Thanksgiving is over. I don’t know which was stuffed more. Me or the turkey? Probably the turkey at first, then me! With Thanksgiving done, the holiday season begins in earnest and along with it, challenges for bullying prevention.
File this blog post under the heading of “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”, a “word to the wise is sufficient” and “thanks for the reminder”
An old joke from legendary comic Emo Phillips
Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”
Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.
Whether it is a school with one or two kids who aren’t of the prevailing faith or a school where two, three or more faiths are evenly represented, religious differences (or more accurately, intolerance of differences) can lead to bullying and other forms of conflict.
Some families are more materially blessed than others.
Some families give bigger gifts than others.
A world that seems to having a progressively larger gap between the “haves and have-nots” can be a tough place for kids and fertile ground for bullying. And I’m guessing in the current tough economic times this situation is worse than it ever was, when Mom and/or Dad are frequently unemployed or underemployed. It would be the height of naivete to think these stresses aren’t carried over by the kids in your school. And this is especially apparent at holiday time. To put it in 1950s terms, one kid gets a electric train track and another gets a lump of coal.
Until Next Time – Stay Bully-Free