School environments can be one of exclusion rather than inclusion. Children form their own groups or gangs and you are part of either the ?in? or ?out? crowd. Those that do not fit in, for whatever reason, can experience a particularly painful time. Many children may not learn the best interaction skills at home and possibly this is where schools can make a difference. First, as educators we must be aware of some of the social situations that children must cope with at school.
Bullying is a general term used to describe the tactics of aggression onto another person. Unfortunately, in the education system aggression rules; the popular students tend to be the jocks and the person the others want to cluster around. There is a group of children that are often overlooked?possibly they are not physically strong or just the vulnerable type.
The book, Please Stop Laughing at Me by author Jodee Blanco, is an inspirational story about the abuse she endured during her years at school.
I think that every educator should read her story; once I started it I couldn?t put it down. It is happy, sad, and moving all at the same time. The paperback is an easy read for a general audience and I was able to complete it in a couple of days.
The story begins with Jodee?s description of how she was victimized in a 4th grade Catholic grammar school; coming to the defense of deaf children that were being treated cruelly. She supplied the school officials with names and was labeled a ?tattletale.? No one would talk to her, recess was spent in anguish, and she would find garbage and spoiled food in her book bag. As she progressed into 5th grade some of the social atmosphere began to shift in subtle...