All Articles Tagged "bullying"
There are not a lot of things that haunt me from my past, but this is something that still bothers me, even now.
In high school my parents were very protective. If I was invited to go to a friend’s house, my parents had to have met not only my friends but their parents as well. So when random house parties happened, I couldn’t go. I remember one week my senior year some people in my class talking about a party that was going to happen on Friday. One of my classmates skipped school to make hundreds Jell-O shots. It was that serious.
On Monday, as one of my friends and I were walking from the parking lot to the steps that led to the school there were tons of people yelling, clapping, and laughing. There were a lot of flyers posted on the steps, and people were running around holding them. The assistant principals were angry and yelling at those students who had them in their hands, and were individually snatching them from people and putting the flyers against their chest, with the content facing them. Random things always seemed to happen at my school, like bagel food fights, and random elections for things, so I didn’t think anything about it. Until I saw a girl that I had a few classes with named Dana* crying and walking fast toward the parking lot. Alarmed I asked her what’s wrong, but she kept on walking to her car. I was shocked because at my school, once you’re on the campus, you can’t leave, but the assistant principals or security wasn’t stopping her.
By the time I got up to central terrace a mandatory meeting was called with all the students. As everyone sat down, the Principal expressed his disgust and outrage. The police arrived, threatened punishment, and the entire time, I had no idea what was happening, until someone finally filled me in. At the party, Dana, who indulged in too much alcohol, began performing explicit acts with other students. People took pictures on their digital cameras, made flyers, and posted them all over the school.
Within a week, she transferred to another school. The thing that haunts me about this whole situation is that Dana seemed to have a strong group of friends, but those same friends were the ones who were taunting her, and made the flyers.
To this day, this stays with me. It made me wonder, what part of it was malicious and what part of it was herd mentality? What made people so vicious to want to destroy someone who had been held so highly before, and then tear them down in the time that it took them to distribute those flyers all over the campus?
This type of behavior to hurt first ask later isn’t just evident in high schools, but also in adults as well. According to the New York Post, after the Boston Marathon bombings, before suspects were named, a Bangladeshi man in the Bronx was brutally beaten by three or four Hispanic men because he was a “f——- Arab.”
With all events that are similar, it always makes me wonder, where are the voices of reason? That one person who refuses to go with the herd and speak up for what’s right? When others are working off of emotion, where is the logical voice to encourage people to think before they hurt?
I’m saying all of that to say this: Just because a herd is going in one particular direction doesn’t mean that we all have to follow. There has to be someone who will speak up, and it’s okay if you’re the lone voice. It’s scary to possibly put yourself on blast for what’s right, but that’s what our society needs, for more people to want to stop the wrongs, speak out to help guide the lost to the right direction.
If the voice is missing, maybe you could try to use yours.
Kids have always had the potential to be cruel and cold-hearted. But it would seem that these days either the instances are being reported more frequently or today’s kids have a higher capacity for evil.
The things kids are doing to their peers go far beyond bullying and cross the line into outright criminal acts. Such was the case with Tatyana Butler. Butler, a 14 year old seventh grader, says the bullying at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, in Waukegan, Illinois, started almost immediately after she began attending the school.
But all of that came to a head last week when two eighth grade girls set Butler’s hair on fire.
The girls were walking behind Butler in the hallway on her way to class when the girls started flicking a lighter behind her head.
Butler relayed the story to a Chicago NBC affiliate:
“I tried to walk faster but then my head got on fire. My friends was like, ‘Tatyana, your hair’s on fire! Your hair’s on fire! and I was like, ‘Are you for real?’ and they just started taking it out.”
Butler says three inches of her hair came out by the clump full and she asked to go home.
What made the situation even worse was the way the school officials decided to handle it. Instead of allowing Butler to go home they told her to sit there and wait and write down what happened. They didn’t call Butler’s mother, Neysha O’Conner, until two hours after the incident took place.
When she did speak to administrators she asked them to call the police and they refused. So, O’Conner went to the police herself two days after the incident occurred. Officers told her the school should have contracted them immediately after the incident took place.
Instead of taking the manner to the police each of the eighth grade girls were given three day suspensions. O’Conner believes this is an inadequate punishment. School officials wouldn’t confirm what the girls’ punishment entailed but they did say they followed protocol according to the parent/student handbook.
Watch Butler and her mother, O’Conner, speak about he incident on the next page.
It’s a partnership to advance the “Be A STAR” campaign, which encourages tolerance and respect among young people. We’ve got the PSA below, and you’ll notice Diddy’s t-shirt with the words “Invisible Bully” emblazoned across the front, from the line of a Brooklyn-based company that goes by the motto “Stand for something or fall for anything.”
Separately, there have been a number of celebs who have signed on to help with efforts to curb bullying. Here are a few other campaigns here and here, and Nicki Minaj talked about her experiences being bullied here. We’ve gotten to the point where an OC Housewife talks about being bullied by other women on the show. Has the amount of bullying increased or the discussion of it? Either way, what do we do to make it stop?
Do You Boo: Draya Michele, Karrueche Tran, And Christina Milian Star In Anti-Bullying Campaign, ‘Be You’
Singer and actress Christina Milian, model Karrueche Tran and “Basketball Wives LA” star Draya Michele have lent their faces for the “Be You” anti-bullying campaign.
The campaign, which focuses on promoting individuality and features same-sex couples, is spearheaded by J. Ryan LaCour and Brenn Colleen.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
If you’ve ever had to remove a negative comment from one of your social media streams, then you know how pungent the effects of cyberbullying can be. Willow Smith has decided to take action against these kind of online attacks by teaming up with Seventeen Magazine’s “Delete Digital Drama” campaign.
The 12-year-old-singer will be one of the celeb activists behind the initiative which seeks to empower young women to disengage from cyberbullying by deleting harsh and mean comments they see on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. This announcement comes just days after her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, released a lengthy statement about online bullying towards young celebs via her Facebook page.
You can check the rest out over on Essence. Perhaps this is the reason why Jada started talking about online bullying – kind of pre-promoting Willow’s latest endeavor.
Have you or anyone you know ever been cyber bullied?
Nicki Minaj Covers ELLE And Leaves The Clownish Clothes And Makeup Behind; Talks World Domination, Bullies And Being A Boss
Well look who went and grew up. And while you might say that “clownish” could be somewhat harsh, let’s not front, that was the look we were seeing from Nicki Minaj for a long time with the bright blue eyeshadow, big eyelashes, bright pink lipstick and wacky wigs. While it’s what helped her get her foot in the door, I guess it’s not something that Minaj felt allowed people to take her seriously. So it’s gone. For now. And honestly, the girl looks ten times better toned down with natural makeup and more chill attire as she covers the April issue of ELLE magazine–the real Nicki Minaj is in the building. And she’s keeping it real in her interview speaking on her goals and struggles she dealt with as a young lady coming from Trinidad on her way to the top:
When speaking on being bullied as a kid:
“I went through a lot of bullying early on. Girls made my life a living hell. We had come to America from a different country. My brother and I had accents. It was very tough. So I’ve always put up this wall— it was a self-defense mechanism growing up— because I was almost expecting people to attack me. And I still have it. It’s sad.”
Minaj discusses the importance of commanding respect no matter what your job title or position in life:
“My advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want— and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That’s what it’s all about.”
On her plans to be a mogul by creating a massive empire based on her music success and side business hustles:
“My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire. I’m thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination— in terms of providing for my family— is absolutely my goal.”
And if you’re wondering what her own thoughts were on stepping back on all the makeup, including her bright pink lipstick (which she still loves and wears) for the shoot, it was a drastic change for the star:
“When I saw myself with barely any makeup at, it was such a… like, I’m so, so attached to my pink lipstick, it’s hard. I feel that it’s become a part of me. To go in front of the camera, without pink lips or big ol’ crazy lashes— you know, nothing— I felt unclothed. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes.”
Photos courtesy of ELLE by Thomas Whiteside
Jada Pinkett has been using her Facebook page to air out all sorts of social commentaries lately. Last week, she asked why so many heterosexual women were turning to other women as a last romantic resort, on Saturday, she talked about the oppression men have been forced to endure, and on Sunday she spoke out on what she considers to be bullying towards young celebrities at the hands of the media. She wrote in her post titled, “Are We Bullying Our Young Artists,” which included a photo of Rihanna, Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, and Quvenzhané Wallis:
How can we ask for our young stars to have a high level of responsibility if we are not demonstrating that same level of responsibility towards them?
This last week, I had to really evaluate the communication in regard to our young artists in the media. I was trying to differentiate cyber-bullying from how we attack and ridicule our young stars through media and social networks. It is as if we have forgotten what it means to be young or even how to behave like good ol’ grown folk. Do we feel as though we can say and do what we please without demonstrating any responsibility simply because they are famous?
Is it okay to continually attack and criticize a famous 19 year old who is simply trying to build a life, exercise his talents while figuring out what manhood and fame is all about as he carries the weight of supporting his family as well as providing the paychecks to others who depend on him to work so they can feed their families as well? Does that render being called a Douchebag by an adult male photographer as you try to return to your hotel after leaving the the hospital? Or what about our nine year old beautiful Oscar nominee who was referred to as a Douchebag as well? Or what about being a young woman in her early twenties, exploring the intricacies of love and power on the world stage? And should we shame a young woman for displaying a sense of innocence as she navigates through the murky waters of love, heartbreak, and fame? Are these young people not allowed to be young, make mistakes, grow, and eventually transform a million times before our eyes? Are we asking them to defy the laws of nature because of who they are? Why can’t we congratulate them for the capacity to work through their challenges on a world stage and still deliver products that keep them on top.
We all know how hard it is to keep our head above water, even in the privacy of our own homes let alone on the world stage. Imagine yourself, at their age, with the spotlights, challenges and responsibilities. Most of us would have fallen to the waste side before we could even get to a crashed Ferrari, a controversial romance, several heart breaks, or an Oscar nomination at NINE. We WISH we could have had the capacity to accomplish HALF of what they have accomplished along with ALL these challenges they face. But…maybe THAT’S the problem…we WISH we could have or even…we WISH we could.
I don’t know if I would put Rihanna in the same boat as a young actress like Quvenzhané, but I do get the point Jada is trying to make — though at some point I think we need to ask whether some of these stars have made their own beds long before the media got a hold of their rude boy behavior.
As a general rule though, name calling is never an appropriate exchange among anyone personally or professionally, particularly when there is a marked age difference between the parties, but someone needs to take it upon themselves to educate these young artists on the type of consequences that come along with acting out under such a huge spotlight. The blame can be equally split between these two parties.
What do you think about what Jada wrote?
Most people think bullying happens only in the playground. But it can happen in the workplace. An office bully can be a boss or co-worker–anyone who singles out another person for unreasonable, embarrassing, or intimidating treatment.
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, up to a third of workers may be the victims of workplace bullying.
The increase in workplace bullying has even caught the attention of some politicians and there has been a 10-year-long move to pass the “Healthy Workplace Bill” across the country. The bill proposes to make changes to the current discrimination and harassment laws to address bullying concerns. Five states have seven versions of the Healthy Workplace Bill active in 2013. And since April 2009, 16 U.S. states proposed similar legislation.
If you find yourself a victim of workplace bullying, there are some first immediate steps you should take. “Document and isolate,” advises former Old School rapper turned sports agent and children’s author Glenn Toby, author of Lil G Faces the Brooklyn Bully. “This means contact a person in authority in or out of your organization to get assistance and consult them regarding the matter. Isolate means to identify each of the violations. Use eyewitnesses [and] recording devices (check local and regional laws). If there is a group of people offending you, breaking up the mob will help you in creating a strategy to identify who is lying or can help legal personnel or a law enforcement professional to better investigate and document the abuse.”
Also try to change your approach to the person or persons bullying you. “My best advice to someone being bullied in the workplace is to practice using phrases like, ‘I’m not comfortable with that’; ‘I see it differently’; ‘That doesn’t work for me’; ’We disagree and have different styles of communicating,’” says Beverly Hills psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish, author of The Self-Aware Parent. “You can set boundaries and regain control by using gentle language that drives your point home. It’s not necessary to make enemies at work. But, it is very important to define the lines that others may not cross. It is a quiet strength when someone can do this in a benign, clear, and matter of fact tone.”
Middle school can be a tough time for any child but school administrators are supposed to be there to step in, in case things get too far out of hand. But unfortunately, for Tammie Jackson and her 13 year old daughter that was not the case.
Tammie Jackson, of St Louis County, Missouri, said that her 13 year old daughter Gabrielle has been experiencing sexual harassment because of the size of her breasts. When Tammie called the school district to inform them of the issue, instead of looking into the issue, having a conversation with the students in question, they suggested that Tammie get her daughter a breast reduction.
Once the news hit, the school claimed they’re investigating the issue and were going to provide counseling for students who are undergoing bullying issues.
But still for Tammie, the initial response she received was inappropriate, “Talk with the kids. Let them know people’s bodies are changing, everybody is different, but God made us all great.”
A breast reduction, huh? At thirteen? As women, our bodies aren’t even done growing at thirteen. What legit surgeon would take her on as a patient? The suggestion is not only ridiculous, it’s unhealthy, both emotionally and physically if she were to decide to actually go through with it. I hope the school rectifies this situation but really it’s not all that surprising to me. After all, this is America where misogynist attitudes reign. This suggestion of getting a breast reduction is right along in the same vein with people, men and women alike, blaming involuntary sex victims.
How do you think the school should have handled this situation? If this were your daughter what would you have done at this very inappropriate, very insensitive suggestion?
There were two things that got your A$$ whooped in my school:
1) Looking like a nerd.
2) Looking like a nerd with a permanently raised hand.
Let me give you the visuals first: At thirteen, I’d accrued an incredibly large gap from adolescent thumb sucking, glasses as thick as coke bottles and a head of poof perm; due to my mother’s try-it-at-home experiments. It also didn’t help that I was extremely talented in reading/writing.
That being said, I was in for it.
Earlier on in my school career, I’d moved from the boroughs of New York City to the burbs’. The third grade teacher at my elementary school placed me at a table in the back of the room, until they could scramble up a desk for me. Immediately I was the center of attention. Girls’ high pitched whispers glazed the bellows of the boys, all pondering the same question: Who was the freak?
This might not have been their inquiry. In fact, my twenty-three and more sensible self will tell me that the excitement arose solely from having a new face around. However, my nine year old insecure self was immediately frightened. Agitated with the urgency of needing to know whether I was liked or not, I came to a conclusion: I would stand my ground; I would be an individual and set my own trends.
I was doomed.
Kristin Hall was the first to speak, “I’m the flyest girl around here and if you want to get in good with anyone, you have to join my sorority.”
“Sorority, what’s that?” I asked.
The other girls who’d accumulated behind her snickered, “It’s something my mom was in. It’s when a group of girls all hang together and does whatever they want for fun. You can only hang with us though.”
“No thanks, I kind of want to get to know everyone.” I breathed.
Kristin placed her hand on her hips, swung an evil glance around the room to the rest of the students and smirked.
“Fine, do what you want.”
Little did I know, Kristin’s glance would define my entire primary AND secondary school career. It seemed as though everyone was afraid of her and since I’d rejected her invitation, I was the enemy.
During lunch, I’d sit under my favorite tree for the next two years beckoning for this phase to pass. I hoped that it would all be over. While catching up on The Babysitter’s Club and Nikki Giovanni, in the shade, the girls would walk past and throw insults for no reason at all.