I was taught in teacher training classes never to label children. It can usually only cause damage.
I didn’t need to learn that message. Often it is a form of bullying and abuse that I had already seen as a child.
Tina Tonkel a classmate of mine was repeatedly shunned and ridiculed at school by her peers. Indeed she had no friends. I do mean NO friends.
Sometimes a person can’t brush her troubles away. Tina couldn’t do since her father was rarely at home since he was a traveling salesman and her mother was a flagrant drunk and I mean all of the time drunken.
So Tina had no guidance, nor care at home. In fact, she would eat chocolate Ice cream for breakfast since that was all that she could find in the frig in a kitchen filled with spent bottles of booze.
She in fact smelled like urine since she was never properly potty trained by her alcoholic mother. So Tina’s nickname at school was Tina Tinkle as in tinkling urine since she smelled like it.
My mother would give her a peanut butter and jelly after school as she was a scrawny girl, obviously, with little food in her own household. Yet why didn’t adults do more to help her like put her in foster care while her mother is counseled in a liquor rehab clinic?
One of my friends during my teen years was the author of this book. As a matter of fact, Tina reminds me of Piggy in a faint kind of way.

Description

Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize–winning British author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.Wikipedia

Originally published: September 17, 1954
Page count: 224
Characters: PiggyJackRalphRogerSimonSamEric
So  bullying, shaming and labeling isn’t always done by people in a same age group.In fact I had  a fifth grade teacher who went after me and I have seen children denigrated, heavily maligned, in a school where I was a teacher.
Yet sometimes the results are startling to the max. Here is one sort:
It is out of Columbia University demo school, which has a waiting list for children to get into it as it is educationally excellent.
So here is an experiment done there. It involves Stanford Binet, the granddaddy of all IQ tests. Its model is used to ratify others.
I had the derivative test when I was eight years old. It is really fun for my age group. Goodness, you can really test your meddle. Too much fun as you learn your capability limits!
So at Columbia, a teacher of fifth graders, children who had been tested for IQ prior to her being in the classroom, was told that her kids had mixed IQs. So the students were tested after her two month period in the class. IQs held steady.
The next two month teacher (self-fulfilling prophecy herein) was told that the kids were dumb and she treated them as such after which their IQ scores dropped. Huh, dropped with Stanford Binet?
The next teacher was told that the children were all brilliant. Guess what happened after her stint with them. It was the halo effect and their IQs soared. So much for the verity of IQ results, although mine seem pretty good since nobody tried to slant me.
In any case, I think of Tina who was cast down. I also think of the way that I personally supported the halo effect by uplifting my. students to be be more than anyone imagined that they could be.
I hate bullying and labeling, especially when a family member does it to oneself. I simply reject the scenario and walk away, especially when a family member has been trained educationally not to do the act.
Put another way, one can’t accept the process in a too kindly way. So one goes separate ways from even kin.
Sally Dugman lives in MA, USA

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