Bullying, peer pressure
John Waidner (JTWaidner@AOL.COM)
Tue, 20 Dec 1994 23:06:14 -0500
For those of you who haven't caught Ian's essay on the subject of bullying
you need to read it.
I haven't much to add but to relate a personal experience. Some years ago I
found myself in the military, more sepecifically that phase of military life
known in the States as "basic training". I can recall having to apply a bit o
f "peer pressure" to a fellow trainee who was reluctant to wash and keep his
Now in more normal circumstances I could have distanced myself from this guy
and gone my separate way, but circumstances being what they were his sloven
ways severely impacted my life. The Training Instructor felt that it was the
entire Flight's (USAF) responsibility to see that this guy washed, etc., and
had various unpleasant means of getting his way. So one evening after lights
out Mr. Problem was given to understand that what he did after our forced
association was over was his business, but in the meantime he was going to
comply with expectations "or else". As with Ian, "or else" never had to be
applied but I do remember being quite serious about it at the time.
Another occasion arose in college after my military service was completed.
Half of my class were former GIs like myself, the remaining being guys who
entered college right out of high school. The older guys were <very> serious
about finishing school and getting on with life. Some of the younger guys
were less serious. One fellow had a habit of baiting professors, his
favorite being a physics prof who couldn't deal with it. After one class
where these two had gone at it for 20 minutes, two friends and I spoke with
the young fellow about his bahavior and its impact on our mission in life,
i.e., finishing school and getting a job. He got the message, which actually
was delivered without explicit theats. If he ever baited teachers again it
wasn't in any of the classes he shared with the three of us.
The moral of the story is not to discount peer pressure. It will work in
most cases. As Ian said, bullying will only continue as long as the cost to
the bully is zero.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City