I picked up supply educational assistant jobs at three local school boards. It becomes evident how some forms of bullying become more common than others.

A common form of bullying grade seven and eight students use is passive-aggressive. For example – I walk into a classroom and immediately hear the snickers, the “wow” expression and the look and laugh. I see students using this approach in the school with new students, supply teachers and E.A.s, and on the playground with students that these students target.

When this began, I immediately thought it must be something about my appearance: my spiky, unconventional hair, age, or bigger schnozz; what could it be? This kind of insult bullies or mean kids use is to attack a person’s sense of security and confidence because, as with me, the victim immediately believes they are being laughed at because of some defect.

The more this happened, the more I realized it was simply a technique used by this age group.

Looking at the perpetrators, I see students who have confidence issues and their defects: being overweight, having acne, and being awkward looking. It’s all about the art of deflecting personal inadequacies onto someone else.

“I won’t be ridiculed for my inadequacies if I make fun of this person.” these students think.

When someone bullies and belittles someone, it reflects the perpetrator’s confidence and gives us insight into their insecurities. Because if you have to put someone down to pull yourself up, you lack confidence and are insecure in your abilities.

So, if you are faced with a room full of students who act this way or go along with the sort of behaviour, you do not have an issue; it is the perpetrator.

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