Why Our Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Program Matters

“Bullying will not be tolerated in this school.”

“You are entering a no bullying zone.”

Consciousness raising is good precisely because it challenges each of us to be our best self, to do good for others.

Yet, sometimes some students are so emotionally wounded that their anger overwhelms the attempt at consciousness raising.  The students are so very wounded that they cannot listen well.  Some are so wounded that they refuse to listen.  Even others are so mortally wounded that they find a certain pleasure in inflicting pain on others.  It is when it gets to that point—others’ pain equals pleasure for the one inflicting it—that we have a stubborn problem on our hands.  No signs, no consciousness raising, no rally in the gym, no pressure to be good is going to work…..because the gravely wounded student is now beyond listening.

Yet, we have found a hidden way to reverse the trend in those who are so hurting that they derive pain from hurting others.  It is this:  Ask the hurting students, those labeled so often as bullies, to tell their story of pain, their story of how others have abused them.  Tell Your StoryYou will see this as the rule rather than the exception: Those who inflict pain over and over have stories of abuse toward them that would make you weep.  In fact, we have seen the weeping come from the one who has bullied others, the one who has inflicted serious pain onto others.  He wept because, as he put it, “No one ever asked me for my story before.”  His story was one of cruel child abuse from an alcoholic father who bruised him until he bled.  And no one ever asked him about this.  And so he struck out at others.  Once he told his story, he began to forgive his father and his pain lessened and thus his need to inflict pain on others slowly melted away.

We all have a storyThis is what our Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Program does.  It aids counselors and teachers in bringing out the stories in the pain-inflictors so that their own pain dramatically decreases.  As this happens, through forgiveness, bullying behavior is rendered powerless……because in examining their own hurt they finally realize how much hurt they have inflicted…..and with their own emotional pain gone, they have no desire to live life like this any more.

Come, take our anti-bullying curriculum and save the life of at least one child and help prevent inflicted pain on countless others.

Robert

6 thoughts on “Why Our Anti-Bullying Forgiveness Program Matters

  1. Allie January 21, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    This seems so counter-intuitive, to help save the bully from himself, but it seems so correct. It sure is a challenge to the received wisdom in schools where the goal is to put a stop to the bully’s behavior and that is about it.

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  2. Samantha January 23, 2014 / 10:42 am

    I wonder if school personnel are sometimes too busy to think very carefully through their assumptions and he actions that flow from them. I, too, have seen those signs in schools about no-bullying-zones. I cannot help but think that they are helpful only to those who would not bully in the first place. The signs may help them to be a little more courteous but of course those signs would not prevent their bullying—because they are not bullies. It is time for a shift in how schools think about this pernicious issue of bullying. Yours is a clear and reasonable path.

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  3. Michael L January 23, 2014 / 2:27 pm

    It makes much sense that those who bully are the ones who experienced some kind of abuse somewhere along the line. Unless they can cast off that anger the whole classroom is in trouble. It could take a lifetime for that poor child to get rid of the anguish. I am betting that your anti-bullying program could address the problem in a much shorter time.

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  4. Chris January 23, 2014 / 7:07 pm

    We can’t coddle these guys when they are acting up. I see where you are heading with the forgiveness curriculum but it has to be part of an overall approach that draws a line in the sand so that the bullies do not walk all over everyone. They too often think they run the school.

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  5. Neva January 25, 2014 / 10:05 am

    My son was a victim of bullying during the middle school years. Sometimes the pain is so great in those who bully that they band together against their victims. They really do seem to find great pleasure, in a perverse sense, in making other students miserable. If schools can find a way to treat the leader of this kind of pack by doing what you suggest, it could remarkably reduce bullying. It could save lives.

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  6. Penelope January 26, 2014 / 1:29 pm

    This would make a wonderful balance to all of those programs out there that seek to discipline those who bully. They need to be restrained but at the same time their stories need to be heard. With their bitterness lessened they won’t find the pleasure any more in hurting others.

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