Weekly Wrap-up: Breakfast Club

January 7th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

[Lutterworth Grammar]After last week’s “Weekly Wrapup” and the encouragement given by the good looking Meredith ( 😉 ), I’ve decided to do this week’s “Weekly Wrapup which is about “the breakfast club” and high school.

Before I commence though, I’ll have to admit that I’m a Brit and over here we tend to do things and name things properly. We have pre-school (which is also known as “playschool”, and increasing by the American term, kindergarten), followed by primary school (ages 5-11), then secondary school (ages 11-14), and then high school (also known as ‘tertiary school’, which serves ages 14-16). Those years (with the exception of playschool/pre-school) are compulsory education – meaning that every child has to be educated to those standards. At the end of high school, we have to pass our GCSE examinations (General Certificate of Secondary Education) and then we are given the choice whether to go to college to study for ‘A levels’ (16 to 18) and then on to University.

Anyway – on with the questions!

  1. Did you like high school? Why or why not?
    I didn’t like high school too much – one of the subjects I studied (IT) I found quite boring and didn’t interest me much (I can remember us being taught how to use Windows 3.1 and Pagemaker: neither of which I’ve even seen since leaving high school!), I didn’t really enjoy Art and Design either. Whilst I have “good ideas” for Art related things, I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. The only reason I studied Art at GCSE level was because I had to do X number of GCSEs, and I could only think of X-1 number that I wanted to do: therefore I just took Art as a ‘filler’ subject.

    See below for more of the reason why I didn’t enjoy high school much…

    On the flip side, I did spend a lot of time “after school” in the computer labs on the RM Nimbus PC‘s they had and I also got involved with other activities (one being quite ‘sporty’ which is unusual for me) which did add a few pluses.

  2. Did you ever consider yourself a member of “The Breakfast Club”? Why or why not? Which “role” did you fit into? (Feel free to define a new role.)
    Blarg! I’ve never heard of the movie The Breakfast Club until now – so the answer is: No.
  3. A 16-year old Canadian girl is going to jail for a year because a boy she bullied eventually killed himself. Do you agree or disagree with this decision? Why or why not?
    Yes, I do agree with that decision. I had been bullied at primary school (for various reasons) and then then bullies progressed with me up to secondary school. Bullies get enjoyment from causing pain and suffering to others – but why should their victims, many of which end up emotionally scarred for years afterwards, have to suffer?
  4. Did you ever encounter a bully in high school? What happened? How did you deal with it? (Alternatively, if you were a bully, why did you make that choice?)
    Yes, I encountered several bullies at high school – mainly those who “joined me” from secondary school. Whilst the secondary school I was at had, as per governmental directives, a strict anti-bullying policy – the headmaster and other senior tutors had the impression “Bullying doesn’t happen at THIS school”. Therefore, reports of bullying went largely un-investigated and unpunished – much to the glee of the bullies who knew they could get away with it. And, yes, there were others which suffered in this manner. I remember one girl was bullied quite severely because she had a slightly “posh” accent – and that’s the whole reason she was bullied. Because she was slightly different from someone else.

    Of course, if you retaliated in any way – from hitting back at them, retorting them or just trying to “escape” from the situation: then it just made things worse. My parents told me to just stand up to the bullies – but that’s like asking a duck to sit still on a pond whilst you take a pot-shot at it. Try fighting back – and then you end up in trouble. It was a loose-loose situation with the “authorities” would do nothing about. At one point, I kept on walking home from secondary school as I didn’t want to have to ride on the school bus (it was around a 6 mile journey by road – but if I went ‘cross-country’, I could usually get home in around 1.5hours).

    Last I heard from my secondary school was that the old headmaster left and his replacement was astonished at how much bullying was going on there. Of course, it was too late for me and several others who had already been emotionally scarred. Many of their victims had been driven “right to the edge” and didn’t (like the boy in the news article) want to have to face that sort of torment again.

    The bullying did continue a bit through high school, but by then some of the bullies had actually “grown up” a little bit so it wasn’t too severe, but still bad enough for me to end up in hospital on at least one occasion.

  5. What’s your suggestion to end the social differences in high school teens? Is there a quick-fix solution? Can anyone join “The Breakfast Club” or is that even exclusive? Why or why not?
    I don’t believe there is a “quick-fix” solution to bullying and social differences in schools – unfortunately the only people that can “do” anything to help “stamp out bullying” is the teachers and authorities and they need approval from above etc. But if they investigated every issue of bullying etc, made it easier for victims to report it (asking victims to sit outside the headmaster’s office for half-an-hour will NOT encourage them to come for-wards: and it’ll help bullies to identify “snitchers” to extract revenge on), keep logs and records of incidents and take action against the bullies. Suspend them from school for a while, if when they return, they are as bad – exclude them (“throw them out” of the school). Follow up with legal action (grievous bodily harm, assault etc) and help support and reassure the victims. Do NOT deny that bullying takes place and do NOT just “shrug off” incidents. Violent children NEED to be punished – what happens when they get ‘fed up’ with picking on other children? They start being violent towards the teachers – and imagine with those “mini-thugs” grow up, get married (or co-habit) and have kids of their own. It’s not hard to imagine domestic violence and child abuse is it?

    As for the “clubs” scenario – this is where things get complicated. Should anybody be allowed to join a top-ranking football/soccer/basketball/baseball club? Should anybody be allowed to join the “club” of directors of major multinational corporations? The answer is “No”.

    However, should potential valid candidates be discriminated against (which is what bullying is – discriminating against people for whatever reason) because of their creed, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, size, height etc? Again -“No”.

    We, as a species, do need to understand that each and every one of us is unique and different from each other – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that is a reason to “hate” or discriminate against each other. Can you imagine a world where we are all face-less drones doing the same thing as each other, no variation between us (in looks or thoughts) and no innovation? Goodbye TV, fiction books, movies, new gadgets…

    In the school grounds this means, yes, by all means have clubs etc – but if you exclude another child just because they are ‘different’, then that is wrong. I believe some bullies do it because the only way they can make themselves “feel better” is by bringing everyone else down to their level. A recent incident is described in this story where a 11 year old boy was kicked and stamped on because he wanted to be a ballet dancer. The attack was made by other pupils at the Asterdale Primary School – the 11 year old boy now needs a medical operation on his battered feet and his dreams and chances could be shattered for live. Same with all the “geeks” – ok, somebody spends a lot of time in front of a computer instead of kicking a ball around: but they could end up with a job making a few thousands a week instead of working for the minimum wage in a factory or similar – why should they have a better job in the future then you? Beat them up and stop them from achieving that and being better than you! After all, if you can’t be the best – why should you let anyone else?

Yes, I know I’ve rambled on a bit in some sections – but there’s a lot to think about there.

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".

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