Yah big bully! Bullies why do our schools tolerate them?

I can't stand bullies. They're sad people really, using their bad natures, to take it out on people who can't stand up for themselves. When I was growing up, the stereotypical bully was some big kid, built like Herman Munster with a prickle hair cut and a puggy face.

These days it seems everyone is getting in on the act. You see it everywhere. In the workplace, in the schools, on the street, and on the internet.

Social media networks in particular, such as Facebook seem to harbour these sad types of people. They'll harass other users just to feel good. The faceless world of cyberspace makes it all too easy, for those with the poison keyboard fingers to cause innocent people a lot of pain and anguish. It's the old adage 'Think before you type'. In a world full of litigations involving comments made on Facebook Fan pages - no one is immune. If they go posting up untrue statements about people, they can expect to end up with a defamation suit taken out against them. Bloggers too are not immune from that - I'm mindful of that every time I write up a blog post.

Lately in the New Zealand news headliners, have been the issue of bullying at our schools getting completely out of hand. It took the violent assault of a Wanganui school girl bashed unconscious, for it to make the media front pages.

Our PM John Key was all for writing letters to the schools, basically telling them to pull up their socks. Just one slight problem with that approach. In one hand the government are saying 'do something about it' and on the other they're removing funding for the anti-bullying campaigns that have been in place.

Unfortunately, my youngest child with her autism, has been experiencing first hand, the onslaught of bullies in the school yard, and in the classroom. This is on a daily basis. Yesterday, she was yet again assaulted. Recently she was removed from a class she particuarly liked, because she was being bullied. Is there something wrong with this picture? Yes indeed there is.

Instead of the bullies being dealt with, my daughter was removed and placed in the learning centre. I have a serious problem with that approach. She was the victim in this case. Not only was she a victim of the bullies, but also she was a victim of her education being affected, because she was not in that classroom learning that particular subject. As a parent, I find that difficult to comprehend.

I found it more difficult to comprehend, that I was told that my daughter was being bullied because and I quote 'she was grubby'. Didn't help my daughter was drawing on herself and on her uniform. So I came down on her about her appearance, as in, I've ensured every day she has gone looking presentable - did it alleviate the level of bullying? Of course it didn't.

The first day she went with her hair tied up and some kid accused her of 'copying their hairstyle' - which is utterly ridiculous. She is being bullied, because the kids doing it - get away with it. That stinks. The school has no will to do anything about it - only the victims seem to end up living at the Counsellors office or in my daughter's case excuses being made up about her appearance. Excuse me? It isn't good enough. All schools should have a way to punish these kids that attack, assault and basically demoralise other children. So much for protecting the innocent.

Over the last few months, I've watched helpless, as my daughter has been totally demoralised by the incessant and unfair bullying at the school she attends. Her learning has suffered because of it. She has no will to try anymore, or to feel the need to attend school. However I ensure she goes each day regardless. So now I am at a cross roads on this. I've made the decision to withdraw my daughter from this particular school and enroll her elsewhere. Otherwise her future will be in jeopardy. That, I cannot as a parent - allow to happen.

Our schools need to take a proactive approach and deal with these children, who, in adulthood, will behave in the same manner, because they were given tolerance.
It's not good enough to tolerate bullies - toleration is acceptance of the behaviour. Is that what we want our future society to become? Somehow, I think most of us would say - No.

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