The Killer “B”s
Bullies & Bystanders
While viewing an interview with Jodi Picoult this Sunday June 5, 2022, she was talking about bullying in schools. Violence and Silence starts early. As stated in earlier New Rules, ‘what you permit you promote.’ This quote has multiple attributions.
Please find a previous post https://learningomnivores.com/rules/be-aware-of-bull…onstrate-bravery/ as a primer. I have seen posters that say, ‘silence is violence.’ Dante has been quoted as saying, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” My question is, are we willing to accept behavior that is marginalizing people, killing people, and maintaining the power differential?
Bob Chadwick taught me that power is one of the five ways conflict happens and is sustained. The other four are change, scarcity, diversity, and civility. I must note that diversity isn’t only culture and race. Diversity includes ways of thinking. I always view eye roles and responses in a meeting to a creative idea as diversity of thought. Is it accepted or viewed as crazy or a threat? Poverty levels in additional to power can be diversity. Physical and mental disabilities can be diversity.
After 40 years in education, I believe bystanders are even more damaging than the initial act of bullying. Yes, we all must assess our own ecological risk of interceding. At the same time, we can tell someone who might have the power to address bullying. Act. Do Something. Remember – what we permit we promote. At least VOTE.
Not acting, is action. I encourage contributing to make our relationships, organizations, and communities better. In times of crises leaders can emerge or will the bystanders win again? How many will die while we wait for an answer?
Columbine shook me when I was an assistant principal in charge of discipline. Sandy Hook sickened me because not one thing was done to change a system that is killing kids. My question is, ‘what is the number of kids that must be killed, to be enough to cause action?’
It takes courage to confront bullies. It takes more courage to confront those who are bystanders. “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” (Many citations from multiple people)