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  #21  
Old 15.03.2011, 21:46
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Re: Bullying in School

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Hi odi and welcome to the forum.

That's hysterical!
I can admit having my days of blues every now and then (and we all do), but in general I love it here.

Re your topic, it's definitely a global thing. I remember from my child school that there was a mentally disabled girl who was put in our class instead of school for children with special needs. And the poor girl sure got it all.
I wish I could say I was the brave kid who defended her, but I was just a normal kid - frighten that if I would stand up for her I would be treated the same. So instead I closed my ears, eyes and mouth. I did feel for her though and we often hung out after school. Sometimes I apologized for my poor friendship and not standing up for her, and she always replied the same way: "That's okay, you don't have to worry about me, I'm used to this."
Yep, this still is a sting in my heart. Brave girl.

I don't know if this problem is ever to be fixed, but it would be nice if parents would inform their children and support them to stand up for bullied kids. Or at least, teach them that it is okay to tell the adults when something is not right.

Then again, we also have adults as bullies, don't we?
Another taint on this subject ...people let themselves be bullied, there are plenty of good Karate dojos in Switzerland , we put our kids at ages 5 and 7 into Karate it keeps them fit and teaches them self defense.

Even in Swiss schools there is a degree of bullying, but the bullies do back down after they recieve a swift round-house ...worked for my son anyway.
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Old 15.03.2011, 21:48
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Re: Bullying in School

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I liked the UK Form Tutor concept - where all students in secondary schools had at least 1 teacher they saw twice a day, and who would be accessible as the 'special' person to help and support in times of difficulty of one kind or other.
In my experience, having a form tutor was all but useless.

If you're being bullied, you can't tell anyone, because next time it will be worse, and whatever the school tries to do to protect you is never enough. Even if the bully is expelled, he'll be waiting for you outside the school gates.

It's a sad fact of life that for many of us bullying is a rite of passage. It certainly teaches one a lot about real life and how to survive it unscathed.

In retrospect, I'm actually rather glad it happened to me. It taught me not to get too much above myself, not to think of myself as anything special or invulnerable. I learnt humility and gained a sense of perspective.

If my form tutors had effectively intervened, I might have ended up working in finance...
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  #23  
Old 15.03.2011, 21:56
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Re: Bullying in School

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Another taint on this subject ...people let themselves be bullied, there are plenty of good Karate dojos in Switzerland , we put our kids at ages 5 and 7 into Karate it keeps them fit and teaches them self defense.

Even in Swiss schools there is a degree of bullying, but the bullies do back down after they recieve a swift round-house ...worked for my son anyway.
Doesn't always work. Back in my schooldays in the UK in the 1980s I was bullied quite a bit by a certain group of individuals. I complained to teachers, to my parents, to the headmaster etc, but not much happened as the school decided it wasn't really their problem. Contributory to this was the fact that the individuals concerned were choir boys and our choir was pretty good at that time and was causing a lot of positive spin for the school (which was very welcome seeing the school wasn't particularly good at anything else). So you can imagine that the school adored these boys and refused to believe they were capable of doing anything wrong. Not being in the choir made me a sort of second class citizen. So having exhausted all other options, one day I took the affair into my own hands and gave one of them a bashing that was so mighty that the choir's performance that night was without him. The result was that the school get very angry and this combined with my refusal to apologise ultimately led to me being expelled.

In the long term I benefitted though as the school I was transferred to was far better at most things (but not at choir).
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Old 15.03.2011, 22:00
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Re: Bullying in School

http://lifeintheswissalps.blogspot.c...n-schools.html

Here is a good article/ blog post about mobbing/ bullying, what ever you want to call it. It's all the same to me. Been there, first experinced this at the hands of my own brothers who didn't like to be seen with girls. It happens in all cultures.
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Old 15.03.2011, 22:09
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Re: Bullying in School

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  #26  
Old 15.03.2011, 22:17
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Re: Bullying in School

yeah. bullying is a problem everywhere. i don't think you can get rid of it completely, but i think you can at least deal with it before something tragic happens.

you can be bullied for many reasons:

- different/outsider
- easy target: fat, geek etc.

i had to deal with it a fair bit personally when i was in school and regard it as a character building experience

i would say that UK schools seem pretty well tuned into bullying and do address it. unlike japanese schools (and i suspect swiss schools) where bulling is institutionalised through teacher/parent indifference.
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  #27  
Old 15.03.2011, 22:24
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Re: Bullying in School

If you wanna fight me, you must know that I'm not scared and ready for anything coming my way. If not, please leave me alone and don't waste my time! It should work! I should try to adapt it to the workplace full of verbal bullies in corporate world!
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  #28  
Old 15.03.2011, 22:25
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Re: Bullying in School

Oh, it seems I was really lucky with my nice classmates then. I didn't know that it's that a big problem.

I think the parents are responsible for a certain respectable behaviour of their children against other people...

I think violence against nonnatives is something diffrent. In school, the kids know each other, they don't attack a complete stranger. They have to know who is weak and will not complain...
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  #29  
Old 15.03.2011, 22:51
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Re: Bullying in School

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it would be nice if parents would inform their children and support them to stand up for bullied kids. Or at least, teach them that it is okay to tell the adults when something is not right.
There we go. Big like.
Someone people respect.
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  #30  
Old 15.03.2011, 22:59
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Re: Bullying in School

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Well, I endured a pretty dreadful six years at a crappy comprehensive school in the English Midlands.

Fortunately, all that ended a very long time ago. Why dwell on the past?

I bet those miserable oiks who made my life a misery every break time, lunch time and waiting-for-the-bus time don't get to look at snowclad mountains when they sit down to their nasty plastic ready-meals with their nasty painted "partners" in their nasty double-glazed terraced houses in that nasty plywood-shuttered town which they almost certainly never left.

The thought of that cheers me up no end.

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As a teacher yourself, having gone through the agonies of being picked on, what is your/the schools policy towards bullying?
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  #31  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:05
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Re: Bullying in School

Seeing the title, I thought this Thread was going to by about bullying taking place here with one of the expats children involved. As it isn't and is more about our own childhood - and we expats didn't go to school here, this'll have to go over to Off-Topic. I think you all keep your 'thanks' though! Interesting subject, but it is simply not about Switzerland.
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Old 15.03.2011, 23:11
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Re: Bullying in School

Searching deeper in land of cheese and milk, I managed to discover some interesting evidence: http://lifeintheswissalps.blogspot.c...n-schools.html
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  #33  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:13
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Re: Bullying in School

We had many Italian kids joining our school when I was a kid in the 50s (in CH) and a few Hungarian kids after the uprising there and also kids evacuated after the Frejus dam disaster + Gipsy kids from time to time. I constantly got into trouble for sticking up for them- but I was lucky to have 2 big brothers and their friends who got looked out for me.
Teachers and parents certainly never got involved.

For the past 15 years or more, every school in the UK has a bullying policy with clear guidelines. We as teachers had regular meetings to discuss strategies, and this was tackled with Year and senior Tutors and senior management. There was NO easy solution, but having a clearly stated policy helped to some extent- and all kids new who and how they could discreetly approach staff in confidence. We also put together 'peer support groups' where older pupils with a strong and positive profile would also be trained to support other kids- which was very effective (but no panacea).
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  #34  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:14
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Re: Bullying in School

Too little, too late...
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  #35  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:14
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Re: Bullying in School

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Seeing the title, I thought this Thread was going to by about bullying taking place here with one of the expats children involved. As it isn't and is more about our own childhood - and we expats didn't go to school here, this'll have to go over to Off-Topic. I think you all keep your 'thanks' though! Interesting subject, but it is simply not about Switzerland.
I can't help but disagree, it was schooling in Switzerland, topical don't you think? Rather insightful as well, giving an insider view of how the local bullying might work. Very useful I would say.

There have been a few threads started over this very theme, I truly don't get that it should be off topic.
Well at least,the only reason it might go to off topic is because, the next posters took it there, as per usual,,, still not a reason to go to off topic surely?!.
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  #36  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:18
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Re: Bullying in School

I agree readysteadygo - a comparison of how this is tackled in Switzerland compared to elsewhere- with personal experiences, is quite relevant.
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  #37  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:35
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Re: Bullying in School

I was bullied from the age of 8 to 19. Primary school, secondary school, sixth form college, university.

My parents changed my primary school when I was 8. I simply never found my niche in my new school - I never fit in, my classmates knew it, I knew it, and they never let me forget it. I now know from my teacher training that this is a very common occurrence of a child moves schools after the age of 6 / 7. I wish that the researchers had the courage to make this fact more widely known - I know there are times when a move is inevitable but sometimes a child is simply moved out of pique and the damage is greater than the problems the parents had with the first school.

I worked really hard to try and get into the local selective secondary school, but I failed the exam and so had to go to what is known in unpolitically correct circles as a "bog standard comprehensive". I fit in even less there, because I was intelligent (just not brainy enough for the girl's high), and because of my faith.

I have to give the school their due. They had a huge bullying problem and they knew about it. In my second week, I was called out of class by my head of year (I was petrified). The powers-that-be had noticed a bruise on my forehead and scrapes on my legs. I was able to reassure her that both were due to clumsiness, and she told me to come and talk to her if I ever did have problems.

The problem was, when I did start having problems, there was very little the school could do. Mainly because apart from one or two isolated incidents the bullying I experienced was on a verbal, emotional and mental level - what is technically called 'social exclusion' played a large part - and the school just wasn't equipped to deal with it. I needed emotional support and probably (looking back) some sessions with a therapist to build my self esteem and develop my social skills. The school told me to 'laugh along' and to 'try not to stand out' - but they didn't tell me how. Plus, they never showed they cared enough for me to ask them to make long-term plans to support me - it was always fits and starts depending on whether they perceived the bullying to be a problem. So much more could have been done - for example, if they'd ever thought to ask I would have told them that lunch times were very hard because after the second year there was no-where provided for students to eat packed lunches, which meant there was no 'safe' place to spend lunch.

When I got to sixth form things were lower key - it was more a case of just not fitting in. I began to hope it wasn't a problem - until one of my teachers refused to let me sign up for a trip to Ecuador because 'You don't fit in and I don't want a girl who doesn't belong to the group on the trip.' Nice.

At university I was put in a very small corridor in the halls of residence with only 3 rooms. Me, another Christian and a girl who was Baha'i. In some ways, this was a real life-saver - I doubt I'd have coped very well with 20 students. But unfortunately although we were all studying English Literature, there were so many students on the course that we were split up into parallel groups - I was in one and the other 2 were in the other. So I had to go to all my lectures alone, and walk in with groups of people who already seemed to know each other... and it took along time to over come that distance. I still remember the humiliation when I found myself sitting alone at a table and the lecturer had to ask a group 'Can Victoria come and sit with you, as we're doing discussion today?' It was like being back in Year 9 science all over again ('Ok, whose turn is it to work with Victoria this week?'). Plus I was chief fire warden for my halls of residence so I got a lot of flak. Things did eventually get better though - finally.

I think the worst thing about university was actually studying bullying. I remember sitting in a lecture and hearing the lecturer describe social exclusion bullying and thinking 'that's what happened to me!'. They then went on to say that this form of bullying was the most likely to have long term effects. These include low self-esteem as an adult, problems regarding ability to make friends, succeed in education & in work & social relationships. Depression is also a possibility.

Well I'm now 30 and am 'delighted' to report that I am a textbook example of the long-term negative effects of bullying.

The thing that makes me mad is that no-one tried to help me. They 'sanctioned' the offenders, then gave me trite advice and sent me away until the next time. I know this was over 15 years ago... but there must have been some kind of therapy available, some kind of support. Why is it that the focus was always on short term repercussions for the bully and brief reassurance for the victim? Why didn't someone sit down and think: Is there something we can do to stop this happening again?

Then I'm mad at myself. When I heard that lecture, and then went on to study bullying in detail, why didn't I go and talk to someone - the lecturer, for example - to find out if there was something I could do to deal with the effects of bullying, before it became a problem? I know why - I was scared.

I'm also mad with the 'experts'. In my third year of teaching, everyone in my school was sent on a big 'anti-bullying' day. We were told it had to take place off site, in a neutral environment. So we were all going to go to the curriculum development centre. Lovely. Except that the curriculum development centre was the top floor of one of the buildings at my old secondary school. I didn't think I had any choice but to go, so I went, and sat through all the training flighting flashbacks. Again, some pertinent points were made about long term effects. I summoned up courage to approach the trainer and mention my past. She was horrified and said if she had know we would never have had the meeting at the school. She promised to get in touch with me to discuss ways to help me. She never did, and a few months later I started having the odd days off sick that culminated in me being forced to resign due to depression three years later.

So yes, I'd concur. Bullying is a huge problem.

Last edited by Vlh22; 15.03.2011 at 23:44. Reason: Just clarifying the 'forced to resign'... as my name is in my signature... in case the thought police are checking up on me!
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  #38  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:37
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Re: Bullying in School

I'm a geezer. I spent primary school in the 'fifties, high school in the 'sixties and university (two graduations) into the mid 'seventies, most of that in Swiss cities, some (uni) abroad.

Although I was terribly lazy, I practically always was best in class in most subjects, most pronounced exception being sports. There I was best in swimming and an excellent diver (75 m under water without a problem), but otherwise I was more of a laughing stock. However, although many class mates were envious of my easily achieved grades and could be confident that I would lose a fight, I never experienced problems.

The only case of bullying I experienced was a high school class mate who was a teacher's son (not teaching at the same school), a swot, a sissie and Mommy's boy to boot. Besides that his IQ was way beyond the average of the class. There was quite an uproar in class when he told teachers about our plans for a prank. He was called a wimp and a traitor, both of which were true. He got shunned by most for about half a year, which I thought was cruel. I didn't play along, and one by one the others gave in too. He still is grateful for my my backing.

Although non-violent, that was not just bullying. It was real mobbing, albeit on a low level. I never experienced anything more serious. Maybe we just were lucky. It sure like heck is not just because of bad memory. My friends call me a hard disk on two legs.

By the way, many of you may have noted that the German language uses the English word "mobbing" even in cases were the active side is only a single person, obviously not realizing that "mobbing" comes from "mob."
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  #39  
Old 15.03.2011, 23:50
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Re: Bullying in School

Vlh22 - I am so sorry to hear you've had such a bad time of it. I have no answer and no solution - but I hope you get the help you need to put it BEHIND you and not let it stop you from enjoying your future. Somehow you need to let go of the past- accept it, and go forth. My thoughts are with you.
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Old 15.03.2011, 23:56
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Re: Bullying in School

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Well, I endured a pretty dreadful six years at a crappy comprehensive school in the English Midlands.

Fortunately, all that ended a very long time ago. Why dwell on the past?

I bet those miserable oiks who made my life a misery every break time, lunch time and waiting-for-the-bus time don't get to look at snowclad mountains when they sit down to their nasty plastic ready-meals with their nasty painted "partners" in their nasty double-glazed terraced houses in that nasty plywood-shuttered town which they almost certainly never left.

The thought of that cheers me up no end.

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Mine is about 4foot 6, still lives with his mum and is a suburban estate agent
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