Beating up Bullying : Part One

Mean Girls, The Karate Kid (1,2, and 3), Heathers, Revenge of the Nerds, Chicken Little, I could go on and on with a list of these timeless classics. No self-respecting movie collection is complete without these iconic films.

“Milk money, double or nothing, dweeb!” was a typical line from the stereotypical jock. The villain of the movie would challenge the hero to a fight at the flagpole after school on Friday. We’d expect the less popular guy to take some karate classes or have a coming-of-age moment by the end of the week. Then and only then, could he beat up the bully and get the girl.

These movies used to spark something within us, right? We would get the chance to root for the underdog and cheer on the little guy. Films like these made for great entertainment.

Unfortunately, like much of our entertainment nowadays, these stories are entrenched in reality. Across the country, news cycles are inundated by occurrences just like these, of individuals being bullied in hallways, or on buses, in chat rooms, and in the workplace. The reports startle us. They offend us and oftentimes they scare us.

What’s most scary is that we are not realizing the effects of bullying until it is too late. According to Ttofi and Farrington (2011) only about 25% of bullied students notify an adult. This may be a result of a disconnection between adults’ and young people’s experiences of bullying (Bradshaw, O’Brennan & Sawyer, 2008).

Bullying, to many adults, is just a rite of passage – no different than any of the culture classic 1980s movies from John Hughes. It is hard to understand that the less popular guy taking karate classes and beating up the bully was what made the movie entertaining. The happy ending is what made a movie a movie, not what happens in real life. In real life, bullying has long-lasting, negative, and deeply hurtful effects.

The Hope Wanted organization is focusing on this problem that is terrifying our children, worrying our parents, unsettling our schools, and unnerving our communities. For the next couple of weeks, I will be taking a deeper look into this issue including the impact of bullying, understanding bullies, teens and cyber-bullying, bullying in the workplace, and what we can do together to beat bullying in our communities. Please continue to follow and feel free to comment. Together, we are the village.

Same as always…Stay informed. Stay involved.

Sources Cited

Bradshaw, C.P., O’Brennan, L. & Sawyer, A.L. (2008). Examining variation in attitudes toward aggressive retaliation and perceptions of safety among bullies, victims, and bully/victims. Professional School Counseling, 12(1), 10-21.

Ttofi, M.M., Farrington, D.P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology,7(1), 27-56.


Blog Author : Dr. P. K. Wayne