Bullying: A Big Complicated Problem with Many Simple Solutions

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

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bullying Dissection

As a person who nearly fainted during a maternity ward tour --I wasn't even close to actually having the baby yet -- I have a lot of nerve making a medical analogy, but it's necessary.

Bullying has to be dissected and the tumors, one by one, need to be surgically removed.


First cut: Home.

The undeniable fact is that kids learn how to treat others by how they are treated by parents and siblings.

Second slice: School.

Every school, including everyone in the building, needs to be trained by reliable trainers and have a program that is consistent and constant.

Third incision: Money.

Schools need the money to do this. Where will it come from? Private donors, government, fundraisers? No matter what it is, money cannot stand in the way. Bullying and online safety programs should be mandatory.

Fourth cut: Media.

This is a tough one. Kids are absolutely positively surrounded by messages of hate and intolerance. Meanness is glorified. Who is going to start advocating for kids? Who is going to either take this stuff off, including the "reality" tv shows and/or which advertisers are going to put their foot down? (I know you have some meaningful initiatives, MTV, but it's a big fat mixed message. You have a half a dozen horrible "reality" series that show the worst side of humanity. Seriously, the M in MTV now stands for Mean.)

There is some serious triage needed and then some planning for the kids just starting out. Can we change the culture enough for the babies being born today to have a chance of having a fairly pain free childhood?

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