Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rethinking Bullying IX

Follow Up

Don’t try to mediate a conflict between a bully and a victim. Conflict mediation should be reserved for peers who are having a disagreement about a particular issue. If mediation is carried out between a bully and a victim, it can cause a great deal of stress for the victim and can expose him or her to further bullying. This is not a situation where each party is partially to blame; rather, the victim should know that they do not deserve to be treated in this manner.

A victim of bullying may carry deep scars in her heart from the tormenting she endured at the hands of another. Let the victim know that you will be touching base with her over the next few weeks or so, just to see how she is doing and to ascertain whether or not the bullying has in fact ended. The student who was victimized by a bully will need the opportunity to share her
feelings about what has transpired with a trusted friend or adult. You should arrange for such venting to occur whenever possible.

The damage bullying has caused needs to be faced to experience some real healing and restoration. Tears can be therapeutic. Sometimes a letter written to the bully but never delivered can help the student understand the depth of his pain and release it, as well as to see the person responsible for it. Professional counseling is very helpful in this regard and is strongly encouraged.

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