This post is not an original idea nor the first time I have touched on its topic, but unfortunately the issue of bullying is still enough of an issue to require repeated calls for attention. My previous entries are:
In an attempt to continue getting the word out and raising awareness, I wrote a short piece for our electronic newsletter that goes to parents each week. Typically I would not necessarily place a newsletter piece on my blog, but I have had a few suggestions to do so with this one. So, without much more explanation it is presented below.
Please take the time to think about some of the awful behaviors that are being perpetrated on our children by their peers and in some cases adults. The only way to stop this cycle is through purposeful education concerning how to act with integrity. Doing so takes character, but that is only built through the act of making the right, courageous choices. We have to make that first, scary step on the promise that it will get easier.
The piece was as follows:
Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
October is the national Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Please take the time to discuss this serious issue with your student at home. While we hope to curb all bullying at Seekonk High School it is understood that this behavior is pervasive and by definition, operates in secrecy. I have included a links to two short YouTube videos. Please take the time, watch them with your students, and have a discussion. Notice the behaviors, the bystanders, the helpers, and most importantly the victims. Imagine they are you or your students and better understand the problems that face thousands of students nationwide on a daily basis.
I have also included various resources for you to peruse when time permits. They contain valuable tips for victims, parents, educators, bystanders, and even bullies.
· Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/
· Stomp Out Bullying: http://www.stompoutbullying.org/index.php/campaigns/national-bullying-prevention-awareness-month/
· Stop Bullying: http://www.stopbullying.gov/
The victimization of any human being is a behavior that must be stopped. Bullying affects all those involved in some form. It affects the most vulnerable of our population; children. Think of the following:
· Just because you don’t like someone doesn’t mean you need to interact with them.
· Bullies act out of a frustration with themselves and their lack of self-esteem. It is about gaining control and power over their victim.
· Do not be a bystander! Seek help from the appropriate people if you do not want to intervene.
· Adults cannot stop bullying by themselves. It is up to the bully’s peers to put an end to this awful, behavior.
· If you are being bullied let someone know and push forward. You are special and can be incredibly successful one day because of who you are and what your experiences have made you.
Finally, a message to give to bullies. Those who you victimize will continue to be special in spite of your best efforts to drag them down to the level at which you exist. Others will realize this, turn their backs on you, and in time, you will still be alone and have feelings of inadequacy. Get help for what ails you in a productive way rather than being destructive.
No one likes to hear this, but I am sure this behavior exists at some level in Seekonk as well. The question is what are all of us going to do together to stop these acts. Simply ignoring or accepting it is not an option.