Another things that we strive to teach our children is that when they do make mistakes and do something wrong, they should apologize. There are certain problems that come up that really, an apology is all you can do. Admit your mistake and deal with the consequences. It happens to all of us, adults or children. Yet, again, in the schools, why is it that the adults, who are supposed to be leading by example, have such a difficult time admitting that they were wrong and apologizing. Instead, they belittle a child and when they find out they were in the wrong, they simply ignore their past behavior. I hate being wrong, yet I will be the first to apologize when I realize I had made a mistake. Doesn't sound like bullying to you? Well, how about we put it with an example. Say a child gets in trouble for not handing something in they were supposed to hand in. The student tries to explain their side of the story. The student tells exactly where they put the item. All year, the student is punished for not having said item. Toward the end of the year, the adult finds the item, where the child said it was. There is no apology given, just a "It was found in [right where you said it was]." The next year, the child is so worried and paranoid that this will happen again that the child has anxiety over the situation. Yeah, that's bullying. Had an simple, sincere, apology been given, maybe that student wouldn't have had so much anxiety over it.
In a society where schools are on this "anti-bullying" kick, it's amazing how much bullying goes unrecognized by the adults in the school. Yes, children need to be respectful. Yes, they need to follow the rules. Yes, they need to have consequence for their actions. But let me tell you, most schools are doing a poor job at implementing this. It makes me so mad when I see huge anti bullying campaigns at the school, yet, in my son's classroom, there is a child who is such a bully, that children (yes, plural) have been transferred out of the class. When asked about this student, my son says that people will not tell on the student for fear of retaliation. Nice. Way to implement the no bullying standards at your school. Yet, students with much smaller offenses are forced to miss recess. So I say again, how is making students not say anything not bullying on the part of the adults in charge? Be quiet. Keep your head down. Don't speak up. Just take it. Those are the messages we're passing on.
We are headed to an anti-bullying event tonight and next week is Unity Day to unite against bullying. All the schools are wearing orange and they have even had special shirts made up. The irony of this seems to be lost on most. Maybe instead of only wearing orange for one day and saying you're against bullying, how about try living by the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Be a decent person, to everyone, whether you are an adult or child, and let's lead by example.