I remember as a five year old going to a privately operated summer camp located in Baton Rouge. The owner’s daughter was a couple of years older than me and she ran a gang of older boys who did their part to make “camp” a miserable experience for we younger kids.
I got caught tossing away a half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and had to suffer through a “kangaroo court” of sorts with threats of having to see the head master for discipline, i.e. a spanking for wasting food (starving Third World children were just becoming a charity fad back then) and//or expulsion. The head master was a regular pompous jerk and far from being a good father after meeting his daughter, but he did not lay a hand on me. He called my dad, who showed up and went eye-to-eye with him and pulled me out of the camp. No telling what dad might have done had he spanked me for such a minor infraction.
That was my first experience with bullying. It happened in 1952, a long time ago, but it was the first thing that came to mind when a concerned parent from Pointe Coupee Parish called me last week to spread the word about anti-bullying in schools.
After that camp incident, I never allowed anyone to bully me. With a name like “Tryve” I had to learn how to defend myself in the schoolyard. Consequently, I got spanked a few times by nuns, but that was okay with dad. I deserved it for fighting. However, I never started fights. I never ganged up on other kids.
Today, my sharp tongue and aloof attitude comes into play when dealing with those who want to practice what I call “adult bullying”.
The practice, of course, is countrywide and organizations are beginning to take great interest in deterring such practices in schools. The lady who called me from New Roads called all of the surrounding newspapers and TV stations with hopes more would be done to stop what had happened…a student in the Pointe Coupee system committed suicide after being bullied in school. I told her that a “Moms on a Mission” program already had been started in the public system here in the parish.
Iberville Math, Science and Arts Academy-West “Moms on a Mission” sold some 800 blue “[delete]” t-shirts in advance of their “Rally to Delete Digital Drama,” an anti-bullying effort scheduled back in October at the school as part of a national “Blue Shirt Monday” moment.
Bullying goes on far too often on the playground and on the Internet, so much so that the La. Attorney General’s OIffice High Tech Crime Unit has taken a serious interest.
Further information on the national campaign is available at stompoutbullying.org.
Page 2 of 2 - The stomp out bullying campaign was developed by the Love Our Children USA Organization, and is supported by ABC Family and Seventeen Magazine.