A Dangerous Precedent: When Teachers Label Targets “Difficult” or “Trouble”

Mobbing at work concept, sketch of boss kicking his employee with red heels from behind on chalkboard

Many teachers and school staff often stick targets of mobbing and bullying with labels such as, “trouble,” “difficult,” or “problem child.” This sets the targeted child up to be discriminated against by their school and creates a very hostile and dangerous environment when adults are prejudiced against the poor, confused, and, in most cases, helpless kid.

In these types of situations, the target is only bullied worse because he/she isn’t afforded the same due process that their classmates and other kids get. As a result, the school staff ends up sticking up for the bullies and supporting, even encouraging them to bully that child.

We must realize that targets may act out due to the prolonged bullying they suffer and resulting stress because, let’s face it, no one can withstand the intense pressure of bullying and mobbing for long.

When a target is bullied and mobbed by their classmates, they are coerced and forced to submit to horrendous and downright grotesque abuse that is unfathomable to most adults. In other words, the message they receive from others is just to “shut up and take it.”

In fact, when you’re a target of school bullying and mobbing, your world becomes quite Kafkaesque and even you have a hard time believing what you’re experiencing. So, is it any wonder that no one else can believe it either?The questions, “What the hell?” and “Is this really happening?” come to mind and you feel as if you’ve stepped into the twilight zone.

This is because being mobbed is the feeling of being crushed by nonsensical, bizarre, and blind abuse and you’re powerless to understand or control what is happening.

The target suffers mistreatment, isolation, exclusion, and yes- even brutal physical beatings. And he’ll be too afraid to plead for help because he knows that not only will school staff ignore his cries, but his bullies will take retribution on him for daring to open his mouth.

Eventually the target snaps and acts inappropriately due to long-lasting and extreme stress. The bullying and abuse she suffers are ignored but the target’s reactions to it won’t be ignored. That’s when the target becomes re-victimized by the very adults, school, and system which is supposed to protect her.

Here’s an example:

A girl is bullied by everyone in her class. The teacher either doesn’t see it, thinks the girl deserves it, or thinks that bullying is only a right of passage that builds character. During one occasion, the targeted girl gets fed up with being mistreated. She turns around and punches the girl sitting behind her who pulled her hair.

Now the teacher, very conveniently, doesn’t see the other girl pull the target’s hair but she does see the target turn around and punch her in the nose. Therefore, the teacher punishes the target without even considering what the other girl did to the target to prompt her to punch her.

The message the teacher sends is crystal clear: The target has no recourse, and the bully now has carte blanche to continue bullying her in the future. So, this same scenario repeats itself a few times, and, the next thing you know, the target gets a bad name with the school staff, and they become very suspicious of her.

The principal catches the target in the hall between classes and tells her, aloud, in front of the other students, that he is watching her. The other kids, especially the bullies, overhear the principal and take it as a green light to continue their abuse because they know they won’t be held accountable. After all, if the target reports the bullying, who’s going to believe the “problem child?”

So, the school staff continue to harangue the target, making her situation much worse than what it needs to be. And their justification for their treatment of her is to protect the other students who fit into what is “normal” and who obey the rules. Therefore, they use that to defend their emotional abuse of the target and their singling her out for humiliation in front of God and everyone.

Understand that, when this occurs, the school is willingly participating in destroying another human being.

Therefore, it’s imperative that targeted students and teens hold on to their sense of self, their pride, and their confidence. They must hold on to those treasures with everything they have.

teacher bully

It’s also crucial that parents and grandparents teach them how- they must teach these children to believe in themselves even when it seems that no one else believes in them. They must teach them to know their worth even when others don’t.

They must teach them to love and respect themselves even as others hate and disrespect them because it is during the most difficult times that they’re need these virtues.

With knowledge comes power!