• Anonymous

    In Chicago, a father turned in his own son for bullying after violent incident was captured on video. http://abcn.ws/zaUUfO

  • gyung

    As a principal of a public K-8 elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I believe that a concerted effort from our district’s central school department, our state’s Department of Education, and an alliance with local law enforcement has helped educate our teachers and staff to identify and respond to reports of bullying. We have had numerous trainings and workshops to help enact strategies to address this issue. Every school in Massachusetts is also required to have an anti-bullying plan. I agree, though, that while our awareness has also raised other issues in terms of anxiety and misconceptions, the general message of actively educating and monitoring these interactions have helped reinforce our own character-education initiatives and the importance of community.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that tackling this issue requires an collaborative effort across agencies, institutions, and individuals. Working to build character and community also seems key. How involved are the students in the process of identifying and reporting bullying? Do they perceive bullying the same way as parents and teachers in your experience?

  • Danbloom

    GO placidly amid the multitasking distractions and the hot links and know what peace there may be in going unplugged. Sign in with your real name or a userid that hides you from detection, but never flame others or call them names you would never want others to call you. Respect the opinions of others, no matter how weird or contrarian they may seem to be, because, remember, we are one people, one Earth, one digiverse, one blogosphere, united and together as a force for good and enlightenment in this post-Gutenberg age of ours.

    Cyberbullying is a no-no. And know that posting private links or photos you found online to embarass others is punishable in court. Respect the age, race, religion, nationality, user status, ethnicity, gender and sexuality of all your “friends” and nonfriends, and most importantly, never do unto others what you would never want them in a million years to do to you. [Did we say that already? Well, it bears repeating!]

    Taste the virtual sushi, sashimi and sake, read to your heart’s delight on a nook or a Kindle or your handy iPhone and feel free to post your more memorable “karry-okie” performances on YouTube or Facebook. Never, never bully others. Make friends with complete strangers, if you wish, it’s fun, and invite them gently into your cyberhome, but always provide them with a key to the door so can get out if they so choose.

    Remember, cyberspace is a vast theater of the possible and the impossible, and know that not everything you read online is trustworthy or verifiable, or, as Bill Geist of CBS News puts it: “About 95 percent of the news we get online should be vewied in much the same way as we view professional wrestling.”

    Plug in, plug off, switch over, opt out and go wherever your digital imagination wants to take you. Enter uncharted and un[Google]mapped territories, yes, but always use safeguards and a safety net just in case there are perverts or hackers lurking in the vaporsphere just waiting to entrap you. Beware those annoying phishing expeditions, the ”send me more money” scams, the ”you have $25 million dollars in a secret Nigerian bank account” emails and all the other overly-aggressive evil forces of the dark realms.

    Whatever you do, never go to bed angry at anyone you’ve met online! Kiss and make up, hug and make amends, extend the hand of peace and treat everyone online as your brother or sister. Really!

    Oh yes, and when you feel overwhelmed and stressed and over-distracted, do what should come naturally: unplug, unwind, unschlep.

    Remember, you can walk away from this anytime, there’s always an ”internet sabbath” waiting for your contemplation and enjoyment. YOU are the master of this seemingly soul-less machine and not the other way around, so never let it push you around or tell you what to do. You make the rules.

  • Danbloom
  • Anonymous

    Bullying is still going around, and unfortunately it’s still there. Recently there’s a video spreading around YouTube: Helpless Asian Man Attacked and Jumped By 7 Others Behind School (http://youtu.be/umUh1Xq9NgU) – a teenager in Chicago was beaten by his peers and the video was posted on YouTube. Although it is unfortunate and disheartening to see yet another bullying incident in place, the appearance of this video in the public audience is comforting in the sense that at least this issue of bullying is gradually gathering public attention.

    Bullying is definitely still a significant issue around us, but I am glad that people become increasingly aware of such an issue. Bullying is something that exists around us, and indeed, after participating in this discussion, I now more consciously realize that there are bullying going on around myself, severe or trivial, they are there. But if we all become aware of the presence of these happenings, if we all learn to act upon them, I’m sure that some progress, some change will take place soon.

  • Lindsay Goetting

    So good to see the topic of bullying being examined in detail and to read about approaches that work from around the world. Too often, media coverage on this topic is sensationalized and omits ideas and solutions. Here is a blog from Andrew Kutt, director of Oneness-Family School in Chevy Chase, MD. He has some ideas about how bullying can be avoided by teaching peace.

    Teach Peace Instead of Anti-Bullying

    On the heels of troubling headlines about hazing at a local high school up the road from our own Oneness-Family School last week and a plethora of well-intentioned workshops and programs nationwide focused on anti-bullying, I offer my perspective on how educators can shift the operational paradigm from anti-bullying to peace.

    5 Ways Schools Can Teach Peace

    1. Cultivate students’ inner awareness: Teach mindfulness practices to optimize students’ brain development and their ability to manage and recognize a full spectrum of emotions in themselves and others. Have a look at the national training program MindUP, which we recently added to our curriculum.

    2. Emphasize appreciation of world cultures, religions and heroes: Study and discuss the diversity and richness of our global heritage through history, languages, the arts, and the inspiring stories of heroes of our time to promote understanding and respect for diversity in all forms.

    3. Teach conflict resolution: Empower students with formalized instruction in mediating conflict and maintain a focused commitment in helping them to practice these skills with each other so that they become compassionate, confident problem solvers and peacemakers at home and in the world at large.

    4. Connect students to nature: Instill in students a deep feeling of connectedness to their bodies and to the Earth. Dedicate ample time to mind-body, fitness and recess activities plus regular science and nature studies that focus on the interdependence of all living things. Students learn that being of sound body and mind goes hand-in-hand with the responsibility to nurture a healthy planet.

    5. Create inspirational school celebrations that bring the wider world into the school: Communities are made more cohesive when they coalesce around an aspiration or larger collective goal beyond a football team victory. Celebrate peace with United Nations Day, the protection of the environment with Earth Day and the importance of serving others with a fundraising walkathon for children without water in Africa.

    Could the paradigm shift envisioned above be effective in schools nationwide and create a new generation of peacemakers? Considering our experience at Oneness-Family School the answer is YES!

    What are your experiences with anti-bullying programs? Do you think some or all of the above approaches could be incorporated into your school’s practices? As a parent, does this approach sound appealing? As a student, do you think this would help? Please share this post with your teachers, school administrators, colleagues and friends. Encourage them to post their comments. Together we have the power to give peace a real chance!

    http://www.onenessfamily.org/blog.html
    http://andrewkutt.wordpress.com/

  • http://latitudenews.com/ Latitude News

    Thanks Lindsay for sharing Andrew’s ideas. Prevention is key. From what we’ve been reading it seems that in the US the approach to bullying and bullies tends to be punitive. Europe and Australia have a different approach – one we’re getting some reactions to. Watch this space!

  • JuliannaSmith

    This been a very big problem to all parents and create hindrance to send children to school. The only thing you can do to help bully-proof your child is that encourage friendships. Start early in helping your child build social skills and make friendships and teach your children to express themselves clearly yet tactfully. And also provide them the right protection. I would just like to share with you guys this safety device that can immediately summon for help when you need a fire fighter, ambulance or even a police assistance . It’s a cell phone-based personal security device that is connected with the 911, it has a panic button once press it will alert the selected friends and family members when you are in danger or when you need help, you can check out: http://safekidzone.com/

    • Maria Balinska

      Hi Julianna, this is Maria at Latitude News. Thanks for getting in touch and for letting our readers and us know about the safety device. Your point about parents needing to help their child build social skills is a very pertinent one – like preventative healthcare.