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  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • July 01, 2014, 06:49:40 am
    • Seoul, formerly Boseong
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Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« on: June 18, 2016, 05:58:08 pm »
So for winter camp my students did a cultural exchange with my old high school in the USA.  They learned about American culture in various categories one day, and then answered questions about Korean culture in that category from real American high schoolers the next day.

The students knew this was being recorded and would be uploaded to YouTube to share with the American high school.  Within an hour of me posting the first segment, I received a message from one of the female students requesting that I delete it.  Apparently her friends were teasing her for the video--not for her English, but for her appearance. 

I've obviously since made the video private as the URL can still be shared with the American high school, but I'm angry that fellow classmates are harassing her over it.  I've confirmed that the students are from our school. 

When I told her I wanted to know the names of the students, she changed her story and said she wanted the video made private anyway because she was shy, and that the "joke" from her "friends" wasn't a factor....right.

I don't want to blow it into a big issue, but I'm disappointed that the video series (which both my students and I have worked really hard on and put a lot of time into) can't really be shared.  And more importantly I'm pissed that the cause behind it is harassment from fellow classmates.  Any suggestions on how to handle it, other than just leaving it be?


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 12:58:06 am »
I'm with the student on this one.

Its not about the "bullying", her reason is irrelevant. Its about respecting someone's wish not to be posted up for the world to see. Teenagers are extremely sensitive about how they look and are perceived.

Posting people on publicly-viewable video is asking for trouble.

Personally I have seen my photo posted on at least two private blogs in this country without my permission.

In the UK you are legally bound to ask for signed permission to post someone's photo or video online. If you don't, they can sue you even if you take it down on request.

Creating shared values


  • Somebody
  • Super Waygook

    • 349

    • May 04, 2012, 01:55:20 pm
    • Suwon
Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 01:11:16 am »
I'm with the student on this one.

Its not about the "bullying", her reason is irrelevant. Its about respecting someone's wish not to be posted up for the world to see. Teenagers are extremely sensitive about how they look and are perceived.

Posting people on publicly-viewable video is asking for trouble.

Personally I have seen my photo posted on at least two private blogs in this country without my permission.

In the UK you are legally bound to ask for signed permission to post someone's photo or video online. If you don't, they can sue you even if you take it down on request.

I disagree. If you exist, then you shouldn't complain that people know you exist. Sure, you could lay the blame on your parents, but they had no idea about the technology that would happen. That being said, you still exist and because of that, you are to blame if somebody knows you exist.


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 02:31:36 am »
I'm with the student on this one.

Its not about the "bullying", her reason is irrelevant. Its about respecting someone's wish not to be posted up for the world to see. Teenagers are extremely sensitive about how they look and are perceived.

Posting people on publicly-viewable video is asking for trouble.

Personally I have seen my photo posted on at least two private blogs in this country without my permission.

In the UK you are legally bound to ask for signed permission to post someone's photo or video online. If you don't, they can sue you even if you take it down on request.

I disagree. If you exist, then you shouldn't complain that people know you exist. Sure, you could lay the blame on your parents, but they had no idea about the technology that would happen. That being said, you still exist and because of that, you are to blame if somebody knows you exist.
Just because people know I exist doesn't mean that you can use video of me and put it on the internet without my permission. It's different when someone is a "public figure" which I am not.


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2016, 02:34:18 am »
I'm with the student on this one.

Its not about the "bullying", her reason is irrelevant. Its about respecting someone's wish not to be posted up for the world to see. Teenagers are extremely sensitive about how they look and are perceived.

Posting people on publicly-viewable video is asking for trouble.

Personally I have seen my photo posted on at least two private blogs in this country without my permission.

In the UK you are legally bound to ask for signed permission to post someone's photo or video online. If you don't, they can sue you even if you take it down on request.

I disagree. If you exist, then you shouldn't complain that people know you exist. Sure, you could lay the blame on your parents, but they had no idea about the technology that would happen. That being said, you still exist and because of that, you are to blame if somebody knows you exist.

There's a big difference between someone knowing that you exist and getting put on display. People are sensitive about that and kids are double that. Some enjoy being the center of attention. Others don't.

At OP: I don't feel there's much else you can do in this situation that you haven't already done without turning unwanted attention on the student in question. It's a shitty situation, but sometimes kids can be shitty, and all you can do is damage control. Are you sure this is a case of bullying and not just playful ribbing from actual friends that the student took seriously enough to become sensitive about? Even without teasing, many students are sensitive about seeing themselves up on the internet after the fact, and it's not unusual for requests of privacy to be made. 

In any case, if you want to do more, you could try creating sympathy/empathy with a lesson that centers on real-world examples of bullying (thereby indirectly shaming students who may be currently guilty of it), and then getting the students to openly discuss them.


  • Mr. Pink
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Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 11:00:13 am »
did you inform the students the videos would be posted online and publicly available? did you get written permission from them and their parents (they are minors after all) to film them and upload the videos? did you give the students the option to NOT take part in the videos if they didn't want to be publicly seen online?

if the answer to any of those is NO, then you done fucked up.

leave the video private.


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 01:03:14 pm »
Yeah this is why I never post videos of my students. Most students are body-conscience, and Korean students take that to the next level. I wasn't body conscience in school, but I do remember hating hearing my own voice on recordings, so I kinda get where they're coming from.

I have filmed my students occasionally to work on western body language. But I never show the videos to anyone outside of the class, and I always delete videos immediately after we review them as a group (so everybody gets embarrassed equally).

Getting the names of the bullies would be the worst possible thing that you could do. If you went on a rampage on the bullies then they would retaliate by making the situation even worse for her.

I think for the OP the damage is already done. All you can do is learn from the experience. The worst thing you can do to a student is to post an image of them online without massive amounts of makeup, filters, and photoshop. Always explicitly ask for permission.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 01:09:22 pm by robobob9000 »


  • Loki88
  • Expert Waygook

    • 722

    • July 25, 2014, 08:41:07 am
    • Seoul
Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2016, 02:03:56 pm »
I'm like 99% positive that taking photos and videos of students is forbidden without the written consent of every single one of the parents involved.

I know it's the same in Canada as I tried to set up a pen pal thing with my old grade school (my aunt is the principal) and it got vetoed because one parent said no.


  • mrc45
  • Super Waygook

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    • April 19, 2015, 12:50:26 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 02:06:34 pm »
I'm like 99% positive that taking photos and videos of students is forbidden without the written consent of every single one of the parents involved.

I know it's the same in Canada as I tried to set up a pen pal thing with my old grade school (my aunt is the principal) and it got vetoed because one parent said no.

Why would a parent say no to a pen-pal program? Did you get a reason? I tried setting up a pen-pal program as well a few years ago, but my hagwon never seemed to enthusiastic about the concept. I always thought it was unfortunate.


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2016, 02:38:16 pm »
Can't they just blur the kids' faces who don't want to take part like they do on TV documentaries?


  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • July 01, 2014, 06:49:40 am
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Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2016, 05:54:54 pm »
I'm with the student on this one.

Its not about the "bullying", her reason is irrelevant. Its about respecting someone's wish not to be posted up for the world to see. Teenagers are extremely sensitive about how they look and are perceived.

Posting people on publicly-viewable video is asking for trouble.
Who said I was against the student?  The video was immediately made private/unlisted, which she was fine with.

And yes, the students were aware that the videos were going to be shared with the other school via YouTube before we started the project.  The US is the same as the UK, but I asked my KETs and they OK'ed the project.

did you inform the students the videos would be posted online and publicly available?
Yes.
did you get written permission from them and their parents (they are minors after all) to film them and upload the videos?
I asked; Korean co-teachers said it was unnecessary. 
did you give the students the option to NOT take part in the videos if they didn't want to be publicly seen online?
Yes.

if the answer to any of those is NO, then you done fucked up.

leave the video private.
No need to be so snarky, though coming from you it's no surprise  :rolleyes:

The video is already private, which the student is fine with.  My post pertains to the issue of students harassing and shaming one another, not the ethics of project itself.  The latter isn't an issue.

Getting the names of the bullies would be the worst possible thing that you could do. If you went on a rampage on the bullies then they would retaliate by making the situation even worse for her.
Why is getting names bad?  I never said I would "go on a rampage," I just wanted to be aware of what else might be going on in my school among students.  I would never punish a student confiding in me by going and turning them into some tattle-tale among their peers.  It would be to know who common culprits are so I could keep an eye out for things happening in class in front of me in the future.

Can't they just blur the kids' faces who don't want to take part like they do on TV documentaries?
Yes, but requires a ridiculous amount of additional editing and defeats the purpose of the cultural exchange a bit.  The kids had the choice to opt-out of filming.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 06:02:52 pm by nomadicmadda »


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2016, 07:21:31 pm »
Hey, guys, why don't we assume that nomadicmadda knows the entire history of what happened leading up to the incident better than we do and that, as she has proven literally ten zillion times on this very website, she is a very involved and repsonsible teacher who cares a lot about her students.

Keee-rist. You people would argue with your fork if your food tasted bad.


  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • July 01, 2014, 06:49:40 am
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Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2016, 08:53:02 pm »
I was hoping for feedback on how people handle bullying, harassment, and general put-downs among classmates.  The information about the video project was purely to give the context in which the comments were made, but my concern lies more in the fact that the kids are so frequently slamming one another's appearances and shaming one another. 

It's certainly not the first time I've heard comments like those made.  Like robobob9000 pointed out, they're often made "in jest" to friends, but that still doesn't mean those kinds of comments aren't destructive and hurtful over time.  Some of you may feel like, "Pfffft, that's Korea," but that doesn't mean I want to sit idly by if I hear it in my classroom.  I'm not that kind of teacher, much less that kind of person. 

Thanks meepmoop; I feel like people here are often so quick to jump on one another, they miss the point of a post entirely... :rolleyes:


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2016, 09:50:13 pm »
The difference between a comment or action being thrown out in jest or being made with malicious intent may help determine the best course of action. While I understand not wanting to sit idly by if you personally happen to witness this type of behavior, regardless of context, how you should approach a given situation is not black and white and requires other considerations.

This is at the heart of my own questions regarding the nature of the harassment. Like it or not, you risk isolating yourself from your students if you approach friends who were just messing with each other the same way you would an actual bully, and advise is going to be based on this difference.

For myself if I see playful teasing that I feel is stepping over the line, I give the kids a look and shake my head (and, depending on the situation, will remind them to "be kind"), and that's normally enough to stop the behavior. Even when they feel that what they're doing is harmless, they can see that I don't feel the same way and they give in. What goes on outside of the classroom requires additional education, though, and there are only so many things that you can do in that regard. Increasing student awareness about what that kind of teasing can do to another person's feelings and self-esteem is just about the only thing you can do, and it's best to set that tone at the beginning of each semester as part of your intro while reinforcing that ideal by reminding students to be kind to each other throughout the year. Never too late for this, though. Open and frank discussion about the issue without singling anyone out seems to be most effective for teenagers, but it usually requires someone or something to get the ball rolling. This is normally established with someone actually talking about his/her own experiences -- if there isn't anyone willing to do that, then you can get a similar result with published public accounts, videos of people talking about what they went through and what it was like for themselves and the people close to them. Even better if you can find spoken accounts from former bullies themselves, or can get a discussion going about the reasons/causes of bullying or hurtful behavior. A lesson about self-empowerment could help, too.

For cases of actual bullying, the above still applies, but how you should handle it directly as you see it happening in real time... it depends on what was going on and between who, especially when dealing with older students. The look I give is normally enough to stop the behavior in my class at that moment, but I have to work to read my students' faces and body language in order to de-escalate the situation enough so that it won't just end up continuing outside of the classroom.

Are you hoping to identify students who may be guilty of this type of teasing or bullying so that you can speak to them privately about their behavior? Do you have an idea of what you'd like to do but just can't think of a good method to go about it?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 10:32:11 pm by Chinguetti »


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 12:36:18 am »
I was hoping for feedback on how people handle bullying, harassment, and general put-downs among classmates. 

You pretend the issue was about "bullying" in order to sidestep responsibility for a situation you created.

Has it ever occurred to you that she would not have been "bullied" if you had not posted online a video of her?


And even now you still haven't taken it down ..because all you care about is getting credit for producing a video of a class event, presumably for you to add to your resume!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 12:38:46 am by Kliuchevskoi »
Creating shared values


Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2016, 06:21:47 am »
You pretend the issue was about "bullying" in order to sidestep responsibility for a situation you created.

Has it ever occurred to you that she would not have been "bullied" if you had not posted online a video of her?


And even now you still haven't taken it down ..because all you care about is getting credit for producing a video of a class event, presumably for you to add to your resume!

That's not fair or relevant here and is therefore counterproductive. 'Madda followed the necessary precautions for this project and the fact that it didn't work out the way she'd hoped isn't her fault, but even if it was how is pointing down at her from your high horse going to help?

Put your pitchfork away and try for something constructive. Regardless of what you feel led up to this point, how do you handle bullying in the classroom?


  • nomadicmadda
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2016, 07:51:08 am »
The difference between a comment or action being thrown out in jest or being made with malicious intent may help determine the best course of action. While I understand not wanting to sit idly by if you personally happen to witness this type of behavior, regardless of context, how you should approach a given situation is not black and white and requires other considerations.

This is at the heart of my own questions regarding the nature of the harassment. Like it or not, you risk isolating yourself from your students if you approach friends who were just messing with each other the same way you would an actual bully, and advise is going to be based on this difference.
I know, which is why I stated in my previous comment i wasn't aiming to go on some weird rampage.  i just wanted to be aware of who was doing it--knowing who was doing it also helps determine whether it's actual bullying or friendly harassment.  Obviously the student doesn't want to take the risk of a teacher saying something and making a further socially embarrassing situation, which is what I would imagine a Korean teacher would do.  Power, authority, all that.

For myself if I see playful teasing that I feel is stepping over the line, I give the kids a look and shake my head (and, depending on the situation, will remind them to "be kind"), and that's normally enough to stop the behavior. Even when they feel that what they're doing is harmless, they can see that I don't feel the same way and they give in. What goes on outside of the classroom requires additional education, though, and there are only so many things that you can do in that regard. Increasing student awareness about what that kind of teasing can do to another person's feelings and self-esteem is just about the only thing you can do, and it's best to set that tone at the beginning of each semester as part of your intro while reinforcing that ideal by reminding students to be kind to each other throughout the year. Never too late for this, though. Open and frank discussion about the issue without singling anyone out seems to be most effective for teenagers, but it usually requires someone or something to get the ball rolling. This is normally established with someone actually talking about his/her own experiences -- if there isn't anyone willing to do that, then you can get a similar result with published public accounts, videos of people talking about what they went through and what it was like for themselves and the people close to them. Even better if you can find spoken accounts from former bullies themselves, or can get a discussion going about the reasons/causes of bullying or hurtful behavior. A lesson about self-empowerment could help, too.
The first thing you mentioned is what I already do as well.  I know there have been some issues with bullying (more serious bullying) at my school in the past among students, which is why I'm concerned about it and wanted to know who was involved.  Right now the only steps I see possible are to just "be aware" in general, but the reason why I asked here was to see if anyone else had dealt with something similar and knew how they and their KETs handled it.  I don't want to say anything to a KET because it doesn't seem to be that big of a deal (like I said, the student was perfectly okay with the video being marked "unlisted" and still being shared for the purposes of the project) and I don't trust that a KET wouldn't go and make it into something blown way out of proportion.

For cases of actual bullying, the above still applies, but how you should handle it directly as you see it happening in real time... it depends on what was going on and between who, especially when dealing with older students. The look I give is normally enough to stop the behavior in my class at that moment, but I have to work to read my students' faces and body language in order to de-escalate the situation enough so that it won't just end up continuing outside of the classroom.

Are you hoping to identify students who may be guilty of this type of teasing or bullying so that you can speak to them privately about their behavior? Do you have an idea of what you'd like to do but just can't think of a good method to go about it?
Yeah like I said above, it's hard to tell from her messages if it's just friends or actual bullying.  Normally I wouldn't be too concerned, but we've had issues in the past with serious bullying at our school.  Obviously teenagers face social repercussions from their peers when they "tattle" about it.  So, unfortunately, I'm not sure there's a way for me to find out who was making the comments...even if I only want to know for my own reference to keep an eye out for more in the classroom :sad:

Thanks for responding to the actual issue.  At this point, I don't think there's anything I can do other than keep an eye on her in class and see how she interacts with her peers, though the students could obviously be from another class as well.  If she's unwilling to give names (understandable), I don't really know who to watch out for and I think it's impossible for me to determine if the students doing the harassing are just friends or if it's actual bullying  :sad:

I was hoping for feedback on how people handle bullying, harassment, and general put-downs among classmates. 

You pretend the issue was about "bullying" in order to sidestep responsibility for a situation you created.

Has it ever occurred to you that she would not have been "bullied" if you had not posted online a video of her?


And even now you still haven't taken it down ..because all you care about is getting credit for producing a video of a class event, presumably for you to add to your resume!

Lol, what?  The video project was approved by the school and the students knew it was going to be public before the project even started.  They also had the opportunity to opt-out of being filmed. 

If this girl's fellow students didn't bully her about the video, it would have been about something else.  As a victim of severe bullying in middle school, I know for a fact that some kids are just mean and out to put down whoever, however they can.  Now, if this is legitimately a case of her friends just razzing her a bit over the video, then it's even less of an issue.  My problem is I'm trying to find out if it's actual bullying or just friendly teasing, because we've had issues with the former in the past.

I get no "credit" for the video and why on earth would I put it on my resume??  The questions were asked by a real school in the USA as a part of a cultural exchange, so the video is for those fellow American high school kids to see and hear their questions answered by real Korean students.  The student asked that I make the video private as opposed to public and was perfectly comfortable with it still being shared among the American school and teachers.  I've stated this multiple times now.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 07:53:59 am by nomadicmadda »


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

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    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2016, 08:52:23 am »
I think at this point (if you haven't already :), maybe focus on trying to boost the girl's self esteem?? I'm not sure if you'll ever be able to find the culprits (regardless of whether it was actual bullying versus friendly teasing taken too seriously), so trying to help the girl feel more positive might be the way to go.

Also, maybe in addition to a lesson on bullying you could do an activity like "positive feedback" where everyone has to say something nice about everyone. This was done at a summer camp I went to when I was in high school. It can be done where one person sits in the middle of a circle of others while they dish out nice things about that individual and everyone takes a turn; or, if they are pretty shy about being singled out, you could just modify the activity. Like, have the students think about each other and write down nice things on pieces of paper which can then be thrown into a hat (or whatever) and drawn out at random. That way there's anonymity and students may not have to worry about being shy.

Just a thought!


  • DLJL
  • Super Waygook

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    • July 26, 2015, 08:33:30 pm
    • Yeosu
Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2016, 09:44:18 am »


In the UK you are legally bound to ask for signed permission to post someone's photo or video online. If you don't, they can sue you even if you take it down on request.

Absolutely nothing about this statement is true, just a heads up.


  • Loki88
  • Expert Waygook

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    • July 25, 2014, 08:41:07 am
    • Seoul
Re: Bullying in the Classroom and at School
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2016, 11:22:12 am »
I'm like 99% positive that taking photos and videos of students is forbidden without the written consent of every single one of the parents involved.

I know it's the same in Canada as I tried to set up a pen pal thing with my old grade school (my aunt is the principal) and it got vetoed because one parent said no.

Why would a parent say no to a pen-pal program? Did you get a reason? I tried setting up a pen-pal program as well a few years ago, but my hagwon never seemed to enthusiastic about the concept. I always thought it was unfortunate.

I got the reason. It didn't make any sense but I suppose that stupidity rarely does.
It was something along the lines of being afraid that their kid would be (insert something bad that I have no idea how said parent came up with).

I went to that school, my aunts the P and both my mother and grandmother taught their *the latter for 32 years). Apparently we can't be trusted...