Bullies Sunday, June 14, 2009

I was just reading Clifford Meth’s blog. Clifford Lawrence Meth (February 22, 1961) is an American writer and editor best known for his dark fiction.
Mr. Meth always has something to say about something, and it’s often relevant

This time he was writing about his son’s issues with bullies.
This is why is was relevant to me .
We’ve all met them. The little snots,the big jackasses and the more malicious cretins whose bullying is becoming the way to shut down comment or open, honest discussion.
We’ve dealt with them,been harassed by them, and may have even been them.
As a parent and as a teacher, I’ve tried to be aware of bullies, and to deal with them as effectively as possible. I would think I’ve failed as often as I’ve succeeded.

How do you deal with them when it’s your child being picked on.
Easy answer might be to sort it out yourself, as some parents and teachers have tried to do. Then of course, you’ve supplanted one bully with another.

My son Wyatt is five. The other bullies are five, or six perhaps.
We were at a birthday party for Wyatt’s classmates. It started as a play-fight. Things you see in schoolyards and school hallways everyday. The kids would throw their punches and let go with kicks, no one was hit,but the energy behind the actions started to escalate.
Watching it from a distance was not pleasant, but I made myself wait to see how Wyatt could deal with it. Wyatt didn’t punch or kick, just waved his hands at the others and then they moved in. I half stood and then the moment passed.
There were a few more incidents, but nothing came of them.
I’ve certainly seen the end results of more malicious incidents at school.
For me to step in as a parent or a teacher is to make the bullied more of a target, I can only hope that the few times I pulled a really nasty little snot away, or consoled a victim,that I’ve done some good.

I’ll leave you with this short bit of dialogue from one of my favorite films
‘The Ghost and the Darkness’ written by William Goldman
(this is actually from the original screenplay and Redbeard became Remington -played by Michael Douglas- in the movie)

In my town, when I was little,
there was a brute, a bully who
terrorized the place.
But he was not the problem. He
had a brother who was worse than
he. But the brother was not the
One or the other of them was
usually in jail. The problem came
when they were both free together.
The two became different from
either alone.
Alone they were only brutes.
Together they became lethal,
together they killed.

What happened to them?

I got big.
(They move on)
(Used completely without permission,but with no realistic hope of profit)