May 5, 2014

Bullying Causes Kids to Arm Themselves

Oh, the horror!  Reason:

When children in school are subjected to bullying by their peers, they often make a logical but potentially dangerous choice: They arm themselves.

Researchers used a poll to calculate how frequently such behavior occurs. Twenty percent of high school students reported being bullied. They were twice as likely as the non-bullied to admit to having brought weapons to schools. The base percentage is small, 8.6 percent compared to 4.6 percent. But the likelihood the student carries a weapon increases the more different kinds of bullying the student has to deal with, from violence and intimidation to property theft. Researchers estimate based on the poll that 200,000 teens being bullied are bringing weapons to school.

The response from the researchers has a strong whiff of “Somebody do something!”-ism. From Science Daily:

“With estimates of more than 200,000 victims of bullying carrying a weapon to high school, more effective prevention efforts and intervention strategies need to be identified,” [principal investigator Lana] Schapiro added. “The greatest focus should not just be on bullies, but on the victims of bullies most likely to carry a weapon and potentially use deadly force if threatened.”

But if all these students are carrying weapons and yet there aren’t hundreds of thousands of incidences of school violence by bullying victims every day, what is the actual extent of the problem versus the fearmongering? Schools already have their terrible zero tolerance rules that have resulted in all sorts of twisted outcomes for stupid reasons. It’s easy to imagine misguided, indifferent school administrators responding to the study by exposing the bullied students to increased scrutiny, all in the guise of protecting student safety. That could have the additional impact of causing students to be even less likely to report harassment.

It’s easier for school administrators to bully the bullied than it is actually to combat bullying in any real sense, particularly when they’ve made it impossible for those being truly bullied to have any real effective recourse save being labeled “snitch”.  Like, for instance, hiring Adam Baldwin to tell Matt Dillon and his friends to stay the hell away from Chris Makepeace, or somebody was going to get a beating.

Such studies are nothing more than propaganda pieces aimed at boosting the anti-gun agenda; were we really concerned about “bullying,” we’d forget zero tolerance policies and work to identify the aggressors and cut those being abused some slack when they make the brave determination to fight back. Finally.

But then, that’s too difficult.  And really, if these bullied kids are going to keep making waves, perhaps its best if we just “nudge” them into keeping their goddamn baby mouths shut.

Man, how the times have changed.  And no, we aren’t better off for it.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:21am

Comments (21)

  1. Reason suffered a palpable confusion in the headline: “arms” was pronounced in a British accent and thus should be spelled ‘arms.

  2. I’m guessing the survey didn’t ask any of the students whether being armed had proven successful at curbing the bullying behavior they suffered. Heavens forfend that we see a study showing that 200,000 kids were armed, and 199,998 of them used their weapons in successful self-defense. That might detract from the need to DO SOMETHING! for the 2 who snapped.

  3. The guy that wanted to pick a fight with me when I was in 6th grade ran away when I took out my puny folding pocket knife.

    We got along a lot better after that.

  4. How to combat bullying:

    Recruit a bunch of non-bullying tough kids and give them permission to beat the tar out of anyone they catch bullying.

    Problem solved.

  5. Recruit a bunch of non-bullying tough kids and give them permission to beat the tar out of anyone they catch bullying.

    From the age of 6 my kids went to kickboxing/Kyokushin Karate until they got their black belts. I told them if they were being bullied at school, they were to take matters into their own hands. They wouldn’t hear a peep out of me, and I didn’t care what the school said or did. They had a trouble free adolescence.

  6. My boys were wrestlers and were likewise instructed to give any bullies a good pasting. They have also employed salty language that insulted the others parentage or their sisters virtue.

    I am a sterling mom and never heard any nonsense from the school about my little darlings.

  7. After an evening of taking leg kicks from their Shihan, they would be pretty sore. I explained that any fight at school would be like a walk in the park. I think a lot of the time kids are a little hesitant about taking the first hit.

  8. How to combat bullying:
    Recruit a bunch of non-bullying tough kids and give them permission to beat the tar out of anyone they catch bullying.
    Problem solved.

    How schools actually attempt to combat bullying:

    Promote total identification-with / subordination-to the group by collective punishment of individual misbehavior.

    The good kids learn there is no justice, and the bad kids learn there are no consequences.

    If you suspect that the system is designed to fail, you’d be correct.

  9. I contend everyone did, between the ages of 8-16, “bully” someone. Even the overweight asian, glasses wearing, honor roll, nerd that rarely made it to his next class without receiving at least a noogie went home and “bullied” his little brother.

    Personally, my bullying phase was pretty short lived, due to mistaking a Hutterite kid in 5th grade for “scrawny” when actually he was “wiry”. That black eye taught me a lot about life.

    I think this whole “bullying” project is misguided, the bastard kin of the self esteem movement that is designed to insulate kids from real life and produce metrosexual weenies devoid of common sense and self awareness.

    There are exceptions of course, where adults need to step in for extreme cases, but for Gods sake, now they are preaching about “bossiness”. I mean, if you are ready to jump on that bandwagon then of course it seems right and natural the POTUS focus the nation on an anti-bullying campaign.

  10. there’s alot of bullying going on but not at school. ask condy rice, ayaan hirsi ali, or brendan eich.

  11. Kids who are bullied also sometimes strike back and when they do they often identified by the authoritarian institution that permitted their bullying as the problem. Often they are labeled as suspected criminal psychopaths in larval form, but sometime they get off with ‘needs evaluation’ or ‘does not work well with others’.

    I encountered a great deal of incomepetence from teachers when I was in school in 70’s ans 80’s.

    I started out in a reading group for retards in 1st grade. I ended up in the top reading group after a different teacher asked me to read to her and did so with very little difficulty. And the teacher who put me in the retard group struggled with letting me out because she didn’t want to be wrong. In the end her conscience won over her personal pride.

    I hit a kid for hitting me back and all that got back to the school was that I hit a kid. How? I don’t know. I told my Mom and she went after the teacher and supposedly I would be watched and protected from further bullying. Not really. The teacher was easily fooled by four boys who always hung out together. I think about the the third witnessed hit caused some intervention. I was always told to ignore it. Ignoring just made things worse. The lesson the four learned was that they got two free ones before they might be in trouble.

    In early high school I got attacked and admittedly over-reacted. I picked up a desk. I did not use it as a club but more like a riot shield. I forced the kid against the wall. The teacher apparently thought I was wielding the desk like Cain wielded his murder stone. Oddly the person I attacked back with a desk later became my friend. Perhaps not a close one but a frequent companion to eat lunch with. But before that I had to go see a psychologist to see just how crazy I was. The psych at least recognized that I was bullied, angry, and slowly becoming a cynical asshole. He explained to me that puberty was coming late for me and that I needed to avoid going Lord of the Flies as much as possible, due to the growing weight difference, that I was reading as a little freakish and alien to some people and that kids did not react to that well to that feeling of having a weirdo that they couldn’t drive off or freeze out. He told me that I needed to reach out and be nice and make links to others or I’d live a very sad life and that I should not think in terms of justice and reciprocity since youth is a time of stupidity and madness that subsides to a more rational adulthood. Then he told my mom that he probably didn’t need to see me again but that I needed to ween myself off of the easy answers of a declared counter culture asshole because punk rock was already dead. (this was 1985).

    About this time I encountered folk music (Susan Vega) and poetry and acoustic guitar stuff for my soft side, and Blue Oyster Cult for my nerdy, clever, winking, but still rebellious side. I made friends with several other kids and left my bullied past behind though I remained a weirdo I was no longer an embarrassing or frightening one.

    I had a kid who tried to bully me in confirmation class and had to sucker slap the shit out of him on one occasion and lean over him and tell him that he wasn’t big enough, tough enough, or smart enough to scare me and that I would fucking follow him around and ruin his life if he tried his cool kid on the baseball team shit with me. He sort of threatened me that his brother would beat me up or something (WTF?) and I spit right in his face and said “tell your brother I said hi.” Confirmation class. Lutheran. Sheesh. That was the last time I ever had to play crazy outside of a night club/pool hall. (which is another story that did not end well for me) Which is why I cut out the night life and now usually avoid any bar that doesn’t have a food menu. And Biergartens since they apparenty aren’t biergartens anymore but are places were hipsters go to consume low-bro fare like brats and mini-fajitas ironically.

  12. I watched last night’s AFV in which an alleged man was afraid of a moth. I suppose he was once given a wedgie at a Halloween party by a third-grader dressed as Arthur from “The Tick.”

    If you haven’t learned from experience how to take a sucker punch without blinking by the time you’re 13, I don’t want to hear from you about bullying.

  13. I don’t want schools left to “solving the problem” since schools are from my experience routinely staffed and administrated by people who are as dumb as a ham. They have enough brains to succesfully conduct a fire drill once a month, and that’s about it.

  14. if people are really mean to you just call your big sister

    she’ll kick their ass!

  15. Like 1984 only less patriarchal.

  16. So, a troll returns and we get a lot of spam ping-backs. Such petty synchronicity.

  17. It’s “a humiliating kick in the crotch,” is what it is.

  18. Don’t worry, hf. The moth won’t hurt you.

  19. I think this whole “bullying” project is misguided, the bastard kin of the self esteem movement that is designed to insulate kids from real life and produce metrosexual weenies devoid of common sense and self awareness.

    I see it more as a vicious circle, in which those who learned helplessness in their youth have moved into positions where they are teaching helplessness to our youth. I think it’s of a piece with the educational sub-culture that fears masculinity and has systematically driven men out of teaching.

    Now we’ve got kids whose only guidance comes from a bunch of fretful women convinced that everyone can just get along if we all work together. Never mind that this requires everyone to pretend that there are no bullies or other sociopaths in the world, and never mind that this leaves entire generations unable to conceive of such fundamentals as self-defense or peace through strength.

    What’s worse is that many of these kids, if they have fathers at all, have fathers whose idea of changing a flat tire involves a call to AAA. Hard to learn self-protection from a guy who makes a fist by wrapping his fingers around his thumb…

  20. Damn well put, Squid.

  21. Quit hitting yourself! Quit hitting yourself!