Purchased Clip Art Collection Version 1.0 Copyright 2012 Macmanus. All Rights Reserved.
Reasons I Love That’s What I Am
There are so many things I love about the movie, That’s What I Am. My favorite part is when Mr. Simon writes this on the chalk board: Human Dignity + Compassion = Peace. Another wonderful part is when Stanley says, “I can’t make them be nice people and even if I did there would be others to take their place.” The movie also makes the point that success is about timing, opportunity, and choices.
Education for Real Change
I hope and pray more people will become tolerant and accepting of differences, but I cannot force them to do this. The best I can do is to continue to try to educate and pray that the message touches hearts. Words said because of fear are just words. Words said because of true change mean so much more.
I am grateful that this movie reminded me of this. I am also grateful for others who continue to understand that education is so much more powerful than any form of violence will ever be.
Gratitude for All Who Help
Thank God for all of those who try to make change by living good examples and by educating without cramming information down other’s throats. Thank God for the good teachers who truly inspire. May there be more of them in this world!
No, I am not posting this video. Too many others have posted it already. The boy from Australia who fought back admits he finally snapped from bullying. He is not a hero, but he deserves understanding and compassion. He had experienced repeated acts of bullying before this video went viral.
I certainly understand why he snapped. I also get why so many think he is a hero. I am proud of this young man for gaining control after he threw the bully. He did not keep attacking the bully although he could have. For the record, his father does not believe violence is the answer, nor do I.
You can see a video that includes the boy’s explanation of why he snapped, and comments from his older sister and his dad, as well as copies of doctored versions of the video that went to multiple countries, by clicking on the link below to Alan Eisenberg’s blog. I hope you will comment at Alan’s blog and then return here.
Video of Boy Who Fights Back Against Bully « Bullying Stories.
What is the answer? I still believe the answer is getting bystanders to help and I still believe schools need to reward them for reporting bullying and for standing up to the bullies. I also believe the bully needs help so they can learn to treat others with respect. We need programs that rehabilitate the bully. They then need to give back by teaching the importance of respecting others to their peers as a form of community service.
Myna birds squawk and sound like they are trying to cause trouble in many backyards in Hawaii, and they seem to travel in pairs like some bullies, so I am using them as my bully picture of the day.
I’m not sure how many of you watched Dateline Sunday night, “My Kids Would Never…Bully” after I tweeted it on Friday, but I watched it and loved it. Two of the bystanders were very brave and spoke up and defended the victim and then continued to defend the victim when the bullying got worse. Yay Lilly and Isaiah!!!!!!! Others joined in once one person spoke up. We really need more of this. Others also made efforts to support the victim, but some were not forceful enough for it to make a difference. Bystanders really can make a difference when they are firm and persistent!!!!
I also loved that they emphasized that adults set the tone and actually showed how bad coaching or really any bad authority figure can contribute to escalating bullying and more people joining the bully. Of note, one girl, who admitted liking Gossip Girl style was easily pulled into joining the bullies. This brings home a point I made in a previous posts about watching mean girl shows. You can read it here. One of the boys was also drawn into helping the bullies, but this was after the bad example set by the “coach” of observing the bullying and then not doing anything to help and in fact making it worse.
Another nice thing they did that I love is they gave links to sites with more information to take action against the bullying. I also love that Rosalind Wiseman emphasized the importance of the bystander speaking up and being assertive and firm rather than being kind when confronting the bully. The guy from the Hetrick-Martin Institute also pointed out that calling someone “gay” has become the new way to bully even when the victim is not “gay.” This happens on sports teams and at school.
The resources they listed are: http://rosalindwiseman.com
http://hmi.org (This is the Hetrick-Martin Institute who were also on the show to help.)
http://glsen.org (The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network)
Do you have examples of bad teachers, coaches, parents, or other adults contributing to the bullying?
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.
A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust-Victims.
A Teachers Guide to the Holocaust-Bystanders.
Do you speak-up when you see someone being mistreated? Do you encourage your children to speak-up too?