Plastic surgery to deflect bullying: What does it teach kids?

Georgia teen Nadia Isle underwent plastic surgery to pin back her ears counter bullying. (CNN)

Georgia teen Nadia Ilse underwent plastic surgery to pin back her ears to repel bullying. (CNN)

One of the most memorable books I ever read on parenting was “The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do” by Judith Rich Harris.

When the book came out in 1998, it created a stir because of Harris’ contention that parents matter little; peers and biology matter more. “Parenting matters zilch, ” said Harris.

Harris proposed that the most significant environmental influence comes from outside the home, in the playgrounds and the schoolrooms and the places where children teach each other how to live. Her work ties together phenomena that argue against parental influence — evidence that twins reared together are no more alike than those reared apart, for example, and that the children of immigrants speak the language of their peers, not their parents.

In fact, she suggested in her book that parents consider plastic surgery for their children if they had some facial feature — big nose or ears — that provoked teasing. (She also recommended moving if your child fell in with a dangerous peer group.)

Harris earned a lot of criticism for her theory, but today plastic surgery is becoming an increasing option for bullied kids. First, there was this Nightline” report about a 13-year-old child model who underwent a nose job because of teasing on Facebook.

Her mother told “Nightline” that kids kept posting, ‘Hey big nose.” The surgeon involved said a quarter of his rhinoplasty patients were teens, and bullying was a factor in their decisions to go under the knife.

Now, CNN has a story about 14-year-old Georgia teen Nadia Ilse who was given free corrective surgery for her ears to stop classmates from calling her “Dumbo” and “elephant ears.”

I am sure that Harris would agree that the surgery was justified in these cases, but I wonder about the message of remaking yourself in response to the bullies and petty tyrants in your life. There will always be someone who finds fault with your nose, your chin or your ears.

Is this the right response to bullies — changing yourself to deflect their barbs?

According to Huffington Post:

To ward off school bullies who began taunting her in the first grade for her ears, Nadia begged her mother at the age of 10 for an otoplasty — an operation to pin her ears back.

The teen, now 14, was recently granted her wish by the Little Baby Face Foundation, a charity that provides free corrective surgery to children born with facial deformities.

Avoiding school bullying by going under the knife is on the rise among American teens. In 2007 alone, about 90,000 youth underwent cosmetic surgery — though not all cases were the result of teasing.

Nadia told CNN that the bullying turned her talkative self into a withdrawn, antisocial girl. The taunting “hurt so much,” she told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

When the Little Baby Face Foundation was contacted by Nadia’s mother, the organization brought the duo to New York City from Georgia and did more than just pin her ears back. The organization’s founder, Dr. Thomas Romo, III. also performed reduction rhinoplasty, reducing the size of the nose, and mentoplasty, altering the chin.

The foundation covered the estimated $40,000 cost of surgery.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

75 comments Add your comment

Jeanine

July 29th, 2012
2:21 pm

Bullying is a strange thing. The same bullying that may assist in the development of one child’s coping skills and help him/her to acquire the ability to maneuver among the real life bullies, may devastate another child and prevent or seriously delay his/her maturation and progress toward a healthy adult outlook.

NaturalTCT.com

July 29th, 2012
2:27 pm

It doesn’t changed nothing, more money for plastic surgery Dr’s, that’s it(oh yeah Free=tax payers dollars.). What happen to be proud of who you are, and where you came from. just be thankful with life sometimes. Special Ed see kids with disabilities and many are not complaining, cause their Just happy to here.
PedalBikez.com
NaturalTCT.com
http://naturaltct.wordpress.com/

Jeanine

July 29th, 2012
2:35 pm

Nevertheless, some adults will attribute their success in life to being bullied as a child – and some will blame the childhood bullying for their inability to succeed on one area or another.
I don’t see that one can tell which way a specific child will respond to bullying.and/or what scars or stepping stones it will leave in its wake.. We just know it has always been a part of growing up, at least in America. Some of us were bullied, some were the bulliers, some of us experienced neither. There are probably as many adults who deem it to have been constructive, or at least benign, as there are those who regard it as an impediment or even catastrophic.

mojo322

July 29th, 2012
2:39 pm

She looks great! She will overcome what others kids have done to her. The majority of the reason kids bully is because they are uncomfortable in their own skin and too immature to realize it.

IMD2

July 29th, 2012
2:53 pm

I would like to know about the families who generate these bullies! Do parents know if/when their children are the culprits? If they know and turn a blind eye, then I think they are even more disgusting than their children. If I found out that any of my children were bullying other kids, I would swiftly and effectively deal with them!

catlady

July 29th, 2012
2:55 pm

My son suffered a significant facial injury about age 4. His attitude has always been matter-of-fact about it. Adults, at least initially, were the cruelest (”Ew, what happened to HIM?”) As time passed by, there was one incident that I am aware of where he was made fun of–”Brain Boy”. I complained to the principal and it stopped.

His attitude has mirrored mine–if someone doesn’t want to be your friend because of your face, what kind of a friend would he be anyway?” It is what it is.

My son, perhaps in reaction to the injury, developed a wicked sense of humor and an easy friendliness. It helped that he is very bright and talented, and he has always associated with genuinely nice folks. I refused to hide him away, and perhaps that I was not ashamed or embarrassed helped him feel the same.

People will always tease you about something if they see it gets your goat. So what do you do? Get a bigger goat! (translation: do a little reality check about how important those people are, which is NOT AT ALL)

Les

July 29th, 2012
3:02 pm

I agree with Jeanine. There is no single set answer that will apply to all children under all bullying circumstances.

After having raised four children into adulthood (with a great deal of parental influencing from my wife and myself), I also agree that peer and outside-the-home environmental influences are greater than parental influences in determining the child’s attitude, belief and behaviors. I am not saying that parents lack influence. I am just saying that the influence of the world is greater.

Each of our kids was born with a different, unique personality, and they showed distinct disposition and character traits in their first year of life – which became more amplified as they grew up. Things that my wife and I emphacized and taught as they grew were not always embraced by our children, and they were more decided by what there peers or society dictated.

All of these has led me to not take the blame, nor take the credit, for many outcomes with our kids.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Atlanta Mom

July 29th, 2012
3:13 pm

How sad. There will be bullies always and everywhere. Although it is certainly worse in middle and HS school, it’s always out there.
This child wasn’t “deformed”. I wonder what her response will be as adult, when things don’t go her way. What else will she believe she needs to change?

Ole Guy

July 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

Cat, your son is blessed with maturity way beyond his years. As he proceeds along the landmine-strewn roads of life, he will enjoy the sweet smell of victory; the self-satisfaction of knowing that life’s obstacles will never stop him in his quest for fruition…surely, his mom will have had some influence in this!

bill

July 29th, 2012
4:21 pm

bullying now isnt the same bullying when we were kids.

Bill

July 29th, 2012
4:24 pm

Good article recently about Michael Phelps being bullied when he was young. And…how do ears that stick out qualify as a facial deformity. By this standard, we should all look exactly alike.

Bernie

July 29th, 2012
4:43 pm

This is a luxury that is only affordable by those members of the LUCKY GENE POOL CLUB. As for the others, they will have to fight through the grit of being bullied and pray they survive mentally and physically intact. what it says to the kids of the lucky gene pool in the short term , you can do anything if you have enough money. Long term, it will only lead to a downward slide in their self-esteem when faced with aging later in life.

As for the physicians its a new market to exploit and grow in their chosen specialty. with potential repeat business returning in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond.

Chris Murphy

July 29th, 2012
4:55 pm

I must have missed the transition, but when did teasing become equal to bullying?

Kawla

July 29th, 2012
5:01 pm

Though my daughter is going to public school next year, she has been homeschooled up until now. One of the biggest unexpected rewards from that was that she has not been under constant peer pressure to be who she is not. I feel as if I have more influence on her than her peers, though they certainly have some as well. (she is extremely social, with a large pack of homeschool friends – however the fact that they dont see each other ALL day, EVERY day limits the nastiness that is typically found in groups of girls) That is one of the things I am most dreading this upcoming year….

Ole Guy

July 29th, 2012
5:17 pm

ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM

Don’t let the b_s_a_ds grind you down!

Prof

July 29th, 2012
5:55 pm

To tell you the truth, I rather prefer the “Before” picture, for in it she seems to have directness and gumption as she looks you in the eye. She looks away in the “After” picture. Not only has she had plastic surgery for the “Affer” picture, but she’s dyed her hair and waved it slightly over one of those ears, uses makeup, and has tweezed her eyebrows considerably. Just imagine her “Before” picture with these changes….character.

Devil's Advocate

July 29th, 2012
6:16 pm

Isn’t it so much cheaper and easier to pick out the bully’s flaws and mention those in retaliation than to get plastic surgery? I mean, no one is perfect.

Devil's Advocate

July 29th, 2012
6:18 pm

Prof,

LOL, I was thinking the same thing. If the only thing changed by surgery was her ears, she would have been a looker without surgery with a little effort.

galofthe80s

July 29th, 2012
6:39 pm

My ears stuck out like hers and still do. I knew of guys who had this surgery in my small town growing up, but the girls were just encouraged to wear their hair down to cover their ears. I still HATE my ears and they still stick out….and I still wear my hair in a style that covers my ears. I know from experience that it is hard to wear hats/caps/helmets when your ears stick out. It’s hard to find sunglasses/glasses to stay on your face when your ears won’t hold them up. Unless you’ve had ears like this, you have no idea what it’s like to live with them. I am proud of this girl for getting the surgery!!!

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 29th, 2012
6:40 pm

There is another set of “before” and “after” photos of this girl on the web in which the pose and level of make-up are more similar. When I first saw the pictures, I honestly could not see what was different in the photos. I had to read the article to see what “plastic surgery” had been performed. I guess that means I am either very unobservant, or rather non-judgmental about looks. I’d like to think the latter, but it might be the former as well. :)

Mama

July 29th, 2012
7:12 pm

As a teenager my son suffered with acne, not as bad as some but enough that he was teased and his self esteem suffered. Some kids (regardless of what their parents have taught them about teasing) are affected by taunting and bullying more.

Aged P

July 29th, 2012
7:17 pm

I’m not going to tell parents what to do for their child who is being bullied–been there, no fun. But did I miss why bullies aren’t being yanked up by the short hairs for their behavior? It’s insane that kids are being driven to suicide and plastic surgery while the little hellions tormenting them go about their business.

OedipusTax

July 29th, 2012
7:21 pm

Parents don’t mean anything. God doesn’t either. What really matters are liberals, most of which don’t have children, making sure that they can interfere with the raising of children totally to feed their own sense of self-worth and justify more power to government and bureaucrats. Of course society is to pay for the plastic surgery, not the parents. Just more rational how liberals wish to rob parents of their children through their own damn selfishness and secular tyranny.

Ben

July 29th, 2012
7:40 pm

Ever notice how the majority of alleged bullying stories come from the 4th & 5th Congressional districts that are packed with liberals and psychologists who feed the victim mentality?

Hillbilly D

July 29th, 2012
9:05 pm

But did I miss why bullies aren’t being yanked up by the short hairs for their behavior?

The best way to deal with a bully is to bloody their nose. You can’t do that nowadays because of “zero tolerance”. The kid who bloodied the bully’s nose would be in more trouble than the bully.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

July 29th, 2012
9:09 pm

@Oepipus tax ” What really matters are liberals, most of which don’t have children…”

What? Where did you dig that statistic up… I would guess, but it would be impolite to mention.

” Of course society is to pay for the plastic surgery, not the parents.”

The surgery was paid for by a charity – not taxpayers.

catlady

July 29th, 2012
9:17 pm

About my younger daughter at age 5, a friend, and fellow teacher said, “She doesn’t grant authority very easily.” And I was about to say how sorry I was, but she said, “No, you don’t WANT her to grant authority very easily. When she is 13 or 14 you want her to be strong enough to say, ‘No, I am not going along with that.’” I think we should bring up our kids to be strong enough not to give too much credence to what their peers think when it is something stupid like ears or scars or dumb ideas. JMHO

Reallyperplexed

July 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! I am not speaking of the surgery being wrong and in this case nothing is plastic about the surgery, but you that post most realize that we are judged on our looks, weight, height, clothing and the list goes on whether you want to agree or not If we can help kids “fit-in” and not have students look at them differently, then I say “Yes.” Teaching kids to be kind in this society when every tv ad is based on sexuality, clothing, cosmetics, anti-aging creams, hair color –etc., so, I reiterate back to you: what message are we giving our kids?

cory J

July 29th, 2012
9:39 pm

I think that it’s OK for teenagers to have plastic surgery as long as their reasons are justified–i.e. in the case mentioned above. I do not agree however if kids want to have plastic surgery just because they want it and it will make them popular in school. I am the PR head of Philippine Plastic Surgeon, a plastic surgery clinic in the Philippines and we want to educate people about the do’s and dont’s of plastic surgery. I personally believe that plastic surgery for teenagers should be guided by their parents but aside from that, they should also teach their children how to love themselves first.

Dr. Monica Henson

July 29th, 2012
9:59 pm

I’m with Aged P and Hillbilly D in their sentiments: “But did I miss why bullies aren’t being yanked up by the short hairs for their behavior?

The best way to deal with a bully is to bloody their nose. You can’t do that nowadays because of ‘zero tolerance.’ The kid who bloodied the bully’s nose would be in more trouble than the bully.”

I have always dealt pretty severely with bullying (not garden-variety sniping back and forth between kids who are social equals, but systematic cruelty and hurtfulness toward a victim by a more socially powerful child or group of kids). It has been the singularly most difficult aspect of school administration I have experienced because of the extreme indifference of so many teachers and administrators toward it, as well as the virulent response of the parents of almost every bully I have disciplined.

The first thing that crosses my mind when I see extreme cases such as this girl is what were the teachers and administrators doing (or not doing) in response to her plight, that she and her parents felt they had to go to this length to remedy the situation themselves? Every child deserves to go to school to learn and feel safe. When a student is bullied mercilessly, it is the fault of the adults charged with his/her care and education. Sadly, a pretty strong majority of the adults I have worked with over the past two decades do not see intervention in bullying and disciplining of students who engage in such behavior as their responsibility. And I’ve only had one single set of parents of a bully who faced the fact that their child was doing it, held their child accountable, and took steps to discipline their child without blaming me for bringing it to their attention, claiming it didn’t really happen, or turn their fury on the victim instead.

Hillbilly D

July 29th, 2012
10:15 pm

Dr Monica Henson

I had a friend who was a teacher and she had a girl (high school) in one of her classes who was the subject of this kind of stuff. She said she reported it but nothing was ever done. One day the girl had enough and bloodied the nose (literally) of a boy who was tormenting her. What happened? They had the girl arrested. My friend said the hell with it and left the teaching field at the end of the school year. She did say that the look on the boys face after the girl popped him, was priceless.

Dr. Monica Henson

July 29th, 2012
10:26 pm

Hillbilly D, nothing makes me more upset with my staff (in previous schools where I’ve worked) than to find out about a bullying situation and learn that it was reported, often to multiple adults, and nothing was done about it. I have dealt with students who retaliated against bullies, and I did not impose zero tolerance or any other such nonsense. I investigated the situation, interviewed several witnesses, and then made my own decision that one student instigated it. Punishment was imposed on the instigator, not the victim. Invariably, the parents of the instigator would react with swift and loud objections. It’s a lie, pure and simple, that an administrator “can’t do anything” without an adult eyewitness. Administrators in public schools have very broad authority to handle disciplinary incidents. It always has amazed me the lengths that adults in schools will go to avoid intervening in bullying by students, and the CYA games that they will play after the fact when a tragedy occurs as a direct result of their negligence. I’d like to see the courts take a far stronger stance on immunity of school officials when children commit suicide over systematic harassment and bullying. The behaviors that child bullies inflict on their victims would be criminally charged as harassment, assault & battery, etc., if an adult committed them against another adult, but far too many adults in schools view it as just how kids are and do nothing. Then they claim that they didn’t know anything about it when it blows up in everyone’s face as a suicide or a school shooting.

I’ve had staff members react with anger to the point of near-insubordination over simply recording and reporting bully incidents. To me, it’s a simple matter of the civil right to a public education.

Archie

July 29th, 2012
11:02 pm

@Dr. Monica Henson: I saw the very same thing too many times myself and I saw a lot of teachers who had simply given up and said they would not intervene unless there was blood on the floor (literally!) Why? Because they knew the administrators would not back them up because they didn’t want the parents to get mad! If I were to commit some of the acts some of these kids do and tell the judge I didn’t know it was against the law, the judge would likely say; “Ignorance is no excuse for the law!” That kind of ignorance, in my way of thinking, should be addressed in a SPECIAL SCHOOL for socially maladjusted students!

Ole Guy

July 29th, 2012
11:14 pm

Before leaving the coveted environs of vacationland, where multiple visits to my favorite site in one day is possible, let’s take a look…a realistic look…at this notion:

We, as a society…kids included…have come to almost embrace the concept of INSTANT, the short-term, relatively easy way of achieving that which we desire. What we’re talking about, with this “bullying vs anti-bullying” scenario is, plain and clear, a human relations issue…how we view one another, both in physical appearance and, more importantly, behavioral characteristics. While there’s not a helluva lot the kid can do about, say, big ears, big nose, the need to don spectacles, etc, the kid CAN learn a lot about self; about character, and how, in a REASONABLE manner, to deal with the inevitable poo poo life is sure to fling in his direction. Is the kid going to learn that any-and-all of life’s “displeasures” can be artificially dealt with by, in effect, hiding one’s head in the sands of indifference? Would it not be better to teach the kid to meet life’s poo poo in reasonable fashion? The day this 4th grader walked into class, adorned with glasses, the immediate response, from a few class blockheads, was FOUREYES FOUREYES! Of course, Sister Meanface simply suggested I ignore the taunts from otherwise good kids. Walking out to recess, I sucker-punched one of the provocateures, upon which Sister Meanface proceeded to “beat up” on the two of us. As the years rolled by, and yours truly, for a variety of reasons, became intimately familiar with the working end of the paddle, at some point in time, with the advent of maturity and even a spot or two of wisdom, I learned that there just might be a better way to deal with whatever pissed me off…IT’S CALLED GROWING UP!

Rather than learning to deal with life’s curveballs, in a realistic manner, all this plastic surgery stuff is going to achieve is send the message that YOU CAN ALWAYS HIDE FROM THE PROBLEM (I believe Maureen has employed the “action” word DEFLECT). If the kid grows up thinking that problems can be “deflected”, rather than dealt with and ultimatly resolved, albiet sometimes painfully, all we’re doing is setting him up for disappointment.

I know I know, kids aren’t suppose to fight…it’s un-pc, and the kid might soil his pantalons. (maybe, just maybe that’s a contributing reason for youth misbehavior and self-inflicted harm…ya think? The frustration of not being able to do anything/to mix it up as kids have been doing since the invention of the little red school house…maybe, just maybe there’s more harm in trying to “protect” kids than simply letting em be kids. Think about it.

NullOp

July 29th, 2012
11:19 pm

Surgery to stop bullying? Step back and think about that! The bullying behavior is wrong, mean and against all school rules, everywhere. But since our society is too lame to stop it we’ll do surgery on kids so they won’t be targeted, maybe. Really, REALLY?

Dr. Monica Henson

July 29th, 2012
11:24 pm

@Archie: As an administrator who was willling and able to deal with bullying, I was shocked to find many teachers who did not even want to fill out a simple referral on bullies, and who became quite angered at me for noting that it is their responsibility as educators and citing them when I found that they had allowed it to happen without intervening. And I was doubly shocked at the number of administrators I’ve worked with who felt the same–that dealing with bullying is a time-suck that isn’t worth their while, that it’s a rite of passage, that the victims bring it on themselves, etc. Just unbelievable.

Joel

July 29th, 2012
11:45 pm

Sure, just what we need, kids who become dependent on fake bodily appearance so that they grow up dependent on body modifications in order to gain/maintain self-esteem. To grow up and have cosmetic surgeries to the point that their lives may be jeopardized, only to have self esteem. Helping them feel better about theirself is the proper way to help these kids, not make them feel better about someone a plastic surgeon turns them into. To stop the bullying, what’s wrong with adults doing something? No child or group of children should be in day care or school without adult supervision. Watch the kids rather than gossiping over coffee.

Another comment

July 30th, 2012
12:05 am

Growing up on an almost nightly basis, I was subject to being taunted about my big nose by my own Father. He would even tell someone at the dinner table to get up and get a measuring tape, and measure my mother, brother and my nose to see who had the bigger noses. Of course, the three of us all had my mothers looks and were all thin. My father and my sisters were overweight and looked more like my fathers side of the family. My mother sat and did nothing. I grew up to hate my nose and my looks. My mother has never once in my life told me I am beautiful, despite my almost being her twin. At 24, one of my roommates told me she was sick of me complaining about my nose. She called up a plastic surgeon one of her other friends use to be the PA for and made me an appointment to get my nose fixed. Following through on the appointment Ann made was the best decision of my life. I have had the nose that truly belongs on my face since 1985.

After year’s of therapy, I have come to the concussion that my mother was the real abuser. She sat by and encouraged the bullying by my father. She is just like the school administers who sit by and allow the bullying to go on and on. She allowed both my sister’s to be raging food addicts, after all according to her they had the big bones of my fathers side of the family. Big bones don’t equate to a 50 percent BMI and over 300 lbs. She buys the donuts, sodas, chips that would make anyone 300 lbs if they ate for emotional fulfillment.

Schools need to treat bullying like another form of child abuse.

Stop it all

July 30th, 2012
12:07 am

WHY can’t our society just let kids be kids? Stop all this plastic surgery for the young folks. Breast implants, lipo, etc. They are KIDS!!!!!!!!!

Even the adults and tanning, etc. I have a question: Why can’t White people just be White? Some of you get so dark with all that tanning, you’re darker than some Black people! Yet, if you were born that way, you’d freak out. Just be White. Just have your normal looks. Geez.

Our entire society is out of control: bullying, racism [still]; same-sex folks who don’t understand that seeing something differently doesn’t mean ‘hate’; politicians can’t get along; Rushbo (and his ilk) spewing hatred for three hours every day. The reality/brutality shows that people watch. Parents no longer discipline their kids. Sick society.

Bernie

July 30th, 2012
2:13 am

A Quick note : For all the President Obama haters here posting lie after lie about free coverage. This particular type of plastic surgery is a non covered service by 99% of the insurance plans today. This is a service that would considered non essential and must be paid 100% out of pocket by the parents and or guardian. It certainly would not be remotely considered under the Presidents plan as most of the Republican posters allude too here erroneously.

drew (former teacher)

July 30th, 2012
6:21 am

Well, I’m not sure what the best response to bullying is, but I’m pretty sure it’s NOT plastic surgery.

Dr, Henson says:
“I was shocked to find many teachers who did not even want to fill out a simple referral on bullies…”

I can’t say I’m shocked. Perhaps that’s because many of these teachers know that most administrators have no desire to involve themselves in such “petty” issues….let the teacher deal with it! The administrative response would probably focus on the teacher’s behavior, as in:

1) has the teacher provided “consequences” for said bully (detention, extra work, etc.)?
2) has the teacher called the parents of the bully?
3) has the teacher scheduled a conference with the bully’s parents?
4) what other interventions has the teacher attempted?

At the last school I worked in, unless it was life threatening, you were “required” to have done all of the above PRIOR to picking up that office referral.

Administrators don’t want to deal with the bullying. They’d prefer that teachers take care of it, and if the teacher can’t “fix it”, perhaps some professional development classes are in order, to improve their classroom management skills. In their eyes, bullying isn’t the problem…it’s simply a failure on the part of the teacher to manage their classroom. Right?

Tom

July 30th, 2012
6:33 am

It teaches kids that the world likes, and accepts what it perceives as “normal” and is very intolerant of the perceived “abnormal” or different. Sad….but true!

lynnie gal

July 30th, 2012
7:26 am

I have no problem with surgically correcting obvious defects in a child’s appearance if it causes the child shame, psychological pain, and causes them to withdraw. Parents can choose to do it not because of bullies, but because they think it will improve the self-esteem of the child in the long haul. Unfortunately, appearance does count too much in our society, but you’ve gotta live in it the best way that you can. If some obvious and easily corrected feature can be made with plastic surgery that is affordable to the parents, and if the child is onboard with the process, it may help the child throughout their life.

Mountain Man

July 30th, 2012
7:41 am

Schools don’t have the cojones to stop even regular discipline problems, let alone bullying behavior. Let someone get killed and then, and only then, will anyone take notice. Bullying is ubiqitous and schools won’t EVER challenge a parent to stop bullying behavior. I remember the Cherokee bullying death twelve years ago. One child died and the other has been in prison for twelve years, and is sullen and resentful over what he calls “an accident”. He was bullying other kids long before he sucker-punched the kid that died, and the school and the bus drivers and, most of all, his parents, turned a blind eye.

Mountain Man

July 30th, 2012
7:43 am

“I was shocked to find many teachers who did not even want to fill out a simple referral on bullies…”

That is because then they would have to deal with the parents who cannot believe that “their little angel” would ever do anything wrong.

Mountain Man

July 30th, 2012
7:45 am

“Because they knew the administrators would not back them up because they didn’t want the parents to get mad!”

That is correct, Archie.

Daculan

July 30th, 2012
7:49 am

Wow is this an irresponsible article and that book! Parents – please keep on parenting. As much as the Socialists might want to diminish your influence – you still have a lot of influence IF you are doing it right. If their friends are a greater influence, then you should really consider who their friends are.
If your kids are being bullied at school, then ADVOCATE for your child!! Make the school listen; there is a pressure point they will eventually bow to, you just have to find that pressure point. Work with the other parents if they are responsible, work with the school if they are not. Plastic surgery on children is a horrible idea except in the most extreme of circumstances. If you allow your teen minor surgery; you are teaching them that they are not likeable as they are.

Quit watching Jersey Shore – that is not real life!

Mountain Man

July 30th, 2012
7:52 am

“Parents – please keep on parenting. ”

And that means if you are the parent of a bully, pull him/her up short and put some severe discipline in place – or else he/she may end up in prison with a life sentence for “an accident”.

Amber

July 30th, 2012
7:59 am

There are several different situations mentioned here. When a child is born with an extremely noticeable defect and a parent chooses to fix it as soon as medically possible that is understandable, but as far as children being bullied and getting plastic surgery because of it there is a much larger problem there than whatever physical trait they are being bullied for. I do not have any children yet, but having still awesome parents as an adult I know teaching children a strong sense of self and to look for and work on the attributes they do have is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than focusing or especially changing their, “faults.” For example, I went to high school with a young man that was very fit, a wonderful baseball player and lots of fun to be around, but he was often picked on for his big ears……….never once did I see it effect him and having met his parents I know he valued himself enough not to worry about the random comments. If the bullying has become that bad a therapist may be in order, but as far as children getting plastic surgery because of it I find that ridiculous to even think about.