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WHAT MAKES A BULLY OR VICTIM?


TRAITS OF A BULLY


Shows little emotion.


Successfully hides his bullying behavior.


Seems to possess social skills and high self-esteem.


network of friends. Blames the victim.


Gets excited if the victim fights back.


Enjoys feelings of power and control.


Socializes with a PASSIVE VICTIM TRAITS OF A


Shows a lot of emotion (cries easily).


Hides the truth about being bullied


(thinks adults can’t or won’t help).


Lacks social skills and self-esteem.


Has few or no friends. Blames himself.


Rarely fights back but might carry weapons for protection.


Feels helpless and out of control.


boys and their parents, and the story came out that the bully was forced into Scouting by a father who later was convicted of murdering his wife. The bully eventually left the troop, and the


13-year-old became a caring, helpful patrol leader. The adults tell this story now to every new group. “To hear it, the bully is still hiding from the fury of the leaders somewhere on a mountain, living with wolves,” says Henry, a former Scoutmaster in the Great Salt Lake Council. “Whenever a boy starts teasing or hazing, someone asks if he wants to ‘live with the wolves’—and it stops immediately.” That’s one way to stop the bullying. There


are others—less imaginative, perhaps, but just as effective—from modeling correct behavior for your Scouts to knowing when to broaden a discussion beyond just the target and the bully to establishing an effective procedure for reporting occurrences to the adults. Bullying in Scouts rarely reaches the inten-


sity of that incident, of course, and the Guide to Safe Scouting states that “Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults … have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout’s member- ship in the unit.” But no unit is


SPOTTING A TROOP BULLY


Fights (physically or verbally) with other kids.


Gets easily frustrated if he doesn’t get his way.


oppositional personality. Hangs out with


aggressive friends.


Speaks about others in negative terms.


Has been accused of being a bully at school.


(SOURCE: SCOUTING.ORG BULLY PREVENTION TIPS) Displays defiant or TROOP VICTIM SPOTTING A


Frequently absent from activities.


Distances himself from his peers.


Exhibits nervousness when with the group.


Shows unexplained anger or resentment.


Feigns sickness to avoid participation.


Avoids group restrooms.


immune from at least its milder forms. Studies show that the majority of kids have


experienced bullying at some point in their lives. “If you ask, ‘Have you ever been bullied?’ about half of kids will say yes,” says UCLA edu- cation professor Sandra Graham. The psychologists and experienced Scout


leaders we consulted for this article offer their experiences and recommendations for recog- nizing the warning signs of a bully, or multiple bullies, in your troop or pack. These experts give you specific methods for dealing with the target, the bully, and the rest of the boys, and they offer ways to prevent you from some day having to deal with a situation like what hap- pened in Brian Henry’s troop. None of the suggested techniques involve


your Scouts fighting back, and all flow logi- cally from the Scout Oath and Scout Law.


BULLYING ALWAYS INVOLVES one person or group trying to overpower another—repeat- edly. It might involve a physical act: hitting,


32 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2010


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