Bullies do long-term damage to themselves, as well as victims

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  • MasterDen Sandy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    My martial arts school is the only licensed school in the Salt Lake Valley to teach a bully prevention program in the Canyons School district called Verbal Judo. Verbal Judo has been taught to over one million law enforcement officers world wide. We are currently teaching this revolutionary program in 6 local elementary schools as a public service to help our kids become empowered. Every day students tell me about how they are bullied and how they react to it. The old adage of "ignore the bully and they'll go away" DOES NOT WORK.

    Kids need to learn to stand up for themselves by being assertive and learn how to de-escalate verbal conflicts before they become violent.. They are just not being taught how to do this because the truth of the matter is that the adults/teachers/schools don't know how to give them the right tools kids need to handle themselves when they are being called names, tormented, made fun of, and bullied. There are solutions out there and many of our local schools are starting to be more proactive in providing their students with the best possible training. We currently have a waiting list of schools for our Verbal Self Defense program.

    I'm glad to see articles like this that keep bullying in the minds of the readers. Often times it is easy to ignore or forget how bullying can devastate a child. I see it every day.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 6, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    Don't ever permit bullying in the workplace even from a perceived high performer. It kills teamwork and a team can always outperform an individual.

  • It's What I think Denton, TX
    Jan. 5, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Parents HAVE to get involved! Our daughter was bullied by several people but one boy in particular was the worst. We tried to give her advice like,
    "Don't let it bother you.", etc. but it didn't work (obviously). We also spoke with the school and asked them to see what they could do but it was all done "under the radar" and they couldn't see it. Our daughter became more depressed and anxious as it went on.

    Eventually it turned to verbal sexual harrassment and we decided to put a stop to it once and for all and pressed charges against this boy and two others. They all were found guilty and put on probation as well as other conditions. Through all of this, not one of the boys parents ever made any effort to reach out to us or apologize or anything. With parents like that, it's easy to see why those boys are like they are.

    Thankfully, since then there have been no other instances of bullying and that was over a year ago. If your child is bullied, do something about it, quickly! Send a message that it won't be tolerated. Don't wait.

  • alimay Riverton, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    Empower the kids before they become victims. Teach kids to 'have a spine' and stand up for themselves.
    Our child was adopted as a pre-teen & had been bullied for most of his school years. Four years later, he is well-adjusted & doing well socially, BUT he still seeks out his weaker peers so that he can have control over them. We are working to help him see his behavior is controlling & bordering on bullying, but he still seeks out only those he knows he CAN control.

  • Aggielove Junction city, Oregon
    Jan. 4, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    This is an issue. Believe it.
    So kids out there, let me give you some advice.
    Shoe those tough guys up, by becoming a doctor or executive. You will then run the other guys life.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 4, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    "Children who are obese, gay or disabled are among the most likely to be targeted, as are students who are quiet and nonassertive"

    Bullies themselves are victims. Perhaps the biggest difference between a bully and a tolerant kid could be his/her parents.

    If a child lives in a home where the casual conversation indicates that being Gay is a sin, immoral, wicked, or any other negative adjective, then this child is being conditioned by his family to look negatively on those he may perceive as gays.

    If at home we talk about obese people as lazy, gluttons, without will power, etc. our children will look down on people who are overweight.

    Many bullies are a reflection of what they learn at home. Sometimes they hate themselves because they are not what their family expects from them and they take it on others as a way to prove to themselves that they are different.

    It is interesting to read some of the comments here today. While I agree with most if not all of what has been written. I wonder how many of these readers are not creating bullies at home because of their own "moral principles".

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    Jan. 4, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    What adds to the tragedy is when the bully becomes an adult and then becomes a boss (I refuse to say "leader.") in the workplace and has not learned yet that being a bully is socially and morally unacceptable behavior. Worse yet is the person who fails to realize or refuses to acknowledge that he/she is a bully. The ultimate tragedy is when that bully becomes a spouse/partner and parent and continues to be an abusive person toward people with whom he/she is supposed to be in a close and meaningful relationship.

    It makes me grateful for the wonderful wife and children I have at home and the excellent bosses and colleagues I have in the workplace.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    Perhaps a good way to curtail bullying would be to treat the bullies as if they were adults. Calling someone names or telling lies about them? That's slander. Making fun of someone because of their sexuality? That's sexual harassment. A fight? That's assault. All of these crimes carry stiff punishments in the adult world, yet children get away with a slap on the wrist because of their age.

    If you are five years old you know good from bad and right from wrong. Make children responsible for their actions, teach them about consequences and you'd be surprised at just how mature they will become, and in a hurry too.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 12:37 p.m.

    With the history of classroom violence over the past 20 years I am continually amazed that schools nationwide have not adopted a zero tolerance for bullying.

    It's a relatively rare occasion when a bullied student snaps and walks in the next day to settle things with a knife or gun. But it has happened numerous times, and the consequences are such that school administrators should be taking every step necessary to ensure that it does not happen.

  • loaf Boise, ID
    Jan. 4, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    I think most of us have had experience with being bullied or seeing it happen in school. It is a terrifying thing to go through as a child.

    I think a lot of the problem is some kids who want to be kind are afraid to stand up to the bully for fear they will be the next target. While I think programs taught in schools about bullying can help, I feel that parents/teachers/administrators need to step up when they see it happen and firmly tell the bully that it is unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated. Then give the bully immediate & specific consequences according to the offense.

    That being said, I think most bullying occurs when adults aren't around- recess, on the bus, etc... So children need to feel safe going to a trusted adult if being bullied and that the adult will follow through by:
    First, teaching the child assertiveness skills-
    seeing if that corrects the situation.

    If not, then:
    Next, contacting adults involved that are responsible: teachers, bus
    drivers, playground supervisors, and/or parents, to help know what steps
    they need to take in a bullying situation. Then continue to follow up.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    i was teased in grade school and finally i started fighting and the teaseing stopped but then i became one of those kids that others think are bad or a hood. and mabe sometimes i was. i wish i could just been the sweet kid that i had started out as.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 11:54 a.m.


    Great comment!

    I'd like to give my answer to your question, if you don't mind, about protecting victims.

    Adults have laws, prisons, etc. that try to protect, prevent, or at least retroactively obtain justice. Laws/governments can fail, but we still defend. Who defends children?


    So we must ask, does your kid's school punish bullies? Is that punishment vengeful retribution or designed to uplift? How do schools address victims after the fact? All of this must be considered.

    However, now lets face another point that leads back to my original post. If society steps in, will we solve this? If we can't even manage our own society, government, laws, etc. enough to protect and prevent every evil in the world- then how can we do so for others, even children?

    A recent article stressed the importance of what we accept as a society. I think this is the primary problem. What WE accept. Who are we as a people? Are we morally upright? If 99% of America aren't living an upright life, no one can force them to. Children can't be forced either. But "protecting" by prevention is impossible. Fair justice with persuasion is best, imo.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    Re: "To date 280 humans . . . have been freed through the efforts of the innocence project [sic], when DNA evidence proved that they were innocent."

    Never happened.

    DNA evidence did not -- can not -- "prove" anyone was innocent. It's just used to convince a judge to substitute his/her judgment for that of a jury, and grant a new trial.

    In some cases, new trials have re-convicted the accused. In many others, evidence disappeared or degraded, witnesses wandered off, forgot the incident, died, or became racalcitrant, or, for other administrative reasons, wholly unrelated to guilt or innocence, the convict was not retried and was freed. In very few cases, retrial resulted in acquittal.

    But even that doesn't "prove" factual innocence.

    Proving innocence is a concept unknown to our court system. Even Utah's cockeyed "factual innocence" statute merely permits a judge to substitute his/her judgment for that of the convicting jury.

    We should never make the mistake of believing the fundraising claims of the radical liberal defense bar.

    They've never "proven" innocence of a single convict.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    This truly is an outstanding article. Not only does it detail a handful of examples depicting the variant forms of bullying, but it also touches on possible solutions and resources for solutions. This article is a keeper.

    My personal observation is that bullies tend to have issues at home and/or learning issues, which would help explain why bullies struggle later in life. This means that the "target" audience likely isn't reading this important article! These are the families that would say, "kids will be kids..." or "it's not my kids fault the other kids are weak little nerds..."

    Therefore, we, the parents, must push our schools to help educate all students on bullying in addition to tolerance and healthy, supportive behavior. I'd like to see many parents review the references the author provided, and give some detailed, constructive input to your schools.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Jan. 4, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    This may not make it past the censors.

    My youngest son was the victim of bullying in the church. In particular early morning seminary in Canada. They would take his coat and gloves and then shove him outside the chapel into minus 25 weather. It became a nearly daily occurance for a while.

    The primary abusers were the sons of the Stake President and two Bishops (along with their hangers on). When I found out by accident, I arrived early to pick him up, I got some details and went to the fathers who gave me the "boys will be boys" routine. They also said thier sons were tired of my boys "smart mouth".

    We had a meeting with my son, me, my wife the fathers of the and the boys. My wife verbally tore them all to shreds, apolgies were offered. My advice is, to never back down.

  • Butch70 Spokane, WA
    Jan. 4, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    I say stand up to these bullies and they will back off.

  • JoLynne LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    I was sad to read that children sometimes hide the problem from their parents, for fear their mom or dad will only make it worse. This article gives good advice on handling a bad situation--I agree that it's best to work with the child and have him play as big a role as possible in stopping the bullying. I'm glad to say that in my family's case, all we had to do was visit the principal. He took it seriously and listened while my child explained what was going on... and then he acted.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    Victims of bullying are not generally part of a group, instead they have something in their behavior, circumstances or status that renders them unable to fight back--making an easy target. I it's naive to suggest that simply allowing whole peer groups to fight back in order to stop bullying will solve anything. Often the victims don't fit into or feel a part of any groups. Isolated they make easy targets.

    It really requires intelligent adult observation both in the schools and by parents to identify who might be vulnerable.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Think bullying stops when you are a child?

    *'Homosexuality Is a Sin: Rick Perry Tells Bisexual Teen Why He Opposes Gays in the Military' - By Buck Sexton - The Blaze - 12/19/2011

    '..I dont agree that openly gays should serve in the militaryDont ask dont tell was working I hate the sin but i love the sinner.

    *'Republican Debate Audience Boos Gay Soldier Stephen Hill After DADT Repeal Question' - By Jason Linkins - Huffington Post - 09/23/11

    *'GOP state legislator: Homosexuality worse than terrorism' - By David Ferguson - Talking Points Memo - 09/10/11

    *'Gays greatest threat to America, Buttars says' - By Aaron Falk - DSnews - 02/19/09

    *Survey links gay suicides to religious message - BY KRISTEN MOULTON SL TRIBUNE 02/17/11

    Think again.

    There is a clear and evident connection between persecution due to religious teachings...

    and gay suicide.

    To believe that we can pray about personal insults from the time a person is a teen...

    to when they die, is not realistic.

    We need to DO something. We need to take action.

    As, Momrons have felt the sting of persecution...

    Missouri executive order 44, October 27, 1838.

    We, as Americans, cannot ALLOW it to others.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    'It is parents responsibility to teach their children right from wrong and to teach them in a way that will help them motivate themselves to continually do right.' - A voice of Reason | 7:02 a.m. Jan. 4, 2012

    This is an excellent point.

    My concern, is that it is too vauge.

    Many condemn LGBT persons for being 'wrong' or 'immoral' or not HAVING 'good' values.

    My examples?

    *'Excommunicated From His Church, Gay Mormon Commits Suicide' - By Eric Ethington - Published by Affirmation - 09/24/11

    *'Gay man says 'reversal' therapy did not change him' - By Lisa Leff - Associated Press - Published by DSNews - 01/20/10

    'A gay man testified Wednesday in a federal same-sex marriage trial that the "reversal therapy" he underwent as a teenager to change his sexual orientation drove him to the brink of suicide.'

    *'Psychologists nix gay-to-straight therapy' - AP - 08/05/09

    'The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday...(sic) No solid evidence exists that such change (to orientation) is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.'

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    'In high school, when he joined a school choir, typed notes began to appear on his windshield and the outside of his locker. "You should drop out," said one. "You should kill yourself," said another.' - Article

    *'Poll: Young people say online meanness pervasive' - By Stacy A. Anderson - AP - Published by DSNews - 09/27/11

    *'Arkansas school board member to resign over anti-gay post' - CNN - 10/28/10

    'McCance wrote on his personal Facebook page that he wanted gay people to commit suicide...'

    *'Advocates see rise in gay suicide' - By Gina Barker, Deseret News - 08/06/10

    *'13-year-old Seth Walsh commits suicide after anti-gay bullying' - By Marci Stone - Salt Lake City Headlines Examiner - 09/29/10

    *'Raymond Chase Commits Suicide, Fifth Gay Youth To Take Life In Three Weeks' - Huffington Post - 10/01/10

    *'Utahns think about suicide more than other Americans, study shows' - By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News - 10/21/11

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    'MURRAY In third grade, kids started taunting Tate Harris about his sexuality...' - Article

    'You are normal

    Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. All of the major medical organizations, including The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that homosexuality is not an illness or disorder, but a form of sexual expression.'

    Source: Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents

    - America Acadamy of Pediactrics
    Published online: 11/2008

    *'Teens - gay or straight - more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns' - By LINDSEY TANNER - Medical Writer - AP - 04/18/11

    *Gay teen suicide linked to conservative climates By Rosemary Winters SL Tribune 04/18/11

    'LGB youths were five times more likely than their straight peers to have attempted suicide. One in five gay teens said they had attempted suicide. (sic)
    Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Columbia University psychologist and researcher, analyzed a survey of nearly 32,000 11th-graders in Oregon.'

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 9:47 a.m.

    It gets better.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Jan. 4, 2012 9:21 a.m.

    It's become acceptable to be a bully, as per the different shows on TV that 'tweens and teens watch: "Jersey Shore", "The Hills", and most reality shows.

    They aren't a good use of time, nor are they beneficial to the psyche of anyone.

    Monitor what is watched, and teach your children NOT to bully. But they also need to have some sort of fall-back plan if it happens to them. Make your home safe, so they can feel they can talk to you about it. Be their advocate. And don't take this lightly. This is very harmful, in the long run.

  • news.john2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Though I agree that we need to teach, encourage, persuade (or whatever similar word you would like to use) children to be good and kind; the fact is there are plenty of children with parents who will not, because they themselves are prone to bad behavior. So how do we protect the victims in the meantime? Why do we let "children" do things that if done as adults would be considered criminal? I wish I had answers. One possible step in the right direction in taking back the schools from bullies, is to make schools accountable. The standard unspoken policy on bullies at school is for the school to "document nothing, deny everything"; have some "bully education" and then move on. If schools had to be accountable for following up on accusations of bullying, then documenting the findings, then intervening on behalf of the victim if necessary; all the time knowing that they will be audited and held accountable, then maybe we might see a difference on how schools treat victims as opposed to the bullies. Yes there are a few random people and programs that are helping here and there, but currently bullies have preference in the system.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    I feel I should make something known on here. One summer when I was a child, I moved to a new area. I made friends with someone and we used to bully a kid who lived nearby. I was mean. Intentionally mean. I made fun of him in whatever way I could because 'making fun of' was fun. I very literally was a bully.

    I did and instantly felt horrible afterwards. I felt bad for him. I came back to his house later and apologized. I asked if he wanted to hang out with me. His is mother welcomed me in and wanted us to be friends. To this day, he is still my best friend. His entirely family are friends of mine.

    So along with my opinions about free agency, choice, desire to do right, moral values, and so on- I have experienced change myself and know others who have. No school charter or policy changed me. No adult reprimand changed me. I changed what I desired most and a loving mother forgave and used wisdom.

    You won't find this parental inspiration in schools. Things like Family Home Evening can't be replaced by what the world offers.

  • Cora Smith BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    Nothing has ever persuaded me to do good unto and for others more than common sense,and common decency toward my fellow human beings. Thank's to my parents.

  • Random Redlands, CA
    Jan. 4, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    Don't believe for a moment that it stops once kids make it through school. Bullying happens at the workplace, in the neighborhood and defininitely at church. No solutions, just observations, unfortunately.

  • krissy Sterling, VA
    Jan. 4, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    This is an excellent article and one parents need to be more aware of. Another place that people tend to be in the dark about it the bullying that is taking place amoung the youth of the LDS church in Utah. Sunday School, Young Women's, and activities can become a very frightening experience for too many. I felt it as a youth. Girl's camp was a week-long nightmare that I still remember to this day. It was so bad I asked that I could attend a different school district so that I did not have to tormented and made fun of during the week as well. I also saw this as a youth leader amoung the boys and girls. It happens all the time. Please speak up when you see it.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    The headline makes it look like its "U.S. schools" fault. It's not. If it is getting worse, it is a reflection of society. DON'T pass more laws regarding it. That would only make it worse!

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    The only reason there is long term damage to victims and the bully is that the bully is allowed to be a bully because the peers are forbidden to stop them.

    The victims continue to live a life of insecurity and fear and the bully is allowed to continue peer terrorism.

    From experience, the only cure for a bully is another peer who will challenge a bully. As a bully is confronted by a peer and they meet their own fear and learns its not a good thing and he stops and becomes the good citizen. The best cure for a bully is a set of boxing gloves, or fists, a referee, and his own blood. Violence can be a good thing, its how we learn discipline and respect and defending your rights.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    The idea that grouping together causes our downfall neglects the first principle of moral desires within every human being. Also, if even one group does good work, then it is not the grouping, but an individuals choices- ultimately their desire to do right.

    Examining groups is only looking at how many are willing. While important, too many people are ignoring is what causes those numbers; the individual and how strongly they desire to do right- if even by being against the grain.

    Everyone knows right from wrong and which one hatred belongs to. We already know why bullying happens. It's because at core, a child either desires to do right or wrong- and in their early growth it is our responsibility to reinforce what they already know by teaching them.

    People always want a 'cause and solution', to remove bullying, remove hunger, remove hatred, remove evil, etc.

    You can't stop something from existing.

    The solution is continually teaching- to persuade as many to do good continually- and adults need this persuasion as much as children do. How do we persuade?

    Nothing has ever persuaded me to do good unto and for others more than the Book of Mormon.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    In respect, my opinion-

    Bullying is often defined or examined without scope, context, and without great scholarly care. It is not as simple as 'words or acts of hatred'. Human beings fight. It doesn't take a historian to know this. But people do fight at every age. When two or more persons gather to ridicule or cause harm to someone, this to me is bullying. Whether that's bullying a gender, race, religion, adult, child, etc.

    If we examine the ultimate cause, the very first point of concern, we see that the moral principles and values within us are the first concern. we either allow ourselves to be drawn to what's right or wrong. We as beings all form our desires this way and have control over which principles we adhere to. Children aren't really different here, but they are less developed. It is parents responsibility to teach their children right from wrong and to teach them in a way that will help them motivate themselves to continually do right.

    Many attribute bullying to social grouping, saying 'this is because we as beings are horrible when we group together'. But this is absolutely without evidence and reason.


  • md Cache, UT
    Jan. 4, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    Excellent article Lois.