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MA18-28 Bully Busting 101 with Doug Setter

Mental Health Awareness with Sara Troy and her guest Doug Setter, on air from July 3rd

Bully Busting 101

            The current “Nanny State” approach to bullying has failed in many ways:

  1. The victim has to rely on an institution to protect them.

  2. The schools set up an environment that not only encourages bullying but sets the school up for liability. (A friend’s son was punched at school, and following the school’s policy, put his hands behind his back and walked away.  The bully was allowed to hit others without fear of punishment.)

  3. The bully label is overused. A suspect and real bullies are being accused and bullied into not bullying.

One of the myths of bullying is that school shooters were driven to the act of destruction.  When in reality, school shooters were usually the biggest bullies with inflated egos and other bullies were NOT targeted.

The usual targets of bullying are the kids from different ethnic backgrounds, single-parent families and who have moved frequently.  Less stability, less home life and definitely less authority figures.  There is less respect for elders, fathers, mothers, teachers and law enforcement.  Teachers have little authority, police are constantly suspended and criticized and even military instructors are charged over the wrong comment.

This lack of authority makes the students and workers feel unsafe around bullies. Even young, “teen” elephants will calm down and stop destroying things in the company of older male elephants.

The overcrowding of classrooms, distressed family life, disconnected youth, the lack of Physical Education and exploiting media take away the confidence of young people.  Instead of talking with friends (about what jerks certain people are) or taking action, children rely on the passive, media advice and ever-shifting school and work policies.

30 years ago, even when bullied at school, there were opportunities for other students to shun the bully or for the victim to fight his/her way up the food chain.  Sometimes giving a bully a good threat or a kick-in-the-butt was enough to stop months and months of daily harassment and berating.

The individual has to be able to say, “Hey, that is out of line,” to the guilty parties.

In high school, I recall seeing the hockey team captain, twisting his girlfriend’s arm and laughing while she screamed.  No one said anything.  I was really surprised at all of the “cool” people just standing by.  It was about then, I realized that “the cavalry is not coming to the rescue.”  One has to rely on their own initiative for self-protection.

Later, in the military, I saw a trial of a trainee who committed sexual assault and clinically mentally ill instructor bully, harass and hurt trainees and staff.   None of the high commands did anything until I took unofficial action against both of these criminals.

This does not mean physically harming others or doing malicious acts.  Even self-defence involves humane “reasonable force.”  It does mean that the person has to build some moral fibre and self-confidence on their own.  While they do not have to buy a gun, hire a bodyguard or become a martial arts master.  It does mean having a sense of self and self-confidence.  That can only happen with the individual and not over-sensitivity or over-protection.

The “karate-mill” martial arts businesses are not really doing much service, either.  They water down their training to gain more students and leave many students with a false sense of confidence.





            Doug Setter is an author and fitness, self-defence and outdoor skills trainer.  He has a Bachelor of Science and has been a paratrooper, United Nations peacekeeper, marathon runner and kick-boxing competitor in Canada and Hong Kong. He is the author of Strength-endurance-secrets, Stomach Flattening, One Less Victim, Reduce Your Alcohol Craving and Simple Secrets to Handle Your Alcohol Better: Student’s Edition.

The Program:

  1. Develop self-confidence, self-reliance and self-trust.

  2. Push past self-imposed limits.

  3. Recognize and interrupt the processes of bullying, assault and robberies.

Book: One Less Victim: A Crime Prevention Manual  (and Study of Victimology)

Latest book: Strength-endurance-secrets: Build an Unstoppable 2nd Wind


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