Slammed Up Against the Locker: a Look into the World of Bullying
Kyle R. Fowler
Department of Communication
Capital University, Columbus, Ohio 43209
Slammed Up 2
After leaving the school choir room, a teenage male would never think that he would get slammed into lockers for no apparent reason. That is, unless he is wearing designer clothing and has skin like porcelain. Plus, did I mention that he is pretty much an over-the-top flamboyant homosexual? In an episode during season two of the hit television show Glee, Kurt Hummel, the male described above, suffers from an increasing amount of physical and verbal abuse from Dave Karofsky, who bullies others at any given opportunity, such as being slammed into lockers, slushies thrown on his face, and numerous insults about being gay. After Karofsky acts out towards Kurt again, Kurt speaks out about the actions, which forces Karofsky to threaten Kurt again. However, once Kurt's teacher, Mr. Schuester, senses that Kurt has starting to act more tense and is afraid of walking around his own school. But when Schuester offers to help, Kurt replies with that he, like everyone else at McKinley High, lets homophobia slide and he does not feel challenged anymore.
Kurt becomes isolated and states that no one present at the school is supportive of him and does absolutely nothing to make his life easier whatsoever. After criticizing the school's inability to control the issue, Kurt checks out a rival high school, Dalton Academy, which also happens to have a zero-tolerance policy on harassment. After confessing to a new friend, Blaine, at Dalton, Kurt is advised to confront the bully or simply transfer high schools. Blaine also urges him to have courage and after taking this to heart, Kurt tracks Karofsky down, after yet another infraction occurs, and states what his problem is and states that, "You can't punch the gay out of me anymore than I can punch the ignoramus out of you!"
As can be seen in the above synopsis of the show, “Glee” illustrates the use of bullying and types of violence within today's media. This is immersed throughout specific shows that are currently airing on America's networks and what we truly watch, whether we are aware of it or not. The focus of this investigation is to study the ways in which bullying has become an increasing topic in every day lives and the ways that we can help prevent it from continuously happening in the future. Slammed Up 3
The Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a problem that is normally targeted towards youth within the United States and other countries. The website of Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence defines bullying as 'repeated aggression in which there is an imbalance of power between the child who bullies and the child who is victimized. Bullying is a disrespectful problem'. (Walton 131-144) Bullying is widely persevered as relational and behavioral. During a survey in 2001, it was found that 29.9% of students reported a moderate involvement in bullying, either citing themselves as the bully, victim, bystander, or all. (Swearer, Turner, Givens, and Pollack 160-173) Bullying is a significant problem in schools and other environments. It often reflects larger social and political battles and collective anxieties. Bullying can sometimes be reconsidered as an expression of power mediated by constructs of social differences and social control. Bullying behavior can be influenced by contextual effects and normative beliefs students have about the behavior.
The first true definition of bullying was addressed by Heinemann. He used the term mobbning, which referred to group violence against a deviant individual that occurs suddenly and subsides suddenly.(Smith, Cowie, Olafsson, and Liefooghe 1119-1133) The emphasis of earlier work on bullying was on physical bullying and verbal taunting done directly by the bully/bullies to...