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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi BS: Schoolyard bullying (85* d) RE: BS: Schoolyard bullying 31 Oct 09


For what it's worth, I also agree that it's important that children & youth learn that targeting and bullying/taunting people because they are perceived as "different" is wrong.

I also agree that involving the police in these children to children (or youth to youth) taunting confrontations that do not involve adults is usually not the right way to handle those confrontations.


**

Another strategy that children/youth use when they perceive that (or are informally taught by others that) children/youth are "different" is to stracize them (have little to no positive interaction with them).

It seems to me that it's more difficult to counteract this strategy-for instance if children who have "free play" (to use what might be an American [USA] term to mean that children jave freer choices than in the classroom about what they want to do during "recess" (a short period after or before lunch in which children play in groups of their choosing on the school playground or in the school gym).

Also, in American middle schools and high schools (attended by students ages around 12-18 years old), students can choose who they sit next to during school lunch time. Almost always these tables are self-segregated. While this is concerning, as an African American I understand why People of Color may choose to self-segregate (that is, to eat together at their "own" lunch tables) rather than eat with those of other races/ethnicities.

I believe that doing so often serves as an oasis, a respite from the cross-cultural interactions that I believe often put more burdens on those who are perceived as "minority" than those in the majority. Sitting at their own tables means that those children/youth don't have to translate what they are saying and when those children/youth don't have to worry about being faced with yet another prejudicial statement, prejudicial assumption, or incident when peers who are not of their race/ethnicity just don't know and may ask questions to correct their lack of knowledge. Though this is with an older age group, one such question I remember getting in college dorms was "Why do you put grease in your hair?". [Short answer-Black people put hair oil or hair conditioner in our hair because it is usually dryer than "White people's" hair].Also, I remember having to correct the myth that brown skinned Black people didn't get sun tans.

[To use the example of Black children/youthp,sitting at the "Black table" during lunch times means that you don't have to answer another perhaps well meaning but still tiring question. Sitting together means that children/youth can talk about their music, and their cultural icons [often in this case meaning music and/or movie stars]; and can talk about the television shows that they watch (which are usually-at least in the USA-different from those of the "majority" culture with peers who know what and who they are talking about without explanations. In other words, those children/youth have a break from being perceived as "different".

By the way, I mention this as a person who bucked the tide in college and sat with my White roomate during lunch and not at the "Black table". Actually in my senior year I did sit at the Black table most of the time because, for various reasons, by then I was absolutely fed up with being [perceived as] different, and I needed the support and solace of my "own" peer group.

All of this to say, I would not be in favor of school administrators taking away from children/youth the freedom to congregate and choose which groups they want to play with [during lunch and/or recess.

****

By the way, What does "ginger" mean in the UK?


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