A New Way of Teaching (And Learning)
Yay! The new headmaster is bringing change!
Glad they are seeing the light, although I would not call them the leader for teaching empathy. They are not the first school on this island to understand the need for change, nor are they the first nationally. Still it is nice that the new headmaster has experience with the importance of empathy, and I do wish him much success as he implements these changes!
I am grateful for every person and school that finally gets it!
Da’Nile is more than a river in Egypt! It is a common saying although I added the Hawaiian lingo Da’ for the. Despite support from many around the country, the movie, Bully is only showing in one small theater on Oahu and the media coverage here is appalling. This is despite the fact that a 2008 study showed that Hawaii ranks high in teen suicides and PBS Hawaii noted in 2010 that Hawaii teenagers attempted suicide at more than twice the national average.
The seemly lack of response to Bully and to the victims of bullying by some in our country is disturbing, but it is especially so in Hawaii. Does the media assume that when the DOE released their anti-bullying program in October that this magically solved the problem? I cannot place my finger on the cause. It could be the fact that too many see that the movie does not give solutions to the problem and many have problems with this.
I did too until I realized how much information the Bully Project put together on their site to help solve the problem. I am not linking you directly because the site uses index flash and takes a while to load. It it better for you to go to the site directly. Go to http://thebullyproject.com/ and click Get Tools & Resources to find a wealth of information for parents, students, educators, and advocates that includes guides to help teachers and others use the movie as a starting point for teaching students kindness and empathy. There is much more information too about setting up school programs to address the problem.
Apathetic behavior and failure of those in charge of our schools to accept accountability is a big part of the bullying problem in my humble opinion. It is the thing that still angers me when I think of what my daughter went through. It is a greater danger than anything else. It is only when teenagers feel all hope is lost that they turn to suicide, and it is the apathetic attitudes of the adults in our schools that lead them down this path.
I cannot get my daughter’s former school to apologize to her anymore than I can get others to understand this. Still there is hope. Thankfully there are others who are making a difference. The Dalai Lama visited one local school during his recent visit and honored them for playing a part in making the world a better place. Read about it: Aloha, Dalai Lama – MidWeek.
I have so much more to say about the movie, Bully, but you’ll have to wait until May fourth when you can read about it at Special-Ism.com. I urge each of you to see the movie and visit the site.
I was first in line to see it this morning. Initially, it looked like I would be the only one there, but thankfully a few more showed up.
Kindness Matters! It’s just one of the take away messages of the movie, Bully. It is the message that the kids need to get and that some are getting as they join in the cause to help prevent bullying and to support the victims.
There are more important messages for the adults!
- Blaming the victim for not telling you is not acceptable especially if you gave them empty promises of protection in the past while they continued to be tormented.
- Scolding them for not forgiving their tormentor is not helpful either.
- Apathetic attitudes regarding the severity of the problem are not helpful.
- Excusing meanness that does not result in bloody noses or broken bones is also inexcusable.
We see teachers, parents, principals, vice principals, law enforcement, and bus drivers letting kids down again and again. One child takes matters into her own hands and threatens her tormentors with a real gun. FYI one boy had threatened to sexually assault this teenager, so it is not like she had not been threatened. I do not condone taking a gun to school, but I do understand why she did it, and I found the sheriff to be offensive when he said that she had no cause for this action because she had not been physically assaulted. He thinks she should be locked up for a hundred years despite the fact that the gun wasn’t fired, and she had never been in trouble previously. You’ll find out her fate if you watch the movie.
I will be writing a longer review for Special-Ism for publication on the fourth of May, so I am not going to say more about the movie itself right now. I merely hope schools will encourage their staff and students to see the movie.
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?