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School Bullies Are Just Tired

Illustration for article titled School Bullies Are Just Tired

Maybe that kid who picked on you every day in second period wasn't actually an asshole. He/she may have just been really, really exhausted:

"The researchers found that children who had behavioral issues were twice as likely to have shown symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, like snoring or daytime sleepiness. Among children whom parents specifically identified as school bullies, the finding was similar."


Hope that makes everything okay!

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As someone who works with children with severe behavior problems, the comments in this article make me really sad.

I work as a residential counselor at a 24/7 program for children with behavioral issues. These are the kids who attack other kids in school or jump on the teacher's desk and break everything on it. These are also the kids who watched dad pound the shit out of mom every night. These are also the kids who got repeatedly raped. The kids who sometimes weren't fed for days. There is not a single kid in this program that wasn't SEVERELY abused and neglected. I literally cannot read any of their case histories without crying.

A lot of these kids have sleeping issues because, well, abuse normally comes at night.

I guess my point is that these kids would easily be considered the worst bullies in their respective schools. And I'm sure that it makes you feel fine and dandy to point at bullies and go, "RIGHT THERE! That kid is a little piece of shit!" But in real life it is hard to do that.

I am not saying that all bullies are abused or that kids who have been beaten to a pulp every night get a free pass for the rest of their lives. I guess I just believe that, if a 7-year-old is severely bullying others, they likely have other issues going on at home that it causing that.

Oh, last point that seems to have been missed: This was all behavioral problems, not just bullying.

(Sorry if I sound preachy, I just had an 8-hour shift and I come home every day with my heart just aching for these kids.)