Kindergarten Teacher in Texas Bullies Student “Bully”
This week it was reported that a kindergarten teacher in Texas decided to discipline a child who was perceived to be a bully by having all the kids in class line up and hit him. She decided to do this after a co-worker suggested this bizarre form of corporal punishment as a way to “teach the child a lesson.” The teacher stepped in and stopped the punishment when the child, whose name is Aiden, was hit roughly on the upper back.
Many of the students said they did not want to go along with the idea, but were afraid to say “no” to the teacher.
Who is the bully here?
This situation was not handled well in any way, to say the least. School policy on bullying should have been followed. The parents should have been called and alerted to the fact that their child was picking on other kids, if in fact he was. Above all, children should not have been made to physically hurt another student in class.
And in the end, none of the kids were taught to stop bullying each other. Bullying, as James Lehman sees it, is a faulty problem-solving skill—the use of force to get your way. “I think that when you use aggression, it solves your short term problem of controlling children. But it leads to serious problems for those children and how they will grow up to deal with the adult world,” he says.
He also suggests that kids who are using bullying to get their way need to be held accountable and taught skills to navigate in the real world.
“Dealing with bullies requires holding them strictly accountable for the abusive, hurtful or disrespectful things that they do to feel powerful. They need to practice appropriate ways to feel powerful—using social skills, articulating their feelings, communicating honestly with others and solving problems. Those skills are difficult to develop. It takes work; it’s like learning how to multiply or learning how to add. But it can be done. Holding bullies accountable for inappropriate behavior gives them boundaries and gives them a roadmap for doing that work.