Punishment for Bullying

by Debbie Twomey on July 2, 2012


Last week I wrote about bullying and the “Karen Klein” incident. I believe what bothers us most is we knew this is probably what has been going on far too often, but this put it in our homes. I certainly do not think this is isolated (which is what makes it more tragic) but it did make the issue impossible to ignore.
If 12-14 year olds could harass and bully an elderly woman, what else have they been doing? Maybe it is time parents found out and not turned a blind eye. One of the strongest statements from this incident was a parent’s realization that their child could actually be capable of such behavior.
The other concern is and always has been, “group mentality.” It is all too easy to follow the leader, good or bad, instead of using your own judgment in situations like this. Parents really need to focus on not only teaching morals and values, but ways to stand up against a crowd that is not behaving well. Such training begins at a very early age and must be enforced regularly. Boundaries rarely need exceptions, because changing to suit your child sometimes sends a mixed message. That message may well be, “well maybe this one time you do not have to follow the rules.”
Compromise has been a word bantered about by parents who believe in allowing a child to make their own decisions even if they have not given them a solid foundation to use respect and morals in whatever they choose. There have been many parental movements that forgo punishment as something that stifles a child’s creativity and identity. I look at what is going on today and see that it is increasing at a scary rate and say, “How is that working for you?”
I have written a few blogs on creating boundaries for your children. This is for their protection first and now, for the protection of the general public. I have read so much about how people have been affected by this incident and the concepts most startling are:
–these kids felt entitled to how they were treating this woman
–respect, for elders or other human beings is in short supply
–parents do not always know who their children are or what they are doing
–Parents can be fooled too
–consequences are necessary or kids believe they have the right to act this way
–schools are obligated to investigate and act upon immediately, any claims of bullying
–the buck has to stop somewhere
Now, I have heard arguments about what the punishment was and if it was fair.  Most people agreed but there were still some who feel it was overkill and the bullying was not that bad. Here is my understanding—“The upstate New York school bus monitor who was bullied by four seventh-graders says she's satisfied that they're being suspended for a year. Klein told the AP she feels "fine" about the school system in the Rochester suburb of Greece handing down a year suspension and keeping them from regular bus transportation”
I am still a little unclear if this means no attendance at the school or school events or just taking the bus.
They also received 50 hours of community service to be done in a senior citizen community, which is very appropriate. Hopefully they will learn respect and understand that their behavior was unacceptable not only because they were caught but because it was so rude to another human being.
 No matter where you stand on this one incident, it has to be said. We need to come down hard on bullying, at any level. A mere slap on the wrist benefits no one and too many people have been hurt by the affects of bullying. This is not 40 years ago where a bully called you names and made you a little uncomfortable. No, it is the year of cyber bullying and of an increase in physical altercations by both girls and boys. It is now a way of thinking that says “I can do anything I damn well want to and no one can stop me.” Bullying needs to be stopped—NOW.

"I have dedicated my life to the care and welfare of children. I feel privileged to share what I have learned with you. I am also committed to continuously learning.  I will keep informed of the latest information in parenting children from newborns to teens and pass it on to all of you.”   I will also use that same passion to help you create a dynasty generate increases in your business with straightforward and specialized media managing skills that guarantee your connection and scope will grow. Keep up to date reading our posts and discover valuable insights that can make parenting and succeeding in the business of the blogger– the most exciting adventure. (Debbie Twomey)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Bingham July 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm

There also is the problem of corporal punishment . If a parent should strike a child for let’s say swearing, they are taken to jail and investigated by the DSS. We as parents can ground them, take things away from them but we cannot do much of anything alse. I know when I was raised, my mother would beat me with a belt until I was black and blue for being a bully towards her. I lived through it. There just is no justice for parents any longer.


Ebarbagallo July 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm

We as parents have a responsibility to openly talk about bullying and not shy away from the subject. We MUST encourage our kids and we MUST spot if we are raising a bully and how we can help them relieve that tension and stress without bullying others. 


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