utter contempt for another human being

CBS News: – “And I spoke with the educators and parents in the community about how important it was to have those three Ps: “Strong anti-bullying policy; procedures in place that protect the targets and hold bullies accountable; and programs in place that would say ‘No more, not here, never’ to mean and cruel [behavior] and teach young people how to stand up and speak out…Did they implement that?” asked “Early Show” anchor Maggie Rodriguez. “I think some of the schools actually did,” Coloroso said, “but my concern when I went back and talked to the kids and then talked in the community meeting was, again, going back to those three P’s – how important it is that we don’t just write bullying off as ‘Boys will be boys, girls just want to be mean, it’s part of growing up.’ “It’s not like a conflict – it’s about utter contempt for another human being,” Coloroso said. “And it’s so important that we stop that in its tracks.” She said there are three groups that need to be part of ending bullying: “The kids themselves, because bullying [often] happens under the radar of adults; the parents, because you have to be taught to put somebody outside of your circle of caring and make them an ‘it’ so you so can do anything to them and not feel any shame or compassion; and school officials. We have as educators a legal obligation to keep our schools safe for everyone” (Bullying “Not Just a Part of Growing Up”).

Parentsplace: – “Bullying is not a conflict, although we often conflate the two. Conflict is normal, natural, and necessary. Bullying is none of those things. Bullying is utter contempt for another individual or a group of people. Someone who is bullying another person is dehumanizing him or her, making that person into an “it” rather than a “he” or a “she.” Bullying can take many forms. It can be physical, such as beating up a classmate. It can be verbal, such as referring to someone by a racial, religious, or ethnic epithet. And it can be relational, such as shunning or excluding a peer. With the advent of the Internet, there is now cyber bullying, with the spreading of denigrating and hurtful language and images 24/7 throughout the Web. Coloroso: Bullying is learned behavior. It is often learned at home, where parents may be completely unconscious that they’re engaging in it. They may make an off-hand remark, using a derogatory term to refer to a person or group of people. That in itself is not bullying. But when their children address their peers by that term outside the home—such as on the playground or in school—that is bullying. Kids often pick bullying up in the community. Unfortunately, we are living in a culture of meanness. We are intolerant of anyone who is different, and we have people in positions of power who bully other groups by name-calling or demonizing them. They are trying to feed on people’s worst fears.” – Barbara Coloroso (An Exclusive Interview with Bullying Expert Barbara Coloroso)

Barbara Coloroso, 58, is the author of three international bestsellers on the subjects of parenting, teaching, school discipline, and conflict resolution, including Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right (Penguin Canada, 2005), her examination of ways to teach children ethics. In fact, it was a passage in that book that inspired the topic of Extraordinary Evil. “At the beginning, I have a cautionary tale about Rwanda,” says Coloroso, who has visited the country three times, both to work with orphans of the 1994 genocide and to lecture at the National University of Rwanda. She cites the story of a man who, at age 11, witnessed his parents and sister being slaughtered by machete (Quill & Quire).

RELATED READING:

Advertisements