The System To Handle Bullying

When I expound on my history of being bullied, my tactics regarding how I handled it are almost universally objected to. That of peer-to-peer diplomacy as opposed to beating them up or involving vice principals or the police. The idea that I forgave them is also either shocking to or opposed by them. Yet, ironically, my, generally, liberal and merciful approach to handling the people who oppressed me is superior on many levels and that because using the disciplinary system or police to intervene in relatively minor and he-said-she-said controversies or setting the precedent that bodily harm should be visited upon petty deliquients backfire a lot.

Most of the people who tell me these things don’t thoroughly think through the problems with their punitive approach. Firstly, if the authorities officially sanction or threaten people over he-said-she-said incidents then the bullies can counter-tattle which renders the system for reporting incidents almost moot. I understand how getting these people in trouble might satisfy an emotional desire for retribution but an informal mediation with a couselor would likely have provided enough shame to resolve the issue. Just being embarassed by being exposed was, generally, enough to stop the bullying on the occasions it got exposure.

Secondly, the most the authorities can sometimes do in situations of he-said-she-said is to, through various means, segregate the parties. While that may end the active bullying, it also could just as easily be used to bully more passively by having, say, popular kids claim the unpopular kids make them uncomfortable by being at the same lunch table. The very system supposed to protect people from harm is used to perpetuate the social hierarchy and while this is not active bullying, it is pretty bad for the psychologies of the victims of lots of social rejection to have that rejection enforced by the state.

The less suburban approach, to beat the bullies up, is also very bad. For one thing, it could definitely and possibly rightly get the victim in trouble if they pursued that route. If it didn’t then it would either get the bullies to cease actively harming the victim through segregation or incite a cycle of vendetta. Like in the prior paragraph, it does not resolve the underlying issue of social domination of one party over another. It merely keeps the parties apart, at best. The resolution should be amicable terms, if possible, and not pursued through punitive measures.

The idea of peer-to-peer conflict resolution is not taught nor is it pursued, as far as I can tell, through our educational system nor do the authorities have routes of conflict resolution in their systems which, now, almost entirely rely on punitive measures or threats of them. If they don’t and there are no protocols for conflict resolution then the conflicts will evolve to adapt because they were never diffused. My bullies often used a pretext based on an Asperger’s social mistake I made which gave them the cover to counter-tattle, that’s an adaptation. The system will not stop such oppression unless therapudic interventions are employed. As long as they just use the proverbial stick, then the wounds of hatred shall persist and fester.

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