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Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying 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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Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying

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

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:16PM (#42033267)
  • by StefanJ ( 88986 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:30PM (#42033457) Homepage Journal

    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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:47PM (#42033709)

    Similarly, very few people have the courage to examine the role rape victims play in being raped. Promiscuous dress and behavior attract rapists. People need to recognize that behavior of victims contributes to the attacks.

    Or you're talking out of your ass.

  • Re:So Sad (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @08:44PM (#42034367)


    I was never bullied by other kids because I was smart. I was bullied because I was awkward, poorly socialized, and I was bad at sports. I was bullied because I was bad at certain skills.
    I was in the gifted and AP classes, and I always scored in the high 90% in any standardized tests I took. The other kids were more apt to ask me if they could cheat off me, then make fun of me for being smarter then them.

    I learned in high school that it made my life easier if I let them cheat off me. I was invited to parties, the snide comments and laughs stopped, and I was actually able to learn how to socialize some. 10th grade on was cake compared to the early years.

    Hell, even after I got in the military the same situation presented itself. I was praised and looked up to because I was good at certain things like working the radio and other computer equipment. I was "bullied" for not being as fast as others during the runs. (Note: Bullied isn't the right term here, but we are going to run with it for simplicity's sake.)

    Hell, I don't even remember the other kids being bullied for being smart. There were a large number of gifted students that fell squarely into the prep/jock category as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @08:56PM (#42034527)

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

    Really? Where I went to High School all the kids who were good at art were branded as freaks and were about as popular and the nerds. (I took advanced math, played saxophone, and painted. Every social group had a reason to exclude me.)

  • The problem is this (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:42PM (#42035747)

    A word has been invented and used to label what is essentially assault, simply because it is minors assaulting minors. Can we PLEASE call it what it is and DEAL WITH IT as ASSAULT? As in, treat it as a CRIMINAL OFFENCE instead of just saying "kids will be kids" ::rolleyes::? Let's make examples of these so-called "bullies", criminalise their activities and maybe the incidence will go DOWN.

    I wasn't "bullied" at school. I was ASSAULTED. My overachievement in all fields of study suffered, so by the time I got to college age I just couldn't be arsed any more. I went from straight-A to C/D/E/F in my GCSEs, and scraped by in A-level physics and biology and completely failed advanced math. Fortunately I managed to beat that stigma and went on to run several successful businesses, all of which I parted company with reputation intact and no creditors.

    As an aside, schools don't like it when you send them Cease & Desist notices to get them to address problems of targetted assaults on their students which they're doing nothing about. They like it even less when you pull your own kids from their institutions citing "multiple assaults by students and teaching staff" with dates and times. They go all out to perjure themselves in sudden and unexpected parallel care proceedings when you file suit against the local education authority for failure to perform to expectations as Corporate Parents in ensuring student safety.

    So it's not just a culture of "bullying" that schools are neglecting until it's thrown into the limelight by pissed off parents who are having to take their kids to the hospital every two weeks, it's a culture of perpetuation of the problem on the part of the institutions, whose staff themselves are PART OF THE PROBLEM. Let's have this all out in the open so we can DEAL WITH IT, before more kids die at the hands of these "bullies" through terminal attacks or suicides!

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