Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Thoughts on Bullying

























This week the topic of bullying seemed to come up in most of the schools I worked in.

The notable exception was a small (eight kids) school in the middle of nowhere.

One comment made me think about gender balance in schools.

The comment (from a female principal) – “It always happens in the boys’ toilets”. She was talking about boy on boy bullying – most of it physical, of the push and shove type.

My memories of the principalship are that one of the best strategies to cut down the intensity, duration and frequency of these incidents is through close supervision, especially in the playground, and especially around the toilets, or in places teachers usually avoid. I developed a bit of a reputation when I was on duty for patrolling these places (usually invisible from the admin block) to the point where at one high school my nickname was “Ninja”.

It used to work, but of course back then, there were male teachers available to supervise the boys’ toilets and other hidden areas. It’s a big ask for female teachers to supervise boys’ toilets, especially in secondary schools. It simply doesn’t happen.

So one major barrier to controlling bullying is a chronic lack of male teachers. I work in many schools were there are simply no males. Even the cleaners and Janitors are female.

Put simply, this is a problem.

Efforts to allow some kind of affirmative action strategy to normalise the gender balance are generally frowned upon.

That’s a shame.

Until gender balance, a critical element of school culture is considered, efforts to eliminate the problem have not been serious.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"my nickname was “Ninja”.".....time for the hearing aids old fella.....that was "whinger" not "ninja" although I can imagine you sneaking around a kids toilet block, out of view of the admin block. I guess another reason for teachers not patrolling these areas is the fear of complaints. I believe that complaints against teaching staff is also a reason many males do not see it as a path to follow.

Not much has changed over the years, toilets were favored when I was a kid.....all of the shit used to hang out there.....pretty cunning, bullies and thugs. Every one at some time during the day has to attend so targets come to you, you don't have to go seeking them out. A bit like ambushing tracks in the jungle.

cav said...

The feminisation of education is almost complete.

Kids need strong male roll models.

They won't get them in school because men have been pushed out of schools by the feminista.

Just wait until their sons turn 14 and are unruly at school and let them them lament the strong male roll model that is missing.

cav said...

The feminisation of education is almost complete.

Kids need strong male roll models.

They won't get them in school because men have been pushed out by the feminista.

Just wait until their sons turn 14 and are unruly at school and let them then lament the strong male roll model that is missing.

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