How Parents can become School Bullies

Bullies are everywhere, in internet forums, social networks, on the job, and in the schools. When children are doing the bullying, a spotlight is shown on the schools, teachers and parents who are expected to put a stop to the behavior. But many parents and teachers create conditions that encourage bullying or they become bullies themselves.

The stereotypical bully is either found to be the sad product of abuse and neglect in the home or the sad product of deviant spoiling and attitudes in the home. But stereotypical bullies do not act alone. They are cunning and manipulative in getting others to join and to protect them. The enabling children may not come from homes that obviously encourage bullying, but may join in as school or after school conditions allow the behavior to go on. 

Stereotypical bullies develop best in a vacuum that exists when parents are not involved with the school and when the school authority figures do not know what the child’s home situation is like. 

The situation is dire now because school bullying that used to resolve when the children moved on in life is now becoming extremely violent and even deadly, even where effective programs have reduced school violence.

Parents have two pathways to becoming school bullies: the direct path and the indirect path. The direct path is somewhat obvious when parents are physically present at school facilities, either to do the bullying, to ignore acts of bullying, or to encourage acts of bullying.

Another direct path to parental bullying is to employ various tactics to prevent school officials from expelling and taking other effective actions when their own children are guilty of bullying.

Another direct path for parents to take as bullies occurs in some smaller or more homogeneous school districts. Individuals or groups of parents to force their intolerance issues to be taken on as school policies. They force religious intolerance, political extremism, racial intolerance and the interpersonal politics of social standing and power into school policy. All of this leads to bullying of children who are isolated standouts.

Parents become indirect bullies when they teach moral values that encourage teasing, sadism, controlling behavior, violence and other dysfunctional interpersonal behavior at home. When they allow one child to excessively tease or manhandle their siblings, for example, then the bullying child will think that it is fine to treat other children the same way in school.

Parents become indirect bullies when they refuse or fail to get treatment for a child’s mental illness or emotional problems, especially after those problems lead to violence or misbehavior in school. 

Parents become indirect bullies when they use their children as surrogates for their own anger and intolerance. They teach their children intolerance and encourage a combative attitude toward their own perceived enemies. The most common targets are other races, other religions, other gender preferences, different physical appearances, disabilities and social standing.

Parents become direct and indirect bullies when they abuse their children by beating, sadistic cruelty, neglect and by creating dysfunctional or traumatic life events for the child. Many an abused or traumatized child has found that weaker living things, especially small animals and weaker children, are easy surrogates for carrying out their anger toward an untouchable, but abusive parent or authority figure.

The school is the first place where children experience and learn about the larger world of people, institutions and social systems. When the child has dysfunction in the home or in their moral and social education, then the child could easily start bullying or the child could easily be led to join in with bullies. Parents can actually go to the school to do the bullying, or they can send their children out as surrogates to do the bullying.

The parents who step in immediately to deal with the issues that are causing the bullying are the solution. The parents who create the bully, then refuse to deal with the results will, by default, become a party to the bullying.