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Chumplet
08-04-2008, 06:55 AM
How would one respond to bullying on Facebook? My son is getting nervous because a (former) friend is trying to goad him into a fight, for whatever reason I don't know.

My kid did respond with "I don't want to get into a fight, but yadda yadda shut up," which was probably an unwise decision.

My son thinks the guy and his friends will gang up on him on the way home from school when it starts this fall. He isn't into drinking or drugs, but since this guy is, my son thinks he'll be violent. I told him just because someone smokes up doesn't make them violent (my aunt smokes MJ), but he isn't convinced. I told him the kid is probably just posturing, but again, he's picturing the worst scenario.

We live in a medium sized town north of Toronto with very little gang warfare, and my son goes to a Catholic high school. He's small for his age, and will be graduating this coming year. He has friends who are very nice, and the guy threatening him is known to us, we know his parents and my daughter knows the kid's older sister.

How does one diffuse such a situation, or is my kid just being paranoid?

Fraulein
08-04-2008, 07:12 AM
He can block the guy from viewing anything about your son. There's no way from him to stop another one of his "friends" from letting the guy get into his account and then post under someone else's name, but blocking works very well.

I have blocked three people so far, and my profile is only visible by my "friends".

ErylRavenwell
08-04-2008, 11:19 AM
Take two examples from my own personal experience.

1) My cousin he was a mommy's boy. Wrong or right, her mother would bail him out all the times. Guess what? He was constantly bullied at school. Had to save his butt on numerous occasions.

2) Me. When I was about ten, a bigger, older kid beat me up for no obvious reason, and I told my dad about it. Dad said it must have been my fault. My conclusion: when push comes to shove, you can only depend on yourself. Guess what? I was never bullied at school.

Your son must learn how to stand up for himself. I'm not suggesting violence (although karate or judo lessons might help his confidence)...far from that. Children have their own brand of politics—schoolyard politics. Leave them to their games.

Joe270
08-04-2008, 12:47 PM
Me. when I was abou ten, a bigger, older kid beat me up for no obvious reason, and I told my dad about it. Dad said it must have been my fault.

Sounds sorta screwed up to me, your parents should have supported you. Similarly, when I was about five, I had a bully and his buddies go after me. They beat me up a few times after school. My mother caught the kid one day and set up a 'fair fight'. So I beat the snot out of the bully. These days, my mother would be sued big-time.

Sometimes a kid has to stand up for him/herself. It's gotta happen sooner or later. With a bully, it pays to plan ahead and beat him with smarts.

Chumplet, it might comfort your son to go to school 'armed'. Just a large, long tube sock and a can of soup (soda cans are really fragile these days, only good for one shot) in his backback. It's innocent enough that he won't get into trouble in school for having it. It packs one hell of a wallop. If you want to go less brutal, but keep an edge, an Altoids can half full of ground cayenne pepper is pretty helpful. Sling the contents of said can into the bully's eyes, and then it's pretty easy to beat the snot out of him.

Make sure he practices loading the sock so it goes unnoticed, and he must practice swinging it. It's like using a chain, you gotta follow through, or you'll strike yourself with it.

Hopefully, he won't need it. It will give him comfort to know he has an edge. So if he does use it, and wails on the bully like Tommy Lee on Pam Anderson, you're gonna have to support that self-defense. He has every right to defend himself against a bigger, tougher kid, who will have an 'entourage' of cowards there who will only deliver a punch or kick if they are completely protected. Once he takes out the bully, the entourage will vanish. I'd try to brain one or two of them, so they never even look at me again.

I seriously doubt the school officials will be surprised by the actions of the bully. You have the support of the 'face book' threats, too.

It sucks to be a kid sometimes, but your son can learn from this to defend himself. You need to support that part of it, even if you don't take my advice on the sock. It's part of growing up. You either suck up the shit thrown at you and eat shit your whole life, or you get a backbone and stop it.

I'm a little guy, only 5'08", only weighing in at 140 or so in HS. In High School I had one fight, the other guy was 6'04", a football player who didn't like my long hair. It ended in seconds, after which he had a broken hand and nose. He never landed a punch. No one ever messed with me again in school. Of course, I'd had lots of experience before that because, as a military brat, I was always the 'new kid'. I never started a fight, but I ended a whole bunch of them.

I joined the Merchant Marine outta high school. That's a tough lifestyle. I built a reputation fast enough. I was described as 'Shadow', because they never saw it coming. The rep was enough to end confrontations before they got serious after a few years.

It is sad that people, especially kids, have to resort to violence, but that's life. Until people do something to stop the assholes, they'll just keep up their bullying.

Perhaps I'm not the best person to give you advice here, because I do resort to violence very quickly. If threatened in any way, I strike. It's a defense mechanism learned over decades.

I'm still alive, so it's worked for me pretty well.

Keyan
08-04-2008, 01:12 PM
If it were me, I'd be talking with the threatener's parents.

I don't support violent solutions. Unless of course you're in that sort of a milieu, in which case you do what you have to do.

What's your school's policy on violence?

ErylRavenwell
08-04-2008, 01:20 PM
Sounds sorta screwed up to me, your parents should have supported you. Similarly, when I was about five, I had a bully and his buddies go after me. They beat me up a few times after school. My mother caught the kid one day and set up a 'fair fight'. So I beat the snot out of the bully. These days, my mother would be sued big-time.



Not that he didn't care, it was just how children were raised in the family. My elder brother on the other hand was overly protective and would give hell to anyone who beat up his small bro. I think he caused more damage to my psyche than Dad.

Disa
08-04-2008, 02:43 PM
You definitely can't ignore the situation and I think that it shouldn't be taken so lightly. Kids even in small towns are living a more violent life than some of us did. If you guys know the parents, start there. Then go to the school officials, then the police if need be. These threats are often very real, and a kid with a soup can in a sock is no match for a large group of kids, especially if one happens to have a gun.

SpookyWriter
08-04-2008, 03:04 PM
Perhaps I'm not the best person to give you advice here, because I do resort to violence very quickly. If threatened in any way, I strike. It's a defense mechanism learned over decades.

I'm still alive, so it's worked for me pretty well.Reading your post reminds me so much of my childhood and later years in life. I'm not a role model either because I grew up in a dozen tough neighborhoods and pretty much fought all the way through school. My first fight was in fourth grade and I had to fight a lot because I too was always the new kid and smaller.

I would have said "sucker punch" the other kid and then let go with a half dozen kicks. But that isn't always the best solution.

Chumplet
08-04-2008, 06:17 PM
I appreciate everyone's comments. My son's school isn't a violent one, and our town only had one or two incidences of teen violence in the last ten years. Shit happens, I know. He could be blowing this all out of proportion. I read the Facebook entries, and the little jerk (bully) seems to be spouting off a lot of crap just to get attention.

My son is barely my height at 17. He's just 5'3". Maybe he could just arrange for his (really big) friend to walk most of the way home with him, just like they normally do. I don't know how much a can of soup would help against a knife (if the kid's packing one).

One consolation is that my son's spending the summer working at our newspaper's warehouse. Maybe he'll add a little muscle to his small frame.

He was bullied as a child, and finally managed to use humour as a defense. If it's not too sarcastic or biting, maybe he'll manage to extricate himself from this mess. His problem is sometimes he shoots off his mouth (or keyboard) without thinking, because he has a short temper.

Hopefully this will fizzle out. If not, maybe a can of Mace or even Binaca would come in handy.

veinglory
08-04-2008, 06:33 PM
There is something to be said for standing up to bullies in the real world. however online the best that can happen is mutual written insults. Onlien the answer to trolls is to not feed them, whether they are children or adults. Disengage.

dolores haze
08-04-2008, 06:36 PM
I wonder if it's possible for the parents, the two kids and a person skilled with conflict resolution to all get together around the kitchen table, and hammer out this problem before someone gets hurt?

Seaclusion
08-04-2008, 06:44 PM
I wonder if it's possible for the parents, the two kids and a person skilled with conflict resolution to all get together around the kitchen table, and hammer out this problem before someone gets hurt?

I like the sound of this, but I have found that bullies are usually bullies because they have parents that have taught them this is the way to act. Reason and logic probably wouldn't work on them and only exaserbate the situation.

My advice. Get off of facebook. Learn to defend yourself. Use whatever means are necessary.

There is no such thing as a fair fight. One fighter is always bigger, stronger, smarter, more experienced, faster. If your opponent is bigger, be smarter. If he is faster, be more experienced. If he is stronger, be better armed.

ETA:All opinions expressed in this post are soley that of the inebriated author


Richard

Chumplet
08-04-2008, 11:32 PM
ETA:All opinions expressed in this post are soley that of the inebriated author

Richard

I'll keep that in mind, sweetie.

NeuroFizz
08-04-2008, 11:52 PM
Seems to me there is documentation of this bullying on the web. Make hardcopies and send to school officials and to the bully's parents, and if necessary to the police. If nothing else, keep copies so if something does happen, there will be evidence of intent. With that kind of documentation (if it really is serious) can't you get an order of protection from the bully?

In these days of easy weaponry, the "he's gotta toughen up" approach can lead to lethal sorrow that will rip apart two families.

soleary
08-04-2008, 11:55 PM
Time for my 1 cents worth (it used to be worth two, but our dollar is declining at a warp speed pace).

I was the youngest of six, and the only girl. We were from a wealthy area outside of Chicago. My mom's favorite thing to yell, with her New England accent, was "Don't get it on the caaapet!" She meant blood. I can tell you first hand that physical violence is never a solve. You shouldn't allow it to happen if you can help it. I would suggest you speak to the family involved. If you don't get traction with them, speak with the school. No child should feel like he or she is in danger. You are not going to turn your child into a mamma's boy, provided you couch it correctly. You are not running to his aid, but defending what is right. No violence is right.
Good luck!

Williebee
08-05-2008, 12:16 AM
Let's start by protecting you and your kid a bit, by capturing and recording the Facebook traffic.


Go here. Get Snippy. (http://www.bhelpuri.net/Snippy/) and install it. (It's free.)

Open whatever word processing program you use.

Once it's loaded, going to Start/Programs/Snippy starts the program and puts a pair of scissors in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. With the screen with the threats that are on Facebook up on your screen, Click on the scissors and use the left mouse button to draw a circle around the screen (You can also use the shift key and then "click and drag" to draw a square around the whole screen. Don't try to hide anything. Capture it all.

Now navigate to the blank page of whatever word processing program you use and right-click your mouse, then select paste. The screen you "snipped" will appear.

Then save the documents, just in case you need them later.

That said, the calm, mature adult in me says talk to the kid's parents, and the school (because this may come to a head on their property).

The Dad in me is rereading Joe's plan.

NeuroFizz
08-05-2008, 12:19 AM
An addendum. I'm trying my best to teach my children to stand up for themselves, however they will always know I'm there next to them, to help if needed. And, I'll still be there when I'm hunched over my walker and I have to take my teeth out of my mouth to bite someone.

Am I worried about how they'll turn out? I'm just want to make sure they do turn out.

Kitty Pryde
08-05-2008, 02:25 AM
Seems to me there is documentation of this bullying on the web. Make hardcopies and send to school officials and to the bully's parents, and if necessary to the police. If nothing else, keep copies so if something does happen, there will be evidence of intent. With that kind of documentation (if it really is serious) can't you get an order of protection from the bully?

In these days of easy weaponry, the "he's gotta toughen up" approach can lead to lethal sorrow that will rip apart two families.

I gotta second this approach. Give the threatening messages to his parents, his homeroom teacher, the principal, and the police. I think there is a greater chance of 'scaring him straight' than of facing retribution for it.

I was only in high school 8 years ago, and bad kids are way more evil than they were when I was a student! And if you went to school before the days of school shootings, I think there is an undercurrent of fear now that wasn't there before. Even if the kid is just posturing, I think that in some states, threatening to physically attack your son is assault.

JLCwrites
08-05-2008, 02:47 AM
Seems to me there is documentation of this bullying on the web. Make hardcopies and send to school officials and to the bully's parents, and if necessary to the police. If nothing else, keep copies so if something does happen, there will be evidence of intent. With that kind of documentation (if it really is serious) can't you get an order of protection from the bully?

In these days of easy weaponry, the "he's gotta toughen up" approach can lead to lethal sorrow that will rip apart two families.

ditto this...

Chumplet
08-05-2008, 05:33 AM
I'll certainly have him keep a record of all posts, and I hope it's just posturing.

They were friends back in grade school but fell out of contact. They'll be seniors this year. The boy concerned doesn't have any history of violence, and his older siblings are great kids. I only met the parents once, years ago, and she seemed pretty laid back.

I see the older sister almost every day at the grocery store and she's a sweet girl.

We're in Canada, BTW, and nowhere near any big city centres. Frankly, I'm not as worried as he is, being the eternal optimist.

JimmyB27
08-05-2008, 01:16 PM
I gotta agree that encouraging him to violence isn't the answer. However, I agree that karate or judo lessons might bolster his confidence, though they tend to be more sport oriented marital arts. If there's a ju jitsu club nearby, he could pick up some good defensive techniques. And it's also good for discipline. I believe that a good martial arts class should make a person less likely to fight, not more.