Bullying has become a big ticket item in the hearts and minds of parents, kids and politicians these days. Thanks to cyber bullying and the media’s attention we’re aware that kids are harassed all the time and some are pushed to the edge and commit suicide. It’s a big deal.
It’s worth noting that in 2012, just under 4,000 teens (which is 15-24 year olds, for some reason) committed suicide which is about 10 per 100,000. In 1985, this suicide rate was pretty much exactly the same. Statistically speaking, teen suicide is on a bit of a decline. This is important for later.
Recently the mayor of Porterville, California solved the world’s bullying problems by suggesting “some people need to grow a pair.” This was of course met with outrage and dissent. The sad thing is he’s not wrong.
Today schools have anti-bullying rallies and Zero Tolerance policies and all kinds of pamphlets and assemblies and speeches and platitudes for kids and it’s all bullshit. Don’t think for a second it isn’t. Is bullying gone? No. Is bullying any different than it was 10 years ago? No. Nor 100 years ago. Or even 1000 years ago. Bullies are people in the world around us and that has not and will not ever change. And we can tell kids to tell teachers, but teachers won’t change a bully. If they could, bullies would have vanished in the first grade at every school in the world. And the fact is, each and every one of us knew bullies in grade 5 and grade 10 and probably adult bullies. Detentions and suspensions don’t stop bullying. Words don’t stop bullying. The only thing that ever stopped a bully in a real, practical way in any place, anywhere on Earth was the victim of a bully beating the ever loving shit out of that bully. And that bully didn’t magically grow his heart three sizes, he just never picked on that kid again. He bullied someone else.
Each one of us who was a kid and doesn’t live in the pretend world that some adults live in where they make like their childhood never happened or maybe can be subject to make believe rules is well aware that you stop bullying by out bullying the bully. You beat his ass. It’s literally the only solution and every kid knows it. That’s why bullies exist all through life, because there’s always someone weaker than them they can pick on and they’ll never be fully put in their place. The kids being bullied need to grow the proverbial pair to end their torment. It’s sad but true.
We like to pretend we can talk our way out of situations and really, dare anyone you know to explain why we think that. It’s the mature, civilized thing to do? Tell that to a mugger. The problem with acting like an adult, or being civilized, is that it only works if your bully agrees to those terms, and why the hell would he? Like that mugger, he could see the logic of your argument that hurting you is bad in a cosmic sense, but maybe he thinks it’s funny. Maybe the bully takes your lunch money so he sees it as a win just like the mugger can shoot you and get your wallet and that’s a win for him. Could there be consequences later? Maybe. If they get caught. If.
Parents and teachers tell kids bullies are just afraid, which is of course a lie. They’re not cowards, they’re kids who are tough, they were raised tough, they have anger issues and maybe their home life does suck, maybe their parents do neglect them or beat them, but they’re not scared of a nerd kid at school, they see the nerd kid as a great outlet for their own rage. Why does no one tell victim kids this? They look like targets. Is it because it’s a sad reality for both child and parent to realize, that to a stronger, angrier kid their child looks like a dish of meat loaf? Who knows.
To everyone who criticized the mayor of Porterville, you need to grow a pair, too. A pair steeped in reality. Kids aren’t as stupid as we want to make them. The only reason kids go along with BS anti-bullying campaigns is because schools and parents bully them into it. They know it’s pointless, they know that out on the schoolyard, if a kid 3 years older and 100lbs heavier wants to smash their face in the mud, it’s going to happen and at best, they can tell a teacher when it’s done. And that bully doesn’t care about punishments or other people’s feelings because if he did, he wouldn’t be a bully in the first place.
The anti-bullying movement across America is built on a lie meant to make everyone feel better from parents to teachers to the victims of bullying when each and every one secretly knows it’s all lies from their own firsthand experience, they just refuse to admit it to one another because they’re pretending the other parties actually believe it.
Bullying hasn’t gotten better or worse. No more kids commit suicide today than 30 years back. The problem is now we don’t tell kids to fight back, we give them granola BS hippie crap about speaking out or walking away or 100 other point form brain farts that look nice on glossy-stock pamphlets that will never save a single kid anywhere from an ass beating.
You want to end bullying? Beat the hell out of a bully. Or invest a hell of a lot of time and effort into giving a damn about who he is as a person, what his home life is like, share interests with him, make him your friend, and a real person, and someone of value to his peers and society as a whole. But what school would ever support either of those options?