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Little Big Man on Campus
November 23, 2013 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Danny was getting picked on, so... (SLYT)
posted by polly_dactyl (42 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
this is from some really weird universe, where little kids are so full of empathy they cry about it and their parents are letting the ten-year-olds get mohawks
posted by angrycat at 6:26 AM on November 23, 2013 [32 favorites]


Fuck yeah, Danny!
posted by planetesimal at 6:47 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


That hit close to home. I grew up in that town and went to that school. When I made this comment in another thread a while back I was talking about this school---a long time ago. It is so great to see such a strong anti-bullying sentiment today. The state university in that town also has a research center that deals with bullying/violence reduction in schools. Not sure if there is any direct connection though. It could be just a random act of empathy.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:49 AM on November 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, wow. Just, wow. Way to go to those 45 wonderful young people, and to Danny, for continuing to be himself.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:04 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yay!!! This is my first post, guys. Srsly I lost it when I saw this on the news last night.
posted by polly_dactyl at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


dang it. got something in my eye, there. thanks, polly.
posted by skippyhacker at 7:26 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


"this is from some really weird universe, where little kids are so full of empathy they cry..."

Bullshit. Violent crime has been in sharp decline for the last three decades. Here.

It's getting better. Not fast enough, but it's definitely getting better.
posted by vapidave at 7:41 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is no area of acceptance of differing lifestyles where the US population is in general not moving toward being more progressive.
posted by vapidave at 7:46 AM on November 23, 2013


My younger brother went to school with a kid with thick glasses and a speech impediment who was the target of relentless bullying. He dealt with the situation in a less heartwarming way, but it did realize a fantasy of bullied kids since time immemorial.

He disappeared for a summer and when he came back, on the first day of junior high, three of the usual suspects targeted him after school. Our hero dispatched with them quickly, Jackie-Chan-taking-on-a-gang-singlehandedly style, to the slack jawed amazement/terror of classmates who'd spent their entire lives watching him get his ass kicked.

It turns out, he'd convinced his mom and step dad to let him spend the summer with his estranged biological father, a professional karate instructor, and had practiced eight to twelve hours a day all summer, becoming a tournament level fighter without anyone from back home being any the wiser.

I don't tell this story because I think it's a speck on the positive outcome for Danny. On the contrary, I tell it because for those of us who were bullied, it's a sick, long-held fantasy from the most bitter corners of our hearts. And this kid our family knew, Dominick _________ .... he totally did it.

No one touched Dominick ever again.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:04 AM on November 23, 2013 [26 favorites]


That was great!

Bullshit. Violent crime has been in sharp decline for the last three decades.

??? I don't think angrycat was making any kind of point about violent crime. It was a little strange - and very nice! - for me too to see a little boy cry on camera when he's talking about how much he loves his friends. I'm not sure why you thought the comment needed such an aggressive response.
posted by rtha at 8:07 AM on November 23, 2013 [19 favorites]


There must be a better way, in a thread about kindness and comity, than to snap "bullshit" at someone when you disagree with them.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:14 AM on November 23, 2013 [18 favorites]


Yeah - ok, so... Due to my years of being bullied, I have a serious hate-on for jocks. The whole jock/geek stereotype thing just... I am it. And i know it's not rational, and I know there are plenty of good jocks out there (just recently, one of the Packers, IIRC, started doing work on blood diamonds, I think)... There are a lot of good socially conscious individuals in sports.

So when I see these kids, the next generation, the young ones . 5th grade is a very tender critical time. I never really got "bullied" as a young kid (except when I was in kindergarten and a high schooler punched me in the face. wtf?!) and it was in 5th grade that the teasing and bullying started for me. So this is that age when it makes or breaks, and here these kids are, the football team, rising up and taking a stand. The tears even... I feel like - I could have been that kid (only without the football). The fact the kids were comforting the kid crying too... Like "It's ok, man... hang in there" Like, what a fantastic thing to be able to display emotions like that, admit that it's ok, to be on the football team and to help a little kid who was being picked on.

Yeah - I'm a little teary eyed.

Sometimes it's good to see posts like this to reaffirm faith in humanity and the future.
posted by symbioid at 8:17 AM on November 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


There must be a better way, in a thread about kindness and comity, than to snap "bullshit" at someone when you disagree with them.

Bullshit. Non-sequitur "bullshit" comments have been in sharp decline recently. Penguin candy terror.
posted by etc. at 8:20 AM on November 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


angrycat: "this is from some really weird universe, where little kids are so full of empathy they cry about it and their parents are letting the ten-year-olds get mohawks"

vapidave: "Bullshit. Violent crime has been in sharp decline for the last three decades... It's getting better. Not fast enough, but it's definitely getting better."

rtha: "??? I don't think angrycat was making any kind of point about violent crime. It was a little strange - and very nice! - for me too to see a little boy cry on camera when he's talking about how much he loves his friends. I'm not sure why you thought the comment needed such an aggressive response."

I'm guessing vapidave just read angrycat's happy bemusedness as derisive disbelief or something like that. And emotion, even emotional approval and happiness (which is what I am feeling after watching that) can lead people to be slightly defensive, I think. We're probably all on the same page here, just not expressing it perfectly in every case.

Anyway: this is pretty great.
posted by koeselitz at 8:27 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, my grade school didn't really have the whole bullying thing going on, unless you include the countless examples of grown adults telling us we'd go to hell for perfectly normal behavior. Ah, parochial school.
posted by glaucon at 8:27 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


It was a little strange...

But it's not strange. It's following a trend that has been occuring for decades. Dwell if you want. Tumblrage away if it fuels you.

"There is no area of acceptance of differing lifestyles where the US population is in general not moving toward being more progressive." is obectively true.
posted by vapidave at 9:04 AM on November 23, 2013


"There is no area of acceptance of differing lifestyles where the US population is in general not moving toward being more progressive." is obectively true.

Enough with the obvious MRM bait.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:09 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bullshit. Violent crime has been in sharp decline for the last three decades. Here.

First: Yeah, what the fuck, dude.

Second: It's only been two decades since 1993, and only one of them is shown in that graph.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:15 AM on November 23, 2013


[Maybe we can just let the derail about trends in violent crime drop? Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:16 AM on November 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was so nice. I even got a little teary-eyed. It moves me to see a such a young person moved by the power of friendship and compassion, like the one boy that they interviewed.

I don't remember myself or the fifth-graders I went to school with having that same understanding. In my class, our teacher to had to discipline a group of maybe 4 to 6 kids for throwing snowballs and rocks at one of our other classmates at recess and on his way home from school over a period of a few weeks. I remember not knowing what to feel when I heard that this had happened or even really feeling anything. I didn't feel angry that they did it, I didn't say "way to go," but I felt relief. Relief that that didn't happen to me and some kind of indifference that it happened at all. I thought that type of thing was just to be expected from people.

I think I remember my dad expressing surprise when I mentioned it to him at home. I was told by both my parents to stand up to bullies and not let people pick on me but the example they set ran counter to that imperative. Looking back, I am guessing that many of the projectile-throwing kids had similar issues in their home lives. As if often goes, their target was kind, sensitive, quiet and didn't seem to understand the facade of "acting tough" that a lot of us kids put on and, in turn, we didn't seem to understand him.

It gives me hope that there was someone out there teaching these kids right from wrong and that these kids are able to learn from each other what is the right way to treat people. I am glad and I am surprised that they just "got it" so early. I'll wager that these kids go on to do even more awesome things as they get older.
posted by sevenofspades at 9:20 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was bullied as a kid, notably from Grade 5 to Grade 8. It's a complex issue. Sometimes the victims are socially awkward, or may be relatively immature compared to their cohort, or have a lower EQ.

Thirty years on, my son is now 11, and it seems that the emotional intelligence of our culture (in Canada anyway) has improved. There's a real effort to teach empathy in schools and a real effort to adress bullying. It's not always successful, though.

One of my son's friends is a bit of a late bloomer and comes from an immigrant family. He misses social cues and cultural cues and may have a learning disability. So he sometimes bursts into tears when frustrated. A couple of years ago the teacher said to him, right in front of the class, "why are you such a baby???"

He changed schools.

I've noticed girls have it tougher (little girls are little bitches, is what my wife says).

Friends have two daughters and they have had to ask for intervention from the principal to help with bullying.

So in a way I'm glad we have sons because the issues of raising a girl in this society seem insurmountable sometimes.

As for our eldest son, he's a popular kid, likely because he's cheerful, positive, and good at sports. He also has amassed formidable social capital by memorizing hockey statistics. If you can talk hockey on the playground you're set.

Boys do seem to have more empathy than when I was a kid. There is less fighting and general verbal abuse and hostility.

But my perception may be based on the fact that our son luckily "fits in."

My younger self would be envious.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:22 AM on November 23, 2013


I don't remember any of my peers being this supportive for anything. Way to go!
posted by hal at 9:25 AM on November 23, 2013


whoa yeah i was thinking two things: a) so cool to see kids support their friend and b) ha ha i love that ten year olds have mohawks now. i guess, given my childhood nickname was worm, short for bookworm, and that followed me for years, I am just cheering on an experience that was different from mine. Kinda like DirtyOldTown's comment about his little friend, I guess.

(Seriously. The math teach handed back assignments in a big pile that I would ignore for a week or two, to find the teachers comments with the following appendages from my peers:

Good job (worm)
Needs work (worm)
Okay (worm)

Funny story now, not then, and I didn't mean to like, bullshit.
posted by angrycat at 9:43 AM on November 23, 2013


Great kids. Better than the little monsters I remember from my childhood. They used to line up every kid in the in the schoolyard to slap my back. Day after day.

I suppose we should thank the parents and teachers when we see stuff like this, but I wonder if pre-school entertainment has played any significant role. For the last 25 years, TV cartoon scripts (right from the outline stage) have been built around a life lesson about sharing or cooperation or acceptance. A show like Handy Manny, centred around "working together" probably has Uncle Walt spinning in his non-union built coffin.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:49 AM on November 23, 2013


I am sure there are still plenty of terrible schools with teachers and administrators who turn a blind eye to bullying. But it's part of the public discourse now in a way that it totally wasn't when I was a kid. There was a lot more "boys will be boys" -- meaning brutality and meanness, not showing empathy and getting support from your friends like in this video.

Little by little, I think we are rewriting what it means to be male in our society, and I think it's only for the better. I hope it continues.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:16 AM on November 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


Wow. Just wow. Those kids are incredible. That kind of empathy is sorely missing from this planet.
posted by e40 at 10:17 AM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great stuff. I just hope that this is part of a larger trend where this is the rule and not a news-worthy exception.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:22 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's getting better. Not fast enough, but it's definitely getting better.

After apprehensively watching my nerdy kids go through middle school and start high school, I think it's possible there's some truth to this. The kids with Down Syndrome and developmental disabilities, for one, seem to be off limits to bullying and treated with kindness in a way that was definitely not true when I was a kid.

Some kids are still singled out and picked on, but you also see kids deliberately calling that out, "cool" kids deliberately choosing to sit with kids that are being picked on, etc.
posted by straight at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2013


This made me cry all over my face. What neat kids, Danny and his friends both.


I've noticed girls have it tougher (little girls are little bitches, is what my wife says).


That's a really terrible thing to say.
posted by sweetkid at 10:35 AM on November 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm glad people love this as much as I did. Truthfully I wanted to compare this story to another recent story out of MA - also involving young boys on a football team - where a bi-racial kid had some racist shit spray-painted on his house.

But this is so ever-lovin' sweet that that seemed like sabotaging my own post, and it's Saturday, and I hate to fight, even on the internet. I will be showing this video to my step-daughter and every other kid I can think of. I kind of want to send Danny some ties for Christmas but I wonder if that's too much.

Happy Holidays, everybody!
posted by polly_dactyl at 11:05 AM on November 23, 2013


"That's a really terrible thing to say."

It's a really bad way to put it, but I think men, specifically, are not aware of how badly girls can bully other girls and the different (from male bullying) way that it's often done. For that matter, I think that men aren't really aware of how women bully and police other women, either.

I say this speaking as a man. Male bullying has a typical form, with obvious expressed aggression, and so this is how men expect this sort of thing to be done. Since we rarely see women being very overtly aggressive against other women, we tend to think that the problem isn't as bad, including with girls. That's my experience and observation, anyway.

As with many things like this, it took a lot of listening to women's experiences and learning to see differently for me to become aware of how women bully each other on a regular basis.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:06 AM on November 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Women and girls definitely police and bully each other in a different way than men and boys do, but I often hear it phrased (by both men and women) in a way that makes it sound like something ingrained in women that men are refreshingly free from (women are so terrible to each other, friendships/work relationships are so "catty", then there are women who are like, "I'm only friends with guys, they're so much more straightfoward" or whatever).

Instead, like I think you're referring to with "policing" it's more like internal reinforcing of the patriarchy. Also, no offense to KokoRyu's wife because I find that attitude frustratingly common, but women calling little girls little bitches is another way of policing other women.

It's just like, we tear apart everything there is about being a girl, both from the outside (adults, boys) and from the inside (other girls) and then we're surprised when women turn on each other, don't trust each other, etc.
posted by sweetkid at 11:33 AM on November 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Women and girls use men and boys to bully each other in a way that strokes the guys ego so of course they don't notice it. They are busy being flattered usually.
posted by fshgrl at 12:02 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's a really terrible thing to say.

I've heard that exact phrase fairly often from openly and proudly feminist women the same age as me. I think maybe it is partly reflecting a sense of surprise at the intensity of girl bullying (and also that the bullying is more visible now than a generation before), contrasted with the "sugar and spices and everything nice" stereotyped portrayal of girls. And it maybe also captures (in its terribleness) something of way that girl/girl bullying is different than boy/boy bullying.

It's not a phrase I would use personally, but I've been struck before by who says it and in what contexts.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:37 PM on November 23, 2013


Related: Olivet Middle School Football Team. I cried like a baby.
posted by ancientgower at 2:44 PM on November 23, 2013


Aww, that was great. I don't usually bother to watch things like this, tending to dismiss them as bland heartwarming glurge, but that was well worth it. And hey, Bridgewater! That's right up in my old stomping ground, I even took some classes at Bridgewater State for a while.

Everybody here was awesome. The kids who found a positive way to support their schoolmate and stop the bullying are awesome, Danny's parents who said that their wish is just for their kid to feel loved are awesome, and Danny is awesome for doing his own thing and not being afraid to stick out by looking different even though he already sticks out some by sounding different.

Great stuff. Definitely more than just glurge.
posted by Scientist at 3:18 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh look, human children are altruistic. Our society and economic models will surely crumble.
posted by phaedon at 4:20 PM on November 23, 2013


Watching this makes me feel like an old fart.

I'm bemused.
posted by rue72 at 4:52 PM on November 23, 2013


In 20 years, maybe the Lord of the Flies will be rewritten as story where a bunch of cheery kids go on a tropical island and have friendly adventures together. And a barbecue where everyone chips in with the cooking!
posted by cacofonie at 4:57 PM on November 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


20 years? You basically described the plot of Moonrise Kingdom.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:00 PM on November 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I remember when I was that age and a boy was picking on me for being weird and all my classmates rallied round to help kick the crap out of me. Good times.
posted by Caskeum at 4:31 AM on November 24, 2013


"20 years? You basically described the plot of Moonrise Kingdom."

I loved that movie. It was so good.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:44 AM on November 24, 2013


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