What Are The Far-Reaching Consequences of School Bullying and Mobbing?

How many lives could’ve been saved if we’d spoken up sooner?

For years, everyone saw bullies picking on and ganging up on targets- they saw it on the playground, the hallways, the gym, the locker room, the bathrooms, the classrooms, and on the school bus and the target was driven to act out in violence.

No one cared about any of the bullying until targets started taking matters into their own hands- more appropriately, until they started bringing guns to school and blowing their bullies away, committing suicide, or both.

It’s a shame that people had to die before we finally began to take bullying seriously. Being treated like an object for too long, instead of a living, breathing, and feeling human being can make one enraged enough to want to kill or desperate enough to escape the torment by any means (suicide).

Thankfully, not all who suffer repeated and patterned bullying and mobbing commit homicide or suicide. Most targets suffer in silence. They live depressed, isolated, bewildered, and confused because they’ve had their self-confidence stripped away. In that, they’re prevented from realizing their full potential and capabilities.

Many children and teens are terrified of getting on the school bus and many more stay silent for fear of retribution. Young targets endure torment others cannot possibly comprehend and much of the wounds and bruises are unseen. Just because someone isn’t bludgeoned, bruised, and bloodied on the outside doesn’t mean they aren’t they aren’t so inside. Physical wounds can be seen but wounds to the soul can’t.

Bullying and mobbing leave permanent scars. Even after time has gone by, the memories are still fresh. In fact, they’re so deeply entrenched that even decades later, targets can still remember the names of those who instigated the mobbing, those who joined in and partook in it, those who encouraged it, and those who pretended to be their friends but didn’t have their back and refused to help them.

As a survivor of school bullying and mobbing myself, I can tell you that I remember the names of every single one of my classmates who fell in the above categories, one of whom I thought was a close friend. I only recently stopped talking to this woman and was a fool not to have kicked her sorry butt to the curb years ago.

Every survivor I’ve ever spoken too remembers these things specifically.

Understand that when a child or teen is bullied and mobbed by virtually everyone, minor occurrences of ridicule, name-calling, and shunning may occur. However, things such as these build up over time.

What ends up breaking and killing the target’s spirit and self-image is the accumulation of so many incidences of so many classmates brutally bullying her and the fact that the abuse comes from everyone and from every direction.

But I guarantee that if you were to tell each of the target’s classmates what they were doing and tell them of the damage they had done to that targeted child, they would either deny it or respond with, “But all I did was…!”

Again, these “little attacks” come from many, many directions and over a long period of time against the same person- this is one of the biggest hallmarks of mobbing.

I’ve asked other survivors of school bullying and mobbing why they think their classmates mobbed them and not one of them knows why. Each one of these people, even decades later, wonder what they did to encourage their schoolmates to gang up on them and torment them the way that they did.

I always tell them that they did nothing to deserve that kind of treatment and that they should never blame themselves for their classmates’ atrocious behavior.

During my years of research on bullying and mobbing, I’ve learned that mobbing is always caused by a trivial conflict that’s not even personal but somehow, becomes personal later. The origins of mobbing can be anything- a potential target is a new student at the school, or the potential target says something that isn’t necessarily bad but rubs the wrong kids the wrong way.

Maybe the potential target is different, or maybe the child is highly intelligent to the point of overshadowing members of the top clique. It could be that the potential target brags about something and ticks off the rest of the class, or wears clothes that are out of fashion and the bullies use it as an excuse to torment the kid.

And long after the initial cause of the bullying is over and forgotten, the bullying continues.

Understand that if you were to ask bullies why they mobbed and tormented a certain individual, they either wouldn’t know the reason, or they would give an answer that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Therefore, targets and survivors alike must realize that the mobbing and bullying they presently struggle with or endured in the past was never about anything they said or did. It was never about them. It was always about their bullies’ own mental health issues. It was about the bullies’ senses of self-entitlement, their insecurities, feelings of self-loathing, and intense jealousy.

And once they realize these things, their self-esteem won’t take such a big hit.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Feeding Frenzy

About 200 beasts hungrily stood in line to get their pound of flesh.
The first time they saw me they envisioned meat so succulent and fresh.

As they rooted and feasted on my frail body they locked their jaws so rough.
The bloody, meaty pieces were so addictive they couldn’t get enough.

With bottomless pits, they came back for more, more, and more still.
No matter how much flesh they took, they could never get their fill.

As they looked at me from their desks with fire and brimstine in their eyes.
They salivated, smacking their lips and licking their chops and they did rise.

To the occasion.
In anticipation.

Their eyes narrowed into little slits as they bore their stained-pink teeth at me.
But although they’d sink them deeper into my jugular, my death wasn’t to be.

They smelled the fear and lusted after my blood as they anticipated.
This wolf pack stayed ravenous and were never close to satiated.

The brutal kill and resulting feast they desired but could never quite attain.
Because they could never be satisfied with even the maximum amount of pain.

These vampires, they desired to suck the lifeblood from my body until there was no more left.
Only of my life-giving blood, they could never quite leave me bereft.

So they couldn’t resist nor get enough of it’s sweet but metallic taste.
They couldn’t rip and tear severely enough, so their energy they’d only waste.

They couldn’t get enough of the deliciousness of the raw meat of power.
So in their discontent they’d sit and in bitterness they would glower.

While grinding their boot heels into the back of my neck.
In their evil favor, they had to work feverishly to stack the deck.

But surprise, I survived and my body’s gaping wounds did close and heal.
My precious life’s blood those vampires could never completely steal.

I finally escaped my evil predators and began to grow stronger.
Under their dirty, nasty, grubby paws I remained trapped no longer.

The near-fatal, bleeding wounds they inflicted soon turned to scars.
But you see? The scars bullies inflict can help you reach the stars.

School Mobbing

The more I learn about bullying and mobbing, the more I realize that what I endured in Oakley schools went way beyond bullying. In other words, I wasn’t only bullied. I was mobbed.

Most people associate mobbing with the workplace and yes, mobbing does occur at work. However, it also occurs in schools. And a child or teen can be mobbed so intensely that his/her entire class and other classes above and below them will be out to severely hurt that child. I know this from firsthand experience.

When you’re mobbed at school or anywhere, it’s the feeling of being held hostage. You live in constant terror and there are days when you wonder if you’ll make it back home at the end of the school day because the death threats are real. Adults would fear for their lives if they were getting constant threats of being killed, that’s a given. But imagine what it does to a teenager who is still a child by all accounts.

Imagine what it does to a young person whose mind is still developing- a teenager who doesn’t quite have the concrete thinking skills nor the processing abilities to better deal with the situation. It’s hard enough for an adult to deal with being mobbed and many adults don’t know how to cope with it, so, how can we expect a kid to be able to withstand that kind of pressure? Can you imagine how tough it is for a child?

Imagine the sheer terror, the shame, the hopelessness, and the helplessness that poor boy or girl feels. Imagine how alone in the fight they feel when the adults, who are supposed to be there to protect them, turn their backs on that child and refuse to help, support, or even listen to them.

Imagine the gut-level humiliation and hurt a teenager feels when even a few of their teachers, who are supposed to be the adults, join their classmates in bullying and mobbing them. I had a small handful of teachers who did the same to me- one during the seventh, one during the eighth, and one during the eleventh grade. And let me tell you, it got so bad that I was almost driven to drop out of school and to suicide!

Back then, there wasn’t a name for this type of horrific bullying, so, they didn’t call it mobbing. This made it much more difficult to describe and explain what was happening. Without a name, the experience can be felt but never articulated because people don’t know how to describe it.

Once you can put a name to a situation that’s so difficult to experience and even harder to explain, it makes it so much easier to call out and talk about because it gives you a label to arrange your experiences around. With a name, the memories can take shape and come together. Then, your story can unfurl because you now have a foundation from which it can build.

With an experience as complex as getting mobbed, giving it a name is crucial.

For twenty-six years, I have researched bullying front, backwards and sideways- I have read countless books, articles, and victim testimonies. During the mid ‘90s, I came across a magazine article about a boy who was relentlessly bullied at his school. From this article, I finally got the answers to so many questions that had, for several years, gone unanswered and burned inside me.

The article also was my assurance that none of the bullying I’d suffered in school just a decade earlier was my fault, nor was there ever anything wrong with me. This was like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.

As a result, my interest in the phenomenon of bullying and social hierarchies took off from there, and I began reading every book and every magazine article I could get my hands on and every online article I came across about bullying. I was hungry and developed an insatiable appetite for the knowledge of it.

In my bullying research, I’ve discovered the term “mobbing” and researched that as well. I’ve found that mobbing is bullying- but it’s bullying to the highest extreme. A more popular definition of mobbing is “bullying on steroids.”

If there was a scale from 1 to 10 measuring the intensity, frequency, and severity; moderate bullying would be at levels 1-4, severe bullying would be at levels 5-8, and mobbing would be at levels 9-10.

So, what is mobbing exactly?

Mobbing is group violence. The entire school or workplace gangs up on a target by more than just physical violence- more by use of vicious rumors, gaslighting, and smear campaigns. Anytime a target is mobbed, they’re discredited, humiliated, isolated, and intimidated. Mobbing is designed to instill terror in the target.

It is also designed to make the target look like the guilty party- to make it look as if the target instigated the bullying or brought the bullying on him/herself. And the perpetrators or, more appropriately, “the mob” will vehemently claim that the target “deserved it.”

I’m thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He carried me through what were the worst years of my life, and I didn’t just survive, I overcame. I believe He allowed me to endure the gut-wrenching terrors of school mobbing because He knew that later, I would develop a thirst for knowledge of it and use what I endured to help those who would endure, in the future, what I was enduring and reclaim their personal power and very lives.

I now realize that in allowing me to suffer at the brutal hands of my schoolmates, The Lord was preparing me for my calling, passion, purpose, and life’s work!

Therefore, if you’re currently being mobbed at school, I have a message for you:

Know that you are worth fighting for and you are worth living for. Know that you have value even if others can’t see it. In spite of what your bullies and mobbers tell you, you are just as worthy of love, respect, dignity, and friendship as the next person. You are enough and you matter.

Your peers may not appreciate you now, but I promise you that if you hold on, there will come a day when things are going to change for the better. You will see the sun again. You will find your tribe and you will have friends who love you for you and see the good you bring to this world.

How do I know? Because I’m living proof!