Bullies and Bystanders — three years later

This morning I reposted an article that I wrote three years ago on the SocialSmarts Facebook page. This article, entitled "Bullies and Bystanders Beware" was featured on Huffington Post and, as a result, made its way into many different venues, all across the world.

The article was highly acclaimed at the time of its publication, generating hundreds of comments and emails from people all around the globe.  The sentiment was generally the same: "oh, my gosh, we didn't know things had gotten so terrible, something MUST be done."

That was three years ago...

What strikes me, when I reread the article today, is how little progress we've really made in the three years since then. In fact, while awareness of the problem has grown, so has the amount of money spent, laws enacted, and, at the same time, the damage path of anti-social behavior and suicides from bullying. (more…)

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Bullying – the “hot” topic for this week

Can't go five minutes today without hearing of another news program or celeb that is bringing the topic of bullying to the airwaves.  Not long ago, Ellen deGeneres announced she and Anderson Cooper were swapping "sites" to cover the story -- she on his show tonight, he on hers tomorrow. Dr. Phil is doing a show on it later this week.

If things go as typical, it'll be a lot of talk about how tragic it is, how awful that these young people feel no hope in their situation of being bullied or harassed to the point where they take their own lives. We'll talk about the different kinds of bullying and talk about the psychology of who gets bullied and who does the bullying. (more…)

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What are we REALLY doing about bullying?

Bullying in schools is becoming a hot topic -- again.  Dr. Phil is highlighting it again on his show.  Larry King Live will do something tonight related to bullying of gays and lesbians. This week, Anderson Cooper is dedicating his entire "AC 360" program to the topic.  We've heard of another student who killed himself -- this time after a homosexual encounter was caught on tape and posted on YouTube.  It's seeming like we've been here before, that the media attention is a positive.  But, at the end of the day, will anything really be any different?

As many of you know, I've been traveling pretty much non-stop the last few weeks, promoting the idea of positive social skills and character as a solution to many of the problems in schools. Bullying is one topic I've been raising with the children to whom I've spoken, relating the concepts of empathy, compassion and respect as the key to eliminating bullying. During these presentations, I've made several interesting discoveries: (more…)

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