This level of violence doesn’t just happen!

It’s October which means its bullying awareness month. As I teach how to get bullies to stop using operant conditioning I wanted to share this story here.
This article has 2 stories. The first involves a 5-year-old girl who was beaten up in a bathroom by an older girl who has been charged as a juvenile with false imprisonment, aggravated assault and battery. Which is a good thing because that’s exactly what happened. This wasn’t bullying, it was assault and battery.

The other story involves a high school girl who was literally beaten to death in a high school bathroom.  The student who did that was charged with criminally negligent homicide.  Again, appropriate because – this wasn’t just bullying, it was criminal level assault and battery.

What we should all understand is that this level of violence doesn’t just happen. It means they’ve had a festering problem that they haven’t dealt with that made these kids feel like it was acceptable to do this.  Either that, or the offending kids have severe mental health problems that weren’t being addressed!

I often say that if things escalate to violence then the adults failed the kids. We have to start taking bullying behavior seriously. Because it is serious.  It’s habitual behavior meaning – it’s going to happen again. There is usually more than one victim. And it escalates over time and gets worse. You can’t wish it away. If you don’t stop it – it will get worse!

If you don’t know how to get it to stop – learn! Behavioral scientists have known for decades how exactly to get unwanted behavior to stop. It’s time we start teaching that! If you are an educator – you have an even greater responsibility to learn this information.

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