Talking out of Class: tales of bullying, discrimination and harassment in school
Bullying is a universal school problem but one that is hidden in plain sight in most schools and it is an issue that is rarely discussed between parents and their children. Bullies can negatively determine the social climate of a school making going to the washroom, having lunch or getting onto a bus a frightening experience for many children.
Bullies are often pictured as tragic figures who are as tormented as the children they bully but contrary to popular belief bullies are often glorified and rewarded while they are in school and they are often quite popular, have high self esteem and a sense of entitlement that other children envy. On the other hand children who are bullied repeatedly experience a sense of isolation, low self-esteem and a constant depression that can be debilitating and life threatening.
Bullying, harassment and discrimination may be part of a cycle of learned behaviour. Families, peers and adults often model or encourage negative behaviours and the marginalized may react in violent or inappropriate ways to the actions of their aggressors in order to regain a sense of personal power and control over their situations or as a means of reducing their sense of pain, frustration and anger.
The purpose of this website is to provide a safe and open environment for victims, bullies, parents, teachers and administrators to share their narratives and experiences of bullying, harassment and discrimination as a way of coming to terms with the experiences that have shaped their lives and those of many people around them. Using narrative as a means of relieving personal pain and as a way to atone for the hurt that has been caused is a powerful first step in personal and institutional redemption. The stories and comments that will be posted on this website are anonymous and will not be traced back or identified in any way. However, I would like to interview any contributors if they are willing so there will be a section for contacting me through e-mail which I ask anyone willing to be interviewed about their narrative to use. Interviews may be used for publication and education purposes but only with signed informed consent and only according to the ethical standards of research with human participants that is endorsed by the APA. Thank you one and all for sharing your stories.
Tony Di Petta, PhD
Researcher, Brock University Faculty of Education