Teach Tolerance… Be Mindful of the “B” Word


 

Recently a friend of mine confided in me that his daughter was labeled a” bully” by a fellow student because she was being aggressive on the basketball court.

Today the word bullying is being used so liberally every disagreement, fight or altercation is being labeled bullying.

There is a difference between bullying and conflict and everyone needs to be educated as to the differences. Bullying is a form of abuse.

Labeling or stereotyping can be a form of bullying. Grouping races or individuals together and making a judgment about them without knowing them, is an example of stereotyping. Labeling a child a bully, a victim or a bystander is oversimplifying a complex issue. The truth of the matter is we have all displayed bullying behavior and all of us have been targets and bystanders at some time. Many kids that display bullying behavior have been targets  either in school, on-line or at home.  The case of Richard Gale,  a twelve year old boy  who  was body slammed by Casey Haynes comes to mind. The video was captured on a cell phone and then went viral. We see what appears to be a boy standing up to a bully. Further examination reveals a more complex dynamic.  One thing My concern is that the current bullying rhetoric will escalate labeling children and increase their aggression. Once a child has been given a label it can follow them their whole life.  The more we label a child the more likely he/she will feel that’s what they are and that they can’t change.

is clear.  Both boys are hurting, both boys need help and their families are deeply troubled and upset by the incident. When children are involved in a bullying incident we need to make an effort to understand what led up to the incident and reaction of all parties.  Only then can we deal with the situation in a manner to avoid it happening again.

We can empower children to make the “right choices” by shifting the discussion to the behavior itself and focusing on changing those behaviors.  We need to advocate for children by getting them the services they need before their behaviors become lifelong patterns that have life altering effects.

Utterly Global offers professional development workshops enabling teachers to take a more pragmatic approach to understanding and dealing with bullying behaviors.

Frozen

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Facebook court ruling: What you share on Facebook is admissible as evidence

Did you know that what you say on Facebook can be used against you in a court of law? If you’re sharing something with your friends, you may as well be sharing directly with the judge and jury: A recent ruling in a U.S. federal court says that if you post something on Facebook, your friend can share that information with the police — it’s not a violation of your privacy.

Accused gang member Melvin Colon had argued in court that investigators violated his constitutional right to privacy when they viewed his Facebook profile via one of his friends’ accounts. But US District Judge William Pauley III ruled that Colon’s messaged threats and posts about violent acts he committed were not private, and indeed fair game for prosecutors. To some extent, the ruling makes logical sense: When you say something publicly on Facebook, you’re often sharing a thought with hundreds, maybe even thousands of people. There’s not much that’s private about that.

Courts have settled a number of questions pertaining to Facebook and our legal system this year. Courts have ruled that it is improper to deliver a court summons via Facebook, even when it’s the best method of reaching someone. A court has also ruled that a Like on Facebook isn’t constitutionally protected free speech — something Facebook is vigorously appealing.

This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Tecca

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Bullied Rutgers Student Tyler Clementi’s Parents Speak Out For The First Time on NBC’s Rock Center

Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge just a few days after his roommate at Rutgers University used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man. Now Clementi’s family is speaking out for the first time to Lester Holt. We have an extended preview clip from the episode.

During the exclusive interview, Tyler’s parents, Jane and Joe Clementi, and his brother James reveal their thoughts about the sensational trial of their son’s roommate Dharun Ravi, the 30-day sentence he received, and their own response to Tyler’s sexuality.  The full interview airs this Thursday at 10pm/9c on NBC’s Rock Center.

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Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity exists…Inclusion needs to be created

Cultural Differences Video

Teaching children to respect people of various sizes, abilities, ethnicities and ages is more important now than ever.  Children feel good about who they are when they respect themselves and others. When they learn to value people who are different from themselves, they are better prepared to live tranquilly in a diverse world.

Diversity is the quality of being different or unique at the individual or group level. This includes everything that makes us who we are, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, skin color, language, age, mental and physical abilities, etc.

Diversity exists… but inclusion must be created. In an inclusive environment differences are recognized, respected, valued and celebrated. Meaningful diversity and inclusion efforts create loyal, long-lasting relationships where everyone benefits and feels good.

Today, children interact more frequently with people of different ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Classrooms are increasingly diverse, reflecting the communities where families live and work. Many times bullying is based on these differences. Children are aware of racial and gender differences at a very young age, and by the age of twelve they may have formed stereotypes. Prejudicial thinking can lead to inappropriate behavior and remarks resulting in children being charged with bias based or hate crimes. A hate crime is a criminal offense. In the United States, federal prosecution is possible for hate crimes.

Prejudice and intolerance in the United States are climbing as increasing numbers of minorities choose to live in this country. According to a report issued by the FBI, data collected from 2,800 police departments in thirty-two states revealed 4,755 bias-related crimes. Because this figure does not include the majority of police departments, the actual figure is likely to be much higher. In many cases, such behavior results from lack of education and exposure to people who are different from oneself.

The more we teach children about different cultures, races religions and gender the more we help them understand people different from themselves . Understanding leads to greater tolerance and instills critical thinking skills reducing the likelihood of bullying and stereotyping.

Teaching children tolerance and respect for diversity should be part of our everyday interactions. We must be careful and also help children to use language that focuses on individuals and not their differences or disabilities. This means monitoring closely the jokes children tell and hear. Teaching children to handle anger constructively helps avoid bias based remarks and actions. Teachers should aim to be recognized for culturally responsive teaching.

Taking children to cultural fairs, encouraging your school to have a multi-cultural day and exposing your children to various ethnic cuesine is fun and educational.  Games that show participants we share more commonalities than differences promote tolerance and open up dialogue all contribute to teaching tolerance and respect for all.

The following link will provide additional tips to becoming a better multi-cultural educator. http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/resources/self_critique.html

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Teach Tolerance… Be Mindful of the “B” Word

Recently a friend of mine confided in me that his daughter was labeled a “bully” by a fellow student because she was being aggressive on the basketball court.

Today the word bullying is being used so liberally that every disagreement, fight or altercation is being labeled bullying.

There is a difference between bullying and conflict and everyone needs to be educated as to the differences. Bullying is a form of abuse.

Labeling or stereotyping can be a form of bullying. Grouping races or individuals together and making a judgment about them without knowing them, is an example of stereotyping. Labeling a child a bully, a victim or a bystander is oversimplifying a complex issue. The truth of the matter is we have all displayed bullying behavior and all of us have been targets and bystanders at some time. Many kids that display bullying behavior have been targets either in school, on-line or at home. The case of Richard Gale, a twelve year old boy who was body slammed by Casey Haynes comes to mind. The video was captured on a cell phone and then went viral. We see what appears to be a boy standing up to a bully. Further examination reveals a more complex dynamic. My concern is that the current bullying rhetoric will escalate labeling children and increase their aggression. Once a child has been given a label it can follow them their whole life. The more we label a child the more likely he/she will feel that’s what they are and that they can’t change.

One thing is clear. Both boys are hurting, both boys need help and their families are deeply troubled and upset by the incident. When children are involved in a bullying incident we need to make an effort to understand what led up to the incident and the reaction of all parties. Only then can we deal with the situation in a manner to prevent it from happening again.

We can empower children to make the “right choices” by shifting the discussion to the behavior itself and focusing on changing those behaviors. We need to advocate for children by getting them the services they need before their behaviors become lifelong patterns that have life-altering effects.

Utterly Global offers professional development workshops enabling teachers to take a more pragmatic approach to understanding and dealing with bullying behaviors.

Augmentin

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October is Bullying Prevention Month

National Bullying Prevention Month is designed to raise awareness to bullying in the classroom, as well as through media outreach and anti-bullying programs.

Bullying in schools is a serious problem for many students, especially students who have disabilities or are gay, bisexual or transgendered. LGBT teens are four times more likely than their peers to commit suicide. Reducing bullying is one way to help lessen the likelihood of teen suicides.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Suicide
http://www.suicide.org/gay-and-lesbian-suicide.html

FYI

CNN’s Anderson Cooper will present a one-hour special town hall on Anderson Cooper 360°. The town hall, titled Bullying: No Escape; AC 360 Special Report with PEOPLE Magazine and Cartoon Network, will air Oct. 8th at 10 PM.

PEOPLE magazine will run a bullying package in the Oct. 18th issue, which hits newsstands on Oct. 8th. This special editorial section will feature confessions of a former bully and stories from students who were tormented in school.

Cartoon Network will launch their initiative, Stop Bullying: Speak Up, on Oct. 4th. The network will feature on-air PSAs that will direct young viewers and parents to visit CartoonNetwork.com for key online resources developed in coordination with the network’s recently established Bullying Prevention Advisory Board.

Some suggested activities:

Institute an Anti-Bullying Week. Arrange special anti-bullying events throughout the week, and encourage students to participate in anti-bullying activities.

Incorporate the anti -bullying message into your curriculum.

Have a Mix-it-Up Day. Have students sit with new kids at lunch.

Participate in Utterly Global’s “Hero Campaign”
UTTERLY GLOBAL would like to recognize students that have taken a stand against bullying.
http://antibullyingprograms.org/Hero-Campaigns.php

Lorrie Sanchez
Executive Director
Utterly Global

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Back to School Discussions………..Don’t Forget to Mention Bullying

Switching to “back to school” mode, as we all know is daunting at best. Attempting to get your child off of their summer schedule along with shopping for school supplies, clothing, lunchboxes, backpacks, etc. are challenging and time consuming endeavors. Not to mention the encouragement, expectations and upcoming reinforcement discussions regarding homework scheduling, bedtime rules, computer time and phone privileges which can truly push you to your limit.

An important but often overlooked part of “back to school” discussions should incorporate speaking with your child about bullying. Discussing with your child how they treat and how they are treated by peers both off and on the school grounds, at sporting events and yes, even when they are on the computer is essential. This is one of the most important discussions you could have with your child, not only at the beginning of each school year, but throughout the year. Bullying is a topic that is often overlooked, but an event that inevitably happens grade after grade, year after year. According to the National Education Association, nearly 160,000 children miss school each day because they fear bullying.

Your child should have his senses tuned into bullying. Most schools now have bullying awareness programs. However, you are the key in preparing your child to navigate the world safely. YOU are your child’s best protection when it comes to the internet.
Keeping an open line of communication with your child makes it easy to start discussions about internet safety. This is extremely important, especially in the event that your child becomes a target. Many times, kids are embarrassed about being bullied and may not tell their parents or another adult right away. They often fear retaliation, not being believed or consequences. If your child comes to you and asks for help, take it seriously. If kids aren’t taken seriously the first time they ask for help, they usually don’t ask again. Spend time with you child teaching him how to use technology responsibly. With cyber bullying on the rise, your child is constantly exposed to bullying be it as a victim or a bystander.
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Discussions with your child should include asking him if he has ever seen a child being mistreated by another child. This includes seeing a specific child isolated from the rest of the children, being pointed out as “different”, or being made fun of for his clothing, appearance, possessions or even some type of disability. Ask your child what his reaction would be or has been when witnessing a peer being bullied. Point out that even if he is not doing the bullying, he becomes a part of the bullying by laughing or going along with the crowd that observes quietly but does nothing to stop the episode.

Many times kids are unclear about what to do when they witness bullying. They may be fearful of becoming the next victim. Suggest to your child that there are ways he can help without putting himself in danger. He can discreetly seek out a trusted adult during the episode that will help diffuse the situation. Something as seemingly minor as speaking kindly to the victim afterwards lets the targeted child know he is not alone. This simple act will be greatly appreciated by the victim. Developing empathy is paramount in reducing bullying. Encourage your child to cultivate friendships in different social groups in and out of school. Don’t ever encourage your child to fight. This could result in him getting hurt, legal problems or beginning a path that leads to even more difficulties.

A confident child is not likely to be bullied. Children who bully generally pick on someone who gives the impression of being defenseless. Teach your child to be assertive but not aggressive. Self assurance, whether genuine or not, can be conveyed by walking upright, looking people in the eye, and speaking clearly. If your child is targeted, one of the most important reinforcements you can give is to repeatedly tell him that it is not his fault and reassure him that you will do your best to protect him and end the bullying. Let your child know that school employees are there to help. Not feeling alone ingrains strength. Communicate to him that groups, cliques and social dynamics always change. The “popular” kids do not necessarily remain at the top of the heap forever. This fact will offer your child hope and encouragement.

Ignoring the situation can be your child’s first defense, but he must be prepared if this does not work. Avoiding hot spots and situations, such as not sitting near the child who is doing the bullying, or perhaps taking a different walking route to school, might diffuse the situation. Your child should never try to retaliate, as this usually escalates the situation.

As a parent of a bullied child you must get all of the facts. Question your child about how, when and where the bullying started and document it. Leave “why” out of the conversation. This is something your child does not know, and it is more productive to keep the focus on a solution rather than the cause. Children who bully don’t need a cause, they just need a victim. Inquire as to what other children were present, what they did to encourage or discourage the bullying, if any adults were present and what they did.

Once you get as much information as possible work with the school. Don’t jump to conclusions that the faculty at your child’s school is not willing help. Give them a chance .Take the information you have and bring it to your child’s school principal or assistant principal. The more information you have the better. Although school officials are not allowed to discuss what disciplinary actions will be taken against another child (or children) most states require schools to have an anti bullying policy and protocol. It is your child’s right to be safe on school grounds at all times. Work with the school official to formulate a plan that will ensure your child feels protected and secure. Set a time to review the plan and see if it is working.

Bullying was not an issue addressed when most of us were children. Today it is being focused on throughout the country. Forty three states have passed anti bullying legislation, many of which include cyber bullying.

Raising awareness, education, concerned educators, positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior and family and community involvement are the steps necessary to eradicate this problem. Bullying is a crime. Do not allow your child to be the victim.

Lorrie Sanchez
Carol Blank

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