I have just returned from a very busy tour of schools in the Ottawa area and yet again, have discovered more proof for my theory that the amount of bullying occuring among our youth is completely exaggerated!
Let’s be clear, any bullying is too much and is something to be addressed but the press leads us to believe it is an epidemic…yet more lies!
Having no arms, I was picked on, even bullied and didn’t particularly like it but when I state it made me stronger, people are shocked! The anti-bullying “experts” are rarely victims of bullying and frequently psychologists who react to the issue with the usual psychobabble. Everytime we hear of another young person taking their own life and blaming bullying is heartrenching but as to the actual cause, there must be so much more involved. It’s like blaming heavy metal music for the same thing. These young people are clearly troubled and it really is too bad they chose to respond by ending their lives but to simply lay all the blame on bullies is too easy. Worse, young people on the margins often evoke bullying as the excuse rather than using it to motivate themselves to rise above the bullies. That’s what I did. I take great joy in knowing that most of my bullies never got too far in life and those that did, have gone to great lengths to apoligize to me personally. But no matter how they turned out, it’s more important to see how I did. Part of the truth is that I never gave up, but the bigger truth is the bullying was never that bad and the same is still true. Similarly, when it got extreme, it was dealt with by the school and the same is still true today. The clear majority of schools would never ignore legitimate bullying as the press would have you believe (more lies).
My proof of exaggeration is not just my opinion, it is taken right from the source.
When I deal with schools, I typically connect to teachers, student activity advisors and counsellors rather than administrators. That’s important because the people I ask about bullying have no reason to lie. In fact, I ask the question so I can address an issue, if it exists, head on. In fact, the same exaggeration can be applied to drug and alcohol abuse amongst youth. Does it exist? Of course but again, not to the extent we are led to believe.
Isn’t it time we start focusing on the real issue; our student’s quality of education is suffering because we are so worried about their tender self-esteem that we are lowering the bar and creating excuses rather then encouraging accountability and pushing kids to their potential.
Life’s Tough…Get On With It!!!