“You’re either the good guy or the bad guy.”

I recently finished reading Jann Arden’s book, Falling Backwards: A Memoir.  It is one of the most candid stories of growing up that I have ever read.  The stories she shares about her experiences will make you laugh and cry, but mostly they will make you see that she is real and genuine and funny and honest.  Many of the memories that she recalls are painful but after reading them and then reflecting on how she has managed to overcome them, I have even more respect for her than I had before.  One of the reasons I have enjoyed reading this book on my Kindle is that I have the option to highlight and save quotes from the book, sharing them to Facebook or Twitter, if I’d like.

A while back I wrote a post about a great activity for demonstrating the long-term effects of bullying on a child.  One of the great quotes that I read in Jann Arden’s book is the following:

Being silent about bullying is just as bad as being the bully.  You’re either the good guy or the bad guy.  You can’t sit on the fence.  I wish I had known that then, but wisdom is not for the young.  Time doles it out.  That’s the only way to get your hands on it. ~Jann Arden, Falling Backwards: A Memoir

A recent article in The Leader Post explains that a professor at the University of Regina, Rod Dolmage, doesn’t believe that anti-bullying programs work.  His theory is that there is often such a difference between what we teach at school and what happens in a child’s out-of-school experiences in the family unit and in society that what we attempt in our classrooms isn’t consistent and therefore isn’t effective.

It is a problem that needs to be addressed and I think that most schools believe they are doing everything they can to reduce and prevent bullying.  I think we need to continue to work on it.  I think we need to try to reach as many kids as young as we can.  And I hope that we can raise more ‘good guys.’

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4 responses to ““You’re either the good guy or the bad guy.”

  1. haha… you and your Jann…

    I agree that something needs to be done with regards to bullying. I worked as an aide in a High School a couple of years ago and never could figure out the kids who were bully’s. I think we need to remember to look at the whole person, not just how that person is when they are in school.

    • I’m not a stalker, honest!! 😀

      The thing is that most of us know an adult who is a bully. Maybe a person in the workplace or a family member who never ‘grew out of it.’ I agree that bullying can be very surreptitious, but I need to believe that we can make a difference to the kids who are targeted and to those people who need to rethink their behaviours. And agreed, it’s not just an ‘in-school’ frame that we need to reference.

  2. I think I would agree with Ron dolmage. anti-bullying programs don’t work. One way or the other bullying will happen. Sadly, it’s inevitable. good argument though

    • Even though bullying may happen, I think that we have a responsibility to try to deal with it, Edgar. If I can help even one child learn how to deal with a bully, or impress upon one other child that being an observer to bullying without doing anything to help is akin to contributing to the problem, then I believe that my ‘program’ worked. For many victims, just knowing that a program exists in their school and that there is support from staff and students could give them the support they need to ask for help.

      I’m certainly not saying that I have any empirical evidence to support my claims, and I don’t think we’ll ever completely ‘cure’ bullying but I think we owe it to our students and our own children, to try.

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