“We have a major flaw in the ‘solution,’ because it still only deals with bullying as the ‘end result,’ but does nothing to address the root cause of bullying in the first place,” explains C. Gregory. “And, as I’ve said repeatedly, cyber bullying isn’t any ‘special’ kind of bullying, per se. … It comes from the very same place other types of bullying comes from; yet, we don’t want to address that common core.” Join Gregory’s discussion here.
“Bullying is a very serious issue, and I agree with First Lady Michelle Obama that parents or concerned adults must be involved in the lives of their children,” says Seonlady47. “Children need guidance in their early years to build their self-esteem, and then they need to be taught that it is not OK to hurt someone else because they do not look, dress, or talk a certain way. Manners and consideration for another person have gone by the wayside.”
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“We are still treating it as [if] the child being bullied is the one out of balance—the one who needs help, while the bullies just need a little reminder about their manners,” says ginarocks. “Chances are that the school bully has a parent who was a school bully and is currently a workplace bully, but who has just become more socially adept at it. How dare we, as adults, think that this is some new phenomenon of the Internet Age? Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have just replaced the cliques, phone calls, and note-passing of previous generations. People know that the socially acceptable thing to do is to feign empathy. Until people change their views on people who are different from them, the problem will remain, no matter how the government tries to suppress it. No amount of assertiveness or self-esteem workshops for the ‘victims’ will help, either.”
“C. Gregory makes a good point about being concerned about calling cyber bullying unique—but cyber bullying expert Patricia Agatston does discuss in her book that it is easier to bully when one is behind a computer, not face to face,” writes lcallister1. “Dr. Agatston talks about how we need to build a culture of good behaviors with each other, building empathy, and skills to make it unacceptable in our schools.”
“The real issue is the breakdown of what bullying is,” writes wallace. “It is a cry for help. It is, whether big or small, a viable cry for attention. Before I even attempt pointing a finger at anyone, I must mention the fact that it takes a village … you know the rest. We are all guilty of looking the other way and pretending not to notice. We do not know how to react, act upon, or better yet, prevent. We cannot from the outside make much of a change. It goes deeper, to the heart or conscience. We need family to become a stronger force. We need each other to survive.”
“The president’s candid description of the bullying he experienced can give people hope and encouragement that life achievement and dream fulfillment can still occur despite being bullied. But unfortunately, it also places an overemphasis on the actions of bullies and the response of the victims, rather than the larger solution of creating kindness, generosity, character, and respect in our schools for all students,” says reycarr. “What we need is greater emphasis on positive social skills; not just lip service as to the necessity, but curricula with experiential components, including service-based practicums where students can be peer helpers, peer leaders, peer tutors, peer mentors, and other roles to help develop the positive social skills.”
Helping to advance the conversation, many readers gave best-practice tips and advice on how to combat bullying, at least at the school level.
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