By Keith Purtell
Phoenix Staff Writer
Dr. Sara Jones of Fort Gibson said she dealt with a lot of bullies when she was a school counselor and gaining their trust was key.
Her method was to find out what was causing the student to engage in bullying behavior.
“It always comes from a lack of self respect,” she said. “They don’t respect themselves, and they don’t feel good about themselves. Somebody is treating them badly. That’s what triggers the behavior.”
Jones said she knew the bully was acting aggressively because of something he or she was going through.
“I came to the aid of the bully — the guy who was acting ugly — because I knew he or she was being treated badly,” she said. “And it’s worse in junior high than in other ages.”
A lot of effort goes into programs to stop bullying, but not much is said about the likely future of bullies who are not stopped.
When the State of Oklahoma established its anti-bullying laws, their research showed that 60 percent of males who were bullies in grades six through nine were convicted of at least one crime as adults, and 35 percent to 40 percent of these former bullies had three or more convictions by 24 years of age. Clearly, bullies need to be protected from their own behavior patterns.
Self-esteem is also a factor that leads kids down the wrong path, Jones said. Full story.