Why does someone become a bully?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,793
    Dr. Ted Feinberg of the National Association of School Psychologists explains why some children engage in bullying.

    Ted Feinberg

    Dr. Feinberg has over 30 years of broad-based human services experience in the mental health field. He has extensive background in consultation and counseling with children, adolescents, adults and families. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. In August 2000, Dr. Feinberg assumed his current position as Assistant Executive Director for Professional Development for the National Association of School Psychologists. His new responsibilities include program development, oversight of advocacy, government and public relations, public policy initiatives, interagency networking as well as professional standards and ethics. Dr. Feinberg has also co-authored two chapters for a Best Practices book on crisis intervention in the schools, book chapters and numerous articles for the NASP Communiqué. Dr. Feinberg was one of the six members of the core workgroup who developed the nationally recognized PREPaRE crisis prevention and intervention training curriculum. Dr. Feinberg has been the Director of Albany Counseling and Crisis Intervention Services and the Senior School Psychologist for the North Colonie Schools near Albany, N.Y. He has been a member of the Graduate School faculties at Russell Sage College, University of New York at Albany, the University of Maryland and George Mason University. Dr. Feinberg completed his doctoral and postdoctoral training at the University of New York at Albany. In October 1995, the New York State Association of School Psychologists selected Dr. Feinberg as Practicioner of the Year. Dr. Feinberg completed his second trip to Panama where he assisted the United States Department of Defense with their reduction in force efforts. He was one of the founding members and Chairman for the NASP National Emergency Assistance team and has volunteered his time to do crisis intervention training and disaster mental health work for the American Red Cross and the National Organization for Victim Assistance. Dr. Feinberg was the team leader for NEAT/NOVA in Spotsylvania, Virginia where three adolescent girls from the community were abducted, molested and murdered. In April 1999, he was invited to Littleton, Colorado after the worst school shooting tragedy in US history to consult with school and community members impacted by the horrific event. Dr. Feinberg was the keynote speaker for the New York State Governors’ Conference on the Prevention of School Violence on March 5, 1999. He was also appointed to then Governor Pataki’s New York State Blue Ribbon Task Force on School Violence.

    Speaker: Why does someone becomes a bully?

    Dr. Ted Feinberg: There are variety of reasons some of which I have mentioned in terms of atmosphere in the home, what they see on television, what they experiences living in the community. If there is violence theme in the home or the community, the child may get warp sense of what is socially appropriate.

    In other cases, its an attempt on the part of bully to dominate and control and intimidate another individual and there is some perverse pleasures they get by doing that. In some cases, they think that by doing this, they will go on a peer approval and recognition as being kind of macho, but in any case of bullying behavior the child needs to learn alternative ways of the dealing with their feels and emotions and alternative ways in understanding that the victim is a human being and not deserving of this type of torment and torture, because as I said earlier, in some case when bullying goes on undiagnosed for extended periods of time, what results is one or two terrible outcomes.

    A child is so much in pain as a result of this behavior that they see no way out and they commit suicide or consider committing suicide as a way of getting this money off their back. In other cases, the situation becomes much more externally violent and what we have seen over the years is that many of youngsters, who have engaged in school shooting behavior were in fact bullied individuals and they saw no way of remedying the problem, short of bringing a weapon to school, to settle the score. Sos, in this situation the outcome is tragic and its important to note that individuals, who engage in bullying behavior, who go unchecked have a much, much higher incidences of being involved in the criminal justices system by the time they are in their mid 20s, than the kids who do not bully.

    So its to the benefit of the bully, if we can find ways to get them to alter their behaviors and it reduces the potential that that individual will be in jail for these types behavior because if they continue that type of bulling behavior into adulthood then it becomes an issue for law enforcement and for or criminal justice system.