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Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the looks-like-we-got-a-reader dept.

Education 684

jones_supa writes "The recent anti-bullying survey conducted by ABA brings up some interesting findings. According to it, more than 90% of the 1,000 11-16 year-olds surveyed said they had been bullied or seen someone bullied for being too intelligent or talented. Almost half of children and young people (49.5%) have played down a talent for fear of being bullied, rising to 53% among girls. One in 10 (12%) said they had played down their ability in science and almost one in five girls (18.8%) and more than one in 10 boys (11.4%) are deliberately underachieving in maths – to evade bullying. Worryingly, this means our children and young people are shying away from academic achievement for fear of victimization."

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684 comments

So Sad (5, Insightful)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033175)

That people feel they need to hide their abilities because they would do better than others.

Re:So Sad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033243)

The reason they have to hide their abilities is that they set the bar too high and make everyone else look like dumbasses. Of course you are going to beat the shit out of them. They are making life more difficult for us normal people. There are consequences for that.

Re:So Sad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033511)

Some people don't mind a high bar and enjoy the competition. Some people may not like the competition but are civilized enough to realize that's life. Then there's people like you.

Re:So Sad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033539)

Who would be one of the 99%

Re:So Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033599)

Oooo...look, another anti-social running around, claiming "You and I are a lot alike!"

Re:So Sad (4, Insightful)

Pathogen David (2036758) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033521)

So since people can't accept that there are people smarter than them, the smart people should be punished? That is extremely stupid, the school system in America is already holding back kids who excel as it is.

Re:So Sad (0)

rockout (1039072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033615)

I would've thought the comment you were responding to was an obvious troll - actually, it was so obvious that it almost bypasses troll and nearly qualifies as satire. C'mon, wake up.

Re:So Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033533)

And the further consequence is that someone who is both smart and strong will beat the shit out of the dumbasses who think violence makes them smarter.

Re:So Sad (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033547)

The reason they have to hide their abilities is that they set the bar too high and make everyone else look like dumbasses. Of course you are going to beat the shit out of them. They are making life more difficult for us normal people. There are consequences for that.

In that case, authorities ought to do the usual thing - make it an aggravating circumstance, just like with racially motivated crimes.

Re:So Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033613)

If YOU care about the well-being of YOUR smart kid, don't rely on the authorities. Take them out of public school and put them in environments where their talents will be rewarded and encouraged. Socialize them by different means than public school.

It isn't cheap or convienent, but the alternative (public school) is guaranteed to fail on this front.

Re:So Sad (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033667)

Sure, because of this highly praised competitive society. If instead of competing to see who's best they would collaborate to achieve something, people who's able to contribute more would probably be seen in a more positive way.

As Nietzsche so adroitly put it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033391)

"Merit is, itself, offensive."

Showing talent intimidates the talentless. They defend themselves against the feeling of deficiency by attacking those with talent. It is basic human psychology.

Don't want your kid bullied? Don't send him/her to a public school.

Re:As Nietzsche so adroitly put it (5, Insightful)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033485)

Riiight....cuz no one was every bullied at a private school...

Re:As Nietzsche so adroitly put it (1)

rockout (1039072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033671)

I will say this, I definitely received less bullying at a private school than I believe I would've at the local public school. I never felt like I should underperform in order to fit in better or to avoid bullying. Even at a young age, I understood that the (minimal) bullying I was subjected to was just a manifestation of jealousy, even though I didn't fully understand those words or concepts at that age. In my neighborhood, playing wiffleball with the kids on my street, that was a different story. There was a huge difference between that and my school. I was, in fact, grateful that I didn't have to go the same school as those kids, because I believed then (and now) that the bullying would've been worse.

Re:So Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033557)

These number are pretty specific. Sounds to me like a few statisticians are begging fora wedgie.

Re:So Sad (5, Insightful)

pelirojatica (533396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033611)

Sad, true.

As a shy person I might have gone this route, but no amount of bullying would have been worse than my parents' reactions to a low grade.

As my father once said "what the hell is this B doing on your report card?!"

This is news? (3, Insightful)

14erCleaner (745600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033177)

It was like this when I was in school back in the 60's and 70's. I realize the study is from the UK, but anti-intellectualism is a long tradition here in the good ol' USA - witness the support for creationism and denial of climate change, etc, etc.

Re:This is news? (-1, Troll)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033247)

And the assault on people that do well financially.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033311)

Sorry, but this is unrelated. Most of the "assualt" you claim to see isn't some "bring down the top" scheme. It's people addressing inequality problems. I'm an enemy of inequality, but not an enemy of those who take advantage of it.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033365)

assault*

Re:This is news? (1)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033513)

I believe in equality as well. Everyone should work equally as hard, and get their due. I was not implying that it was any scheme to bring down the top, I was referring to the fact that any type of success is met with bullying. Now I understand you can get beyond it and become so filthy rich that you don't care, or so smart that people have no choice but listen(we could hope). I posted a provocative comment that was definitely on topic, but also to illicit conversation from the masses.

We are all in this together, and we need to start acting like it. Should the rich pay more taxes? Damn right...Should the smart kid lead the class? Do I have to ask?

Re:This is news? (1)

qortra (591818) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033317)

And the assault on people that do well financially.

This also doesn't have anything to do with the article. The article is about bullying, not the "assault" on fiscal conservatism.
Would anybody else care to attempt an on-topic post?

Re:This is news? (2)

fsck1nhippies (2642761) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033411)

Actually, I think my comment and the one from 14erCleaner are 100% on topic. Children are taught very young that to be different is to be wrong. Good grades are different from the norm unfortunately, and the kid gets pummeled for it.

People who argue about the topics we just pointed out suffer the same fate (in a way). The point is that it is a learned behavior , and starts very young.

Re:This is news? (5, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033257)

witness the support for creationism and denial of climate change

This doesn't have anything to do with the article. The article is about bullying, not your favorite religious/political issue.

Re:This is news? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033433)

Where I grew up, bullies were always Christian. They were either your typical Catholic Latinos and Latinas (who, oddly enough, have conservative values but always vote liberal for the handouts) or the Bible-thumping, gunslinging white trash you see in Kid Rock videos and Sarah Palin fan clubs.

They picked on not only nerds, but especially gays and other effeminate males as well as the generally gay-friendly counterculture. Like many religious people, the perceived superiority that their belief in an imaginary sky-daddy granted them was instrumental in their mistreatment of those who were different, even if they did not explicitly state so.

So fuck you, you out-of-touch apologist. Take a look at the world around you.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:This is news? (3, Insightful)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033647)

Haha way to exemplify the dude's point. "Creationism" and "Climate change" aren't religious or political issues. They're just anti-evidence ignorance. Politics and religion are about ideas and beliefs, creationism and climate change are about nonsense and anger. But avoiding intellectual achievement for a long enough time has ensured our culture is full of people like you who aren't capable of such critical thoughts.

Re:This is news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033259)

Whoa there, you just linked two different things. Don't get me wrong I believe in global warming and evolution, but that's not really the same issue. The issue here is people are made fun of for being smart (or they think they will be.) People don't disbelieve global warming or evolution because they think they'll look smart and be made fun of otherwise. That's just a completely different issue and pretending that they're linked will just cause people to disagree with you on this issue when in reality they don't, they just disagree on those for the most part unrelated issues.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033367)

You might wish to believe they're two different things, but it is a very connected and has been since the first scientist ran afoul of religious dogma.

People do disbelieve global warming and evolution because it's part of conformity to an existing group, and pretending that they're completely different will just cause people to despair over your lack of awareness over this issue.

Re:This is news? (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033361)

They rehash shit like this every 10 years or so. OMFG the poor young people... same shit has been happening since the begging of modern time. Someone has to make their position look good on paper.

Re:This is news? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033499)

Longer ...

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

Heinlein, from the 1950's

Re:This is news? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033473)

Civilized people behave civilized, barbaric people behave barbaric.
Guess who's most likely to start a fight and who's most likely to win that fight?

Re:This is news? (1)

readin (838620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033607)

What better evidence for intellectualism than that a post that a clear attempt to hijack the thread to make non-sequitur attacks on political opponents gets modded Insightful?

Re:This is news? (1)

skelly33 (891182) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033655)

I think it's kind of interesting, though I recall kids being penalized more for being socially awkward, not for being smart. I realize there is some overlap, but it is not an exclusive relationship - there were plenty of... er... academically challenged kids that were equally awkward and who were tormented accordingly. The punks just couldn't get enough of preying on the weak, smart or no.

It's about forty years too late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033185)

I waited nearly forty years for someone to recognize the existence and pervasiveness of this behavior!

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033191)

even in college i felt like an asshole for knowing more than everyone but then again i was cheap and went to a state college to save money so maybe at a more expensive school it's better...

Idiocracy here we come. (5, Funny)

penglust (676005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033195)

Ma bring me my shotgun. Theres another of them their intlectuls on the front grass.

Re:Idiocracy here we come. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033353)

"another of them their intlectuals" (what?) "on the front grass."

Unless you meant to use pronoun "there" instead of the possessive "their".

Ah, wait, sorry, I thought you were joking but you're just demonstrating your already current membership in the idiocracy.

Re:Idiocracy here we come. (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033531)

WHOOSH.

That was either the joke going over your head.

Or the shotgun blast of rock salt heading towards your ass.

Re:Idiocracy here we come. (0, Flamebait)

jaymzter (452402) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033595)

Ah yes, the perfect illustration of the reason why some may dislike "intellectuals". In two short sentences you managed to include prejudice, elitism, stereotyping, parochialism and get modded +5 to boot. Good for you.

Re:Idiocracy here we come. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033659)

i love you

Seriosly survey! Believe me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033197)

I'm the most modest child there is, please dont bully me!

Re:Seriosly survey! Believe me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033283)

They will just bully you for being a "prude". What is wrong with modest clothing?

So? What's new? (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033219)

How is this news? I would wager that humans have been acting like this for many thousands of years. The only people who should find this surprising are people who grew up somewhere away from all human contact,.

Re:So? What's new? (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033267)

Re:So? What's new? (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033419)

Socrates' last words:

"I drank what?"

Re:So? What's new? (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033617)

They killed him for speaking English?

I did the opposite in school (1)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033225)

All the kids hated and insulted me

So, I made friends with the teachers and school administration

Concentrated totally on academic excellence

Totally ignored the other kids

Re:I did the opposite in school (-1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033301)

See, and then you wonder why you got beaten your ass off! Teachies pretty boy

Re:I did the opposite in school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033649)

That works up to a point... however, the other kids are a 24 hour issue, while teachers are just in the class. Schools are a lot like prisons/jails, and the same lessons apply on both fronts. The first mistake is assuming you will get protection from the guards/teachers. They have their own interests at heart -- not yours. One learns they have to keep some type of relations with genpop/other students if they are willing to survive. The kids that just are friends with the teachers will be protected in class, but just wait until outside. That bus camera covers the inside perfectly, but once it leaves from a stop, there is nothing but air and opportunity.

It is just nice to be able to ride a bike to school and not have two popped tires awaiting you each day and every day, no matter how hidden the bike was. Same with driving -- it is nice to not have a vehicle that gets obscenities placed in the paint job via sharp objects, or a windscreen decorated with a baseball bat. Keeping the enemy list is a lot easier task than having to go "gee, I wonder who might have done that" in the school office.

Here in the US, the smart kids learn how to play dumb. If you are viewed as "stupid", you might get razzed, but not hated. Where I went to high school, the smarter kids actually would graduate with low GPAs because they could get into colleges with their SAT scores alone, and being viewed as the class dunce was better than being the curve-breaker "A" student, thus causing jealously and the other drama that followed.

You're A Fat Paste Eater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033237)

You're a fat paste eater! Why don't you kill yourself?

There, I said it.

Re:You're A Fat Paste Eater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033327)

You're a skinny food barfer. I am surprised you are not dead already!

Re:You're A Fat Paste Eater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033631)

You're a skinny food barfer. I am surprised you are not dead already!

Wah! You hurt my feeling you big bully! Now my mommy is going to have to pay a fortune for counseling.

I just want to cut myself and it's your fault!

Government schools (0)

Kohath (38547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033255)

The place you go where no one cares about you.
The place you go to get bullied into mediocrity.
The place you go to be counted, so bureaucrats get their check for your attendance, regardless of whether you learned anything.

Re:Government schools (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033357)

This is a social issue, you moron. Private vs. public schools aren't a factor here.

Hey I did that (2)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033261)

Which was unusual in that the person doing the bullying was the fucking teacher. (First grade believe it or not. Turns out she hated the smart kids. I'm fairly glad my mind won't let me remember what she did but I at least know she was cruel, nasty bitch.) Every grade after that I way under-performed.

Re:Hey I did that (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033339)

Ya... someone like that that early in life can really mess you up for years to come if not a lifetime.

Re:Hey I did that (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033581)

Yeah, I found out in college that you don't want to correct the teacher and then prove it mathematically. He was wrong about a crucial part of power supply design, but I quickly realized I should have kept my damned mouth shut and just gotten that question "wrong". It would have done less damage.

This Happened to Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033263)

When I was in school I was too smart for my peer group, so I was ostracized because I didn't settle for underperforming. Being average is normal, and when you're not normal it frightens people. Especially younger kids who don't understand that it's okay to know someone smarter than you.

So what else is new? (0)

msevior (145103) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033269)

This was standard behaviour in many schools in Australia in the 60's and 70's. I personally experienced it and witnessed it. Toughen up. The world is not all sugar plums and rainbows.

Re:So what else is new? (4, Insightful)

Tacticus.v1 (1102137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033471)

and 90s and 00s but the response shouldn't be to toughen up. it should be to take the fucking bullies and remove them.

Re:So what else is new? (1)

multiben (1916126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033483)

Just because something has always been the case some doesn't mean it's ok to keep doing it. We would still be stoning people to death for having mildew in their house. Society changes and so should its expectations.

Both sides of the coin (2, Interesting)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033273)

A few things...

Talent schools do exist, a lot of them are private though.

Being in the top 10% of your math class doesn't make you a math prodigy.

Smart people who act "cool" tend to get applause for their "talents" , not bullied

Lifting weights never killed anyone in this age group (at least I don't think)

Where the f' are the parents in all this?

In life in general, sometimes it's better to fit in than be the nail that gets hammered

If the kids actually cared about excelling in their subject of choice, they wouldn't care about being bullied, I can think of a chess person, and a chem person who are testaments to this from back in HS

Last, but not least, AP Calc has yet to help me in life, AP chem... kind of :)

Re:Both sides of the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033559)

I failed calculus in high school and I'm just so confused with all the calculus I encounter in my everyday life!

Immediate benefit of AP classes (2)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033571)

Last, but not least, AP Calc has yet to help me in life

Don't knock AP Calculus.

It's a lot cheaper to take the class in high school and pay for the AP test than to pay college tuition later.

Re:Both sides of the coin (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033597)

Lifting weights never killed anyone in this age group (at least I don't think)

Yeah.. no one dares to bully someone who outperforms in that...

If the kids actually cared about excelling in their subject of choice, they wouldn't care about being bullied, I can think of a chess person, and a chem person who are testaments to this from back in HS

How many unexplainable deaths did you have in your class before everyone realized that it's better not to bully the chem guy? and did you ever find out what that chess guy did?

Re:Both sides of the coin (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033609)

Mod up. Especially the part about lifting weights. The abuse trailed off my HS junior year when I got serious about working out.

Re:Both sides of the coin (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033673)

Lifting weights never killed anyone in this age group (at least I don't think)

I'm sure it did, but it's still good advice.

Where the f' are the parents in all this?

Although I have no evidence to back me up, I'm pretty sure that 9/10 parents are idiots.

Last, but not least, AP Calc has yet to help me in life...

Yeah, but didn't you enjoy it? And isn't it cool to know, in general terms, how those problems get soved - even if you never need to do so?

Adults too. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033277)

In a work environment, just as in school, you get along by pretending to be like everyone else, and as dumb as everyone else, particularly your managers. Lip service is always given to tolerance, but lip service is all it is.

Re:Adults too. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033371)

You must be from corporate America! Sup bra!

Re:Adults too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033449)

In an out. It's not much different in small businesses except that there you have to pretend to be as dumb and sociopathic as the owner.

Thankyou... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033305)

ever so much Conservatives and Republicans for you constant berating and demonizing of anything intellectual.

Should I try to be a straight 'A' student? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033321)

If you are then you think too much.

-- Billy Joel, 1980.

Same old shit, different generation (note that it was B. Joel saying that in the song, but his peers)

Opposite of Asia (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033325)

In Asia, overachievers and well-studying kids are looked up to. While that still doesn't make them the 'cool' kids, they do just fine socially and have no such problems as TFA.

I suggest North American culture change its stigma of nerds, geeks, and intelligence, or face vastly deteriorating social values and social/scientific progress.

Re:Opposite of Asia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033375)

In Asia, overachievers and well-studying kids are looked up to. While that still doesn't make them the 'cool' kids, they do just fine socially and have no such problems as TFA.

Mod up. The ones that do well academically are very popular in social circles.

Re:Opposite of Asia (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033661)

There is no such thing as being an overachiever. There is, however, on the other side of the fence, such a thing as having an inferiority complex.

Not surprising (5, Insightful)

Oxdeadface (1968100) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033341)

Here's a small collection of recent headlines:

The Election is Over, and the Math Geeks Won.

Obama's data geeks have made Karl Rove and Dick Morris obsolete

The Real Election-Day Winner? Math Geeks.

Math nerds score big wins with superstorm Sandy, Obama victory

A library datebase, not just for science nerds

This is only from recent events, but the same type of headlines are repeated all the time. Why the hell would any child want to be good at something that puts them into a category that is openly disdained in our culture?

Career paths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033345)

More often than not, the bullies had well-paying union jobs lined up for them as soon as they reached the age of legal drop-out or barely graduated.For those who got screwed out of college and had to "avail himself of American opportunities", life was made much harder.

Young students? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033383)

This happens at all ages. I'm a bit of a polymath and hyperactice, in that I've done many things successfully in life, including athletic, artistic, political and intellectual tasks. If I mention every time that is pertinent that I've done that people soon label you a know it all, so you just learn to zip it up.

Playing down talent? (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033399)

I prefer to think of it as hiding my secret identity.

middle school and high school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033415)

It was not until I left school that I had the freedom to show my true abilities and interest. In school, being good at something and God forbid, having it displayed by the teacher, was one of the asking.for.it criteria.

No, that didn't stop me from being bullied entirely, but did take the edge off. Even getting chewed out over my report card when my parents knew my potential was a better result than the constant torment. And yah, some of the "popular teachers" knew how to be popular, some of the teachers picked on me too and I had no recourse because nobody believed me.

It took 35 years to get over the bitterness, and learn to trust people.

No Child Left Alone... (2)

loony (37622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033425)

made things a lot worse. When my oldest (who is actually good at math) went to school, he never got in trouble because he'd get some A's, a few B's and occasionally he'd even get an F... by now, math and other subjects are so dumbed down that any reasonably smart person gets straight A's - and suddenly you're being punished for being too smart... In the end, we need kids to fail more in every way.

Peter.

Good. Esp for India and China (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033447)

Dearies, when I was growing up in India, I was very good in academics. Yes I was good in a number of extra curricular activities too, but acads were stellar. I was fit, but except for some recreational table-tennis, I was not much into competitive sports. Oh btw, I was a small kid in stature compared to others. Anyway, I was actually respected, especially because of the acads. And thankfully the culture has not changed much at all. Kids who are talented in sciences and acads, or other stuff, get respect, and are considered cool enough to hang out with - it's not the losers who sit around and are bulky that are considered cool (well, India being India, if the losers start getting physical, rest assured there are external contractors whom your parents can hire to take care of the matter quickly - and the losers know that too).

Anyway - this is good news for India and china. At least their brainy kids would not be beaten up and turned away from studies by the idiots. No immediate worries of ending up as an idiocracy. I guess future generations of Indian and chinese kids will thank the prolific US 'cool' football and basketball stars for beating up the brainy ones and damaging them permanently.

Good show USA.

Relevant Freeman Dyson quote (5, Informative)

StefanJ (88986) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033457)

This has been going on for a long time, and no, it isn't just public schools.

George Orwell mentioned getting mocked -- by the headmaster's wife, for cripes sake -- for being part of a group that collected insects. ("Such, Such Were the Joys.")

But the OA made me think of this Freeman Dyson quote:

"So it happened that I belonged to a small minority of boys who were lacking in physical strength and athletic prowess, interested in other things besides football, and squeezed between the twin oppressions of whip and sandpaper. We hated the headmaster with his Latin grammar and we hated even more the boys with their empty football heads. So what could the poor helpless minority of intellectuals, later and in another country to be known as nerds, do to defend ourselves? We found our refuge in a territory that was equally inaccessible to our Latin-obsessed headmaster and our football-obsessed schoolmates. We found our refuge in science. With no help from the school authorities, we founded a science society. As a persecuted minority, we kept a low profile. We held our meetings quietly and inconspicuously. We could do no real experiments. All we could do was share books and explain to each other what we didn't understand. But we learned a lot. Above all, we learned those lessons that can never be taught by formal courses of instruction; that science is a conspiracy of brains against ignorance, that science is a revenge of victims against oppressors, that science is a territory of freedom and friendship in the midst of tyranny and hatred."

-- From "To Teach or Not to Teach," 1990

You may have heard of this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033461)

from Herodotus, he called it Tall Poppy Syndrome. But hey no one on /. reads the classics anymore right?

Re:You may have heard of this... (1)

JustOK (667959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033593)

I read the classics alot. I liked it before all this multiverse stuff.

Easy Fixed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033467)

I suffered the same fate, right up until about grade 8. Some little asshole pushed me to the edge and i stuck a pencil through his hand. Never had a problem after that. I found the only way to deal with these fools was to return their crualty 7 fold. and i dont mean stamp your feet and cry like a baby. or play push me shove you. Stand up, look them in the eye, Smile, and stab the fucker with sumthing sharp. Now i know there will be so many out there (especially these days) who will sya turn the pther cheek, dont be violent etc. etc. but the truth is the world is a violent place, and no matter how fake you want to be, how thick your rose coloured glases are this will still be the case in another 100 years. So simple. Use your brains and augment your existing inteligence with a pari of testicles. You will find soon you wont be worth bothering anymore. I used to attend boarding school, I remember building a stun gun form a motor start cap, mains charged. that soon stoped them in thier tracks. There is only so many times you can run to a teacher and still stand tall as you own man. dont sucumb to the sheeple way of life, where its always someone elses responsibilty to protect you. The Police dont care, The teachers dont care. hell i dont care. Getting a little roughed up at school builds character. and teaches you to defend yourself in the real world.

Re:Easy Fixed (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033675)

I used to attend boarding school.

Because you stabbed another kid and got kicked out? How much did your parents have to pay to put you in boarding school?

Escalating violence isn't an answer...the zero tolerance policies these days mean that retaliating will just get your kid expelled, and you'll be forced into the poorhouse trying to pay for a private education.

To quote Chemisor (97276) (4, Insightful)

readin (838620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033479)

I think Chemisor (97276) said it best on Slashdot some months ago:

To a nerd, acquiring social skills merely means learning that he can never mention anything he really cares about, and that he must learn to politely endure other people's boring rants without showing it. And then people wonder why he dislikes socializing.

People don't get bullied for being good at soccer or for being good at art.

Wuuut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033507)

One in 10 (12%)

Hmmm...

Some kids are bully magents (1, Insightful)

snsh (968808) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033517)

Discussion of the bully issue usually avoids the fact that some kids are more prone to being bullied because they're sensitive, easily offended, or cannot handle self-deprecating humor.

It all starts when you're five years old and a kid at school yells at you "I see your underpants. Ha ha!" If you react or protest or cry or run away, then the other kids will smell your fear and attack you like a pack of wolves. If you keep your cool or joke at it, then other kids show you respect. It all comes down to how you handle yourself in those moments.

Anti-bullying crusaders dismiss anything that sounds like "blaming the victim". Instead they consider bullied kids as innocent bystanders, and focus only on the mean, misguided nature bullies, and how parents and teachers should to control them. But to fix the problem you really should look at each kid who gets bullied and show them what they're doing wrong.

Re:Some kids are bully magents (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033665)

Which is my answer was to beat my bully so bad that he went to a hospital. That ended my endurance of being bullied for the rest of my time at public schools... The retarded kids that bully only understand violence, so crack open their skulls and bite off their ears.. and whisper, "Im going to find you when you sleep and do things to you that make your mother cry"

Raw fear they understand, and they spread the word.. From that point on they give you your space and dont dare to say a word.

Ripping a kids ear off with your teeth does that. I reccomend it to all kids being bullied.

the social violence of little angels (4, Insightful)

epine (68316) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033529)

There was a girl in my class in middle school who was first rate at figure skating, and never got picked on at all. There were kids who were good at art and other things ... no hassles. Precious athletes, for the most part, exempt from the social tax on excellence.

There was a girl hideously deformed in the jaw and neck who showed up one day. No one said a word for two months, then the dam burst. I'd been in a children's hospital down the hall from a burn unit. I wasn't having any of it. Most of the adults who came to visit were so green around the gills to step onto that ward you almost needed a bucket in the hallway.

Sam Harris says we grant religious beliefs too much automatic deference. I think this also extends to our little rotters. There's something terribly vicious in young children that we neither discuss nor study to the extent warranted by their appalling capacity for social cruelty.

Not my little angel! Well, I suspect your little angel has become adept at emulating attitudes learned at home.

The social violence of little angels should be news. Today and every day. Do people think it just goes away, or does it merely mutate into more mature forms? I'm not trying to stamp out scorn or derision. That's a fact of life, man. But I do think that the use of "gay" as a generic adjective of derision should get the little rotters shuffled onto a short bus for the social learning disabled.

High time "gay" went the way of DUI, where nearly everyone looks at you funny, like you're charting a life course for a wall-mounted chrome toilet with no lid.

Lack of sufficiently early segregation. (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033545)

This problem eventually goes away as people are sorted into classes based on their achievement.

It is caused because schools are a "melting pot" for people from various social strata, personalities and intellectual levels.

As people go through life, they tend to segregate and associate with similar people.So bullying based on intelligence diminishes or goes away entirely. I mean, you're not going to be bullied by your peers for being smart if you're a grad student in engineering physics.

The fix is to identify the talented and smart kids as early as possible and whisk them off to separate schools, where they not only benefit from being away from the bullies, but also benefit from a more advanced, accelerated curriculum.

Am I the only one... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033553)

...that was bothered by them referring to 12% as "one in 10"? It's closer to one in eight (12.5%) or one in nine (11.11...%) than one in ten (10%).

Maybe if they had spent less time writing about non-newsworthy topics that have remained unchanged for decades and more time studying their math while not caring what other people said about their intelligence they'd have not made a mistake like that.

What to do? (1)

readin (838620) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033567)

I suppose it might help if efforts were made to promote some team competition or even team grading in academic subjects. Competitions like that "It's Academic" show held in class would make it nice to have the smart kid on your team sometimes. I'm sure some people would object that it would hurt the feelings of the kids who don't do as well, but we have competitions for soccer, football, basketball, and other physical activities all the time and the results are quite visible. The only time we worry about the results hurting people's feelings are in academics. It seems to me that a little more visibility would help everyone. People would know when they need to improve. Not everyone knows.

smells like too full of crap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033569)

What the hell happened to being #1 in confidence?

Pay Attention to the Messenger (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033587)

An anti bullying organization does a study and finds alarming rates of anti-academic bullying. Oh the surprise!

I went through the UK school system in a steelworks-and-mining area. Being academically successful was not a problem. I had friends up and down the academic scale. There was a palpable mutual dislike between the sports types (rugby mostly) and the academic types. But that was not a 'problem' academically. The teachers were divided along similar lines.

It probably goes on, but 90% is a nonsense number, borne of methodological bias, which is inevitable given who was doing the survey.

They need to form a gang... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42033603)

And go around breaking the legs of those that make fun of smarts. It's time for a nerd uprising with violence. Hair trigger nerd rage violence.....

Private schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033625)

Save your money, send your children to private schools. My daughter is going to the one I went to where 100% graduate, 100% go on to college and being smart is the norm. Put your kids in with low achieving uncivilized morons and it's not only going to hurt their academic development, it will also hurt their emotional development. Who would consider sending their kids to a public school except those that were previously the moron bullies in the problem we are discussing?

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42033663)

Sorry but this is bullshit at least from my experience here in the states. I was widely considered to be one of the smarter people in my classes(whether this was actually the case is arguable) all this usually amounted to was people asking me lots of questions. I was never particularly popular wasn't in any sports(was on the debate team). Never once in the entirety of my time in school elementary to highschool can I recall I ever felt I was bullied. Nor do I remember anything ever happening in school except (call me racist) the black girls(or the one white girl who was in their clique) aways fighting and screaming with each other and getting dragged away by the police or someone. I was always in suburban schools so maybe its a gangsta/hillbilly thing that happens everywhere else.

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