What if adults got away with the same type of bullying that kids get away with in school every day? This video asks us to ponder that question by re-enacting an actual incident — in an entirely different setting.
The slickly produced, and frankly disturbing video is barely more than one minute long, but it packs a lifetime’s worth of punch. The point here is that the bullying incidents that make the news are of course horrendous — but there are smaller bullying incidents that take place every day in every school in the country, if not the world.
But we, the grown-ups in charge, usually dismiss these smaller incidents as “horsing around,” and no big deal. But that does not mean these everyday incidents of childhood cruelty are any less damaging, hurtful, and humiliating for the victims. While it’s very easy for us to tell a kid to “grow a pair,” “just fight back,” or “stand up for yourself,” the reality is that it’s up to adults to insure the safety and well-being of the kids in their care.
Too many grown-ups simply shrug off that responsibility, blaming the victim as quickly as the bully. That’s why 71 percent of school students say that bullying is an ongoing problem; why 15 percent of children who miss school say they stay home because they are being bullied at school; why 90 percent of students in grades four through eight have been reported as victims of bullying at least once; and why 282,000 high school students are physically attacked at school every month.
This video, produced by the Minneapolis, Minnesota ad agency MAKE and donated to the anti-bullying group Not In Our Town, makes it point by taking an actual bullying incident reported by a middle school student and transplanting it to an office break room.
Watch the video and ask yourself if you can imagine this actually happening in the workplace. If not, ask yourself why we let it happen in school.