Insights Into Teens: Episode 7 “Bullying”

Madison and Joe discuss what bullying is and how it manifests itself in schools today. They discuss some interesting statistics, take a deep look at the types of bullying kids face today and conclude with helpful hints on how to deal with bullying if it happens to you or if you’re witness to it.

Insights Into Teens
Insights into Teens Podcast

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:08Okay.

Speaker 2:0:10Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Waylon, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 3:0:33Welcome to the insights and the teens episode seven bullying. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon with my coast, Madison, Waylon. Hello everyone. How are you feeling today, Madison? Much better than I did last week. That’s good. You, uh, you really tough that one out last week. We all appreciate that, I’m sure. Yeah. So today we’re going to be talking about bullying. Um, we’re going to talk about what bullying is, uh, the various types of bullying. Then we’re gonna look at some statistics on bullying and we will wrap up with what to do if you or someone you know, is being bullied. Um, and just to sort of couch the discussion that we have here. This is going to be talking about bullying in school primarily. So let’s get right into it.

Speaker 4:1:30Okay.

Speaker 3:1:31So the federal government of the United States has an anti bullying campaign and they have a website associated with it called http://www.stopbullying.gov and on that website, um, I found the definition that we’re going to go with today for bullying. All right, let’s hear it. They say bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior amongst school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious lasting problems. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include the following, an imbalance of power, which is kids who believe, uh, use their power such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations even if they involve the same people.

Speaker 3:2:39And it must also include repetition. Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. So that is what bullying is from our definition. So let me ask you right off the bat, based on that definition, do you feel like you’re bullied at school? Not really. No. Okay, that’s good. That’s good. And, and not everyone is bullied. Uh, which is a good thing. I mean I was to a certain extent when I was in school, I was bullied myself. Um, that didn’t last too long cause I, I resolved that, didn’t tolerate it anymore. So let’s talk about the different types of bullying.

Speaker 4:3:39Yeah.

Speaker 3:3:40So the first type of bullying that we look at here was verbal bullying. Where you say or write mean things. Uh, verbal bullying includes teasing, name calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting or threatening to cause harm. Uh, have any, has anyone done any of those things to you?

Speaker 5:4:01Well, I can somewhat relate to teasing. Okay. How’s in fifth grade? As you probably know, people tease me for my fear of spiders. Right? You safely put that to rest and no one really ever make fun of my, um, you know, fewer spiders since then.

Speaker 3:4:24That’s good. I think what you’ll find with a lot of these is that when you confront the bullies, the bullies tend to back down. I think some of the statistics that we’re going to look at later, we’ll, we’ll back that up. Okay. So the next thing that we have is social bullying. Sometimes referred to as relational bullying involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships by a social bullying includes leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone. We’re spreading rumors about someone or embarrassing someone in public. Now I found this tends to be something that happens more often than not because a lot of people don’t recognize this as bullying. Uh, has any of this happened to you? Uh, not really. No. So nobody leaves you out of, of activities on purpose or anything? No, not really. No one tells other kids not to be friends with, you know, and nobody embarrasses you in public?

Speaker 5:5:24Yeah, I’ve never really been embarrassed to public.

Speaker 3:5:27Well that’s good. That’s good. Because this tends to be the forum that happens most often in social cliques or social environments where you get a group of friends together and they decided that they’re going to exclude someone because they look different, they dress different, or maybe their parents aren’t as affluent as there is or you know, whatever reason it is. That happens very often. I think one of the worst versions of bullying is the next one we’re going to talk about, and that’s physical bullying. This involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, punching, spitting at someone, tripping or pushing them, taking or breaking someone’s things or making mean or rude hand gestures at then nobody physically assaulted you in a bullying situation. Have they?

Speaker 5:6:20Well, not exactly, but there was this one time, I mean someone clearly did it for fun. This girl, when I was, when I try, when I, when I was in after care, going to wash my hands to go eat snack. She put her leg out as if to trip.

Speaker 3:6:40Now, did she actually trip you?

Speaker 5:6:42No, I walked away and the teacher noticed confronted her.

Speaker 3:6:47That’s good. Good. That’s usually, it’s the retaliation that most adults tend to see where she does trip you and you might get angry and push her back. And then that’s what the teachers say. Uh, has anyone taking your possessions are broken? Any of your toys, you know, maliciously?

Speaker 5:7:04Well, there was one time that someone took a toy, so, but, and I knew it was happening because out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone when I was after, was known as the y program. They, uh, took my toy and put it in the lost and found and pretended they didn’t take it. But I saw them. And once we found the Tory that I had in front of the teacher like I would normally do, like anyone should do, and we found it and she got in trouble for it.

Speaker 3:7:35Okay. Now did she do that maliciously or was it a misunderstanding or was it, you know, does she do it intentionally early just to make a joke. Okay. Not a very good joke. No. One of the more recent forms of bullying out there that we run into more and more often, especially now that you’re getting your own, you have your own cell phone and you’re on the Internet and so forth was called cyber bullying. And cyber bullying takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers and tablets. And um, the most common places where cyber bullying occurs is on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, snapchat or Twitter, SMS, which is the short message system when you text people back and forth on your phone, uh, instant messages, uh, which you can do through Facebook messenger or facetime or whatever. And through email and, and I think it manifests itself as all the above where, you know, they’re trying to tease you or, or basically leverage some kind of control or power over you. Do you, have you experienced any kind of cyber bullying in the past? No, I haven’t. Now. Do you use any of these mediums?

Speaker 5:8:51I only have one other person decides you and mommy that I text, but they don’t really ever text back. But, and I have one person that email, but we’re friends. And we never really have fights. And

Speaker 3:9:08social media. Do you use Facebook or Instagram or snapchat or anything to,

Speaker 5:9:12I only use snapchat, but I never really post anything. I just use it to check out the cool filters and take pictures.

Speaker 3:9:18Okay. So you’re not really active on social media, you’re not posting anything basically, you’re not making yourself a target out there. Yeah. Okay. So, so really the only thing that we’re putting out to our view is this podcast it seems. Yeah, that’s interesting. Okay. Well fortunately we haven’t had any negative feedback coming through this podcast so far, but I’m sure there’s people out there that you know, they’ll feel free to express their opinions and not everyone has a nice opinion of things. So they are the types of bullying that we’re going to be addressing in our next segment where we talk about our statistics on bullying.

Speaker 3:10:00So these are national statistics that have been published on bullying. And the first question is, have you been bullied 28% of the students in grades six through 12 claim that they have been bullied at some point in time. 20% of the students in grades nine through 12 have experienced bullying. So would that’s telling us is that there is a higher percentage of bullying at the lower grades at that point in time. Oh, it’s significantly higher. And, and unfortunately I didn’t write down the number of people that were polled here. So it might be, you know, within the margin of error. But I think at the grade level that you’re at now, it’s a more sensitive, uh, area of being bullied. And let’s face it, kids can be mean sometimes and sometimes they do it intentionally and sometimes they don’t do it intentionally. Yeah. So the other statistic is they ask kids, how many of you have bullied other people? And it came back with about 30% of young people admit to having bullied dollars in this survey. Now, have you ever bullied anyone? No,

Speaker 5:11:10I don’t try to. And I never want to.

Speaker 3:11:13Do you think you might believe people inadvertently? Right. By and sticking to the definition of maintaining this power imbalance. Because I know a lot of the kids that you play with and spend time with our underclassmen. So by definition that dynamic introduces a power imbalance. Do you take advantage of that to get the kids to do stuff that you want to do that they might not necessarily want to do? No, I, I wouldn’t want to do that whatsoever. Okay. Well I’m just checking. It means, cause sometimes you can bully and not realize that you’re bullying by getting other people’s to do what you want to do cause they look up to you. So that’s just something to keep in the back of your mind when you’re, when you’re playing with the underclass. But that’s all. Okay. Not saying that you are, but it’s something that can happen without you realizing it’s happening. That’s all. So the next statistics we’re going to talk about is how many kids have seen other kids be bullied? And this is a significant statistic. So 70.6% of young people say they’ve seen bullying in their schools. 70.4% of school staff say they’ve seen bullying and 62% witness bullying. Two or more times in the last month with 41% saying at least once in the last week. And when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds, 57% of the time. So I think the takeaway from this is people know what’s going on. Like have you seen bullying in your school?

Speaker 5:12:46No, not really because we’re technically separated by grade level and I think the older kids would want to bully the younger kids, but I haven’t really seen any bullying in my school.

Speaker 3:12:59Okay, well that’s good. Ah, you know, I know that your school has a very aggressive anti bullying campaign that they run and it sounds like it’s probably effective. I think the important thing here to note is kids are seeing it and staff are seeing it and they’re shitting it quite frequently. But the important thing is, is that when bullies are confronted about it, the bullying stops quickly at a high percentage rate. So it’s one of those things where you can’t let the bullies just keep getting away with it. Yeah. Um, and this is what I found because when I was bullied in school years ago, you 10 as a victim, you tend to take it to a certain extent because you don’t know what to do. You might be shocked that it’s happening to you, but you reach a point where you’re not going to put up with it anymore. What you do when you reach that point dictates a lot of other things. But once you make that decision that you’re not going to put up with it anymore and you decide to take action on it, that’s when you see some kind of relief. So it’s a matter of don’t take it when you can solve the problem.

Speaker 5:14:10Yeah. That’s kind of what happened when I was being teased about why our rack, no phobia, which is few spiders, right? I decided that I wouldn’t put up with it anymore and I immediately told you what the problem was and you put a stop to it.

Speaker 3:14:25Exactly. And, and that’s the thing. I mean you, you, you can turn to your teachers, you can turn to your parents, you can confront the bully directly, which is oftentimes effective but can lead to unintentional altercations. But it’s always best to escalate to someone outside of the immediate situation, I think. So the next thing the survey looked at with cyberbullying, 9% the students in grades six through 12 said they experienced cyberbullying, 15% of high school students grades nine through 12 we’re electronically bullied in the past year. However, 55.2% of the LGBT students experienced cyber bullying. And you know what? LGBT is LGBT as alternative, sexual preference, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered. So obviously they’re being targeted because they’re perceived as being different. And a lot of people who don’t have the inclination or don’t take the time to understand things that are different tend to fear that which is different.

Speaker 3:15:39And the human nature is to lash out of the things that we fear. And in most cases there were a minority in the community. They tend to be the focus of cyberbullying, at least based on this survey, which is unfortunate. The next thing we talked about or the survey talked about was how often you were bullied and about 49% of the children grades for. So this drops down from grade six to grade four, 49% say reported bullying by other students at school at least once during the past month or 30% report of bullying others during this time. And I thought it was kind of interesting how the majority of kids who have been bullied always seems to be higher than those who admit to bullying, which tells me either those that are bullying others bullying more than one person or those that are bullying others aren’t all admitted.

Speaker 3:16:33The bullying others they define frequent in this survey is involvement in bullying as occurring two or more times within the past month. Uh, 40% of students reported some type of frequent involvement in bullying with 23% being the youth, frequently bullied, 8% being the youth who frequently bullied others and 9% playing both roles, which is interesting. I mean, you’re looking at almost 10% of these polls are both bullied and they bully others. And, uh, interesting takeaway from that is depending on how you handle being bullied determines how you treat others. Some people get bullied and they find that injustice done to them being unconscionable and they don’t want to see it done to others. Other people get bullied and they try to then regained some level of self esteem or s or self-empowerment by bullying others and it kind of repeats that cycle. So that’s one of the things that we try to avoid is the repetition of that cycle. As you break the cycle, then you can break the cycle of anyone being bullied. Do you gray? So bullying is not good. So the next statistic is the types of bullying. So they break down the bullying by percentage and the number one type of bullying here is name calling at 44%. Actually the first three here are really verbal bullying. So you’ve got name calling at 44 teasing at 43 and spreading rumors or lies at 36. Uh, have you ever experienced any of that stuff in school?

Speaker 5:18:15Uh, you mean like verbal bullying? Yes. Well, other than the whole spider thing, um, I don’t really think I experienced anything else.

Speaker 3:18:26So no one’s called you names. They’ve not made fun of your religion. They’ve not made fun of the way you dress or anything like that? No. No. Okay. Well you’ve been very fortunate. You know, I have to, I have to credit your school for, for keeping things under control like that. Then,

Speaker 5:18:42I mean, in fifth grade there was some drama with other people because, well, we’re growing and girls start to get catty. Boys start to get stupid.

Speaker 3:18:54Well that’s one way of putting it. Sure.

Speaker 5:18:57Well, there’s no other way I can really describe it.

Speaker 3:19:00I’m not disagreeing with you. I just don’t think that’s probably the most sensitive way of putting it.

Speaker 5:19:05Yeah, I really don’t know though, but, and it’s never really been about me. It’s just been about my other classmates in fifth grade. There’s nothing really about that going on sixth grade, but yeah.

Speaker 3:19:18Well that’s good. Hopefully, you know, with more maturity comes better behaviors. So when we get down to the fourth one in the last year, then we start getting into some of the physical types of bullying. So number four is pushing and shoving at 32.4% then we get hitting, slapping and kicking at 29% and then we start getting back into a mix of things you’ve got, you know, being left out at 20 threatening at 27 stealing your belongings into 27 range, uh, sexual comments or gestures at 23 have you experienced anything like that? No, not really. Nobody making any lewd remarks or anything like that about, you know, good. Unfortunately that’s likely to happen when you get in the high school.

Speaker 5:20:04Well, unfortunately, well there was this one thing that I just thought of, people have been saying this day away from me because getting my mood swings, I kind of get a little angry and you know, people just say to stay away from me because of that. And, and I never really mean it in any way. I just sometimes can’t control my emotions. I think they understood. Maybe they’d stop, but,

Speaker 3:20:31well, and I think what you’ll find is getting into the next year when more and more of the girls your age are going to start going through the same type of changes you’re going through, they’ll have a little bit more understanding of what you’re going through and it probably won’t be as much of an issue. The last thing that we had on the list here was email or blogging at 9% so the cyber bullying is an issue, but it’s probably the least significant issue right now, but certainly something to keep an eye on, especially as you start getting more and more involved in social networking going on. So one of the other statistics that we have for yours where bullying occurs so overwhelmingly at 29.3% and then, well actually yeah, 29.3% say it happens in the classroom, which is kind of unusual considering the close supervision that you have from teachers.

Speaker 5:21:29Yeah, it definitely seems unusual.

Speaker 3:21:31Does your teacher, I know you’ve got two teachers, but are they very aware of the situation where they wouldn’t allow bullying or just bullying? Maybe still occur and the teacher’s not that involved?

Speaker 5:21:43Well I’m pretty sure they’re going to be involved with there was any boy in, cause if they can, they yell at them for talking and well they can give to marriage now. So I’m pretty sure we’ll be involved with whenever someone is being, whoa.

Speaker 3:21:57So there’s a classroom disciplinary system that’s in place to crack down on this type of thing? Yes. What about in the hallway or lockers? You don’t have lockers right now, correct?

Speaker 5:22:07Yeah. But in middle school,

Speaker 3:22:09middle school you’ll get them in the hallway. Do you guys have hall monitors? Cause you don’t really transition from classroom to classroom just yet, right? No we do. Oh you do? Okay. So in doing so, do you have hall hallway monitors, teachers in the hallway to make sure nothing happens?

Speaker 5:22:26Well sometimes there are teachers walking around and some students, but there are no real hall monitors anymore. I mean we used to have monologue hall monitors when I was in fourth grade, third and second grade. But now in with fifth and sixth they don’t ask any on.

Speaker 3:22:45Interesting. So there’s a potential there. Cafeteria where you guys eat lunch in the cafeteria. Are you separated by grade or you sit anywhere you want?

Speaker 5:22:53Well, we are separated by grade and we have to say what’s our class

Speaker 3:22:58so then they maintain some level of discipline there. Yeah. Jim and Phys ed class. Now this is an interesting one. Given the story, the infamous story of your kickball experience. Do you think you’re bullied and Jim or Phys ed? No. No. Let me, let me, you know, expound on that a little bit. Do People in gym or Phys Ed Make Fun of you, ask you to pass the ball? Do you get picked last? Do you feel as though you’re being asked to do things you’re not comfortable with?

Speaker 5:23:29Well, I can relate to some of them. I mean, I know I’m, that’s last only because people want to win and they’re competitive. I mean, it’s not their own fault. I’m pretty sure they don’t want to try and bully me because I’m not good at sports. But I’m pretty sure they are just competitive and want to win the game, which is another reason why they want me to pass the ball to them because they know I’m not very athletic.

Speaker 3:23:54But remember we’re talking about the definition of bullying is being this power imbalance happening on a repetitive level.

Speaker 5:24:03I know. And like you said before, if I don’t want to pass the ball, I don’t have to, which in the future if we ever come to that point, I won’t pass the ball. So you don’t want to.

Speaker 3:24:14So by definition you are being bullied to a certain extent in physic class when they asked you to do that.

Speaker 5:24:20Well it’s so small amount and it’s not really been a problem anymore. Okay. So yeah,

Speaker 3:24:27but it’s worthwhile. I mean, my point is is that you’ve experienced bullying. Oh, you just didn’t identify it as bullying. So you’re aware of it. So you know what the warning signs are to look for. So the last statistic that we have here is how often adults are notified. And about the rest of the, well, there’s a few, I mean we have bullying in the bathroom, bullying in the playground, but I don’t think those are really relevant unless you’ve experienced it in those.

Speaker 5:24:57No, just wanted to notify it.

Speaker 3:25:00Yeah. Well the, the numbers of occurrences are statistically insignificant in the grand scheme of things, so I don’t want to waste too much time on it, but yeah. You know, we can spend another five minutes on it if you want. It’s okay. How often adults are notified. So only about 20 to 30% of students who were bullied notify adults about the bullying. And this is probably one of the more alarming things because as you’ve experienced, when you notify an adult about it, then something can be done. The 20 of the 30% of students out there are doing the right thing. It’s the other 70 to 80% that tends to worry me is to, you know, why aren’t you, I think I know why. Why do you think

Speaker 5:25:43no problem? It’s probably because of fear basically. Like they probably think if they tell a teacher or adult, the bully will come after them and try to hurt them even more. And they also think that adult probably wouldn’t be able to help if the boy in has gone into a certain extent.

Speaker 3:26:06And those are very valid points. And at that point in time I really feel for the victim of the bullied because of that point in time the they must feel as though it’s hopeless that they can’t solve this situation. And I think it’s important that they understand that there are solutions out there. And in fact, that’ll lead us into our next section here.

Speaker 3:26:32So what do you do? Cause she someone being bullied or if you’re being bullied so well, the first thing is obviously don’t join in and don’t watch the bullying bullies, loving audience. What you can do as you walk away and see if you can get others to leave too. Don’t just abandon someone who’s in real danger. Obviously go get help. So if someone’s being bullied, if it’s on the playground or if it’s in gym class or wherever it is, that bullying is, is looking for attention of some short. You understand that as well, so you don’t give them that attention. So don’t be a part of the audience because if you’re just watching it happen, you’re a part of the problem, not a part of the solution at that point. Yeah. So you see someone being bullied. What’s your first instinct?

Speaker 5:27:21If I see someone being bullied, I would probably go and try to find a teacher, but if there aren’t really any teachers close by and the students could potentially get hurt during the time I look through teacher, I’m going to try and stop it as as well. I can do like tries to end in between them and figure out what the problem was between

Speaker 3:27:45hello, that could potentially be dangerous. I’m sure there’s, it’s situational in nature, but I’m sure there’s situations where you can be a little bit more diplomatic and trying to defuse the situation and that’s probably the first thing that you should try. And if you find that you can’t diffuse it immediately, then you go and find that adult stop any rumors is the next thing. So if anyone tells you gossip, don’t pass it along to others. You wouldn’t want someone spreading rumors about you, you know? So if someone comes to you and says, Hey, did you know Susie’s got lice, she’s dirty, blah, blah, blah, and stuff like that, what would you do there? How would you react to that?

Speaker 5:28:24I wouldn’t be one of the problems. I wouldn’t be one of the people to spread that rumor. And as soon as it did come to school, I would try to help her out and let her know I was here for her.

Speaker 3:28:36That’s very good. And that’s probably the best thing you could do at work. Or at least go to the person who is the target of the rumors. Let them know that people are spreading rumors and then maybe even let an adult know that someone’s spreading rumors about someone. Okay. Um, and it’s best to not divorce yourself, but make others aware who could do something about it. You can’t go and tell the other kids what to say and what not to say. You can at least go to the person who’s being potentially building cause they might not even know they’re being bullied and let them know and then they can do something about it, but they don’t feel empowered thing you could do something about it. So there’s options there. Uh, one of the other things is to stand up for the person. So if it feels safe, defend the person being bullied.

Speaker 3:29:23Bullies often care a lot about being popular and powerful. If you make the bully seem uncool, the bully may stop. Now this goes back to the first point here where standing up to someone doesn’t necessarily mean a physical altercation. Standing up to someone is throwing the bully’s ammunition back out. So if the bullying is making fun of someone because of how they look [inaudible] positive attributes about that person or confront the bullying and say, you know, do you need to pick yourself up by putting other people down? Is Do you feel that bad about yourself? And, and you know, a little bit of a reverse psychology. Sometimes makes the bullies, especially if it’s done in an audience in front of an audience. If the bully has to then question himself, he very quickly, his argument, the fleets, his power goes away and they don’t like the negative attention on them.

Speaker 3:30:20But again, it’s one of those things where it’s situational. You have to be careful how far you push that type of thing because it’s potential that you could push that bullied to the point that they then target you at that point. And it could be more than verbal abuse at that point. So anytime you stand up for someone when they’re being bullied, you had to be very careful how you do it because you don’t want to have a negative outcome for you come out of it. The next one that we have here is the most obvious one, and we’ve talked about it already and that’s telling an adult if you feel uncomfortable telling an adult as the adult to keep your comments private, so you’re trying to inform them that someone else was being bullied, you can request that they keep your name out of it because you don’t want to pick sides. You don’t want to become a target. So don’t, don’t ever be afraid to tell an adult. But if it’s a situation where you’re where you might get into some trouble socially with that, just ask them to keep your name out of it.

Speaker 5:31:15Yeah, just become like the anonymous person who stood up.

Speaker 3:31:20Exactly. You can also and carriage the bullied person to talk to an adult and even offered to go with them. So if a friend of yours is being bullied, you can and they’re not in physical danger at the moment. You can talk to them after the incident and then walk with them over to an adult, to a teacher or whoever and have them relay everything. Because coming firsthand from the person who’s bullied, support it by a witness like yourself really lends credence to their case at that point. So don’t be afraid to actually help someone out in that regard. Okay. And the last thing that we have here is one that you’ve already talked about and that’s to offer support. So we have to ask the person if they’re okay, be friendly to them the next day. You know, you make a big difference just by showing that you care about that person who might think the rest of the world’s against him at that point. So that was all we had for our discussion. Did you have any closing remarks for us?

Speaker 5:32:20Well, to anyone who is being bullied, don’t be afraid to let people know. And, and if you’re not able to stick up for yourself, look out for the people who care about you. Try to inform them and they could potentially help you out to the person is bullying someone. Please you get nothing out of it. I know you might want to look for the reaction like my dad has been saying to me. People need one to get the reaction out of you. Please. If you are bullying someone, then try to think before you speak or act. That’s the main concept that I can offer.

Speaker 3:33:05Very good closing words. Another great podcast. Before we go, I do want to invite people to reach out to us. You can email us at comments, at insights into things.com. You can visit us on our website@wwwdotinsightsintothings.com. You can catch us and our podcasts on youtube@insightsintothingsoryoucangodirectlytoouraudiopodcastatpodcastsdotinsightsintoteens.com and I think that’s all we have for this week. Madison, thank you so much for being with us again.

Speaker 5:33:43Thank you for having me.

Speaker 3:33:44And uh, we’ll talk to everyone next week.

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