Because I live with a teacher, I have become obsessed with Educating Cardiff, Educating Essex, Educating East End and Educating Yorkshire. (Yes, more reality TV). Currently I am watching Educating Cardiff. I’m not sure why I enjoy these shows so much, honestly they can get a bit repetitive, because there are a limited number of teenage problems the schools are prepared to air on national TV. But I do enjoy learning about what high school/ secondary school is like for children in the UK. (America would never ever allow a show to film the kids and staff in school)
I admit my education experience is far from the typical American’s, but I still know how it works. And one thing that most impresses me about the “Educating” series is how the schools make an obvious concerted effort to tackle bullying. They don’t tolerate students swearing to teachers or any sort of meanness towards other students. On one episode, I witnessed a boy get in trouble for merely intimidating a younger classmate. I think that UK is really getting this right!
In America, I know schools are attempting to target bullying, and cyber bullying more, but I can say they haven’t succeeded. When I was a teenager I was constantly bullied via texts or social media or in person. In my year 6 (I was 11-12) I actually had a boy physically spit on me. And never once did the bullies get in trouble. Despite the school being aware of the issues. Similar issues happened to my sister last year in a rural Missouri school. Girls picked on her and were mean. Again, the schools made no effort to stop it. I think it is because American adults attribute it all to “kids just being kids”.
But, I think it is this very mentality of kids behaving naturally and bullying is why a lot of American adults are mean and cruel in the workplace. I would have to say overall, we are just a nastier group of people. (Which is sad)
But in the UK the teachers and school staff fight bullying in all of its forms. They are much stricter about mobile phones in school, and as soon as a child is mean towards another it is dealt with. The USA and UK both experience a bullying problem. But from what my teacher housemate and the Educating series have told me, the UK is actually attempting to manage the issue. (Not to imply that America ignores the problem, it has just yet to find a method of managing the situation.)