How we create bullies in society

Bullying is a social menace. How many times have we heard of a child coming home in tears because his classmates called him names? The victim, later uninterested to go to school, is helpless especially when bystanders refuse to help. A cycle ensues, and a culture of bullying is born.

The sense of power involved makes a bully thrive. This power may, in fact, be lacking in his shallow self-image, but he is trying to assert his personhood in a negative way that hurts others. Likewise, a sense of feebleness makes the target succumb to a splurge of powerlessness. Beyond results like depression, lack of self-esteem and poor school performance on the part of the victim, bullying may also lead to senseless tragedy.

United States v. Lori Drew is a case involving Drew, a mother who created a fictitious MySpace account under the alias "Josh Evans." This is in retaliation against Megan Meier who allegedly spread rumors against Drew's daughter. After a month of communicating, "Josh" sent Megan the message that the world is a better place without her. The victim thereafter committed suicide. Gruesome, too, is the Columbine High School massacre that was perpetuated by two 18-year old boys, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. They were mad at people. But they, too, were victims of bullying.

SCHOOL BULLYING VERSUS ADULT BULLYING

Bullying is a belligerent behavior that involves power, exploiting the weakness of others with regard to physical attributes, orientations, economic status, beliefs, race, and other analogous factors. Bullying may take the form of taunting, teasing, joking, physical beatings, texting, rumor mongering, convincing others to dislike the victim, and more.

To protect Filipino children from bullying, the Department of Education (DepEd) issued the "DepEd Child Protection Policy" (DepEd Order 40, s. 2012). This is a good initial step in combating bullying in schools. How it will really be implemented rests so much on administrators and teachers who, under the Family Code, are the special parents of students in schools. School bullying, however, is just one kind of bullying.

Vice Ganda's joke about Jessica Soho is a good example of adult bullying. While Vice professed it was not his goal to hurt Soho, he intentionally highlighted and made fun of the weight and size of Soho, even exaggerating the insult by qualifying that her rape ought to be a gang rape. Vice intended to crack a joke as he is used to doing in a comedy bar where people pay entrance fees to listen to jokes and willingly allow performers to funnily cut them to pieces. One unwritten rule in such bars is: do not enter unless you are willing to take repugnant jokes. This kind of theater, that can be funnily irreverent but blurs the line between what is sensitive and insensitive, has started to percolate into television.

THE LABYRINTH OF BULLYING

The muddle of bullying does not stop from child to child, or adult to adult. Other nations bully our people, some of whom bully politicians; some politicians occasionally bully the media, which sometimes bully corrupt policemen; some law enforcers bully drunken drivers, who sometimes bully some pregnant passengers; some mothers and fathers at times bully their children, who can at times bully some principals and teachers; and some principals and teachers bully some students, who at times bully other children; and the list goes on and on. It a labyrinth of conflicting interests as well as many-sided motivations. One way or the other, some of us bully others in society.

Bullying persists because we continue to be insensitive about the feelings, if not welfare, of others. Columbine High School's Eric Harris once echoed this: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't ... say, 'Well that's your fault,' because it isn't, you people had my phone number, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don't let the weird-looking Eric KID come along." To be sensitive to the needs of others is one response to reduce bullying and its revolting aftermaths.

Every parent must be a noble example to his or her children. Every school, too, must have a culture of zero tolerance to bullying by continuously updating its Code of Conduct and enforcing it seriously. After all, bullying in childhood, both for the perpetrator and the victim, is a potential factor why bullying might transform into a nasty tapestry of psycho-social snags, economic misery and, sometimes, death.

An award-winning educator, education reformer, and a multi-awarded literary writer, PROF. ROLANDO S. DELA CRUZ is President of the Darwin International School System. He is an alumnus and former faculty member of UP Diliman, who was also a scholar at the Osaka University (Japan), the University of Cambridge (England) and the University of Leiden (the Netherlands).

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon
    Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, Australia's deputy prime minister said, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. The search of a rugged …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options