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11/28/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

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Naughty Cal on

Absolutely teach bullied kids to fight back. Bullies are inherently cowards, and once someone stands up to them, even if they don’t “win” the fight, the bully won’t choose them as a target so fast. I’ve seen some of the most shocking advice from anti-bullying organizations telling victims to never fight back, but instead curl up in a ball and make themselves as small as possible until the beating is over, or just taking it and walking away. We need a good, long look at zero-tolerance policies. While well intentioned, they don’t allow for self-defense in situations that warrant it.

However, physical retaliation should only come in response to physical bullying. I would never advocate throwing a punch at someone for verbal bullying. However, I would apply the same principle: stand up for yourself, and fire some zingers right back.

Jillian on

I disagree with teaching kids to fight back. It often makes things worse. Bullies want the victim to fight back which is why they keep attacking. Parents shouldn’t teach that fighting (verbal or physical) is acceptable. Involve the school, police and other parents.

We just lost a friends daughter to being bullied. She tried to fight back and it was ten times worse.

anon on

I can see both sides about bullying kids. I was bullied when i was in grade school and didn’t speak out the first four years. Eventually i snapped and verbally fought back after one incident, and i never had an issue with the bullies again. I am not sure if it was me finally speaking up or the fact that we were growing older and possibly more mature, but i was happy the bullying stopped. I would never teach my kids to physically fight back, even if they were physically attacked. When the attack is physical i would tell my kids to go to a teacher about the bully. It is a dangerous game to play teaching kids to fight back because you never know if they will think its ok to fight over small arguments or they themselves become bullies. but i also think that some verbal bullying can be stopped by the kid being bullied with a clever response.

Holiday on

Jillian did the girl commit suicide? That breaks my heart when kids kill themselves over being bullied.

Janna on

Jillian.. Are you nuts? School? Police? Parents? That’s your plan?

Guess what, sweetheart? Most kids who are bullied tell no one. Let me repeat: NO ONE. That’s why they MUST learn self-esteem and self-protection at a young age. Bullies take advantage of those they KNOW they can take advantage of.

Do your research.

Jillian on

Holiday, she did. She was 10 years old and hung herself in her bedroom. She asked her mom a few days before to be home schooled because it had gotten so bad. She was called fat, ugly, stupid, slut via text and at school. Her mom was working on figuring out how the homeschooling would work. It’s very sad.

Janna, actually many do tell their parents and many don’t. I have done my research. I am involved in several anti-bullying groups. Additionally, I used to work as a court advocate and was a teacher. My nephew is bipolar and was bullied. We worked with the school and they were wonderful due to the zero tolerance policy. Not everyone will speak up, but I know plenty who have.

Holiday on

Jillian I recently read of a 10 year old girl who hung herself with a scarf due to bullying. Im sure that must have been your friends daughter. I found that to be heartbreaking… so young and to think she felt killing herself was the only way out of bullying. How horrible for her parents.

Jillian on

That is her. It’s heartbreaking.

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