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!

All About Bullying and School Politics

bullied victim hated demonized put down dehumanized

When there’s a culture of bullying at school, everything is all about appearances. And it isn’t about what’s being done; it’s about who’s doing it.

Sadly, people often hold victims of bullying to a double-standard. If someone makes a statement, it’s never about the comment itself, but who it came from. Unfortunately, politics, whether it be on a national, local, school, or office level, is rife with double-standards.

Here are a few scenarios for examples:

1. The student body and people in the community find out that a particular girl is in a monogamous romantic relationship and that she and her boyfriend are not only dating; they have sex every weekend.

If she’s a target of bullying, she’s a “whore” or “slut.” And her boyfriend must be with her for the sole purpose of getting in her pants. It’s only a matter of time until he gets tired of her and dumps her for something better. And everyone uses her lack of celibacy as a means to persecute her.

bullied victim demonized horns effect

On the other hand, what if she’s not a target of bullying (And she doesn’t have to be one of the popular crowd, she can be just an average Jane who blends in)?

As long as she’s any girl who doesn’t get bullied- she and her boyfriend are only in love, and they’re only experimenting and exploring the sexual terrain, which is only a normal part of being a young couple in love. And everyone either cuts her some slack and either doesn’t say anything, or  congratulates her for reaching the milestone of finding love and losing her virginity.

Here are a few more examples:

2. A boy in the school is going out and getting drunk or high on the weekends.

If he’s a target of bullying, he’s a worthless drunk or druggie.

If he’s any boy who isn’t a target of bullying, however, he’s “cool,” he’s a hellraiser! He’s only doing what most teenage boys will try at some point during their adolescent years. And others dismiss it as his being one of the crazy kids from high school.

bullies double standard two faced hypocrite

3. It’s discovered that a girl at school is pregnant.

If she’s a bullied girl, she’s a cheap little slut, and it’s no surprise she’s “knocked up.” People shun her like Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Everyone judges her harshly and has the attitudes that she and her baby will only live on welfare and leach from society while the non-bullied kids will move on to successful careers.

And that they will be stuck paying taxes, which will support this sorry excuse for a human being and her little spawn.

But if she’s any girl who isn’t a target of bullying, then she’s just a good girl who made a bad mistake. And everyone reaches out to her and extends compassion.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Realize that school, office, any kind of politics and double-standards are firmly put in place to keep a select few down and oppressed.

positive thumbing your nose

In a nutshell, if you aren’t a target of bullying, there’s margin for error and you’re allowed to explore many worlds. You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to be a human being.

But if you’re a target of bullying, you’re not afforded any of it. You’re not allowed to be yourself. You’re not allowed to be human because in the minds of others, you aren’t human at all. In the minds of the student body, you aren’t even allowed to be- to exist.

But no matter how they judge you, do it anyway.

1. Allow yourself to make mistakes because that’s how you learn.

2. Be yourself because that’s how you weed out the people who aren’t supposed to be in your life and attract into your world the people who belong there.

3. Be human because being human is what exposes the people who are wrong for you and shows you the people who are right for you.

4. And don’t only exist, but live! Be alive! Live life to the fullest!

5. And know that happiness is a choice! And that you do have the power to choose.