It’s because they somehow appeal to the self-interest of the school and school district. So, how do bullies do this, you might ask?
There are several ways:
- Many bullies are stars of the school’s sports teams. Let’s face it. Schools have an interest in their sports teams. They want to win games and to win in regional, state, and national championships. Why? Because it bolsters the school’s image. And what school board member or principal wouldn’t want these things?
And if the school has a great reputation, the larger number of attending students they’re likely to have, and the more parents they’re likely to have to want their kids to attend. And the more students they have, the more funding the school gets from their state. Understand that schools have a vested interest in keeping their images in a positive light.
- Many bullies excel academically. Schools are also rated by the grades their students make. If a school can keep the dropout rate low and crank out more graduates, particularly those who are students with high honors and candidates for colleges, the better their reputations and the higher the school is rated. And sadly, because of bullying, many targets drop out.
So, right or wrong, why would the school side with anyone other than its brightest stars and highest achievers?
It’s because schools are afraid that if they suspended a lot of bullies, the bullies’ grades will drop. Then, their parents, who are more than likely adult bullies, would show up demanding to know why their little darlings were suspended? And, this brings me to number three.
- Many of these parents mentioned in number two are boosters. People who help fund the school’s programs. And trust me when I say that schools won’t risk losing these funders!
Therefore, schools will always side with the bullies and blame the target because appealing to the self-interest of any person or entity equals POWER! And most targets of bullying, I’m sorry to tell you, either don’t have the power that bullies have, or they don’t think they do.
I want you to realize that in most cases of bullying, it’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about who is perceived to have the most power. Again, most people care less about right and wrong. What they care about is power and how you can benefit them in some way, shape, or form.
“What’s in it for me?”
If you can find a way to appeal to the school’s self-interest, then you have an ace in the hole.
Here are ways you can do this:
- Excel and keep your grades up. I realize that this can be hard to do when you’re a target of relentless bullying because it breaks your concentration. Instead of focusing on schoolwork, you naturally focus on ways to be safe. That’s completely understandable. But make your bullies your motivation to excel.
There’s nothing wrong with compensating. And sometimes you must compensate to buffer your self-esteem and protect your mental health. So, compensate for your lack of friends and social connections with stellar grades and class performance. It will pay huge dividends. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself.
- Find ways to benefit the school with your talents and gifts. If you can use your talents to bolster the school’s image, that’s a win for you, and the school will more likely support and protect you from bullies.
If you can sing, join the school choir and win in the all-state championships. Not only will you look good, but your school will also look good too!
Knowledge is power. So use it to your advantage!