Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

If each one of us untangled one string at a time...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

If You See Something, Say Something

Shawn Hornbeck's message is directly aimed at the "bystander." It's ok to teach our kids and encourage each other as adults to step up. It doesn't have to be in a "tie your superhero cloak on and fly in to save the day" kind of way.

It can be done in hundreds of ways. And it can be the little things. Like teaching your kids to tell you when they've been mistreated or they see someone else being mistreated. Or they can give the bullied child a little emotional support, even a smile of empathy, or they can be the person who doesn't participate in something mean-spirtied, or they can include someone in a game in the schoolyard.

As they get older, they can be more assertive in telling classmates to "knock it off" or not to forward that embarrassing text.

The more parents, teachers and administrators do this, the less uncomfortable kids will be with the role of active bystander.

Shawn's message is intended to help avoid kidnappings but it's true for all situations. It's basically saying, "Care." Which is a lifesaver in itself.

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