- Last Updated on 02 August 2012
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You probably remember the video of the school bus monitor in upstate New York who was bullied and berated by seventh grade boys last month.
Karen Klein has accepted their apologies and the boys have been suspended for an entire year, forced to go to an alternative school.
That startling video brought up the bullying debate again on how to deal with it and how to make it stop.
Columbia martial arts instructor, Todd Spor, teaches character building with each karate kick and punch and how to handle bullies.
"I had a young 6-year-old black belt that was getting bullied on the school bus," said Spor. "He didn't have the tools necessary to defend himself against that bullying procedure, because he knew he wasn't allowed to use his martial arts."
Step one is building confidence, something Spor says the New York state bus monitor lacked.
"She was looking straight ahead, wasn't maintaining eye contact, she was ignoring them," said Spor. "It was a feeding frenzy and she didn't have the tools on how to do that. She resorted back to ignoring the bully which absolutely does not work."
University of South Carolina Psychologist, Brad Smith says those middle school bullies fed off Karen Klein's reaction and took away her authority because she wasn't adequately trained.
"Probably could have done things that could have stopped it like set limits, moving kids around different seats on the bus, empowering kids who are positive peer leaders to break it up," said Smith. "You have to go through the training that actually shows you have the skill to be put through that situation."
Those children were bullying an adult, but Spor says some of his techniques can apply. He practices verbal sparring with the kids.
"One of the first things they learn is their anger guards-what makes them angry," said Spor. "They need to know what those are so they can identify them and take ownership of them."
Words hold so much power and Spor says the key is turning them around, something Benjamin and Justin Beckwith are starting to learn.
"He said stuff not to be mean, but just to practice and then we'd make something funny up," said Benjamin.
Benjamin has been bullied before.
He and his brother Justin have been practicing, and their mother hopes it helps both of them with confidence and self-control.
"I want them to be able and confident if they see an incident like that happening," said Benjamin and Justin's mother, Rashell Pipkin. "If they see a friend or someone they don't know being bullied, they have the confidence to go in there and help break it up."
Go to http://columbia.thebullyexpert.com/ for more information.
Source Website: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/google/bully/~3/rGK6Be5JDF4/url