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EFDN 303 - Bullying Project (Part 2)

These are the answers I received after interviewing ten adult victims of bullying. The responses describe different experiences and long-term consequences of the bullying.
by

Danielle Degelman

on 3 April 2011

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Transcript of EFDN 303 - Bullying Project (Part 2)

I interviewed ten adults (between the ages of 19
and 56) who were bullied in elementary school. The names of those interviewed will NOT
be included in this presentation. I sent e-mails to all adult contacts, explaining the purpose of my research and asking whether they had been victims of bullying in the past. All victims were asked to answer the questions honestly and to the best of their ability. For my moral education project All interviews were conducted from the
beginning to the end of February. Here, I present my findings How old were you
when you were bullied
and how long
did the bullying last? Question #1: Several victims admitted to being bullied for six months up to a year. Some were bullied in certain grades
throughout their elementary school years. A few more experienced frequent
bullying from Grades 4 to 8
(these individuals experienced
bullying in high school as well). A few victims experienced bullying from Grades 1 to 8
(and one of these individuals experienced more serious
forms of bullying throughout high school). All ages varied. Some started to experience
bullying in Grade 1, while others started
to get bullied in Grade 7. to YOU! Question #2: How did the bully hurt you?
Describe one or two incidents that you
remember well. Most victims experienced
verbal bullying Some experienced
emotional bullying A few experienced
physical bullying "One girl kept pointing out that I was getting fat. Once, she tried to lift me and commented how heavy I was." "I was teased, got called mean names, and was humiliated in front of the whole class. I recall the classroom picture being distributed and the bully commenting that I was the fattest kid in the class." "I was outside for recess when a girl asked me if I was a boy or a girl (I used to have really short hair). It was obvious I was a girl because I was wearing a sundress." "I experienced name-calling and teasing. The incidents were essentially all the same...taunting me all the way home." What does this tell us? Bullying can happen at any age or grade. While some people are bullied "on occasion"... Others never go through a school day
without being bullied in some way. Bullying is part of the "social fabric" of EVERY school! "I don't' remember a day when someone did not verbally abuse me." "When picking teams, the captains would
always pick me last." "In grade 5, my 'friend' backstabbed me on
several occasions. She was my friend one
day and a bully the next." "The bullying consisted of little actions to
purposely exclude me, as well as comments that would highlight their 'superiority' over me." "He often punched and kicked me in
the stomach for no apparent reason." "I grew my hair out and had the longest hair in
the class. My classmates like to pull it or catch it
between desks and slam it in doors." What does this tell us?

More victims experienced verbal abuse And less were bullied physically It is easier to get away with
cruel words than physical contact I also found that... Both males and females were victims of verbal abuse. In these findings, only girls were bullied emotionally But they can also be targets of physical abuse. BECAUSE HOWEVER Anyone can be bullied in any way, shape, or form! Question #3: What are the specific
words or comments
that the bully
made to you? "Fatso" "Tomboy" "You're getting fat." "You're sooooooooo heavy." "Why are your hands blue?! Oh my gosh!
Everyone look! Her hands are blue!" "You have an Adam's apple?!?!" "You're a homo. You're a fag." "Your sister belongs in
a mental institution." "Four eyes" "You've changed." I got the silent treatment. "We can't have you in our group anymore." "Why do you have those spots?
Wow, you have a lot of spots!" What does this tell us? Words are powerful. Words are easily remembered. In fact, all victims could remember
specific words that the bully had said
to them or about them. How could the bullies get away with such a thing? This will lead us to the next two
interview questions that I asked. Question #4: Was any action taken?
If so, who initiated
it and what was
the specific action? Some admitted that no action was taken:
A few of these victims thought the teacher wouldn't do anything about the bullying.
One hoped that it would just "die down". Some told their parents about the bullying:
A few of the parents went to talk to the principal. In some cases, the bullying stopped completely. In others, the bullying only got worse.
One parent took their child to counselling (which was ineffective). A few victims took action themselves:
In these particular cases, the victims fought back physically. They gained respect from their peers, but were not viewed in the most positive light. What does this tell us? Where were teachers in all of this? Did they even know that the bullying was going on? Sometimes, we may believe that teachers
are always informed of bullying situations... But according to my results,
this isn't always the case. Question #5: Did a teacher ever help
you deal with a
bullying situation?
If not, what could
a teacher have done? Only a few of the victims were bullied more
than 40 years ago. Back then, teachers
didn't do anything about bullying. A few others did not think the teacher
could have helped them. In fact, they
could not think of anything
the teacher could have done. More thought that telling a
teacher would have only made the
situation worse. Again, none of them
could think of anything the teacher
could have done to help. Some victims talked to the principal with
their parents. In all cases, the victims thought
that talking to a teacher wouldn't have done anything.
According to them, the principal had more "power",
and thus, could do more to deal with the bullying. In all ten cases, the teacher was uninformed
of the bullying. What does this tell us? Even though teachers did not
do much about bullying "back then"... More recent victims of bullying did not think
that a teacher could have done anything to help. Question #6: How has the impact
of bullying continued
to affect you
as an adult? A few victims admitted that the bullying caused more negative thoughts and experiences. "My confidence dropped and
I developed eating problems." "The feeling of being unaccepted
and unwanted still exists in my mind." "I am self-conscious about my appearance
and weight. I always make sure nothing is
'out of place' so that no one points out a defect." For most victims, the bullying helped them develop into stronger individuals or they learned something from their experiences. "I'm stronger because of it and have
learned to stand up for myself." "I think the impact of bullying taught me that
it doesn't matter who you are or what you do.
Some people are going to love you for it, and some
will hate you for it." "I am more sensitive and aware of bullying.
Bullying can be taken in any form, in any range." "I used to be a bully myself...the classic backstabber.
I learned a lesson and knew how it really felt." "It toughened me up and taught me
how to take care of myself." "It helped me grow past my shyness and I
learned to express myself. I've grown to embrace
my physical imperfections." The impact of bullying had no
effect on the last victim. So, what does ALL of this tell us? According to these results, all adults remembered bullying situations from their own elementary school years. Certainly, bullying can have a large
impact on some individuals later in life. So, this takes us back to the school
and the role of the teacher. What are teachers doing NOW to handle
bullying in the school and classroom? Are there specific anti-bullying strategies
and policies that would have benefited
the individuals recently interviewed? We will soon find out. Let's move on now to the third part of this project, in which I conducted personal interviews with ten elementary school teachers in Regina and surrounding areas. Thank you for watching! Most interviews were completed personally. However,
some were done over the phone or by e-mail
(for time, location, and scheduling reasons). The results were analyzed and
then grouped into common themes. EVEN THOUGH Some teachers might have
helped or made a huge difference. Of course, this issue will be examined
in the next part of this critical project.
Full transcript