Children are outside during outdoor play. A group of three boys is off playing by themselves. Another boy, Carl, approaches them and asks if he can play with them. One of the three boys says that they have formed a club and since Carl is not a member he cannot play. Carl asks about the club and the boy says that Carl cannot join the club. The boy says it is the “cool” club and Carl is not cool enough to be in the club. Carl keeps persisting, saying he wants to play and asking how he can get into the club. Finally, the same boy says that if Carl smears dirt on his face they will let him in the club. Carl points out that none of the other boys have dirt on their faces. The boys reply that it does not matter. If Carl wants to be in the club, that is what he needs to do.
Based on what you know about bullying behavior and the criteria, is this bullying behavior? The correct answer is yes, it meets the criteria. First, it’s exclusion because the other children excluded Carl from joining their club. Second, in addition to exclusion, they were going to demean and humiliate him by having him put dirt on his face. There’s the intent and there’s also the indication of signs of aggressive behavior. What about power or imbalance? There were three boys to one. That indicates an imbalance of power. Last, is it repeated? Usually, the repetition of bullying behavior is the most difficult to identify because you have to see it over time. In this scenario, there’s a very keyword. It says, “Carl keeps persisting.” Persistence meaning ongoing, which would indicate a repeated type of behavior. By the criteria, this would be bullying behavior.
a) Is this an ethical issue or an ethical dilemma? Explain your thoughts with supporting details?
b) Identify conflicting responsibilities and provide possible resolutions.