Monday, May 11, 2009

What Can Be Done About Bullying

Last week Oprah discussed a topic that I have been working to prevent for the past 20 years - bullying. On the show were the mothers of, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, two 11 year old boys,  that killed themselves because they were called gay, fag, and other types of harassment. 50% of bullying involves this types of bullying. The Supreme Court has included this type of bullying under Sexual Harassment and schools are required to stop it. THEY ARE DOING NOTHING. Watch the interview below.

As a Martial Arts Instructor I see the effects of bullying all the time. The number one mistake we as adults trying to help kids being bullied is to tell them to ignore the bully. Kids need to learn how to stand up with a bully and not look like a victim. This doesn't mean they need to actually hit anyone. They can do this by gaining confidence in themselves, walking with confidence, looking at the bully in the eye and saying in a loud voice that they are DONE taking their crap.

Parents if this is happening to your child instead of saying to the school officials they are bullied, tell them they are also being sexually harassed. Make sure they are aware of that. We need to help school and teachers be able to talk about the harm in using those words in a derogatory manner. Teachers must understand they are breaking the law if they do not follow the sexual harassment policy of the school. We have seen cases were kindergartners have been brought up on sexual harassment charges for things that were never going to lead to suicide. It's time teachers and administrators take this seriously and do their jobs. It's time that we as taxpayers hold them accountable.
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