I despise violence, which makes writing this blog post extremely difficult. But fighting and bullying are happening too often in our schools not to discuss it.
Fighting is the Last Option
I have a middle school student who found himself caught up in a large group fight in the school’s cafeteria. He was taunted to join the melee, but instead chose to find an adult for help. This is exactly what we teach our students to do. If you can’t runaway or resolve the conflict peacefully, then you seek out an adult. Fighting is always the last option.
The vice principal was so impressed with my student’s behavior that he called to learn how a martial arts instructor teaches his students NOT to fight.
Everyone thinks Tae Kwon-Do is only about punching and kicking and taking people down. That’s not the case. Studying Tae Kwon-Do involves discipline and respect. We build confidence and teach students to focus. Tae Kwon-Do is a physical activity that whips you into shape and is a lifelong study.
Tae Kwon-Do also teaches you self-defense.
Sadly, these are the latest statistics from the government’s Stop Bullying website:
- 28% of US students (grades 6-12) have experienced being bullied
- 70.6% of young students say they have seen bullying in their school
- Nearly 49% of children (grades 4-12) reported being bullied at least once last month
As I mentioned above, fighting is the last option. But I also strongly believe that a child should stand up for him or herself and not succumb to bullying.
I had a 10-year-old student who was being bullied at school. The boy was lean and skinny, an easy target for a bully. There were numerous verbal and physical encounters. My student tried to resolve the conflict but nothing worked. He told me his teachers weren’t doing anything to help him, so I called the vice principal. I said this bully is picking on my student regularly and you guys aren’t doing anything. I’ve been telling my student not to fight, but if this guy touches him again, I’m giving my student permission to fight back and your bully is going to get hurt. The vice principal assured me he would look into it…but he never did.
Two days later the bully took his belt off and whipped the buckle across my student’s face.
I won’t get into the details, but my student took this bully out and hurt him pretty badly. My student does not have to worry about being bullied again.
As kids head back to school this fall, be sure to discuss bullying with your children. Learn more at www.stopbullying.gov.
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