In the articles “From Lockers to Lock-Up” and “The Playgorund Gets Even Tougher”, authors Jessica Bennett and Pamela Paul respectively shed light on the little paid attention to problem of mean girl bullying at an early age…
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Both authors agree that the problem is made worse by parents who enable their daughters and take pride in their being “top dog” in schools and the playground. These parents are actually missing the point. Their daughters are not growing up to be empowered individuals because they do not live in a world where a check and balance exists with punishements for grevious acts such as playground or school bullying that leads another little girl to take her own life. Mean girl bullying is a real problem that has yet to find a workable solution. Through this paper, I would like to present certain suggestions as to how the problem might be best dealt with with or without the cooperation of the parents of the bully / mean girl. According to Jessica Bennett, the problem of mean girl behavior has gotten so out of hand lately that, due to the fact that it has already caused the deaths of a number of young girls through suicide, authorities should consider turning bullying resulting in death into a crime. Maybe with a punishment of 10 years in jail (Bennett, Jessica “From Lockers to Lock-Up”). Due to the behavior of the girls involved in the Pheobe Prince case, she might be suggesting an action that makes sense. However, before judgement is passed upon the mean girl, one should first look at the history of the mean girl in order to find out if she is merely acting out or actually beyond help. Maybe the relational agression that is being displayed has something to do with the family life of the girl. According to sources at the website KidsHealth, most bullies come from: ... families where everyone is angry and shouting all the time. They may think that being angry, calling names, and pushing people around is a normal way to act. Some bullies are copying what they've seen someone else do. Some have been bullied themselves (“Dealing with Bullies”). Taking a cue from that statement, it is important for school authorities, specially the guidance counselors to keep an open line of communication with the mean girls or bullies in order to determine the source of aggression. Since women are more docile in nature, even when with peers of her own age, and tend to be more influenced by their mothers actions, it is quite possible that the victim and mean girl are acting out roles based upon their own mother's actions and advice. In which case, it is important to inform the girls about the repercussions of their actions and the fact that no girl is expected to act in the same manner as their mothers. The school authorities should also ensure that anti-bullying programs are in place in school as well. Perhaps reimposing classes in good manners and right conduct are in order. Such classes teach students the proper way to treat one another and their elders as opposed to the “Kardashian” type of treating one another or even the “Gossip Girl” type of friendships. Since most of these girls are easily influenced by the entertainment media, most specially the reality shows, they should be taught to tell the difference between reality and “entertainment reality” “Growing Old Younger” may be the hip word among the girls these days but just because they know how to act mature does not mean they are mature. They are totally unprepared for real life and think that by play acting, in the same manner that the television shows portray, they are actually aging faster (Paul, Pamela “The Playground Gets Even Tougher”). The Girl Scouts of America actually have an anti-bullying program that could benefit the public and private schools called “Be a Friend First” (BFF). This program teaches young girls to stand up for one another with bullies and encourages them to become part of the solution to the mean girl problem by using tools that
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