Everyone is perhaps too busy implementing 'programmes' to have time to learn about the cause of bullying.
The stark reality that our institutions are bolstering a cultural belief in 'get want you want by force', replicating a belief that goes from the bottom to the top of our triangle structure of every institution of society, including most families and most if not all schools- the powerless at the bottom and the powerful at the top. It occurs to me that children have no power; power in a real sense of ability to call into their lives a sense of direction, autonomous freedom to make choices, the ability to protect themselves against assault physically emotionally or sexually.Some cultures which have a top heavy structure are particularly ingrained in abuse. Polynesian cultures divest considerable power in the top and can reign absolutely over their societies. Churches used to exercise similar privelages and therefore abuses.Many still do. They all attract those leaders who do not experience themselves as powerful and who are magnetised into getting their needs met at others' expense.
The children who find themselves in these organisations are repressed and suppressed by machinations of torn loyalty, secret 'don't tell' pacts, fear of reprisal, shame and guilt-most of which are not innate but created at birth and nurtured through messages overt and subtle as they grow up.Abused children have no union, no support network, no value enshrined in law. They aren't as well protected as pets-the organisations that look after animals are not snowed under by over 20,000 cases a year (current stats of reported abuse in NZ)
They belong to a toxic organisation called the family, which guarantees secrecy from prying eyes and anyone who might care.
We want to make noises because we feel bad about it happening. But we aren't going to examine our means of support, our jobs, our professions. I understand this process- why would you look at something that might mean change or even redundancy? This is a self preserving aspect of human society.
We need honesty and courage to face some realities- such as it's us that have built the bullying platform where this behavior thrives.We don't need punishment, we need change.
I can well remember my time in the staffroom discussing an oft picked -on student. " Well he has got a mouth on him/her".was the refrain. That's why they got picked on- because they gave someone cheek. In my observations, the bullied child tries to defend themselves, and why wouldn't they? Do we expect to be assaulted or worse, excluded, and be silent? This is not a dispute and everyone knows it. These children are ritually put through suffering at the hands of their antagonists.
As yet I've had no replies to my requests to talk with either the Manawatu Standard or The Children's Commissioner (see my last post).They have received my letters and acknowledged that and told me they would get back to me.I'm skeptical but hopeful they will kia kaha.
Post script: I apologise to those children in my care that I didn't back them enough and go into a blind rage or publicly resign on that staffroom conversation alone. I apologise to the students I witnessed being bullied at school when I was growing up, and who didn't get my support (except weakly).