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The Connection Between Bullying and Othering: Exclusion Hurts

Bullying is that repeated harassment to someone. In these works, bullying is present in the form of "othering." Being an "other" is a negative term that singles out someone.

"Hayley Reardon Music"

"Hayley Reardon Music"

1. In the article, "Hayley Reardon Music," Hayley Reardon expressed her songs to promote anti-bullying in all schools. She teamed up with anti-bullying teams to use her music to help everyone (victims, bullies, and bystanders) recognize what bullying really is. She said, "'The past two years I’ve worked with PACER by using two of my songs (She’s Falling and Stand Together) and creating classroom toolkits that are related directly to bullying and how to prevent it in a classroom environment'" ("Hayley"). This connects to "othering" in which the songs help victims of bullying get through their hardships. The songs talk about how to prevent bullying in school. The songs focus on recognizing problems not just by seeing it, but by understanding that the issue with a person doesn't make them lesser of a human than anyone else. Bullying occurs when one is being picked on for being "different," and Hayley is trying to fix this through her songs. The songs convey that everybody has problems, and that difference does not make you lower than anyone else. She also stated, "'The goal of these exercises and the heart of the songs that go along with them are to help students better understand one and other and hopefully uncover and embrace each other’s individuality'” ("Hayley"). Othering occurs when one does not understand another person's difference. In her songs, Hayley's theme is to not hurt someone by their difference, but learn how it is to be them. To really understand someone, you need to know how their life is with their impairment. When someone has a problem, mentally or physically, learn the person's situation before you consider to harm them.
2. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, Jem helps a victim of bullying by giving him what he lacks. When Jem sees Scout shoving Walter's face in the ground, Jem suddenly steps in and says, "'Come on home to dinner with us, Walter,"' (Lee 30). Scout was thinking of Walter as an other because she had to explain his financial issue to the teacher, and thinks it is his fault for being different. Scout is showing ignorance to the topic of otherness because she does not fully understand Walter's problem. Walter is the "other" because of his financial issue. This action of bullying by Scout to Walter would have never started if his family was poor and Scout did not have to stand up for him against the teacher. Like Hayley, Jem steps in to help Walter out of the situation and offers him dinner. This is good for Walter, because he probably hasn't had a good meal since before the Great Depression. Othering starts from ignorance of one person to another; this results in bullying. Allies (like Hayley and Jem) understand problems and help others who are in need. To overcome bullying and mass othering, become an Ally. In both works, the idea of bullying is presented by some individual thinking of themselves as superior because of the other person having a problem. Allies help these situations by providing support to the victims and knowing/learning their situations.

pacer.org
"At School Where Student Died, Bullying Led to a Suicide Attempt"

"At School Where Student Died, Bullying Led to a Suicide Attempt"

1. In the article, "At School Where Student Died, Bullying Led to a Suicide Attempt," by Elizabeth A. Harris, Leo, a sixth grader, faced bullying that brings him to a point of an attempted to commit suicide. He gets called gay (in a negative way), gets dragged around by his pony tail, and gets multiple things stolen from his backpack (including school supplies and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon). In the cafeteria, there was a long lunch table. At either ends of this table, sat a group of girls and a group of boys. Leo sat at that table and after stated, "'No one would sit next to me," (Harris). Leo was excluded at lunch, and also bullied at school. His life at school made him, "...try to hang himself in a school stairway" (Harris). Bullies can lead to victims having an overwhelming amount of emotional and physical pain that could make them end it all. "Othering" is an individual exploiting or making fun of a "difference" of another. "Othering" is present in bullying because one person is putting another below them on a power scale or hierarchy because of a problem or difference (disability, appearance) the victim has. Leo was "othered" (probably by a difference in appearance, by the ponytail), and lead him to the point of trying to commit suicide. "Othering" is presented in this situation in which Leo was being excluded and bullied because of his differences. Leo was looked at by his peers as the lower human (with the least popularity ranking) and did not have any friends. He was also in a school district where no other student tries to help him and was acknowledged by the staff of the school, but made the tormenting get worse. The "othering" toward Leo (and being singled-out) made him want to end it all, and try to commit suicide.
2. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson shares a similar scenario. When in jail for being guilty, he tries to escape and his life ends. Atticus describes this to Scout. He says, ‘"They shot him...He was running…They said he just broke into a blind raving charge at the fence and started climbing right over'” (Lee 315). Tom wants to end his suffering because he knew he was innocent. Unlike Leo, he tries to escape so he could then go back to supporting his family and get his life back on track. In the process of escaping he was shot. This exemplifies otherness because Mayella was exploiting Tom Robinson's difference of his skin color. She cries and seems like she was abused by Tom while he is being calm and telling the truth in the courthouse. Unfortunately, the wails of Mayella seemed innocent and Tom Robinson was accused of raping her. In both works, differences are used to weaken the victim, and the consequences are dire.

nytimes.com
Bullying Picture

Bullying Picture

1. This image represents othering because the kid in the light red shirt is the "other" because of his physical leg disability. Also, since it is a disability that is visible by his walking pattern and his crutches, he is getting bullied more because he cannot hide his disability. Always having a disability is hard because you always have the constant thought of "Are people judging me because of the way I walk, talk, etc.?" This teenager is "othered" because he is looked at by his peers as a lesser human being (by his leg disability), and most likely has less friends because of it.
2. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, every character has a problem they face throughout the story. Atticus has Tom Robinson's case, the Finch children always have to be aware they will be looked at a different way because of their dad, Tom Robinson is black and was accused of rape by a white family, Dill's parents are a constant reminder that he may not be good enough for them, and Walter has his financial family issue. In the book, someone sees someone else as different from them and causes them to treat them unkindly. Difference is not good or bad; by a quality, not one that is negative or positive, and should not outcast that person from the rest.

google.com
"I Wish I Was There to Protect You! - A Powerful Poem to Help the Victims of Bullying"

"I Wish I Was There to Protect You! - A Powerful Poem to Help the Victims of Bullying"

1. In the poem, "I Wish I Was There to Protect You! - A Powerful Poem to Help the Victims of Bullying," by Rachel Wise, is about the hardships of bullying, and looking back at it when you are older. In this poem, there is an emphasis on a lack of empathy. The poem states, "You used to think to yourself, 'If they only took the time to know me/They would see I was a good person, generous, kind and friendly'" (Wise). When being bullied, there is an emphasis on the problems with the person. However, if you become friends with a victim, you will learn that they are essentially good. Another key point of this poem states, "The ones who tease, laugh, and move have their own problems and need help." (Wise). Bullies form from people having their own problems and taking their anger out on someone else.
2. The two character in To Kill a Mockingbird that are victims of bullying are Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. They are both seen by others as "weird" and "abnormal." This is because they have a more significant problem than other Maycomb citizens. Boo stays hidden in his house and is ridiculed by many Maycomb citizens. Another example of the "other" in this novel is Tom Robinson. He is accused of raping Bob Ewell's daughter, and it is hard for him to express himself at the courthouse because of his skin color. Compounded by the fact that he is physically disabled. When observing the trial, Jem says, "'Scout look! Reverend, he's crippled'" (Lee 248)! This shows "otherness" because other than being African American when it is look down upon, he had a lame left arm. This, also gave him more attention from the crowd of being different. He is also considered less of a human being because he is black. Bullying occurs when one person has a difference or an "otherness" that people use to judge them.

educationandbehavior.com
"Bullying and Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs"

"Bullying and Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs"

1. The informational work, "Bullying and Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Health Needs," shows "othering" in the form of being bullied because of psychological differences that victims cannot control. According to the article, if children have attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), epilepsy, hemiplegia (one side of the body is paralyzed), diabetes, or any type of learning disabilities, they are more prone to being bullied. This document states, "Disability harassment can occur in any location that is connected with school—classrooms, the cafeteria, hallways, the playground, athletic fields, or school buses" ("Bullying"). Bullying can happen in any place, but it is still a victim's exposure of a difference and being picked on by another. On the other hand, the document states, "..that some children with disabilities may bully others as well" ("Bullying"). This is also interesting because students with disabilities may have anger from being the victim or coping with their problem(s), leading to rage on other students. If someone with disabilities is a bully, they might be afraid to show their problems and therefore distract others with their bad behavior.
2. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is "different" by her gender and cannot control her gender choice (and also her gender roles) because of the time period. When she is asking Jem and Dill to not go to the Radley house at night, Jem replies with, '"Scout, I'm telling' you for the last time...you're gettin' more like a girl everyday'" (Lee 69)! This is bullying because it tells Scout that acting like a lady is bad, however, this could also foreshadow that Jem thinks boys are better than girls. Also, Jem is overpowering Scout and telling her how to think and act. Scout is being "othered" because she is being picked on by Jem for something that she cannot control, her gender. Learning disabilities, psychological differences, or lack of skill in an area of subject can lead to one being looked down upon. When at the church, Jem saw that they were collecting money; They were probably collecting money for new hymn-books. Calpurnia then stated, "'Wouldn't do any good.... They can't read'" (Lee 165). In this time period, blacks are considered lower on the social hierarchy then any whites. As a result of this leveling, African americans are less or not even educated because of their ethnicity. A lack of school lead to the black community not being able to read. In the times of social inequality, blacks are looked down by their skin color, but also the fact that they have less opportunities because they are less educated.

stopbullying.gov
"Teasing and Bullying: No Laughing Matter"

"Teasing and Bullying: No Laughing Matter"

1. In the work, "Teasing and Bullying: No Laughing Matter," by Diana Townsend-Butterworth, covers the definition of bullying, how it starts, and how both the bully and the victim are affected. It also covers warning signs of bullying. If your child is calling him/herself a loser, not wanting to attend school, and a huge change in relationships with friends or in-school life, he/she might be bullied. Bullying may start from a person thinking that hurtful, mean, or biased activity at home is ok, and applying it to their school life. Also, "Children learn bullying behavior from older children, from adults, and from television..." (Townsend-Butterworth). This is amazing because it shows that older people (specifically adults) are not always right and sometimes exemplify bad behavior. Also if a child gest put down at home, he/she will become "...defiant toward adults" (Townsend-Butterworth). This is horrible because then the bully will not get the concept of the consequences for his/her actions. The "other" in this situation is both the bully and the victim. The bully might experience being put down by their parents, and think it is ok to treat others the same way. The victim is being shamed in which they would look weaker next to the bully. The victim will also be impacted emotionally and physically. This can lead to long term consequences.
2. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the gender roles of the time period can affect what is influenced and said by others. When Jem is growing up and becoming more aware of the proper etiquette of Maycomb of this time frame, he shouts to Scout, "'It’s time you started bein’ a girl and acting right’” (Lee 153)! This is "othering" not just by shouting something that someone hasn't accomplished yet in a hurtful way, but indirectly telling Scout that to be a proper Maycomb citizen you have to be a lady. Maybe Scout feels different about her gender approach or is different to other females in her reactions, feelings, and emotions. Jem has this idea from the ideas of the time period, and how girls (and proper ladies) should act during the Great Depression. Another example of biased bullying is how Mayelle accused Tom Robinson of rape and how Mayella acts in the courtroom. When Atticus is overwhelming Mayelle, she says, "'That n***** yonder took advantage of me an' if you fancy gentlemen don't wanna do nothin' about it you're all yellow stinkin' cowards..."' (Lee 251). This is biased bullying because Mayelle is abusing the power of being white in this time period. Also, she is using her power of her skin color by calling Tom Robinson a n*****. She knows that she is favored in this courtroom because she is white. She thinks these bigoted words and actions are ok because this is what her family, the Ewells, have believed. "Othering" starts with a person exploiting a difference of an other. In To Kill a Mockingbird, many people draw attention to other people because they believe them to be inferior.

stopbullying.gov