When Kids Attack Other Kids
If my child had been attacked at a school event by teenagers and other people watched and did nothing to help, I would be apoplectic. A lot of people would not hear the end of it.
In fact, I am apoplectic over an incident in which this happened to a child I don’t know.
If you haven’t seen the story in The Washington Post this morning, here it is.
It relates how the 17-year-old leader of a pom squad at John F. Kennedy High School in Montgomery County was attacked during the third quarter of a school football game by two teenage girls--apparently over a boy. A video of the assault was later posted on Facebook and solicited comments such as "LOL" and "hahaha." It has since been taken down and charges were filed against the assailants.
The victim went back to school but was afraid people would make fun of her.
The most horrifying part was the last sentence of the story, when her mother, Cardelia Maupin, said this:
“It’s this horrible vision in my head. Where were the people who could have helped her?”
Indeed, where were they? And who are the folks who find a video of a fight in which a girl is kicked and beaten funny?
This is hardly the first time we have heard about when someone is in serious trouble and people just sit and watch--without lifting a finger--either out of fear or lack of concern.
But the fact that the phenomenon is not new does not make it any less horrifying.
The job of teaching young people to recognize when and how to smartly get involved in a bullying situation belongs to adults at home and school. Most bullying, in fact, occurs at school (on the playground).
Researchers say that the only kind of anti-bullying program with any hope of reducing such behavior involves the entire school community. Unfortunately, most schools don’t begin to address the issue in a comprehensive manner.
The Answer Sheet wrote about bullying two days ago, and spotlighted a school in Colorado, near the site of the 1999 Columbine shootings, that instituted an anti-bullying program a short time after that horror.
The program involves every adult and student in the school and teaches kids that being a bystander to violent and bullying behavior is not allowed. That doesn't mean young people are taught to try to break up a fight but rather how to sensibly get help.
Every class at Vivian Elementary School in Lakewood, Co., spends about an hour a week on the subject--all through the school year so the lessons really sink in.
For more information on how to recognize bullies and victims, and to learn what parents can do, click on the link above.
And let’s talk about this.
What would you do if you saw kids gang up on another one? What would you want your children to do? If you found out your child had made light of the situation on Facebook, what would you do?
Posted by: PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large | October 2, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1bnthrdntht | October 2, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse
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