Author Topic: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming  (Read 14179 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CookieChica

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 331
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #90 on: August 31, 2013, 09:10:50 AM »
Quote
I won't go into all the forms the bullying takes. Sharnita covered most of them. One example, though, is when the class sings "Happy Birthday" to a child. How is nerd a positive term when some kids sing, "Happy Nerds-day to you"?

If the bullies are this lame, they have a lot of nerve calling other kids nerds.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #91 on: August 31, 2013, 09:25:37 AM »
Bullying is bullying..whether it is a cheerleader picking on the shy girl, the football player picking on the small kid, the thug going after the nerd, and yes the nerd picking on the slower kid (I have seen that).  But again, Nerds, around my area, are now seen as cool and the term is not derogatory (I am a proud nerd).  But again, unless this is a school your child currently attends and he/she sees that this activity is demeaning and causing issues with bullying, you don't have a dog in the fight to say anything because you only have strong feelings against it (and that is alright) but no real information as to whether it is a bad thing.

Oh Joy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1370
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #92 on: August 31, 2013, 09:44:01 AM »
I see 'nerd as a dress style' and 'nerd as an insult to a smart person' as two very different things.  Regardless, bullying just doesn't play into it for me, as bullies will find a reason to insult their target no matter how they dress or how smart they are/aren't.

FWIW, I was one of those really smart kids.  I also had a letter to the editor published in the BigCity paper when they misused that very word.  But this just doesn't raise my dander.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #93 on: August 31, 2013, 10:33:44 AM »
Some kids who are nerds might be bullied. But that doesn't mean that all kids who are nerds are bullied nor does it mean that being a nerd is the sole reason they are bullied - some nerds aren't bullied. Some fat kids are bullied, some fat kids aren't bullied. Some rich kids in poor schools are bullied, some are not. Some poor kids are bullied, some are not. Some kids with braces are bullied, or red hair, or gay parents, or who play musical instruments, or who are short or tall, or who are sexually active, or who are not sexually active, or any host of things. And you know what? Yes even cheerleaders and athletic kids get bullied - plenty of cheer squads, etc have mean-girl vibes going on with one girl within their group being the scape goat.

Usually kids who are bullied have something different about them, but often times its something random and not all that different. There are many reasons why a kid might be bullied and sometimes its not even about the victim as much a its about the bully himself.

I think to say "being a nerd = being bullied" is ridiculous, and to imply being a cheerleader or the like means no bullying ever occurs is dangerous. Does it happen that sometimes some nerds are bullied? Of course it does. But that doesn't mean it always does, or to all of them, or to only them. Because it doesn't. Bullying is something that can and does happen to all sorts of people.

OP's son was bullied - I don't doubt it if she says its so. But no one knows for sure, not even her or him, if it might have happened even if he didn't do better then his classmates academically. He might have been picked on no matter what. He might have initially been targeted for saying the wrong things, or for not liking something popular, or looking different and the fact he's smart was simply tacked on as another and easy to spot thing to focus on. The only ones who know exactly why the OP's son was bullied are the bullys - and they, as children, might not even clearly understand why. If it was more then one kid bullying, many might have simply been following the herd.
 
Having a "dress up" day is a way to encourage kids to be excited about going to school. A way to make school fun. will each theme work for every kid? Of course not. But its important to look at the bigger picture - if kids who think school and doing well = uncool can change, even a tiny bit to think school is awesome even in just a small way, that's overall helping the situation of an academically struggling school.

MariaE

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4681
  • So many books, so little time
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #94 on: August 31, 2013, 12:31:15 PM »
MariaE, I've worked with at least 2,000 students on a first person basis in a professional context and have personal relationships via family and friends with several others. I feel pretty comfortable with my data.

I never claimednthat you shouldn't be, I'm just saying that my experience is different.


StuckInCube, I deliberately only mentioned high school and up.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

Acadianna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1176
  • Remember -- no matter where you go, there you are.
    • My Dragons
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #95 on: August 31, 2013, 12:53:50 PM »
Having a "dress up" day is a way to encourage kids to be excited about going to school. A way to make school fun. will each theme work for every kid? Of course not. But its important to look at the bigger picture - if kids who think school and doing well = uncool can change, even a tiny bit to think school is awesome even in just a small way, that's overall helping the situation of an academically struggling school.

Encouraging students to wear clothes that mock what an often-bullied sub-group allegedly wears is not an appropriate way to encourage kids to be excited about school or to make school fun.  If the theme doesn't work for every kid -- if, indeed, the theme sets up some students as the targets of so-called "good fun" -- then the school is promoting the same exclusionary mindset that leads to bullying.

Nobody is claiming that every "nerd" gets bullied or that cheerleaders/athletes never get bullied.  We are saying that schools should not encourage bullying of any student by creating "us vs. them" activities.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28641
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #96 on: August 31, 2013, 12:56:00 PM »
Some kids who are nerds might be bullied. But that doesn't mean that all kids who are nerds are bullied nor does it mean that being a nerd is the sole reason they are bullied - some nerds aren't bullied. Some fat kids are bullied, some fat kids aren't bullied. Some rich kids in poor schools are bullied, some are not. Some poor kids are bullied, some are not. Some kids with braces are bullied, or red hair, or gay parents, or who play musical instruments, or who are short or tall, or who are sexually active, or who are not sexually active, or any host of things. And you know what? Yes even cheerleaders and athletic kids get bullied - plenty of cheer squads, etc have mean-girl vibes going on with one girl within their group being the scape goat.

Usually kids who are bullied have something different about them, but often times its something random and not all that different. ....

Having a "dress up" day is a way to encourage kids to be excited about going to school. A way to make school fun. will each theme work for every kid? Of course not. But its important to look at the bigger picture - if kids who think school and doing well = uncool can change, even a tiny bit to think school is awesome even in just a small way, that's overall helping the situation of an academically struggling school.

Then why earth would a school choose to deliberate point out a subculture in their school and "other" it? This is not "let's celebrate nerd culture," this is deliberate mocking of a group of the school's own students.

And if you want to make succeeding in school a "cool" thing, it's odd to focus on a group that traditionally is intelligent and hardworking. Maybe it would be even more inspirational to have a "dress up as a drop out day"? But, of course, no school would do that, because they'd immediately see how off-putting that would be to many marginalized students. However, it appears that we should not worry about marginalizing students who find academics and intellectual pursuits a refuge, because where are they going to go?

There are plenty of ways to introduce fun into school without implicitly endorsing "we have students in this school who are socially awkward and may even dress differently that the rest of us. They are really funny, aren't they?" This is absolutely school-sanctioned bullying.

The fact that the op's child was upset by this is enough reason she should complain. If it were "dress up as (sexual, racial or neurological subgroup)," I'm sure most people would see right away why this is a bad idea. Just because something has been done in the past, it's no reason to refuse to reconsider if its a good idea.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Acadianna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1176
  • Remember -- no matter where you go, there you are.
    • My Dragons
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #97 on: August 31, 2013, 01:07:37 PM »
Just because something has been done in the past, it's no reason to refuse to reconsider if its a good idea.

And just because something is "intended to be fun" and "not meant to hurt" doesn't mean it's perfectly OK to do.

"We were just having a little fun" and "we didn't mean to hurt anybody" are pathetic excuses when bullies use them (and these are their signature excuses).  They are utterly disgraceful coming from a school.

esposita

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 559
  • If you have the power to make someone happy, do it
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #98 on: August 31, 2013, 02:05:27 PM »
So what happens next year when the "cool" kids realize there is no nerd day, ask a staff member about it, and are told that it was cancelled because students and families were offended?

I don't see that going well for the "nerds."

Cancelling this "event" while allowing the bullying and hatred to continue in other areas seems to me like cleaning the outside of the pot, while allowing mold to continue to grow on the inside. I don't see it helping... just my two cents. :D

yokozbornak

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1225
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #99 on: August 31, 2013, 02:19:13 PM »
OP, the major point to me is the fact that you don't have a child at the school so I am not sure how you complaining would have any impact whatsoever.  Since you actually pulled him out of school of the school, I would imagine that whatever you say will be seen as sour grapes.  I think you should re-direct your anger and focus on getting your son the best education possible.  In truth, what they do at the school no longer has any impact on you or your son and you are worked up over something that really isn't your business at this point.


Acadianna

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1176
  • Remember -- no matter where you go, there you are.
    • My Dragons
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #100 on: August 31, 2013, 02:27:25 PM »
So what happens next year when the "cool" kids realize there is no nerd day, ask a staff member about it, and are told that it was cancelled because students and families were offended?

Why not simply tell them that the school decided to vary the program with new activities?

Or better yet, the school could just tell them that making fun of some students is just plain wrong.

twiggy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 785
  • wonder what this thing is
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #101 on: August 31, 2013, 02:31:07 PM »
I agree with the posters, most recently yokozbornak, who say that OP doesn't have a dog in this fight. Also, with the history that OP has with the school, I think they will be even less interested in her opinion than any other person in the community who doesn't have a child at that school.

One thing I am noticing though, is that in this discussion, nerd=smart kid. I don't think that this is always the case. I remember a boy I knew from elementary into high school who was the epitome of "nerd." He wore nerdy clothes, wore big, thick glasses, stuttered, had nerdy hobbies, teacher's pet, etc. He was a struggling, C-average student. I knew him a little better than most of my schoolmates because we were on the chess team together for a while.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28641
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #102 on: August 31, 2013, 02:36:05 PM »
I agree with the posters, most recently yokozbornak, who say that OP doesn't have a dog in this fight. Also, with the history that OP has with the school, I think they will be even less interested in her opinion than any other person in the community who doesn't have a child at that school.

One thing I am noticing though, is that in this discussion, nerd=smart kid. I don't think that this is always the case. I remember a boy I knew from elementary into high school who was the epitome of "nerd." He wore nerdy clothes, wore big, thick glasses, stuttered, had nerdy hobbies, teacher's pet, etc. He was a struggling, C-average student. I knew him a little better than most of my schoolmates because we were on the chess team together for a while.

How do you think this student would have felt if there was a day where other students were encouraged to dress up as caricatures of him?
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

esposita

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 559
  • If you have the power to make someone happy, do it
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #103 on: August 31, 2013, 02:50:45 PM »
So what happens next year when the "cool" kids realize there is no nerd day, ask a staff member about it, and are told that it was cancelled because students and families were offended?

Why not simply tell them that the school decided to vary the program with new activities?

Or better yet, the school could just tell them that making fun of some students is just plain wrong.

Oh I agree, that would be ideal! But with the history of the school given by the OP I doubt that would be the outcome, sadly.

CluelessBride

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1647
Re: Dress like a Nerd day - I'm fuming
« Reply #104 on: August 31, 2013, 03:25:58 PM »
The thing is, there would be a lot of ways to have the same basic dress up day without using what is, at best, a controversial label.  Mismatched clothes day, suspenders day, even something like Urkel day would all be more neutral. In high school we would have "Western dress" day instead of "Cowboy" day for just that reason. Western wear is a fashion style. Cowboy is a group of people. In my opinion it is an important distinction.

The dictionary definition of nerd is: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits (Merriam Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nerd). That is an absolutely awful thing to call someone. In recent years, many people have re-appropriated the word in a positive way as a way to empower themselves against cruel stereotypes and bullying. But that doesn't make it an acceptable thing to call people.