Is This Man "Scary" Enough To Stop Bullying?

   By drodriguez  Apr 04, 2012

In a day and age where bullying among teens is on the rise and in the news just about every day, many schools are struggling to curb bullying behavior among their students. Some schools go above and beyond the norm by hiring an unconventional public speaker known only as “The Scary Man” to teach their students how harmful the effects of bullying can be on their peers.

A recent report from CNN report spotlights the The Scary Man, a former tattoo artist covered head to toe in ink and piercings, and his odd way of speaking to kids that many school officials swear works to end bullying. With a high price tag of $6,500 a day, The Scary Man does not come cheap. His highest pay out for an anti-bullying appearance was $20,000 paid by a Minnesota community for a two-week stay.

With no formal education or background in public speaking, Scary Man relies mainly on shock value when performing in front of teens. By groaning, rubbing his tattooed belly, spitting apples out of his mouth, and making fun of kids and teachers in the audience Scary Man conveys a pretty ugly portrait of a bully. And it is through this picture that he hopes to show kids how not to act. Scary man explains that his performance is to “"show [kids] they have the power to make the choice to be who they want to be and not become what they see and hear around them."

Though many principals and other school officials believe strongly in how effective Scary Man is to put a stop to bullying, there are some who are not convinced. Principal Kerry Juntunen of Hermantown, Minnesota says, “You can have these kinds of folks come in and they are, in a sense, a bit of a mercenary -- a one-time, one-shot deal. Does that really change kids' lives? And my answer is no."

What do you think of The Scary Man’s unconventional approach to combating bullying in schools?

What do you think schools should do to get the word out about the dangers of bullying?

Make a Comment

floflolinda by floflolinda | GOSHEN, IN
Apr 13, 2012

I think everyone has their own way of taking in information. If it works for some individuals that is great, for the ones that don't take it in there are many other ways to learn. I think today's youth lose their innocence at such a young age. I think overall in the end it is not just the parents fault but also every other adult involved in young peoples lives. I as a parent do not mind what disciplinary actions are taken by a school. If my child were to ever resort to bullying, I would allow the school to continue with whatever disciplinary action it pleased. I of course would also have some sort of punishment. If our actions do not make a difference then my last option would be boot camp. I hope that I never have to go through this with my child but if the problem ever does arise I will be very open with my opinions. I will show them the consequences and effects of bullying, not just on the victim but also the bully.

sageemily2005 by sageemily2005 | BUCKSPORT, ME
Apr 07, 2012

i think this is wonderful..he isnt being a bully he is sharing knowledge and new self improvement skills this is great every one needs some one like him..sure he looks different but that is the bonus what he looks like on the outside isnt what is counting its the stuff on the inside he shares is AMAZING KUDOS for him for turning his life around to help children..he is a blessing

savedbygraceblog by savedbygraceblog | MISSOULA, MT
Apr 05, 2012

I like his approach. I think its very different and would work on the right individuals.

marnierily by marnierily | S El Monte, CA
Apr 04, 2012

If I was a bully, it would scare me straight.

emm1010 by emm1010 | Lawrenceville, NJ
Apr 04, 2012

this approach doesn't work and the still photo of the student looks like he is laughing. unless he follows them around throughout the whole school year this is a waste of money. there were a lot of these one shot "learning lessons" when I went I was in school and after they left were over it was back to the usual.