For one of the first times ever, I find myself in the unusual position of disagreeing with Cracked writer John Cheese. It's a strange feeling, I must say.
That said, I wanted to reply to a few of the more... weird things I just found in one of his articles, but that can wait. This one is required reading for everyone. Especially fans of Tai's Story as this was one of the messages I tried to include in the story, but frankly a lot of people missed it.
I do disagree with one thing however. He speaks of the difficulty in "just ignoring them (bullies)." But he doesn't do it justice.
It is virtually impossible. Some people are just not mentally/emotionally equipped to handle being bullied, and will have difficulty enduring anything from mindless, cruel teasing, to theft, to random acts of violence. Why should the onus be on the victim?! Everyone here must remember the clip of the Australian high school kid finally snapping and retaliating against his tormentor - slamming him knees-first into the ground (and good on him).
But here's a thought exercise. Read that entire article by John Cheese, then return to when he speaks of ignoring them. Now remember that clip.
What happened in that clip? A twelve-year-old was egged on by older students to walk up to an older boy minding his own business and punch him clean in the face, several times. Why? It was funny to see the teenager humiliated by a pre-teen dickhead - remember we don't have "middle school" here, and recently bumped seventh grade out of primary school, so we have 12-18-year-olds in our high schools.
British readers may be familiar with "Happy Slapping" and others may recognize it as well. It's just the little brother to the "walk up to someone and randomly assault them for shits and giggles."
This is bullying, folks. It happens in our kids' schools.
Are you going to "just ignore them until they go away?" Or until you lose a few teeth, rather? Oh, sure, the teen in that clip retaliated and fucked the other YOUNGER kid's legs up, but the older bullies almost moved in for the kill afterwards, stopped only by the timely intervention of a senior girl. What happened next? Has he been targeted again? Then there was a massive national sensation about it, and the teenager was only lightly punished... because of the absolute shitstorm the internet raised. This was an unusual case.
So don't tell me you would just fight back. It won't necessarily be just a twelve-year-old. It might be older teens/kids. You might fight back and not only fail, but invite more trouble, AND be punished for "fighting" by idiot teachers. Can't always fight back, can't always ignore them and they'll go away.
Don't treat bullying lightly - whether we're talking about full-blown assault in the schoolyard or "mere" exclusion and taunting. There is only one way to deal with it, and it is judicious intervention by adults in power; and this is hard because youths don't often want to admit they have a problem, or feel involving adults would worsen the situation. There is often absolutely nothing the victims can do alone, and that's not me taking anything away from them. It's just true.
The pretty little phrases you heard from Peanut comics, bad kids movies and such are trite at best, destructive at worst.
Bullying is a truly devastating phenomenon, absolutely ruining young lives with depression, anxiety, and poor education... and suicide. Don't pretend this is nothing, don't talk bullshit about the media making suicide "cool." This is a national emergency, and we're busy pretending "sexting" even matters or that governments should be able to tell people who they're allowed to marry.