Reasons Why Teachers and School Officials Often Ignore a Bullied Student’s Cries for Help

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All too often, schools ignore reports of bullying and leave victims to fend for themselves. It was the same when I was being bullied in school. Any reports of the harassment either went completely ignored, or I was blamed for it. Here are the reasons:

They’re lazy. Conducting an investigation into a case of bullying is extra work. Most school officials do not want to make any extra effort in resolving a case of bullying. Often, they take the easy way out by either denying that there’s a problem, or blaming the victim. And when parents of victims get involved, the school staff may often label the parents as “the crazy mom/dad”, which is only a cop out.

They’re afraid that the school’s reputation may be tarnished. Schools often hide cases of bullying to save face. They know good and well when a child is bullied, however, they may consider that child a threat and in worse cases, ostracize the poor victim and tell him/her to “keep your mouth shut”, in order to cover their own behinds.

They either don’t like or may even hate the bullied victim. Believe me. I was hated by a lot of my teachers and other school staff and they were supposed to be adults, who were supposed to protect me. The thing is that when a person is bullied for a long period of time, so many rumors and lies have been spread about the victim that their once good name has been destroyed and yes! Teachers hear and believe the rumors too! They even join in on negative gossip about the victim. Understand that although, in reality, the victim may be one of the sweetest, most awesome people you may ever meet, the rumors and lies supersede the truth and keep the victim locked in a prison of scrutiny and suspicion. Because of this, the victim is unable to be their true, awesome self because of the stress of being marginalized. In the minds of those at school and the victim is “trouble”. Also, because of having been bullied for so long, the victim may react out of not only self-defense, but exhaustion as well. This poor, tired target has been harassed for so long that he really cannot help but to react and the bullies slyly use the reaction as further proof that the victim is either trouble or crazy. It is because of this that teachers and staff may think the worst of the poor, innocent student. They may also think that just because everyone seems to hate the target, there must be a reason that justifies it. In their minds, the target deserves what is happening to them. And when a teacher does not like a student, they may either refuse to help them or may secretly take pleasure in seeing the poor kid suffer. Teachers and school staff are just as capable as the classroom bullies of hating and hurting a student they deem undesirable.

This is why parents must stay proactive in protecting and advocating for their child even when it seems that the school isn’t listening. Let them know that you will not go away until the problem is solved. Go to the media if you have to.

Assure your child that his/her reputation does not equal character and that the bullies have the issues. Know there will come a time when your child will escape their tormentors and have true friends who love them for them. Constantly tell them that they are worthy of having friends and being loved. You might just keep your child’s self-esteem from completely tanking and even save his/her life!

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Bullies Always Get Their Power from An Entourage.

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You will never see a bully alone. Why? Because a bully could never handle being by his/herself. Peer-abusers are cowards…wimps…wusses! They always attack in groups because they need their “wingmen” as a source from which to draw power. Without their backup, bullies are just as powerless as you are. Any bully is too afraid to attack you one on one because they fear that you could possibly bury them where they fall.

Yet, victims are (mistakenly) branded as cowards although they are the ones who come to school and face bullies…alone, no matter how viciously they get brutalized. Through all the name-calling…all the taunts…all the brutal beatings…all the threats to their lives, targets manage to reach within themselves and push on another day. To endure that every single day for several years and still find the resolve to soldier on? Now that takes courage! These kids are the real warriors!

It takes bravery to be a target of relentless bullying and remain standing tall. To be a victim of daily and constant bullying and make it to the finish line of high school graduation? To stay in the race, while most bullies drop out when the going gets tough? That’s not only brave, it’s heroic! To be your own hero? That takes guts…guts bullies will never have!

Now…will the real wimps in the classroom please stand?
I rest my case.

If you are a victim, know that your bullies could never be half the man/woman you are! You have more heart, more soul and more strength than they ever will! Keep the faith!

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72

The Benefits of Getting Older

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No one enjoys the thought of getting older, I’m no exception. However, if we’re lucky to live long enough, it is an unavoidable reality we’ll all face eventually. The reasons we fear the advancement of age is the loss of our youthful good looks, decline of physical strength and endurance and the rising possibility of illness and death…all very legitimate concerns.

I have often heard Judge Judy tell young litigants whom stood before her, “Beauty fades but dumb is forever”.
She is right. And I believe her definition of “dumb” is not level of intelligence per se, but the refusal to learn anything new and hold on to beliefs and values which may never benefit us. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and being from a small town, I’ve met countless people my age whom haven’t learned much and continue to hold prejudices which should have long been done away with, while lamenting about and dreading getting older. But getting older is certain. Why not be grateful for each day given you? As the old saying goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”.

Intelligence and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years always trumps beauty, strength, health, or anything physical because once we’ve lost all the physical blessings we once had, smarts is the only thing we’ll have left before we finally leave this world.

There are many positives to getting older. Here are my takeaways:

1. I feel very blessed to have lived this long. A lot of people never make it to be my age.

2. Being older has made me confident and comfy in my own skin, giving me the freedom to be myself without fear.

3. I have become choosy of the people I keep in my life, preferring family and a few of my closest friends. I prioritize the people I love, who love me and who mean the most.

4. I don’t waste time with people who are fake or who don’t have my back. I love myself enough to walk away from toxic people who would otherwise bring me down and I can do it free of guilt.

5. It’s much easier to say, “NO”.

6. I have gained a truckload of knowledge and wisdom!

I wouldn’t trade any of these benefits for all the beauty or money in the world, which is why I don’t toil over my age nor do I hide it because I consider it an asset and a testament to how far I’ve come.

Mary Kay Ashe once said, “A woman who tells her age will tell anything.”
I disagree.
But a woman who tells her weight? Now there’s a woman who will tell anything!

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72

The Three ‘B’s of Bullying: Baiting, Bashing and Blaming

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Baiting
First a bully slyly baits her intended victim by provoking her for a reaction. If the victim blows it off and fails to react, the bully meticulously and subtly intensifies the taunts over time, wearing her down until achieving the desired reaction, often making sure that bystanders and authority are present. A bully is very much aware that everyone has their breaking point.

Bashing
Once the target reaches his limit and reacts (yelling, telling the bully off, cursing the bully out, punching the bully in the face, etc.), the bully weasels his way into the hearts of bystanders and authority, using superficial charm and charisma to feign victimhood. He bashes the victim by using the perfectly normal reaction as proof of the victim’s “mental illness” or “meanness”, making it look as though the victim is at fault, to distract others from the bully’s own evil actions and project guilt onto the victim.

Blaming
Once the bully has succeeded in turning everyone against the victim, she entices others to join her in shaming the target. Everyone may gang up on the victim, making statements such as, “Aww! You just need to toughen up!” or “Can’t you take a joke?”. The victim may be accused of “bringing it all on herself”, when in reality, the opposite is true- it is the victim who has been harassed for months, even years, having tried to handle the abuse calmly and objectively, only to succumb to exhaustion and reach her limit.

Moreover, when the victim reports the abuse, the guilt is placed on the victim and the bully goes unpunished, taking the impunity as a green light for future torment. All the while, the victim is seen in a very negative light, with no other choice but to endure the torment in silence, just to keep from further tarnishing her already damaged reputation. Each time a report is made, others who are often in a position to help, blow the victim off, thinking that the torment is justified. The bully then becomes more emboldened and the victim becomes more devastated and damaged. The more brazen the bully becomes, the higher the degree to which the harassment escalates and the more frequent and intense the attacks become until the victim is maimed,is killed,is removed, transfers schools to escape the torment or commits suicide.

The bully benefits from the feeling of power and control she gets from mistreating her victim and getting away with it, having a sense that she is invincible and untouchable. The bully also enjoys the sympathy and petting received from others.
This strategy is also used as a means of striking fear into and silencing the victim, discouraging any future attempts at speaking out and exposing the bully for what she truly is…a cowardly, sniveling piece of human filth.

If you are a victim of bullying, you already know too well how it feels to be mistreated and then blamed for your own torment. It’s horrible enough to be constantly harassed, but to be blamed for that harassment is downright devastating and leaves you feeling completely powerless! Understand that this is just another weapon the bully uses and how he/she is allowed to continue their bad behavior with impunity. And it is nothing new! Bullies have always used this method.

So, remember the 3 ‘B’s- Bait, Bash and Blame and I believe that you will be better able to explain your situation when you report the harassment.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72

Bullying or Tough Love (Part 1)

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Too many people confuse constructive criticism with bullying. Having been bullied in school myself, I learned the difference between the two at a very early age. To distinguish between bullying and tough love, we much first know the difference between destructive and constructive criticism.

Destructive Criticism is intended to tear the recipient down with name-calling, taunts, digs and the like. Destructive criticism is also continuous, happening repeatedly over a long period of time (over several months or years). Its purpose is to cause discouragement and fear or to wreck the self-esteem. In short, it is designed to do harm. Destructive Criticism is Bullying.

Constructive Criticism is designed to build the recipient up and help him/her grow by reminding them of what they did wrong, then teach them ways to improve or to right that wrong. It is designed to prevent the person from making the same mistake again. Constructive Criticism is meant for discipline and can come in the form of consequences for wrongdoing. Therefore, it doesn’t always feel good to the recipient. “No pain, no gain.”

Bullying is meant to confuse, hurt and to keep you down.
Tough Love is meant to teach, mold and grow you.

Bullying demeans you and tears you down.
Tough Love betters you and builds you up.

Here are examples:

Destructive Criticism: “You’re stupid!”
Constructive Criticism:What you did was stupid.”

Destructive Criticism: “You’re a moron.”
Constructive Criticism: “You’re acting like a moron.”

Destructive Criticism attacks the person.
Constructive Criticism attacks the deed or act committed by the person.

To be continued in part 2…

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72

A Warm, Loving Post Dedicated to My Mother, My “Shero”!

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I would like to thank the most amazing lady in my life, my mother. Up or down, thin or flush, she has stood by me and saved me from so many terrible things.

During my teen years, I made so many poor choices that when I look back today, I am truly surprised I’m still alive to talk about it and have no doubt it’s all because of her. I can only imagine the nights she sat up crying and praying for me back then. Although I did not appreciate her efforts back then and even snubbed them, my heart overflows with love and gratitude for my mom today.

I’ve got to tell you…it totally amazes me how she carried us through after Daddy left. She worked her fingers to the bone to make sure we had everything we needed and there wasn’t a Christmas nor birthday when we didn’t get exactly what we wished for. Even more amazing was that she was so savvy with money that she managed everything on her own with no child support, no handouts, no government assistance…no help from anyone!

Mama carried such a heavy load. I remember the many evenings she would come home tired and worn from a hard day’s work, only to cook dinner and keep a good home for us. She worked from sun-up to sundown and as much as we wanted to help her out, she wouldn’t let us, preferring for us to use our time to study instead.

She worked long hours at a difficult job, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, yard-work…even fixed things around the house, the lawn mower and changed a tire on the side of the road when we had a flat on the way to school one morning. The many things she did were consider a man’s work. On top of all that were countless doctor’s and dentist’s appointments, Girl Scout meetings, trips to Grandma’s and family get-togethers. She did a job for both parents!

When I was seventeen years old, I made the decision that I was done with school and I was dropping out. Being exhausted from the daily bullying I had long endured, it was the only thing I felt I could do to preserve my sanity.
Although I knew that my mother would emphatically object to such a decision, I mustered up the courage to tell her during supper. I simply told her “I’m not going back.”

“What???” She asked, raising her voice.
“I’m not going back. I quit.” I told her.
“Like hell you’re not!” She objected.
I just shook my head.
“I’m not going, Mom! And that’s that!” I insisted.
“Oh, yes you are! You’ll go to school if I have to drag you there, kicking and screaming! You are NOT going to let them cause you to be some dumb dropout! I won’t allow it!” She demanded.

My mother and I bickered about it throughout the entire evening until I finally agreed to go.

Today, I thank my mother for holding firm. No matter what I threw at her, she didn’t back down and kept me from doing something, which could have had negatively affected my future. Because of her resolve, I went on to graduate and continue to an eventual college degree. I could never have done it without Mom. Although we had a turbulent relationship during those years, I now sing her praises every chance I get. I have nothing but honor and respect for her.

No matter how many disagreements we may have, nor how much we may fuss, I will always love her and be there for her, just as she has always been and always will be for me.

Mom, words can’t express how truly grateful I am for your patience and resilience. I’m who I am today because of you. Know that you are truly special in the eyes of not only your children, but so many others. Words nor actions can never tell you how much I love you! I could never be half the woman you are!

“Her children rise up and call her blessed” Proverbs 31:28

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Why I am an Advocate for Bullied Kids and Loyal Fan of PRINCE

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My first Prince experience was when I was a little girl lying in the hospital, seriously injured after a near-fatal car accident. Being confined to a hospital bed with nothing to do but watch television allowed me the pleasure of watching “His Royal Badness” perform, “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. Though I don’t recall the show, I do remember being hooked…instantly!

With each album, “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy”, “1999”, and the iconic “Purple Rain”, the hungrier I became for more of his music…for more of him! If you are a fan like me, you can imagine my disappointment when my mother forbade me to purchase the “Purple Rain” soundtrack or see the movie. You can also imagine my heartbreak upon hearing of Prince’s death on April 21, 2016.

Sadly, I will never meet him backstage and he will never read this blogpost, which only proves that these words come from my heart…the heart of a loyal Prince fan.

I’ve loved countless bands and musicians, but Prince will always be at the top of my list of favorite artists. Let’s face it! The man was a genius, having the ability to play over twenty instruments and propelled several proteges (Vanity, Apollonia and Sheila E., to name a few) to stardom! Even more beguiling was his quiet demeanor and subtle charm!

Being a Prince-lover didn’t only mean bopping around my bedroom to his music, nor clamoring in front of the record store for the next new Prince tape or CD, nor waiting anxiously in front of the theater to see the next Prince movie. No! It also meant reading every magazine article I came across that mentioned his name.

While reading one such article, I found that “His Purple Majesty” suffered a humble and difficult childhood, one which included a broken home and school bullying- an article in which Prince thanked his bullies for his success.

I know what you must be thinking because I thought the same: “No way! Who would ever bully Prince???”

When I listen to “The Beautiful Ones” and hear the lyrics,

“…paint a perfect picture
And bring to life a vision is one’s mind
The Beautiful Ones always smash the picture
Always every time…”,

I can’t help but think of bullies and abusers whom take pleasure in destroying others’ confidence, happiness, creativity and dreams!

Prince never gave up on his, regardless of others who constantly flooded his ears with negativity. I say this because I can relate to what he must have endured.

Not only was I bullied, I knew others whom were as well, one of whom was Dominic (not his real name), a boy I knew in middle school. Being the new kid and having moved from New York, Dominic suffered daily mocking, horrible names and physical beatings at school. Yet he continued to smile, be himself, and push through each humiliating day with hope and optimism. I looked up to this kid because, like Prince, he had the heart of a lion!

As a published author and advocate, not only do I admire Prince, but also the multitudes of everyday people whom persevere under overwhelming pressure. It’s the unsung heroes and heroines…the little people, the have-nots and the unknowns whom struggle with no notoriety, awards or huge, adoring fan-base who are the real stars!

Because they continue to dig deep within themselves and claw their way through endless adversity with a smile,just as Prince did on his way up, they are the heart and soul of humanity…the true definition of courage!

To anyone who is knocked down and drug through the dirt, consistently and over time, and still manages to jump back to their feet and remain optimistic? All I can say is, “Wow!”, because I am amazed at their bravery and resilience! I doubt I could ever have half the strength these people have!

To the Princes, the Dominics…the fighters and underdogs…the soldiers who battle alone, yet continue to shine and follow their own hearts, amid struggle and overpowering hardship, I solute you!

Rest in Peace, Prince Roger Nelson! I will always solute you!

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cherie72