on bullying released today show that 17 percent of American students report being bullied two to three times a month or more within a school semester, with girls and boys having similar rates.

The information was gleaned from an anonymous survey of 524,054 U.S. students in grades 3 through 12, and it comes when bullying is in the news because of a series of suicides by young gays who had been bullied.

The survey was conducted by Dan Olweus (pronounced Ol-VEY-us), who is considered the founding father of research on bully/victim issues. It is being released by the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

The program for elementary, junior high and middle schools that he created is aimed at preventing and/or reducing bullying and is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer places. (You can find reports analyzing different bullying programs here.)

Researchers say that the approach, which involves every adult and student in the class and helps teach students how to safely not be bystanders when bullying occurs, has been shown to have the strongest and most long-lasting improvements.

The co-author of the analysis is Susan P. Limber. Here is some of the information released today:

Being bullied

  • 17 percent of students indicated that they had been bullied with some frequency (two to three times per month or more within the school semester).
  • There were similar rates for girls (16 percent) and boys (17 percent).
  • Bullying is most prevelant in third grade, when almost 25 percent of students reported being bullied two, three or more times a month. The rate slowly declines each year through 12th grade, when about 12 percent of boys and less than 10 percent of girls reported being bullied.

    Bullying others

  • 10 percent of students indicated they had bullied others with some frequency (two to three times per month or more within the semester).
  • Boys (12 percent) were more likely than girls (7 percent) to indicate they had bullied others.

    How long has the bullying lasted?
  • For students who have been bullied, significant numbers reported being bullied for long periods:

  • 16 percent of girls boys reported having been bullied for about a year.
  • 23 percent of girls and 30 percent of boys said they had been bullied for several years.
  • Bystander behavior

  • When asked what they feel when they see a student their age being bullied, the vast majority of students (83 percent) indicated that they feel sorry for the bullied student (90 percent of girls, 75 percent of boys).
  • Students were asked, “How do you usually react if you see or learn that a student your age is being bullied?” and had the following responses:


    I have never noticed that students my age have been bullied.
    Girls: 24 percent. Boys: 30 percent.

    I take part in the bullying.
    Girls: 1 percent. Boys: 3 percent.

    I don’t do anything but think it is OK.
    Girls: 1 percent. Boys: 2 percent.

    I just watch what goes on.
    Girls: 9 percent. Boys: 14 percent.

    I don’t do anything, but I think I ought to help the bullied students.
    Girls: 30 percent. Boys: 22 percent.

    I try to help the bullied student.
    Girls: 35 percent. Boys: 29 percent.

    More than 40 states have some sort of law that makes bullying illegal, yet, as the statistics show, the harassment of young kids by their classmates remains common.

    Clearly laws alone can’t get the job done. Parents have to be involved, and so do schools.

    A school-wide assembly to discuss bullying won’t work. Schools that are serious about reducing bullying implement programs that involve every adult in the school, from the principal to the janitors, and spend time once a week engaging students in discussion and activities to understand the problem and learn how to deal with it.

    This is not a topic that we hear our education leaders talk about very much, except when someone dies.

    If we want kids to feel safe enough in schools to do well academically, bullying is a topic that should no longer be ignored.

    Follow my blog every day by bookmarking washingtonpost.com/answersheet. And for admissions advice, college news and links to campus papers, please check out our Higher Education page at washingtonpost.com/higher-ed. Bookmark it!

  • By Valerie Strauss  | October 20, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
    Categories:  Bullying, Research  | Tags:  bullying, bullying and suicide, bullying rates, bullying victims, dan olweus, gay suicide, intervention, suicides  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Threats to school reform ... are within school reform
    Next: English teacher: Data can drive us down wrong road

    Comments

    What about bullied adults - at work?
    Who taught the bullies at school - how to bully.

    Posted by: morrisday1 | October 20, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

    85% of the American people are bullied by left-wing activists. God-fearing, decent Christians are bullied unmercifully by homosexual activists, to the extent of being hounded in their own homes. Environmental activists bully corporations and shake them down for money. Jesse Jackson made a career out of bullying. Yes, bullying is a big problem.

    Posted by: chatard | October 20, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse


    Bullying occurs every day of the year and in every year we've been alive, but today we must all address the problem because of recent suicides by gay students?

    I should think the suicide of the Irish immigrant girl in Boston and the middle-aged man at UVa would provide better examples that bullying is something that potentially effects us all.

    Besides, the information on the bullying of Tyler Clementi is inconclusive. Tyler's sole room-mate may have simply wanted to assure his own friends that he and Tyler weren't gay lovers when the lights went out at night.

    I'm sure he's seen a lot of bullying from others who hate bullies since then though.

    Posted by: blasmaic | October 20, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

    Bullying is terrible but whatever happened to the saying when we were kids: "Sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you"? I don't remember any kid in my grade school class who wasn't picked on at some time but nobody committed suicide over it. If it doesn't kill you it only makes you stronger.

    Posted by: rbgu1999 | October 20, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

    I've seen many positive comments about gays and lesbians in the miliary and I must admit that I have not experienced such impressive performance of gays and lesbians in the non-military world.

    Gays and lesbians I've seen can be ignorant, selfish, immature, vindictive, and highly emotional. I've been verbally abused by a supervisor for failing to display enthusiatic acceptance of a homosexual when I was new to a job. In fact I was just suffering from indigestion and jet lag. I got over it.

    I remain tolerant of gays and lesbians, but it does hurt my feelings to have so much hatred directed at me.

    Posted by: blasmaic | October 20, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

    Unfortunately bullying is part of growing up. Those people that feel insecure are generally the ones doing the bullying, but what is it that a school is supposed to do? You can't punish a kid for being mean to another. Everyone would be in detention if you did. Kids need to toughen up.

    Posted by: Jsuf | October 20, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

    chatard wrote: "85% of the American people are bullied by left-wing activists. God-fearing, decent Christians are bullied unmercifully by homosexual activists, to the extent of being hounded in their own homes. Environmental activists bully corporations and shake them down for money. Jesse Jackson made a career out of bullying. Yes, bullying is a big problem."
    =======================
    I think you're confusing bullying with nagging. I'm going to assume you think your wife is a bully because she asks you to take out the trash a couple of times a week.

    Posted by: HookedOnThePost | October 20, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

    I absolutely know that some children are bullied because the teacher perceives it as a form of discipline, especially in the early grades. Principals have told me they support this. The intent is to force people they don't like from the area. There are no laws and there is no check and balance system. The police will not respond to a complaint.

    Administrators view any action as an unneeded expense that takes away from the majority of kids that don't have a problem. I'm sure the number of kids who commit suicide is under reported.

    Posted by: TinMan2 | October 20, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

    Some people find it very entertaining to watch people react to bullying. This reinforces the behavior, which if done out of sight of some authority, may as well have never happened. Besides, many people believe bullying is a natural part of human behavior with a natural way to handle it. Don't run home and tell mommy. Build up your muscles and kill the bully. Then be sentenced to life in prison for the "murder." Sociopaths are in all strata of society. They start young and end up in corner offices with fat paychecks and the authority to discharge anybody who leaves an encounter without his tail between his legs.

    Posted by: BlueTwo1 | October 20, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

    Are you kidding me? Kids need to toughen up...a kid should be able to go to school without some idiot bullying them everyday. As a former teacher I didn't tolerate it. When on hall duty, I dealt with it and had no problem breaking up the situation. Parents know their kids are bully's and it's in all grade levels. These are the kids that are taught that being popular is the best thing. These kids are not taught compassion for those that are different.

    So that old phrase "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger" is a bunch of foolishness. As always not an issue in your home until it happens to your kid.

    Folks you better wake up.

    Posted by: cbj06 | October 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

    Business people bully the people under them all the time. We need to do something about bullying across the whole of society.

    Posted by: jlp19 | October 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

    85% of the American people are bullied by left-wing activists. God-fearing, decent Christians are bullied unmercifully by homosexual activists, to the extent of being hounded in their own homes. Environmental activists bully corporations and shake them down for money. Jesse Jackson made a career out of bullying. Yes, bullying is a big problem.
    Posted by: chatard
    _________________________________________
    What a bunch of --- bull. Try to find a gay man or lesbian who has never been bullied. Try to put yourself in their shoes. So they're beating down your door, eh? I thinks you have a pretty wild imagination.

    Posted by: seaduck2001 | October 20, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

    The results of this survey are interesting, but I am left with a few questions:

    1) Did the survey define bullying for the students? If so, what was the definition? I find that different students have vastly different ideas of what constitutes bullying behavior.

    2) Did the survey track the number of students who said they were bullied who ALSO said they had bullied others? Most popular/media portrayals divide kids into bullies and victims, but the reality (at least in my 20+ years of teaching experience) is often more complicated.

    3) Are these results confirmed by any other, preferably independent, studies? Surveys are a fairly unreliable form of research to begin with. And this survey was done by someone who, presumably, has a vested interest in the results.

    Posted by: highschoolteacher | October 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

    I don't think people realize how challenging this can be. It we expect to live in a society that tolerates this, then that is a decision that we must make as a society. Personally, I don't feel bullying is a good thing in society. How it is to be prevented is another story.

    Some of this comes from a lack of uniform expectations of people. Where there are no clear standards and boundaries people will invent their own. Bullying does that, with the standards for what is acceptable from bullies being somewhat larger than that from other people. There also needs to be a standard for intervention. People who have been bullied need to feel like there are informal and formal tools available to them and they need to feel free using them. The bullied need help and need to feel able to reach out to someone. The alternative is more Columbine type situations or teenage suicides.

    Posted by: theartistpoet | October 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

    I hope the comments about bullying in the office place are a joke. If an adult can't stand up to a "bully", than there is definitely something else wrong. Stand up for yourself. The same goes in schools. If you get bullied, dish it back. Bullies are insecure and can't deal with it. It seems that kids aren't the only ones who need to toughen up, looks like adults do too.

    Posted by: Jsuf | October 20, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

    Bullies have been around since the beginning of time. During the sixties growing, myself and others were bullied in school and in our neighborhoods. What else is new?

    Posted by: mmatthews1 | October 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

    P.S. Adults are bullied everyday at work by coworkers and supervisors. Then they come home to be bullied by drug dealers, illegal aliens, and neighbors.

    Posted by: mmatthews1 | October 20, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

    Gays and lesbians I've seen can be ignorant, selfish, immature, vindictive, and highly emotional. I've been verbally abused by a supervisor for failing to display enthusiatic acceptance of a homosexual when I was new to a job. In fact I was just suffering from indigestion and jet lag. I got over it. I remain tolerant of gays and lesbians, but it does hurt my feelings to have so much hatred directed at me.
    Posted by: blasmaic
    ________________________________________
    Try this:

    PEOPLE I've seen can be ignorant, selfish, immature, vindictive, and highly emotional. I've been verbally abused by a supervisor for failing to display enthusiatic acceptance of SOMEONE when I was new to a job. In fact I was just suffering from indigestion and jet lag. I got over it.

    Your sterotyping is just incredulous. Sometimes people don't realize that it was something they did or said to provoke perceived wrong treatment. I'm just sayin' ....

    Posted by: seaduck2001 | October 20, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

    FYI: Bullying is also part of politics, lets look at Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

    Posted by: Jsuf | October 20, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

    I wonder how many girls suffer from sexism, report it to the administration (or teachers do) and the administration does nothing, especially if the administration is male. I was a teacher for 40 years (I am a male) and saw it constantly. I was told I was too sensitive because I had a daughter.

    Posted by: diamond2 | October 20, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

    Man Up!

    Posted by: JAH3 | October 20, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

    chatard - I would love to believe that your comments were completely tongue in cheek! I was curious tho, just in case you were not about the bullying you report. I would guess that something like 80% of the population is more leftist than you. So thats a lot of people bullying themselves, or bullying others for holding the same position they do.

    You report people getting bullied in their HOME by homosexual activists! Where on earth do you live? Castro street in San Francisco?

    I suspect that if you are serious, and not just pulling peoples legs, that you have some deep mental health issues to work out.

    Posted by: reussere | October 20, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

    BULLIES SHOULD KNOW THAT THEY RUN THE RISK OF BEING KILLED!

    Back in 5th grade, a much larger student than yours truly began his attacks, his threats, his words against my ethnic sounding last name, until yours truly dared to tell him to knock it off.

    With that, the Bully said that "after school" he would wait for me and beat me. I went home for lunch and had the good sense to tell my mother. At school, I also asked two of the largest boys in a lower class to accompany me just in case "others" would try to join in on the beating of yours truly.

    After school, sure enough there he was with several other bigger boys while I, with my two "body guards" arrived. Just then, here came my mother in her car, who said something TO the bully and then drove off.

    When I was about to confront the Bully, he made some foul comments to me and then walked away.

    Little did he or anyone else know that I had had enough of his crimes against me and had armed myself with a butcher knife and was preparing to GUT the Bully if he made one move against me. At age 10, I was preparing to kill him! THAT is what bullying causes unless it is stopped by ADULTS.

    Fast forward 52 years later: The Bully had flunked out of school; had impregnated a young college coed; had been married FOUR times; was the son of an alcoholic, well to do physician, who the Bully knew and had seen having affairs with the physician's nurse.

    A decade ago, the Bully, a drug addict, died on a bathroom floor of a drug overdose.

    So ADULTS, IF you know of BULLYING, WE all have the MORAL requirement to intercede and to stop bullying, or there will be more death among young people who have no knowledge of what LIFE really is, but because of the "terrorists" among them called Bullies, are choosing death over life!

    Now that IS our responsibility to prevent Bullies of any age from their crimes against the innocent.

    Posted by: gglenc | October 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

    chatard - I would love to believe that your comments were completely tongue in cheek! Posted by: reussere
    __________________________________________

    reussere - I think maybe you're right - I re-read chatard's comments and they do actually sound tongue-in-cheek. I certainly hope so!

    Posted by: seaduck2001 | October 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

    "Fast forward 52 years later: The Bully had flunked out of school; had impregnated a young college coed; had been married FOUR times; was the son of an alcoholic, well to do physician, who the Bully knew and had seen having affairs with the physician's nurse.

    "A decade ago, the Bully, a drug addict, died on a bathroom floor of a drug overdose."

    gglenc, sounds like your bully was somehow a victim of someone or something else... or maybe a drug overdose is exactly what a bully deserves.

    Posted by: blasmaic | October 20, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

    Well, you have to take the long patient view.

    For example, a real notorious joker at my h.s., "Croft," ended up in San Quentin and dead shortly there after.

    no tears there.

    Posted by: thealaskan | October 20, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

    Oh, he ended up moving to Marin, at the state's expense, after beating a manager of the San Rafael Indy Journal to death with a metal pipe, on the guy's door step, in front of his wife.

    He didn't even pay dues.

    Not one of San Bruno's best.

    Posted by: thealaskan | October 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

    Teach your kid how to use a sock with a brick.

    Make sure he knows how to crush the bully's windpipe so that he is good and dead.

    Posted by: veerle1 | October 20, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

    @ morrisday1: Thanks b/c those bully's grow up to be your boss/co-workers and they are protected by the employer's. This is very serious and we need laws for the children and the adults.

    Posted by: 2mtsenie | October 20, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

    1. For the first time ever, I commend Valerie Strauss for a thoughtful piece. Congrats.

    2. Did you see Vince Gray say gay kids who are bullied should just "step to them" and take it outside? It was unbelievable. Since you are such a fan of his, please tell him how insane his comment was.

    Posted by: RL68 | October 20, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

    On a different tangent, we have 17% of students saying they were bullied. We have armed police in many urban schools and unarmed security in most schools across the nation. We have kids, male and female, who do not want to go to the restroom alone. We have more and more and more teachers saying they either can't teach because of the noise and the chaos or they find it difficult to teach because of the lack of self discipline.

    We have teachers who have to justify grades to parents, parents who are insulting and abusive to teachers... kids who talk back, are rude and disrespectful often for no other reason than that they can get away with it..... students who don't do homework, only do some of it or do it incorrectly.....

    And the luminaries on the right like Michelle Rhee want to pay teachers judged by students' test scores. "School Reform" the Obama Administration and most of the nation call it.

    Is that brilliant or what?

    Posted by: flamingliberal | October 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

    An immediate and violent response to bullying fixes the problem.

    Posted by: 1911a1 | October 20, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

    Only 17%? Wow, that's A LOT less than when I went to school. Are parents not raising their children to deal with the commonplace?

    I say get a clue about how to be a parent.

    Posted by: illogicbuster | October 20, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

    meanwhile

    100% of americans

    are bullied

    by the failed socialist policies

    of the obama regime

    Posted by: ProCounsel | October 20, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

    Bullying in American schools is merely preparation for survival in our predatory capitalist society. Exploit the weak, kick the downtrodden.

    Nice "family values," America.

    Posted by: FoolontheHill1 | October 20, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

    After reading all of the comments, and all I can say is... bigger jails are in the offing for the bullied who kills a bully and the bullies who kill the bullied. Why have we been reduced to an attitude of teach the bullied how to fight and not teach the bullies not to bully? A child needs to be protected from an adult who is bullying him/her. I did not allow my son to fight at school, but when bullied, I did give him permission to answer the attack of a bully, and he was not bullied any more. His answer which was swift and impactful happened after school off of the school grounds. He didn't and hasn't had any other problems with bullies since. What I think he learned best was how to respond to bullies. He is now 26 years old and a fully actualized adult who deals with contrary people as we all do from time to time. People are all different and so how this is handeled differs, but undoubtedly, no one should have to be subject to bullying. No matter what it is called. This is certainly a sorry and sordid state of affairs.

    Posted by: tlwpressley | October 20, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

    Who paid for this stupid study?

    There have been bullies since the beginning of time. A big rock upside their head usually takes care of the problem.

    Posted by: logicprevails | October 20, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

    So now they call the Chicago way of governing "bullying"?

    Posted by: NoWayNotNow | October 20, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

    I wanted to chime in on the comment made by highschoolteacher.

    What does it mean to bully? We have completely overused the word with most of today's generation. If one student acts in any way that makes another student feel less than pleasant, you can be accused of "bullying." If another student acts in such a way as to make you unhappy, that student can be accused of "bullying." So naturally when students are asked about it, they often feel yes, they have been bullied.

    This isn't to say that real bullying isn't a problem and we need to find solutions. But we've created a real problem for ourselves by lumping unpleasant childish behaviors (which pretty much all children -- and many adults - will do during their lives) with truly deviant and destructive behavior.

    Posted by: gretchenlaskas | October 20, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

    I am glad to see this dealt with in a reasoned manner. I'm sorry some of the commenters here don't get it. It's not a question of parenting, or getting kids to "man up." There is no longer anywhere for some kids to hide from tormenters.

    Schools are all over the map in dealing with bullying, and it is reflected in the rates of the problem. Stricter laws put in place over the last few years will need to be tested in court. But I predict they will push schools to stop turning a blind eye to this. The lawsuits will be huge!!

    Oh, and for those readers who grew up in the 60s or 70s, the nature of bullying has evolved. It is now the richer, stronger, more priveleged kids who bully. That means schools need to be forced legally to deal with it, because the bullies are untouchable (parents on the school board, giving money at the benefits, running the PTA, etc.).

    Schools can address the root causes and change the environment for the better. Most just choose not to. These laws will force them. The straight population needs to thank the gay rights lobby on this one. We owe you one.

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    Posted by: 1561705755 | October 20, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

    We have a great many Fascist fruitcakes posting here as they do all day and all night. Aw shucks! They tell us. What ya gettin all upset about? Boys 'll be boys! Let'em be

    This ain't nuttin but kids beein kids. All manufactured in some left wing think tank.

    These wingers have always lived in Lala Land. this is just some fa@@ot, left wing group spouting its socialistic nonsense, they say.

    So they have children? Grandchildren? Do they think private schools will protect their children forever?

    Posted by: flamingliberal | October 20, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

    Standing up to people is a part of life, and for many people it begins with dealing with bullies. And sorry, but its true... some people will only respond to a violent reaction. IT is not easy, as a new parent I am hoping that my son can avoid it. But as someone who was bullied, it is important that people are taught to stand up for themselves while they are young. Otherwise life will be very difficult and painful and their confidence will always be in question. Getting beat up isn't that bad. Its the mental drama that goes with it that can be devestating. If kids can learn that its okay to lose just as long as you go down swinging, we'll have a much better world in years to come.

    Its quite simple. If someone bullies you, smash them so hard that they never do it again.

    Posted by: mikebythesun | October 20, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

    Standing up to people is a part of life, and for many people it begins with dealing with bullies. And sorry, but its true... some people will only respond to a violent reaction. IT is not easy, as a new parent I am hoping that my son can avoid it. But as someone who was bullied, it is important that people are taught to stand up for themselves while they are young. Otherwise life will be very difficult and painful and their confidence will always be in question. Getting beat up isn't that bad. Its the mental drama that goes with it that can be devestating. If kids can learn that its okay to lose just as long as you go down swinging, we'll have a much better world in years to come.

    Its quite simple. If someone bullies you, smash them so hard that they never do it again.

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    Posted by: wodwo49 | October 20, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

    Classroom education is now completely obsolete. Further, the day-to-day experience of most students is more akin to doing time in prison than expanding or improving oneself by assimilating knowledge.

    We spend a fortune for so-called education in this country. What we really get is a very expensive baby-sitting service complete with pensions, tenure, paid vacations and Cadillac healthcare benefits. It makes no economic sense whatsoever. Not only that, the product it turns out is lousy.

    You want to balance these budgets both state and federal? You want a highly educated work force? You want to relieve parents of the burden of paying for college degrees? You want to relieve young families of the burden of tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt?

    Fire the professors. Disband the teachers’ unions. Close the gated compounds. Put every major, every bachelors, every masters, every doctorate online for free and let every U.S. citizen learn as much and excel as far and as fast as he or she can.

    The annual budget for U.S. Department of Education is $160 billion. For one percent of that ($1.6 billion) you could allocate $1 million per course to create 1,600 online courses per year. With that kind of budget, you could quickly produce courses that are thorough, concise, interactive, dramatic and entertaining.

    The average bachelor degree consists of only about 40 courses. Within a very few years, you could have every field from bachelors to masters to doctorate available online to all U.S. citizens -- for free -- with those completing the programs receiving an accredited degree from the United States Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    For a fraction of what we now spend on education, every U.S. citizen could learn anything they want, at their own pace, without having to drive or live miles away from their home, without going into debt and without suffering through boring lectures that are more of a boost for the professor (or graduate assistant’s) ego than a learning experience for the student. Next, you could move it down to high school, junior high school and middle school.

    Invest a relative pittance to organize and present all human knowledge online. Make it interesting, interactive, efficient and intelligent. We have the technology, the talent and the dollars available to do this - and do it excellently - right now.

    So called “progressives” like to envision themselves as forward looking, egalitarian and pro-education. They are none of these things. They are the most reactionary and conservative defenders of the status quo on the planet whenever their entrenched interests are threatened. The only change they are interested in is the change that they want others to make and/or pay for.

    It’s time for progressives to either abandon the 18th Century model of education or admit that they are just post-Modern Tories with a royal sense of entitlement and, to use their nomenclature, serial enablers of the hate crime of bullying.

    Posted by: LePauvrePapillon | October 20, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

    Bullying and victim hood are intertwined consciousnesses. When the consciousness is changed, the behavior stops. Victims have to be taught how to handle bullies, as in verbal defense (redirecting of threats) or exuding a confidence that will stop a bully, or as a last resort, direct confrontation and conflict. Personal confidence and inner power must be cultivated. Violence is not an answer that is lasting, and temporarily stopping a bully won't work. Too bad others look on without helping, seems this has been the human pattern. Also as a former teacher, I know educational systems and even parents do not know how to help nor can they usually provide the tools to help those being bullied. Ultimately it is up to the victim to change, grow, and learn how to make the choices and take the action necessary to free themselves. Bullies need similar efforts and internal work to recognize the ramifications of their behavior and to channel their energies into positive directions.

    Posted by: mysticalz | October 20, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

    As the son of a teacher, as well as the son of a scout master and brother of a teacher & detective, I learned long ago that the adults, all adults, who are associated with a school or other organizations that have children and young adults participating, are responsible for the safety of all the kids. Any adult that witnesses or is aware of bullying must intervene. This not a question. The adults are morally, ethically and professionally responsible, if not legally. The parents hand the safety of their child over to these adults and expect their child to be safe while in the custody of these adults. It is a basic human responsibility. These bullying instances are a direct result of the failure of adults in charge to be responsible and contributes to the sense of failure of our institutions. No excuses are acceptable.

    Posted by: HarryR | October 20, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

    rbgu1999: the old saying is wrong. The correct saying is "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break my heart." Please note research indicates that people can die from a broken heart. Those people who say "every one gets bullied" or "it's been around forever, live with it" are usually bullies themselves. Well, people are fighting back now. Live with it.

    Posted by: pattipeg1 | October 21, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

    This is an article I recently wrote and published which you may find interesting.

    http://www.articlesbase.com/parenting-articles/sociopaths-in-our-schools-3488373.html?utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sys_mails

    Also, the launching of my new book "Because, It's Just Good Manners!" is scheduled to coincide with Freedom from Bullies Week. The launch will include a challenge to students to practice good manners for one week. Businesses and families will be challenged to "bully" schools to participate. October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the YWCA Week without Violence is October 16-22, 2010, and the BigMarch Against Bullying is scheduled for November 15, 2010.

    Book will be a free download from our website - http://columbiacountypc.org/GoodManners.aspx

    I understand on November 9, 2010 there is to be a 24-Hour Bully stake-Out and information is available at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/24-Hour-Bully-Stake-Out/150499681635588

    Posted by: jhcesi | October 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

    The press does sometimes go with perspectives that are popular rather than that which helps keep kids safe, even invite popular experts that too often aggravate the waters with deluded remedies or no practical remedy at all.

    The press and popular TV experts alike tend to shy away from content that might get them mobbed.

    Both child and adult bullies, including special interest bullies know it is very easy to manipulate the well behaved, even to accept that the targets are the blame anyway, that nothing can be done, or that a special interest agenda is more entitled to special consideration.

    Plenty promote that it is ‘A sign of the times’ excuses, and to accept whatever provides a popular feel-good remedy, one that allows schools to promote the students are safe even when not the actual case.

    Schools also tend to shy away from remedies that might get them mobbed. This is one of the important adult anomalies most misunderstood that can leave kids that are targets of bullying without a remedy.

    So much about bullying in the schoolplace has to do with the adults involved. Training is becoming adequate for teachers and other staff in the schools, on the playground and for bus drivers on the school buses to intervene.

    What is missing is effective action from administrations to follow-through, to quickly confront.

    So often the target, or the teacher or the bus driver adequately intervene only to be sideswiped by administrative action refusing to confront the adult bullies -- the child’s parents’. Administrators also do not like getting mobbed.

    Less than 5-percent of the targets report the bullying. Also a vast population of students that know who the bullies are refuse to get involved. How could that ever be a result of effective school interventions?

    Targets of bullying do not trust that the adults involved will make things better, rather trust will make things worse.

    Some of the worst bullies are among the most popular students. Too many of these students think they have special license to bully the 'so-called' lesser students, the different, and anyone else they choose. Many of these bullies have at their disposal parents oblivious of reality, in denial, “My child would never…” rubbish, and push their child's rights at the expense of their child's victim’s rights.

    The skills of administrators to confront seem easily overwhelmed by their own fears of being mobbed. They present an intellectual’s concept of a tough action while inside continually look for excuses and escapes, including escape by blaming the target or other adult staff.

    Bullies (both children and adults) first steal power from their targets and use that power against those targets. Weak administrative actions invite mobbing.

    Until administrations learn to steal back the power the bullies have stolen and return it to the targets, including adult staff, the bullies prevail. ...

    Continued >

    Posted by: jkraemer | October 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

    Continued >

    There is something the well behaved do not seem to comprehend. They must steal the power back from the bullies and return it to the owners.

    Bullies these days are more committed to keeping stolen power than are the owners of that power willing to take it back.

    We loose excellent teachers and have a chronic school bus driver shortage in this country not because of the kids, and that includes the bullies, but more so because of administrations that fail to support their adult staff, in reality often blame excellent staff for an administration’s own failures.

    Do not be deceived in to thinking the kids are the problem. An administration's lack of skill to confront the hostile, watered down remedies, and fearfulness, can for the rest of staff turn a work to love in to a job to hate.

    The remedies are obvious and always have been. No competent expert exists that does not know the remedies that work, in my opinion.

    Kids that can trust the adults involved is key, always has been. Placing the most stop bullying resources at the elementary school level is another important key: 75-percent education, 25-percent containment. At middle schools: 50/50; and at high schools: 25/75.

    Regardless, plenty of our nation's public education experts also prefer not getting mobbed and may present popular remedies while shying away form effective remedies that work.

    It's hard work, for example, to keep the school bus a safer, calmer environment for the riders and a safer workplace for the bus drivers. Just getting out of the driver's seat and seating the students while providing relevant decision-making opportunities to the disrespectful before leaving the school can solve a lot of problems during the route.

    These must have the violence prevention education, time to perform, and support in the moment to make it all work together to stop the bullies while also making the bus a great environment for the well behaved to have the run. No mainstream school bus needs a monitor onboard when the well behaved have the run.

    Obviously, bus driver and rider education and support must follow-through with action. To begin the bus driver must leave the driver's seat and get involved.

    The school bus is the first and last environment where millions of schoolchildren experience a schoolplace activity. Stopping bullying on the school buses helps set the stage for effective remedies working everywhere inbetween.

    The bus environment is a controlled environment. Few seem to understand what that means and the opportunity such an environment provides the well behaved to end any bullying from the second most common schoolplace where bullying occurs...

    on the school bus.

    Excellent stop bullying video: http://www.youtube.com/user/2safeschools

    Posted by: jkraemer | October 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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