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 Post subject: Bullying?
PostPosted: 25 Jul 2017, 11:21 
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As far as I've seen in the CS books, there's only a couple of mentions of it, and none at the school (if I remember correctly, Biddy O'Ryan says something about coming close, but that doesn't really count for me). You do see girls being 'suitably punished' by their peers and reflects, and the mistresses are fine with that. Some of that is probably bullying, and the mistresses can be awful, for example Miss Annersley, the legendary understanding headmistress, telling Con that because she lacks tact as a fifteen year old, people will avoid her like poison when she is an adult, or something to that effect. :banghead: I have trouble reading the books because of how blatantly horrible some of the 'heroines' are.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 04:29 
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There is definitely bullying in CS. Jane being pushed up against the wall and having Jack in her face, is the obvious one. She also gets her popular gang to not help Jane settle in, even if they are not actively mean to her.

It's interesting that you mention Biddy intervening when Lavender has been sent to coventry. She says the prefects had noticed and decided to butt in. Evelyn is also sent to coventry until Miss Wilmot asks Lesley to sort it out.

But the prefects did nothing to help Jane though they must have known what was happening.

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 08:22 
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Margot's behaviour towards Ted in Theodora is, in my opinion, the worst case of bullying. I suppose Thekla could be considered to have been punished for bullying Joyce Linton. I'm sure there are probably other examples, but the only time I can think of which explicitly says someone was bullied is in Bride, where we're told Diana Skelton bullied Marion into helping wreck Bride's study.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 08:30 
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Jack Lambert is just horrible. I cannot bear to read the books in which she has a major role.

The CS is an ordinary school. It might try to have higher than usual standards and its bullying for the most part is done in a more ladylike way, but people are the same the world over and no school is going to be bully free.

In the CS some of it is ignorance such in the case of Eustacia because the CS pupils sometimes seem to have difficulty in accepting anything away from the "normal" - we even hear a lot about raised eyebrows over the accents of the Highland Twins.

This is why I am such a great supporter of Mary-Lou. She might have been overbearing but she would have done anything to try and help somebody, showing an empathy that others did not have at the same age. As far as I can remember there were no dubious incidents when Mary-Lou was a prefect/head girl.

Incidentally, although EBD makes allowances because she is a Maynard, I wonder exactly what Margot was like as games prefect? I just get the impression she could have been very nasty.

See my post crossing with that of dvsdab who also mentions Margot and Joyce/Thekla very valid

(edited to add - Margot's bullying of Ted was done in secret involving no other person but Mary-Lou did work out there was something going on and help sort it out in the end)..


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 15:32 
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To reply to Audrey:

Read 'Challenge for the Chalet School' and learn just how bad Margot was at being Head of Games.

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 21:01 
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Putting it in context, what happens at the Chalet School is mild compared to what happens at other fictional schools, like Malory Towers and St Clare's, where it's considered hilarious to pull a non-swimmer under water, sabotage a classmate's work and then "hug yourself with glee" when the teacher punishes her, call an overweight person "Alma Pudding" or an unhappy person "The Misery Girl" and a large group of girls often gangs up on one person. The idea of teachers not intervening except in extreme circumstances is fairly standard in school stories. And it's only fairly recently that children even at real life schools have been actively encouraged to report bullying, and staff to deal with it.

I don't know what EBD was thinking of with Jack Lambert, though. She's one of the nastiest characters in the whole series, but we seem to be meant to sympathise with her, and poor Jane is told off when she's the victim. Margot's another one who gets away with some appalling behaviour. But the later books are much poorer than the earlier books generally.

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 02:20 
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Audrey25 wrote:
This is why I am such a great supporter of Mary-Lou. She might have been overbearing but she would have done anything to try and help somebody, showing an empathy that others did not have at the same age. As far as I can remember there were no dubious incidents when Mary-Lou was a prefect/head girl.


Mary Lou is kind which Jack Lambert is not. I am not a great fan of the exclusive nature of the Gang, but ML is never shown as anything other than wanting the best for her group e.g. encouraging them to improve their languages by helping each other to correct vocab and accent. I could NEVER imagine Jack doing something like that.

Alison H wrote:
I don't know what EBD was thinking of with Jack Lambert, though. She's one of the nastiest characters in the whole series, but we seem to be meant to sympathise with her, and poor Jane is told off when she's the victim. Margot's another one who gets away with some appalling behaviour. But the later books are much poorer than the earlier books generally.


Jack is the ultimate mean girl. And Margot is not much better but she is kept in check by Len and her mother. We are told Jack squirms when she remembers Len telling her she was being a bully, but you don't get a real sense of her being a nice person.

In Jane, it's like the prefects are frightened of Jack. I get that her own gang would not want to go against her (which is very realistic and happens all the time in schools) but Mauve is an appalling head girl and has no idea of what to do.

In my high school, any person caught bullying was reported to the head master. Full stop. No second chances. It might have been a strict policy but, by heaven, it worked.

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 13:25 
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I really warm to Mary-Lou in Mary-Lou!. She arrives back in school late after her Gran's death and finds no one is talking to the new girl, Jessica Wayne. She immediately says "That's not the way we do things" and sets about sorting it.

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 13:58 
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Alison H wrote:
Putting it in context, what happens at the Chalet School is mild compared to what happens at other fictional schools, like Malory Towers and St Clare's, where it's considered hilarious to pull a non-swimmer under water, sabotage a classmate's work and then "hug yourself with glee" when the teacher punishes her, call an overweight person "Alma Pudding" or an unhappy person "The Misery Girl" and a large group of girls often gangs up on one person.


It's fairly realistic though. Having been on the end of some mild-to-moderate bullying myself at school, the Malory Towers books were far more true to life than the Chalet School, where it was so uncommon for anybody to have enemies - or even someone they just avoided. It's nice to read about, but very rare in practise.

I was bullied for wearing glasses, being quiet, being a teacher's pet, wanting to read rather than play, collecting various things deemed too childish for me, being last in a race on Sport's Day. I had chewing gum stuck into my hair because I had a 'silly haircut' and had my clothes damaged because they were 'the wrong clothes'. Most of this came from one single person - my Jack Lambert if you like - and culminated in her taking a pair of scissors and cutting my 'wrong skirt' short by about half a metre, while crouched behind my chair as I read a book in the library. She was expelled after that one, and thankfully I've never seen her again.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 19:16 
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When I read about bullying, I am always comforted by the lines in 'The Mummy' spoken by Rachel Weisz, when she says 'nasty people like you ALWAYS get their comeuppance eventually'; and half an hour later he is eaten by scarab beetles. Great comeuppance! Let's hope the same thing happened to the girl who cut your skirt, Alison H, and that is why you have never seen her again!


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2017, 21:12 
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I would also suggest that Joey bullied Eustacia to a certain extent and Elma bullied Edna in Oberland. Also, Grizel certainly had her moments with Simone and a number of others (even as a mistress).


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2017, 02:30 
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Jennie wrote:
To reply to Audrey:

Read 'Challenge for the Chalet School' and learn just how bad Margot was at being Head of Games.


Plus all the other stuff that went unreported. A lot of girls would have been scared of Margot.

Jack Lambert is a perfect example that nice parents do not necessarily have nice children.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2017, 02:32 
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miss_maeve wrote:
Alison H wrote:
Putting it in context, what happens at the Chalet School is mild compared to what happens at other fictional schools, like Malory Towers and St Clare's, where it's considered hilarious to pull a non-swimmer under water, sabotage a classmate's work and then "hug yourself with glee" when the teacher punishes her, call an overweight person "Alma Pudding" or an unhappy person "The Misery Girl" and a large group of girls often gangs up on one person.


It's fairly realistic though. Having been on the end of some mild-to-moderate bullying myself at school, the Malory Towers books were far more true to life than the Chalet School, where it was so uncommon for anybody to have enemies - or even someone they just avoided. It's nice to read about, but very rare in practise.

I was bullied for wearing glasses, being quiet, being a teacher's pet, wanting to read rather than play, collecting various things deemed too childish for me, being last in a race on Sport's Day. I had chewing gum stuck into my hair because I had a 'silly haircut' and had my clothes damaged because they were 'the wrong clothes'. Most of this came from one single person - my Jack Lambert if you like - and culminated in her taking a pair of scissors and cutting my 'wrong skirt' short by about half a metre, while crouched behind my chair as I read a book in the library. She was expelled after that one, and thankfully I've never seen her again.


That was ghastly for you. Awful that you had to suffer this and glad she was at least expelled.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2017, 03:10 
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miss_maeve wrote:
Most of this came from one single person - my Jack Lambert if you like - and culminated in her taking a pair of scissors and cutting my 'wrong skirt' short by about half a metre, while crouched behind my chair as I read a book in the library. She was expelled after that one, and thankfully I've never seen her again.


That's terrible, but at least the girl was expelled, and rightly so.

I was bullied for four years by one girl in primary school for very similar reasons that you cite - I was quiet, liked to read, wore glasses etc And she bullied me right in front of the teachers who did nothing.

The only way I got away from her was to graduate to high school which thankful had a zero tolerance policy.

Years later I saw her at the local Coles. Packing customer's bags. She looked very downtrodden and the customer was yelling at her for not packing the bags properly. It's called karma.

Back to CS, I know it's not overly realistic but one of the reasons I liked reading them back then, was precisely because the other girls stood up to bullies. You see the popular girls like ML, Vi and Len tell off other girls for bullying. And I just wanted ONE of them in my school to do the same for me.

Alison H wrote:
Putting it in context, what happens at the Chalet School is mild compared to what happens at other fictional schools, like Malory Towers and St Clare's,


The worst is in MT where one girl is made fun of by the whole form to teach her a 'lesson'. It's really horrible. And the fact that it's endorsed by the nice characters like Darrell and Sally, only makes it worse.

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Last edited by Joyce on 31 Jul 2017, 10:06, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 10:42 
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I have always thought Eustacia was bullied at the school, no one, including the teachers, seemed to show any interest in helping her and instead seemed to go out of their way to be rude.Joey behaved very badly in that book, indeed she behaves badly in other books as well at times.The school council of all but Eustacia struck me as very bad.
Jacks behaviour is poor, bad at times but EBD never seems to make her into the perfect CS girl for some reason.
Margot , not sure if she was a bully, but a victim of her own short bad temper.Certainly her worst instances seemed to be a result of that bad temper.

I was bullied at school , its a horrible feeling, I used to like school until it happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 15:06 
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Terrygo wrote:
I have always thought Eustacia was bullied at the school, no one, including the teachers, seemed to show any interest in helping her and instead seemed to go out of their way to be rude.Joey behaved very badly in that book, indeed she behaves badly in other books as well at times.The school council of all but Eustacia struck me as very bad.
I know what you mean, but what do you think would have done any good? The situation in Eustacia is an extremely complex one. For my own part, I can't think who or what could have really helped her at that point, apart perhaps from psychiatric help (visiting Freud in Vienna rather than going up glaciers, perhaps?) - she's pretty much incapable of reacting normally among other people, and may also be clinically depressed - not at her parents' death, since they'd trained all affection out of her, but at too many changes in her life and her own powerlessness to stop them.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 18:53 
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what do you think would have done any good?

Perhaps just more acknowledgement (from her aunt and uncle, as well as the school) of the fact that she was having to cope with so many changes, that she had lost everything that was familiar to her.

And perhaps more effort to enter into her interests, rather than expecting her to fit in with everyone else's. No-one else at school was interested in her subjects.

In other words, some sign that she and her interests mattered.

What would Mary Lou have done?


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 19:10 
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Of course in those days there wasn't the understanding of how traumatic events affected people.However in a school that prided itself at the time as being almost family,of understanding, I feel there was a distinct lack of any understanding.Nell telling Eustacia that if she had been a boy she would have been thrashed was hardly helpful, the school council wrong in so many ways, no one seemed to make any allowances for her past.
Like Jayb said some sign that she mattered, that they were willing to a least try to understand her, a sign they cared would have gone a long way.Someone, preferably a mistress, taking her to one side and explaining the why of things, not just letting her go from one row to another.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 20:41 
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JayB wrote:
What would Mary Lou have done?
I don't know, of course - in Real Life it is just possible that even she would have made no difference, or perhaps have made things worse - and it's noticeable that we never have as bleak a scenario as this ever again. Eustacia seems to have been stripped of most of her emotions, leaving nothing much to get hold of except her anger. I agree that sending her away to live with a horde of strangers who had tribal rules was possibly the worst thing to have done, but the Trevanions had never met her before and clearly had no idea how to handle all this. How many people would? Much as I sympathise with Eustacia, I sympathise with those that have to deal with her as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Bullying?
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2017, 22:13 
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JayB wrote:
Quote:
what do you think would have done any good?

Perhaps just more acknowledgement (from her aunt and uncle, as well as the school) of the fact that she was having to cope with so many changes, that she had lost everything that was familiar to her.

And perhaps more effort to enter into her interests, rather than expecting her to fit in with everyone else's. No-one else at school was interested in her subjects.

In other words, some sign that she and her interests mattered.

What would Mary Lou have done?


That's the question I always ask.

In this case she might have gone to the authorities and told them Eustacia was desperately unhappy and needed help. Alternatively she might have gone to Eustacia and asked what would make her happier.


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