The Boston Globe has published another article about bullying, Bullying Report contrasts Sharply, without mentioning one done only a few months ago which provided some of the best research they have presented to the public even though as I indicated it was not nearly as good as it could and should have been. The latest article pursues short term solutions that don’t address the root cause of the problem at all. This doesn’t mean I think these short term solutions can’t be part of the long term solution but it needs to be accompanied by additional solutions that address the abuse in the home that usually precedes bullying.
(This was first posted on Open Salon on July 27, 2011)
The previous blog that I did on the subject was Child abuse and bullying link in study long overdue and I also did another similar blog on a Boston Globe article about Media presents incomplete research on Whitey Bulger as usual. Since I went into some aspects on these previous blogs especially the one on the link between child abuse and bullying, which provides more on the methods they use to research the subject, and some additional links that are posted below, I will keep this a little briefer. There was no attempt to follow up on whether or not there was any additional research to indicate whether or not the link between child abuse and bullying has been studied further nor was there any attempt to try to educate the public more based on the information they already have available. In another previous blog I advocated Public relation campaign for child abuse prevention which the Mass Media could have done more to do at any time simply by reporting better on the material that is already available to them. They have chosen not to do so. This is an opportunity that has always been available to them and there have been plenty of people that have been trying to convince them to do so but they have their own agenda which clearly doesn’t have anything to do with educating the public.
On top of that they seem to have gone one step further and are using this as an opportunity to sell products or services on their web page that they indicate are intended to help solve the problem, although I seriously doubt they do much if anything to do this. Some people that take a quick glance without thinking about this may even come to the conclusion that this is intended to be part of a solution not a way for someone to make money at the expense of people with sincere concerns about serious social problems. One of these services they’re advertising on the web site seems to be the selling of lessons for home schoolers that are available on line. This seems to be very simple lessons that can be replicated for free and I suspect their probably could be or should be good ways to make this available to anyone that wants to help their own children without charging them at all. This is taking advantage of corrupt copyright laws that are designed to enable publishing companies to control who has access to educational material and enables them to ensure that only those who can afford it can give their children a good education. Another one seems to be more interested in selling shirts and other items that are clearly overpriced and they’re accompanied by some motivational material that is allegedly provided by people that are supposed to have credentials.
I haven’t done a thorough investigation to these sites that are advertised by the Boston Globe; and I’m not saying their negligent or counterproductive. However even a relatively quick glance seems to indicate that they’re more interested in selling products or services than they are in providing the most effective advice on how to avoid bullying with minimum cost to many families that may not have the money to spare anyway. A relatively quick search of the internet provides what clearly seems to be better advice in some different web sites that are run by people who are probably more concerned with solving the bullying problem in the most effective way possible. These include the following two sites which seem to be fairly good:
Bullying and its Relation to Child Abuse, Sexual Victimization, Domestic Violence, and Witnessing Community Violence
Child Abuse Effects. Com and links to bullying
I suspect a more thorough search that could be done without too much more effort would provide many better sites than what the Globe is presenting. I didn’t do a thorough research project into this and clearly neither did them. Also as far as I can tell these are among the best articles that I can remember on the subject not the worst. If I was so inclined I could have spent more time criticizing the material that is presented on TV by people like Nancy Grace and Jane Valez Mitchell who are clearly much worse. That doesn’t mean that the Mass Media doesn’t provide some material that is better than this; I certainly hope they do. However they rarely if ever do; and I can’t remember many if any that are much if any better than this. Instead I’m reasonably sure that a closer look would almost certainly turn up many more that are much worse than this with very few that are as good or better.
To read additional past blogs on this subject that were written based on evidence that precedes this article and excerpts from several books on the subject see the following:
Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence?
Daddy’s Hands, Hard as steel when I’d done wrong.
Philip Greven: “Spare the Child” 1991
Alice Miller: “For Your Own Good” 1990
Murray Straus: "Beating the Devil Out of Them: Corporal Punishment in American Children" 2001
James Garbarino and Ellen deLara: "And Words Can Hurt Forever: how to protect adolescents from bullying, harassment, and emotional violence" 2002
Joanne Scaglione, Arrica Rose Scaglione: "Bully-Proofing Children: a practical, hands-on guide to stop bullying" 2006
(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)