Getting back at bullies

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Eulogy
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Eulogy » 2012-10-22 12:05pm

amigocabal wrote:But what if authorities refuse to do so?

Bad things that will only end in tears start happening? Gangs start forming? Said "authorities" suddenly contract lead poisoning?
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby TheFeniX » 2012-10-22 12:06pm

Eulogy wrote:This means that victims of bullying, especially workplace bullying, have to be rather creative with how they punish bullies for their crimes. Videotaping, starting or joining a class-action lawsuit, and even unlawful acts such as arranging to get them killed or maimed are all available methods.

So, while there will be social change and upheaval, such things tend to work too slowly, so in the meantime how should victims of bullying in all forms and all places?
You have a good start (aside from the Murder 1 option):

Document everything, even if most of the documentation is written notes detailing the event. With the invention of cheap audio and video recording on cell phones, even kids have it much easier to obtain at least some form of evidence of wrong-doing. But even a written journal with dates, times, locations, and details explaining the issues at least let you understand how bad it actually is.

Report workplace bullying to your supervisor (or above if your supervisor is the one doing the bulllying). Report school bullying to your counselors and (more importantly) your parents. All clear cases of assault, battery, stalking, harassment should be reported to the police as well. It may not do anything primarily, but it helps create a paper-trail and the more reports that pile up, the harder authorities have to work to cover things up and the less defense they have if things boil over. Your parents need to be calling the school/police after every serious incident and demanding results. PTA meetings may also be a good venue for this because you'll be complaining to other parents that may (or may not) empathize with you.

If nothing is done, you at least have a volume of evidence to send off to the media to hope they pick up your story.

Bullies in any form have a lot in common with criminals: they look for easy marks. Walk tall, look people in the eyes, speak with confidence. Give off the vibe that you will defend yourself and you may never have to. This however will only help you, not stop bullying itself, but it will also give you confidence in dealing with people later in life. One of my routines is to make sure to look everyone I pass on the street in the eyes and say "Hello" or "How's it going?" It's easy to practice and if you make an ass out of yourself, who cares: you'll likely never see that person again.

I did this same shit in High School. If I was walking down the hall (not between periods mind you, that was chaos) and I saw another person walking towards me, be it the nerdiest guy/girl, the biggest football player, or some thugged out guy/girl: I said "yo" or "hey" and threw them the deuce. We were real big on "the deuce" in high school.... man I fucking hate the 90s. Obviously teachers got a more respectful hello (which also helped avoid them asking WTF I was doing out of class) and the security guards got a manly head-nod.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Zaune » 2012-10-22 12:22pm

spaceviking wrote:And what if that doesn't work? I don't know you, maybe you could successfully fight back against your bullies; but that is not always an option. If your attacker is more athletic and much larger than you they might actually enjoy it.

There are ways of evening the odds, if you're angry enough to be willing to use them. You might get in a certain amount of trouble for most of them, depending on local law and your exact circumstances, but what have you got to lose? If bullying goes on long enough it can fuck you up permanently anyway.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Eulogy » 2012-10-22 12:36pm

TheFeniX wrote:Document everything, even if most of the documentation is written notes detailing the event. With the invention of cheap audio and video recording on cell phones, even kids have it much easier to obtain at least some form of evidence of wrong-doing. But even a written journal with dates, times, locations, and details explaining the issues at least let you understand how bad it actually is.

I would like to add that when collecting evidence, you do not let the bullies see you take the evidence. Such bullies have good reason to be scared of cameras, and despite their best efforts people will and should not stop filming them.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby spaceviking » 2012-10-22 12:42pm

I am not saying that you should not fight back, I certainly would. What I am saying is that it is not always an option, and a victim should not be expected to be able to defend themselves. This is not a movie where the little nerdy guy summons his courage and punches out biff, no one is being bullied because of how coordinated and strong they are.

I have done enough full contact martial arts to know just getting mad does not make you into a capable fighter, those are the people who get put down hard.

What exactly are you advising the bullied to do? Bring a knife, a gun? Once you become a public danger the administration main job will be to remove you from the situation, and they would be arguably justified in siding against you.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Stark » 2012-10-22 03:34pm

All this posturing is useless anyway, because the best case scenario is that the bullying moves elsewhere. It doesn't actually change anything beyond your personal revenge fantasy life. I could just as easily recommend people stop being such victims or associating themselves with such obvious bullying targets: just as useless overall, probably more effective on a personal level.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Emergent56 » 2012-10-22 06:47pm

The problem with handling bullying - either physical violence, which is only a small subset of bullying, or emotional bullying - is that it is usually formed as a pattern of events.

Insulting someone - hell, even having a small fight with them - is not in itself a huge deal, and happens a lot with both children and teenagers. But such insults or small acts of violence - each individually too minor to attract serious attention from figures of authority - can and do combine into a hellish experience for the victim. Often the actors themselves don't realize they're doing it and forming a pattern.

This is how such things manage to fly under the RADAR quite often even where educators are willing to listen and help, much more where the are not.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby PhilosopherOfSorts » 2012-10-22 07:46pm

RE: Fighting back. When I was bullied in school, I did fight back. It didn't work, after a couple of assholes tried to pick on me and got black eyes and sore balls for thier trouble, and it became known that I wouldn't just accept a beating, the bullies just brought friends and or weapons. It doesn't matter if you can win a one-on-one fight with a guy, if he brings three buddies to back him up, or his opening salvo is to blind you with a handful of pepper into your eyes. The end result of my fighting back was that, instead of schoolyard scuffles, I ended up taking beatings that would not have looked out of place in prison.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Eulogy » 2012-10-22 08:26pm

Did you call the damn cops on them? Or at least, get your friends?
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby PhilosopherOfSorts » 2012-10-22 09:02pm

Yeah, I got the law involved a couple of times, that helped with the specific ones I called the cops on, but it just made others angry. For a long time, most of my friends were either nerds like myself, or a grade or two behind me, and thus no good in a fight or not always around. What eventually stopped it was becoming friends in high school with a guy who was big and crazy, who had what I call a "pit bull mentality," very protective of those he considered friends. After this guy put someone in the hospital for jumping me with friends, the bullshit stopped. For me, at least, not everybody has a big psycho looking out for them, after all.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby amigocabal » 2012-10-22 09:27pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Then...replace the authorities (or the figures in charge at least) with those who abide by their stated policies?

EDIT: To clarify; if an authority (or authority figure) outright refuses to evenly apply a publicly stated policy than that person or organisation should not have any authority.

If it was that simple, why have not those authorities been replaced already?

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Emergent56 » 2012-10-23 11:39am

Asking a friend to defend you is just as much a form of fighting the bullies as actually physically hitting them with your fist.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-10-23 11:43am

amigocabal wrote:
Eternal_Freedom wrote:Then...replace the authorities (or the figures in charge at least) with those who abide by their stated policies?

EDIT: To clarify; if an authority (or authority figure) outright refuses to evenly apply a publicly stated policy than that person or organisation should not have any authority.

If it was that simple, why have not those authorities been replaced already?


That, I think, is a question for whoever watches those authorities.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Eleas » 2012-10-23 02:34pm

Emergent56 wrote:Just to elucidate on the original point a bit:

Successful (and even, to some extent, failed) resistance to violence, assuming it was justified) has a net benefit to all, as it imposes an increased cost (in the form of being beat up, or at least exerting extra effort or suffering some pain) on committing violent acts, thus discouraging them. This does not of course mean every specific, individual act of resistance has this effect (imagine I tried to fight off a bank robber but instead stumbled and fell over and broke my wrist - the bank robbers would laugh at me and maybe hurt me some more), but it is also wrong to say that resisting personally has no net public benefit.


I would agree, but there's a very different dynamic at play with bullying as opposed to robbing: when you're robbing someone, violence is incidental. You don't want it; you want the money with as little muss and fuss as possible. In physical bullying, the bully to some extent wants the conflict: ideally a conflict with someone perceived as a beta, demonstrating the superiority of the bully. A meek surrender can still be used to mark status, but an actual fight is not a disincentive as long as you win.

Emergent56 wrote:But back to our point, how do we even begin to deal with psychological, group bullying?

I have moved from some truly bad schools to a very good school, where bullying was pretty much a non-factor, but I cannot tell you for the life of me how teachers prevented it - perhaps simply through being good, dedicated people. Anyone on the forum have experience with the more complex methods involved?


I believe one thing that needs to be done is reducing the distance between students and teachers, plus lightening of the workload on part of personnel. At most schools I've attended, teachers viewed bullying as disruptions of their already jam-packed schedule, so they tended to order said disruptions into two categories, issues that would work themselves out (i.e. regular physical intimidation and social ostracizing) and atypical behavior that requires correction (bullied kid snaps and fights back, skips classes, or is otherwise actively opposing this treatment). The easiest, less stressful way to discourage the latter is to blame the victim, so that becomes a temptation.

Also, of course, schools need to combat their own tendency to downplay bullying, whether social or physical, as either "a phase" or "boys will be boys"/"girls are like that".
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Emergent56 » 2012-10-24 09:12am

Here's an example of the wrong attitude to students fighting back against bullies.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Justforfun000 » 2012-10-26 09:34am

My two cents is this..bullies should be unable to carry out these acts on public school grounds. Children are mandated to be there and it's the schools responsibility to see that they are free of harm and if this requires video cameras and security guards in enough places where children are going to be on school grounds, then it should be a must. Assault charges brought against people doing physical violence should be taken as deadly serious as an adult.

Some of this shouldn't be difficult at all to enforce. I think of the court cases Judge Judy sees regularly and it's quite simple to get a good idea by the preponderance of evidence, not "beyond a reasonable doubt" who is likely at fault in an encounter. Very rarely would someone choose to walk into a fist! :roll:

Civil suits are suitable for adult violence short of severe injury or death. Why isn't this same model appropriate for children? Granted there are more fights among the young because they AREN'T mature in the first place and violence is a quicker response but that doesn't mean it can't be tackled and tamed.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Borgholio » 2012-10-26 10:06am

I've actually been thinking on the bullying matter for when I send my kids to school. I will definitely teach them to fight, but as others have pointed out, sometimes fighting is not a good idea or it's not enough. Thus if my children are bullied, I would raise holy hell at the school office until I can be assured my children are safe. If this involves holding the administrative staff or teachers civilly or criminally liable for their negligence, so be it.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Alferd Packer » 2012-10-26 02:53pm

Borgholio wrote:I've actually been thinking on the bullying matter for when I send my kids to school. I will definitely teach them to fight, but as others have pointed out, sometimes fighting is not a good idea or it's not enough. Thus if my children are bullied, I would raise holy hell at the school office until I can be assured my children are safe. If this involves holding the administrative staff or teachers civilly or criminally liable for their negligence, so be it.


Another problem with beating up a bully is whether or not the bully is getting the shit kicked out of him at home by an adult on a regular basis. Compared to that, anything a child his own age can throw at him is laughable. He's already learned how to take a beating from older, stronger opponents. Almost nothing a child can do could hurt him.

That's why the homespun notion that bullies can dish it out, but can't take it, is so dangerously questionable. There's a goddamn good chance that they can take it. Their abuser has been training them for, well, however long they've been abused.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-10-26 04:26pm

That does of course assume the bully is bullying because he is being physically abused at home, which i think is highly questionable. In my experience, not one bully fitted this criteria, they were in fact all really spoiled kids who were accustomed to getting their way no matter what. I also knew a few kids who were physically abused, and to a man they were all quiet, shy, reserved kids who (in all but one case) absolutely hated the thought of violence, even if the person being hurt was a bully.
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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby Ralin » 2012-10-27 07:50am

Yeah, I think someone posted an article here awhile back about a study that showed that most bullies actually have really good self-esteem and are just sadists who flat-out enjoy being dicks to other people.

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Re: Getting back at bullies

Postby ArmorPierce » 2012-10-27 12:04pm

Bullying consists of the majority (or plurality) of students picking on, supporting the bullying, or at least complacent of the bullying the minority of students (1 person).

It's easier to punish one student than to punish a class full of students, and since the person being bullied is the single person it is easier to punish them for trying to stand up for themselves than a class full of students.

This is why the system is complacent with bullying in my opinion.
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