Teachers Who Label Bullied Students

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. They brand them with labels, such as, “trouble,” “difficult,” or “problem child.” This sets the targeted child up to be discriminated against by their school. Therefore, it creates a very hostile and dangerous environment when adults are prejudiced against the poor, kid.

In these types of situations, the target is only bullied worse. Why?  Because he/she isn’t afforded the same due process that their classmates get. As a result, the school staff ends up empowering the bullies. Even worse, they end up supporting the bullies, even encouraging them to bully that child.

We must realized that targets may act out due to prolonged bullying and resulting stress.

Let’s face it, no one can withstand the intense pressure of bullying and mobbing for long. A person can only be pushed so far. If you kick a dog long enough, you’ll get bit eventually.

When a target is bullied and mobbed by their classmates, they are forced to submit to horrendous and downright grotesque abuse.  And this kind of bullying is unfathomable to most adults. The message targets 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. 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.  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.

Even worse, you’re powerless to understand or control what is happening.

The target suffers mistreatment, isolation, exclusion, and yes- even brutal physical beatings. Therefore, he’ll be too afraid to plead for help because he knows that the school staff will ignore his cries. And what’s more frightening is that 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 will be ignored but the target’s reactions to it won’t be ignored. Therefore, 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 or thinks the girl deserves it. And maybe, the teacher thinks that bullying is only a right of passage that builds character. During one occasion, the bully sitting behind the targeted girl pulls her hair. The target then gets fed up with being mistreated. Unable to tolerate any more abuse, she turns around and punches the bully who pulled her hair.

Now the teacher, very conveniently, doesn’t see the other girl pull the target’s hair. However, 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 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. That’s when everyone becomes very suspicious of her.

The principal catches the target in the hall between classes. He tells her, aloud, in front of the other students, that he is watching her. The other kids, especially the bullies, overhear the principal. As a result, they 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 the target 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. It’s all an excuse for 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, pride, and 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. Why? Because it is during the most difficult times that they’re need these virtues the most.

With knowledge comes power!

The Environment That Conditions You Most

What is the environment that conditions and shapes you the most when you’re in school or working? I’ll give you a hint: It isn’t the home!

Our environments determine our mental health.

They have ways of molding and shaping us, especially during our formative years. For example, a child who grows up in an abusive environment is, more than likely, going to either grow up to be an abusive adult. Or worse, they will grow up to be weakened and powerless. Remember that a person’s formative years (childhood) is the most impressionable and it determines their future!

Yes, there are exceptions to this rule. There are a few kids who develop a strong sense of self, either through dogged determination or an outside mentor. Those are the kids who make it out and create successful lives from themselves. However, most do not, and it’s sad.

You have three types of environments:
  1. Nourishing Environment (Very Healthy)
  2. Neutral Environment (Somewhat Healthy)
  3. Toxic Environment (Unhealthy)

Understand that the environment you spend most of your day in, will the one that will likely condition you. And if you spend most of your day-to-day life in a bullying environment, your mental health will suffer!

For example, a certain school kid lives in a loving and healthy home. But his classmates at school bully him mercilessly and without fail.

Now, let’s do the math:

A child or teen who is growing must have around 10 hours of sleep per day. So, subtract 10 hours for 24 hours and you’re left with a total of 14 waking hours. The average young student then spends about 8 hours per day in school. Subtract 8 hours from 14 waking hours and you have only six waking hours away from school.

Then we must figure in school bus time, or commuting time, which, for the average schoolkid, is 30 minutes to 1 hour, one way. Therefore, that’s 1-2 hours roundtrip (Keep in mind that most kids who are bullied at school are also bullied on the school bus).

Subtract that from 6 waking hours and the schoolkid in this scenario has only 4-5 waking hours at home in her loving and nourishing environment.

24 Hours (One Day)

-10 hours (Sleep)

-8 hours (School)

-1 or 2 hours (School bus)

= only 4 to 5 hours awake at home

So, that bullied child, although living in a loving and nourishing home environment, spends twice as many waking hours in a toxic school environment. Therefore, the bullying he suffers at school is likely to nullify the love and acceptance he gets at home. And he will be conditioned either to hate himself, or not to think much of himself. Because he spends more time with his bullying peers than he spends with his loving and accepting family, he’s still more likely to have self-esteem issues and lack confidence.

Now, do you see how this works?

Even sadder, the self-esteem and confidence of kids who are bullied at school and abused or neglected at home will take an even bigger hit to their mental health! Why? Because they never get a reprieve from bullying, as abuse at home is a form of bullying in and of itself.

In conclusion, how a student is treated at school has a huge impact on their mental health. It doesn’t matter how loving and nurturing their home life is. Granted, having a positive home life certainly helps, the bullying a child or teen suffers at school will likely negate any love and acceptance she receives at home.

So, how do we reverse the damage school bullies have caused a child?

We simple create opportunities for the child to make friends outside of their school. This will create more positive social experiences for them. It will help to create a more even balance between the bullying and negativity they suffer and the friendships and positivity they enjoy. Even better, it might even tip the scales and create more positive experiences and social interactions than negative!

Therefore, the resulting rise in positive experiences and interactions outside the school environment will serve to buffer person’s self-esteem and mental health from the blows of negativity they get at school.

You can help the youngster create these positive connections and experiences by sending them to summer camp. Also, you can do it by enrolling them in a martial arts class or attending neighborhood family get-togethers where there are other kids present. Attending church and church functions is another great idea.

approved not rejected concept with checkbox

There are many, many opportunities available for the seizing! So, go for it! Give your bullied child these wonderful experiences! They will turn into awesome memories that will last a lifetime!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

That Empowering Feeling of Saying “No!”

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Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. Like when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  You know the feeling when they threaten either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you don’t do what they want you to do. I know the feeling because I’ve been there.

Nobody wants to get hurt. The natural human response is to submit and make the pain, torment, or the threat of, stop. In your mind, you’re thinking, “Alright, alright! I’ll do it if you’ll go away and leave me alone!” I get that because it’s what I did. I submitted to my bullies many times, too many times. I fell for the false promises that they would let me be and stop hurting me. But-

Saying yes to them meant saying no to myself.

They never made good on those promises. The harassment didn’t stop. If anything, it only got worse! Anytime I did say no, I got threatened and yes, even physically attacked.

Saying no to a bully is never an easy option. Bullies don’t take no for an answer, least of all from their targets! However, not only is it necessary, but it feels darn good sometimes!
If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve said the word “no” a lot more than I did. I wouldn’t have cared about the retaliation I might have faced. Unless one of my bullies had done something drastic, like pulled a gun, I’d have stood firm.

In no way would I advice anyone to risk their life. If someone pulls a gun on me, I will do what I must do to stay alive! I’ll do what he wants and tell him what he wants to hear. I’ll dance a jig wearing fluorescent orange and white polka-dotted bell bottoms if it keeps me from dying!

I’ll grant you, saying no is risky.

But if they only threaten me with the business end of their fists, I know I’m only going to come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip. In a situation like that, it’s much safer to say no. Those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing I hadn’t let myself down will last for years.

However, if you do choose physical safety first, I want you to know that you’re not wrong for that. In no way will I ever think less of you if you submit to your bullies’ demands. As I mentioned earlier, a natural reaction is to obey to keep from being harmed.

And the winner is...

Today, I say that little two-letter word a lot more and will continue to say it in the future. It doesn’t matter what people say, how they feel about it or what they do. I would much rather get the crap kicked out of me and still feel good about myself for taking a stand. Today, I’d rather take a beating than to cave under pressure.  I’m funny about letting myself down by doing something I didn’t want to do. To me, that’s worse than getting my butt kicked! But that’s just me.

Many times, I let myself down by saying yes.

My physical wounds healed. But knowing I let someone else force me to do something I neither wanted to nor agreed to, left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from. I ended up asking myself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness was worse than the physical pain I would have suffered.

So, permit yourself to say that tiny little word because it can be so empowering! You may indeed get your tail kicked, but at least you’ll feel good knowing you got hurt because you stood for something! Those psychological benefits will significantly outweigh the embarrassment of any beat down! Besides, you forced a bully to do something foolish and which will likely get him in trouble with an adult or the law! So, I ask you! Who’s the real winner here?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How You Regain Your Power

You regain your power by changing your mindset. Realize that a victim mentality only breeds a funky attitude.

I may have been a target, but I was never a victim. I thought I was during the entire time I was bullied and for a while after it was over. Understand that a victim mentality, when taken to extremes, serves no purpose. It only breeds laziness and entitlement. You feel that the world owes you something. It doesn’t.

I had the same attitude and it got me nowhere!

Also, if you hold on to it and let it define you, you’ll only attract more bullies and abusers in your life. We are what we think, and the universe will provide more of the stuff that matches our thoughts.

That is why it’s so important that you shed this mentality of defeat. Only then will you re-empower yourself and win true peace and happiness!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Long Recovery from Bullying (Part 2- Graduation and Beyond)

Graduation was bittersweet. Although I was happy to graduate high school, I was sad because I would miss my classmates and teachers from Roseburg High. I felt that it ended too soon.

My first five years post-graduation was full of ups and downs. I struggled with bouts of depression and didn’t know why. I was on the rollercoaster again and desperately wanted to get off but didn’t know how. Having babies and being a post-partum new mother only doubled the depression that was already there.

I lived, and I worked. I was a mother of two small children but only going through the motions and surviving- existing. It felt as if I was living on autopilot. But then, something amazing happened!

In 1995, I came across a magazine article while on my lunch break at work. The article was about a kid severely bullied at school. Like me, his bullies had tormented him so horrifically that he thought about suicide and eventually transferred to another school. Also, like me, his life changed for the better. He, too, had made a complete turnaround and finally gotten the chance to experience the friends, fun, and excitement that high school was supposed to be.

Reading this article was a turning point for me, and finding it was one of the best things that happened. This piece in the magazine answered so many questions and confirmed that none of the abuse I’d suffered at my classmates’ hands was my fault. The article was also validation that there was never anything wrong with me. It only cemented the truth I’d always known deep down inside- I wasn’t to blame for their abuse.

They were the perpetrators.

They had the issues.

I was being held responsible for problems that were theirs, not mine.

With this confirmation came my empowerment!

During those years, many people, including a few well-meaning family members, had often told me that the bullying I suffered was all in my imagination or wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Many more had said to me that I brought it all on myself. Deep down, I knew better.

blame accuse pointing finger

In my heart, I had known the truth years before I found this article and held on to it. Maybe this personal knowledge was why I resisted my bullies and fought back, even if it meant getting hurt. And perhaps it was why I suffered so many physical assaults. Nevertheless, I needed confirmation- a second opinion of sorts, and the article was exactly what I needed.

At that moment, everything fit together like a perfect puzzle! I cannot express the relief I felt. It was as if the article had lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders. My heart began to soar!

For the first time, I was able to see the bullying for what it was- abuse!

I began to thirst for even more knowledge of bullying and the human predator/prey dynamic. From then on, I read everything I could get my hands on- magazine articles, essays, books, online articles, everything that pertained to bullying and peer abuse.

There were so many unanswered questions:

“What was it about me that made me a target?”

“How had my bullies been allowed to get away with their brutality?”

“What was it about my bullies that made them so charming and good to everyone else?”

The word Answer on a puzzle piece to symbolize the quest for understanding in answering questions and concerns

“What were the ingredients to their charm and allure?”

“Where had their intense hate, mean-spiritedness, and sadistic natures come from? What had precipitated it?”

“Had they too been abused, or were they just spoiled, coddled narcissists infected with schadenfreude?”

So many questions haunted me and increased my curiosity. So, I continued digging for information, like a police detective eager to solve a case.

During the late nineties, I came across Tim Field’s BullyOnline.org and hungrily read every one of his articles. The website was massive, and it took a while to read. I went through it with a fine-toothed comb. If I had questions, I emailed Tim, and he would always reply in a timely and courteous manner.

Sadly, Mr. Field is no longer with us. He passed away from cancer years ago.

It’s been 25 years since I found the article that changed my life, and I cannot tell you how many sources of information I’ve poured through. I can’t measure the truckloads of knowledge attained and how much just the knowing has empowered me.

Between experience and two and a half decades of reading, research, and study, I’ve gained insights that have empowered me even more. That article back in 1995 set me on a path to greater knowledge and a passion for helping other bullying targets through writing and advocacy.

I’ve found what I love to do, and it is so rewarding!

I thank God for placing that article in front of me that day at work. Otherwise, I might still be wandering in the dark and trying to find my way.

That magazine article truly changed my outlook on the bullying I suffered. I no longer see it as something that ruined my life. No.

I see the bullying as an event that gave me a fiery passion for speaking out about my own experiences and sharing the knowledge I’ve gained to help people who endure bullying today. It showed me my life’s work and, through that, gave me eventual confidence and happiness.

I do not need to hate my bullies, nor to take revenge. Turning abuse around to the benefit of others is how I turn victimization into power! And that, my friends, is the best revenge a person can ever take!

If you’re a target of bullying, know this:

What’s happening to you is wrong and it isn’t your fault. You never asked to be brutalized, you do matter, and you are enough!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Long Recovery from Bullying

PTSD

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Amber, a friend and fellow blogger who inspired me to write this post.

The healing certainly didn’t happen overnight. My trial by fire ended during my senior year when I finally managed to escape my Oakley High School bullies through a school transfer. My new school, Roseberg High, felt like a paradise! Everyone there accepted me as I was, and I made so many new friends. I felt safe again and was finally able to relax and be myself.

I felt as if my life was finally beginning, and I could finally put Oakley High School behind me and move on. But it didn’t come without a few hang-ups. The last several months at Roseburg were the best of all four years of high school, but I didn’t realize that I was still carrying a lot of leftover baggage from the severe abuse I suffered at the old school.

Although I was in a much safer learning environment, there were afternoons during my first month at Roseburg when I’d have a long cry after I got home from school. Being four months pregnant at the time, I mistook the tears for the raging hormones of pregnancy.

Though I loved my new school and all the people there, I regretted that I couldn’t have transferred schools earlier than I had. I was grieving the loss of so many years- years that I could never get back.

My then-husband worked a twelve-hour graveyard shift, and I spent most nights at home alone. In the afternoons, he would be asleep when I’d come in from school. So, I had plenty of time to grieve.

During those times, I also suffered flashbacks of the bullying, and they would come automatically and without warning- flashbacks of being shoved to the floor, brutally beaten, cursed out, and yelled at. At night I’d have nightmares.

In these nightmares, I’d be swimming in a lake and enjoying the water. Suddenly I’d stop and look around to see that my classmates from Oakley High were in the water as well, and they surrounded me. One of them would push my head underwater, and I’d fight like crazy to come back up for air.

But as soon as I’d get my head above water and gasp for breath, they’d shove me back under again. Once more, I’d have to hold my breath and fight with my arms flailing in the water, trying to come up and get away from them.

Finally, I couldn’t hold my breath any longer and had no other choice but to give up the fight to live. Just as I inhaled and felt the searing burn of water fill my lungs, I’d wake up with a jolt. I also had another dream that one of my old bullies hunted me down and shot me. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, so frightened I couldn’t move a muscle. I’d only lay there, trembling in the darkness.

During my first month out, I also dealt with a lot of sadness and anger that didn’t show. Roseburg High was my happy place, and while I was there during the day, I didn’t have those emotions, nor did I have the flashbacks. The sadness, anger, flashbacks, and dreams only happened when I was home alone or sleeping, and I wanted so badly to forget about Oakley and live in the present.

During that month, I also felt a degree of shame- shame that I now realize wasn’t mine to bear. In my mind, I’d ask myself,

“What’s wrong with me? I’m out of that hellhole now! I should be happy about that! And I am, but why do I keep having these episodes of crying and feeling angry any time I’m alone?”

When I felt angry, I wasn’t as mad at my former classmates but myself for allowing them to tear me down and bring me so low.

I felt like a battered wife who’d just left her abusive husband!

I was fortunate, though. It didn’t take long for the raw emotions, the flashbacks, and the nightmares to go away, and I begin to focus on making great memories with my Roseburg friends and classmates. During that month, I had allowed myself to feel and to cry. I talked to a few of my most trusted family and friends.

I realized that I wasn’t wrong to have those emotions as they were signs that something was terribly wrong in my previous environment. I also began to understand that I wasn’t what was wrong. I’m thankful that I didn’t bury those emotions like so many survivors of bullying do. I’ve since concluded that what I experienced was the release of feelings that had, for a long time, been suppressed.

They were emotions that I wasn’t allowed to have in the old environment and was afraid to feel and show because I knew they’d punish me for it with more bullying. The only alternative had been to keep those feelings buried deep. And although my parents were well-meaning, there were times that neither of them could accept the emotions I felt.

Only after I got out of there did they begin to pour forth.

After a month of riding that roller coaster, I can tell you that everything finally subsided, and I felt like a new person! I didn’t get any therapy, although I should have. I was young, newly married, and expecting my first child, and everything was changing so fast I could barely keep up. So, I worked through it on my own.

Beautiful cloudscape over the sea, sunrise shot

And with the help of a new and nourishing environment, a few trusted people in my life, and new friends, I was able to get through the horrible after-effects of bullying and peer abuse. I began to set goals to learn about computers and make Honor Roll at my new school. As my grades skyrocketed and I achieved those goals, so did my confidence!

Sadly, most survivors of bullying aren’t as lucky as I was. Many take years to even get through the grief.

(Continued in Part 2)

Excerpt from the Unpublished Novel, “A Mile in Charlotte’s Shoes” (Bullying, Social Politics, and the Power Dynamic)

To tell her exactly what was wrong would be like giving top secrets to the enemy! For Charlotte to correct the flaws and rise above the bullying and ridicule would possibly mean to rise above all of them and even worse, surpass them on the social totem pole. No way would they chance that ever happening! Her bullies had climbed to the top of the social ladder and the higher they climbed the more she saw of their behinds.

And once they are at the top, they would always find a way to kick Charlotte off that ladder, then meticulously pull it up behind them, leaving her trapped on the bottom and it was where they intend for her to stay.

It had been said that “you need money to make money.”. The same also went with friends. At Beulah High School, the unwritten rule was that a kid needed to already have friends, and lots of them, to make more friends. Unfortunately, Charlotte had not realized that nugget of truth back when it would have been most useful.

It seemed that the trick to crawling off the trash heap was to prove, or at the very least, give the illusion that you had never been on it, to begin with. And that was next to impossible given her notorious (however unwarranted) reputation, and sadly, Charlotte had worn this scarlet letter for so long that it had become ironclad.

Her peers, especially her bullies, needed her to stay on the bottom and would go out of their way to keep her on it. The pecking order needed whipping boys (or girls)- easy victories for those at the top to collect.

False compliments, fake sympathy, and fraudulent generosity that others showed the bullies and those highest in the pecking order? All of it was for show and Charlotte knew it. She saw all the chicanery and buffoonery for what it really was! Others knew it and hated her for it.

At Beulah High School, life was all about appearances and who the best and most convincing liars and fakers were. Nothing more.

It was not about what was being done, good or bad, it is about who was doing it and where they were in the social order. Anyone from the in-crowd could get wasted at a kegger and either puke everywhere, or pee their pants and it will only be seen as a funny story of a group of crazy kids from high school. But let Charlotte do the same and she would quickly be branded as a schmuck for the rest of her school career.

Cruel was always cool if someone else was on the receiving end of it. The hidden message was, Better you than me. The widely held attitude was that a person was always at their best and most alluring anytime they were delivering the worst insults to the bottom rats and everyone else either wanted to be seen with, have sex with, or be that person.

It was enchanting because everyone wanted to be the one person who was seemingly never in anyone else’s crosshairs and to have that cruel, unfair advantage on their side and working perfectly for them.

It seemed that everyone thought of these types as bad-asses and hell-raisers. Their consistent rule-breaking and torturing of the kids who haven’t matured as quickly, only got them rewarded with popularity, sex, fun- everything a young punk could ever want.

Seeing everyone get rewarded for such idiocy only made Charlotte crazy if she let it.

Another unwritten rule was that if a kid did not partake in, or at the very least, put on convincing airs that they were partaking in sex, drugs, rock, and roll, or anything that was considered cool, they would be branded a loser! A wuss! A bore!

And if you were labeled those things, you were plain S.O.L.

Many bullies and higher-ups only pretended to be drunk at parties. Most of those fakers would only take one sip from a bottle- just one! And suddenly, magically, they were plastered and silly, screaming with exaggerated laughter and stumbling all over the place.

Could they have been any more transparent?

But there was a bright side that Charlotte was too young to realize. The things about her that her classmates ridiculed and put her down for were the same characteristics that people would one day love about her.

Charlotte knew that her classmates were a bunch of coddled, punk kids who did not know human strength even if it came up and bit them. And it was only because they themselves did not have an ounce of it.

You couldn’t recognize something you never had or saw examples of.

Charlotte knew that most of the bullies came from families who were a bunch of materialistic, plastic, and fake put-ons themselves. They were not truly happy, otherwise, they would not work so hard at putting on airs.

The reason why they hated her so much was that, although they would never admit it, Charlotte was everything they only wished they could be- authentic and not afraid to be herself. And she knew that soon, there would come a day when she would have true friends, who adored her simply for being Charlotte.

(Continued in part 2…)

Bullying and Plausible Deniability

Most bullying is emotional and psychological torture. Sure, there are many physically violent bullies out there and they are psychologically traumatizing enough using their fists. However, physical bullies are either (a)not very socially intelligent and persuasive, (b) attack in groups wearing masks over their faces to give them anonymity, (c) so well-connected that they’re almost untouchable, or (d) couldn’t care less about the consequences they will face.

The reason most bullies prefer psychological violence is because there are no bruises, cuts, wounds, scars, or any visible marks on the target’s body. And without visible marks, there’s no proof of the abuse. Therefore, when you report the abuse, the perpetrators aren’t likely to get into trouble for it and you stand more of a chance of being accused of being too sensitive, paranoid, or mentally ill.

These are the reasons I recommend being prepared when you know you must walk into a snake pit.

Here are ways to gather evidence:

1. Document the abuse- I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it many more. It’s crucial to document each bullying incidence and do it in detail. Use the 5W method- (What, who, why, when, where…and sometimes how) write down what happened, who was involved, who were the bystanders and witnesses, why the bullying incident happened (retaliation for reporting a prior bullying incident?) when it happened (date and exact time of incidence) and where it happened (school bathroom, locker room, gym, behind the school, the parking lot, etc.).

2. Wear a body camera- If you live in a one-party consent jurisdiction and the laws permit you to wear one, I recommend you wear a body camera. In fact, I can’t stress it enough! Body cams that record both video and audio are your best bet, but if you can only get a cam that records video, that’s fine too as you can still capture physical attacks and body language. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video is worth a thousand pictures because if bullying is caught on video, there’s no question that it’s happening and it’s the best evidence you can get!

3. Keep a digital recorder handy- These are good for recording verbal altercations and many of them today can play recorded sound that is clear and not muffled.

4. Make 3-4 Copies of your evidence- Whether it’s documentation, body cam recordings, or digital audio recordings, it’s always best to make several copies of the evidence because schools, companies, and other entities are notorious for (deliberately) misplacing and losing a target’s evidence of bullying. Yeah, I know. Convenient, isn’t it?

5. Keep each of your copies in different (undisclosed) locations- This is so important! Because, if you think school districts and companies haven’t snooped through a target’s office, or worse, hired people to break into their houses to search for evidence they can dispose of, you’re wrong! When it comes to the threat of being sued, schools and companies will resort to anything, and I mean anything!

6. Screenshot and save any nasty and abusive emails, texts, or private messages- Very important! Any time bullies resort to cyber-bullying you via email, text, or private message, they automatically leave a paper trail! Screenshot it, save it, and, if need be, print them all out. Make copies of them and the files. Store each copy in an entirely different place (your house, your grandma’s house, your lawyer’s office, etc.) Store them in a fireproof safe!

They snoop through your garbage when you put it out on the street for the trash-men to pick up the next morning, break into your vehicle, and other nefarious things to cover their butts. I’ve read many an article about these things happening to targets of bullying, whether in school, the workplace, or community. And in today’s world, bullies are now targeting their victims for surveillance drones and school boards are targeting parents with electronic surveillance as well, then spreading their private information and pictures of children to some evil entities.

It’s a very dangerous world nowadays and you never know what sick people you just might be dealing with.

gavel and soundblock of justice law and lawyer working on wooden desk background

I can’t stress enough how important it is to gather your own evidence. Quietly do your own investigation. It’s pointless to rely on the school or workplace to investigate for you because the results will only be in the bullies’ and the investigating entity’s favor, not yours! Never, ever trust anyone else to gather evidence or investigate for you. When you’re targeted for bullying, you cannot afford to trust anyone but yourself and I’m not joking! When you’re bullied, it’s not the time to be lazy. The only person you can depend on is you. Only you can gather the evidence you need to prove that you’re targeted by bullies, take legal action, and get justice.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies Can Hide in Plain Sight

If you’ve ever been a target of bullying, have you noticed how bullies, their followers, and cohorts consistently brag and boast to others and among themselves about how they abuse you. They gloat to anyone who will listen to them, and people seem to get personal entertainment from it. And they’re not afraid to do it right in front of you.

You’ll hear statements such as:

“I beat the breaks off that *****!”

“That little punk got owned!”

“We sure put that wimp in her place!”

“When we see him, we’re going to cut him down to size!”

“We sure shut her down when she tried to open her mouth, didn’t we?”

And they do it while laughing and high fiving one another. In doing this, they openly admit that you’re their target and that they abuse you.

Yet, if anyone outside their group brings it up and, especially if you do, they will sneer, ridicule, and do their due diligence to silence you? They even deny that it’s happening, or they try and justify themselves.

Have you even wondered why these people do this- openly brag about the abuse they inflict on you, then turn around and, depending on the person bringing it up or the overall circumstances and environment, try to cover up the abuse?

It’s because this is the best way for the bullies to hide the abuse in plain sight and sadly, it works like a charm.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

15 Stages of Bullying and How It Progresses

Bullying is a process.

1. Bullies search for a target.

2. Bullies groom the potential target

3. A target is selected.

4. Bullies signal to bystanders that the target is ripe for bullying.

5. Bystanders are encouraged to join in the torment and unite with the bullies against the selected target.

6. Bystanders then become bullies themselves.

7. The target is involved in many physical fights in trying to defend themselves and gets labeled by teachers and staff as the troublemaker.

8. Bullies and bystanders go home and tell their parents and family members what a terrible person the target is.

9. The parents and family members of the bullies and bystanders go to work or the supermarket and relay the stories about the target to coworkers and friends- stories they were told by their children, grandchildren, younger siblings or cousins, nieces or nephews that this target is a terrible person.

10. The coworkers, friends, and extended family members then pass what they’re told to their families and word of the target’s perceived evilness or craziness spreads throughout the entire community.

11. The target’s reputation is destroyed.

12. The target’s opportunities for love, friendship, jobs, careers, etc. are either limited or lost.

13. The target either commits suicide or leaves town to pursue a better life.

14. The target who relocates finally gets a fresh start and reinvents himself.

15. The target rebuilds his/her life, begins to flourish, and creates a better life for themselves.

With knowledge comes empowerment!