This is a video that went viral recently. It shows 68-year-old school bus monitor Karen Klein being horribly bullied by 4 teenage boys.
Karen has (thankfully) received an outpour of support from millions of people who watched this video and were disgusted. As of this writing, she has reportedly received over half a million dollars for her to go on a dream vacation.
If only all victims of bullying got this kind of support. More often than not, they don’t.
Not a lot is done to help victims of bullying. Most people don’t know what to do in order to stop it, but if they did, they would take action.
Here is a list of actions that people can take to prevent bullying:
1)Peer pressure: victims of bullying usually end up feeling worse by the lack of support they receive by bystanders, who watch and do nothing, despite knowing that what they are seeing is wrong. The victim can end up feeling even more alone, because a passive crowd does, in its own way, encourage cruel behaviour. Bystanders are often afraid that if they get involved, they too will get picked on. But the fact is, when the public calls people out on bad behaviour, it sends a clear message of disapproval.
2) Role playing for victims of bullying. Often, a victim can continue to be victimized because of how he or she reacts to a situation. If we can help each other through role playing how to react to certain negative scenarios to gather practice for the real thing, that may help.
3) Teach victims self defence. Gracie jiu-jitsu helped one 12-year-old boy, Martin, stand up to his bully at school. The boy had a mentor at the academy who mentored him throughout the process. Martin was advised to only use violence as a last straw. Martin first asked his bully to stop. When that didn’t work, he went to the principle and told him that he had asked his bully to stop. When his bully hit him again at lunch time, Martin jumped off his bench and pinned him down, placing his knee on his chest and holding his arms down with his own. Martin wouldn’t let up until the boy had promised to leave him alone. It worked.
4) Schools need to teach lessons in compassion. This is what Ellen Degenerates said herself. Children need to know that it is not acceptable behaviour to be cruel to others. It’s just common etiquette.
5) Show support to victims. It’s hard enough being picked on. It’s even harder to go it alone and believing that nobody cares. Tell them that you care about them. It can literally mean the difference between life and death in some cases.
Bullying should not be tolerated. Karen Klein was fortunate enough that her incident was caught on tape and sent through social media. If society can react towards bullying the way they have reacted to Karen’s video, the world would be a much better place.