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Bullying Games Don't Work

Mar 13, 2008
I search the internet all the time to find out what's new in the area of bullying and discovered during one of my searches discovered that there are now bullying games that are available to deal with this serious problem that we have in schools and in society in general today. I haven't decided if by playing a game it will help out the target of bullying behavior or not, but what I do know is bullying is not a game and should never be viewed by anyone as problem that can be solved with some type of fun activity. The games are designed to help out the target of the bullying incident by giving the target skills to deal with the bully using the computer. What the games don't do is take into consideration the human element. The target may develop some confidence while he/she is playing the game. But, when someone is involved in a real life bullying incident no game will help the target develop the intestinal fortitude to manage the attack.

I remember once I was watching a Clint Eastwood Movie. Clint was playing his classic role as "Dirt Harry Callahan." Dirty Harry was so aggressive in his tactics for fighting crime that he was called a dinosaur. His boss told him that his ideas didn't fit anymore. Harry's response was, "Just what ideas are these, that murder is a crime and it shouldn't be punished?" Harry's boss told him, "Get with it Callahan, it's a whole new ballgame today." Harry responded with, "Funny, I never thought of it as a game." Bullying is not a game and can't be handled in a way that makes light of the problems that kids face in school. When I was an administrator I was called a dinosaur myself. I'm not comparing myself to "Dirty Harry" but what I am saying is that the only way to stop bullying is with strong consequences imposed on the bully. Bullying requires interventions that will make the bully stop hurting someone; this game business is just another way for teachers' guidance counselors, and administrators to soft pedal around the problem, when they should be taking a hard stance against behaviors that are emotionally crippling students in school today. Strong consequences with clear behavioral expectations are the only way to communicate to a bully that his behavior is unacceptable. Without the knowledge that bullying is wrong and it won't be tolerated the bully by default begins to believe that his actions can continue.

I am really amazed at how teachers and administrators look to find alternative methods for dealing with serious problems in school. Games and encounter groups seem to have taken the place of good old fashion discipline that 30 years ago communicated to children that certain behaviors were just not tolerated. Bullying behavior is something that needs to be viewed as a criminal act, with a 0 tolerance policy enforced by school districts. The federal government needs to pass anti-bullying laws, before this problem increases in intensity.
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