There are times I feel smaller and less significant than this Gecko, but I am not about to let that stop me from doing my small part for bully prevention. Everyone who knows me knows this is a cause very dear to my heart. October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month so I am grateful that Dr. Kathleen Kozak has invited me back to the “The Body Show” on Hawaii Public Radio at KIPO 89.3 FM on Monday, October 3, 2011 at 5:oo PM HST. You can click on the link then click on KIPO for the live stream. You can also read more about ways you can help at the sites listed below.
I am watching Cyberbully, but I cannot help but wonder if it will cause harm instead of helping. I hope not, but other movies and shows actually contributed to the bullying problem. I know from talking to other parents that too many are clueless as to what their children do online. We have friends who have no clue about Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites.
There are parents like Lindsey’s father in the movie who also believe their child has the “right” to harass others online. It really upsets me that this character is an attorney. An attorney should know that harassment is against the law in all fifty states even the ones without specific bullying laws. Hawaii is one of the states without a bullying law, but our harassment law does offer some protection against cyberbullying. The principal’s excuse that the school has no responsibility does not hold true in most states anymore either especially when the child is being openly harassed at school in relation to the Internet posting.
I hope others watched until the end at least! They finally show the power of bystanders at the end of the movie. I wish they has focused on this throughout the movie. I hope this is the message that sticks!
Did you watch? What did you think?
I actually wrote a tribute to my mother in February which you can read here if you missed it. She died over six years ago and I still miss her. I can only imagine how much those who lose their parents at a young age miss them. What about those who bury their children?
Today, I also pay tribute to Phoebe Prince’s mom who faced those who tormented her child in court this week and who will spend her second mother’s day without getting to hear her beautiful daughter say Happy Mother’s Day. Despite what must have been a very painful week for her she praised Ashley Longe, one of those who bullied her daughter, for meeting with her privately before the hearing and for showing true remorse. You can watch the video of her confronting the bullies here.
I also pay tribute to all of the other mothers who have lost their precious children to suicide following bullying in our schools. I pray other children, parents and school administrators are paying attention and that changes are made in our schools and in our society so this stops before others die. God bless the families for whom this is too late and God bless all of our children!
Thankfully, I had parents who taught me to help people in trouble and yet, until my thirties I did not always do this. I have never left anyone wounded or bleeding, but there have been times when I have not stopped if I saw others were already at the scene. I mentioned in a previous blog that I also regret not speaking up to help a friend when someone bullied her on the school bus when I was in high school. It took me a while to really grow up, so I do get how hard it is for bystanders to step-up and help those in need, although I think it is time we worked to change the apathy within ourselves and others.
What I do not get is why in a time when bully prevention programs encourage bystanders to help, a mail carrier has to fight to try to get her job back after helping a young man who was in danger of being mauled by two pit bulls. That is just wrong! See this story: Mail Carrier Tries to Get Job Back After Helping Boy | NBC Philadelphia.
What I do get and love is bystanders who do help and bloggers who post their stories and helpful information. Read this post: Tips for the Bully Bystander « Bullying Stories.
Warning the next link is disturbing, so I understand if you choose to skip it.
This link includes two examples of how callous people are capable of being: The Bystander Effect: Alive and Well, Page 2 of 2 – Associated Content from Yahoo! – associatedcontent.com.
The last two links are information from a teacher’s site about the Holocaust. I am posting them because I really fear for our nation when bystanders do not speak-up and when I see a tolerance of meanness while kindness and acceptance of differences are seemingly MIA in some of our school age children.
Do you speak-up when you see someone being mistreated? Do you encourage your children to speak-up too?