Interview with Mrs. Lipman on Bullying (Part 1)

Posted by Evan V. on July 14, 2017

How Bullying Has Changed. An Interview with Mrs. Lipman.

Q: Do you feel that bullying has changed or evolved since you were a kid?

A: Yes. Bullying has definitely changed since my childhood. I grew up in a really bad part of Sacramento, California and at the time we were just starting to see gang related activities. There were also the few “mean” kids everyone knew about.

There are more gangs now which have spread everywhere and not just found in the major big cities. There will also be children who choose to bully in their neighborhoods or at school.

The evolution of bullying has changed dramatically now that we have technology. The platform social media has created through the internet, cell phones and social apps has created more avenues for bullies to reach more people. Through social media the identity of the bully can be unknown which adds to the problem. I feel this is the major driver of bullying today.

Q: Why do you think people bully other people?

A: For attention. Bullies are seeking some sort of reaction out of the person(s) they have targeted. They also are trying to make themselves feel better, more important and look bigger, more powerful than they actually are.

Honestly, I think it’s a really cowardly thing to do to someone else. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum and believe seeking attention is a key motivating reason bullies do what they do.

Q: What is your personal experience with bulling?

A: When I was growing up in California, like I said, I grew up in a really bad part of Sacramento, and living in an area with gangs forced my peers and I to learn to protect ourselves. I feel like that morphed into more. Being afraid and on the defensive was stressful. Not only was I trying to protect myself, but I was also pushing people away at the same time. It made me less trusting.

When I was 12 years old and starting middle school, I moved to Colorado and did a complete 180. The transition to middle school can be tough no matter what but, I was the typical California kid, tan with blond hair and I stood out as different. I got teased a lot and bullied. Before, I was used to being the tough kid, the bully, and I now I was on the receiving end and being bullied.

Q: Do you think the variety of anti-bullying programs today have made bullying better or worse?

A: I actually think bullying has gotten worse . The programs are a positive step and spread the word that bullying is unacceptable and lets kids know that have help available to them. Even with these programs instead of bullying going away or at least slowing down it seems more of a problem in schools and on the news each year.

Bullying through social media is out of control and more wide spread than ever. I think we need to be able to go do something with the social media platform whether that means the creators of those platforms make changes or through laws.

There are more reports on Facebook live videos and other apps where people post their criminal and destructive behavior; beating each other up, murder or, committing suicide. I’m surprised Facebook has not stepped in and said enough is enough.

It is not only Facebook, now we have Instagram and Snapchat. There’s body shaming, insults and judging others whether it’s friends, classmates, strangers or celebrities. You can pretty much post anything  you want until someone blocks you or reports you. In the mean time many people see it and pass it on and the damage has been done.

The biggest challenge is to teach our youth right from wrong and not be afraid to speak up even though others don’t. It going to take a lot more effort from parents, schools, our leaders, and influential programs like Boy Scouts.

Even within scouting with our Scout Oath and Law that speaks to respect and valuing others there are issues. At meetings, activities or on campouts when we hear bad language, inappropriate jokes, see kids pushing each other it is not okay. Especially within a program founded on the merits that scouts is defined by.

It is seen and heard in the hallways and classrooms at school even with all the posters, lectures and assemblies promoting “not here.” Bullying can be learned at home, in the neighborhood and escalates when kids get to school and involved in extracurricular activities like scouts and sports. If we can stop it at school and outside programs before it escalates, it would make a positive difference.

 

Troop 16 - Parker's High Adventure Troop