As a counselor in Saskathewan, Canada for ten years, Kelly Karius developed a specialty in conflict resolution. The issue of bullying just kept surfacing and resurfacing until she decided to really take a stand.
24 Bully Stake Out is such an interesting concept...and she's right, bullying happens everywhere.
Kelly is lending her voice and her experience to creating solutions and sees the importance of talking directly to kids. It's so important. As adults we get nervous that we can't fix this because it's such a huge and highly complicated issue. In the hopes of having answers, we come up with things we ASSUME will help. Is this making things worse? When adults have answers but they're not the right ones, does it make kids feel more despondent?
These are really good questions. Kelly is not afraid to say that some of our solutions are well meaning but bad.
It's worth reading We Know What Doesn't Work. Truth is a good place to start if we're really going to help.
Kelly takes on the standard advice of "Tell Someone":
Yes. It is awesome advice. And it works exactly until children realize that it doesn’t work very well at all. We are telling our kids to TELL someone. But we aren’t helping that SOMEONE out. So they tell. And nothing changes, or maybe it even gets worse. Worst of all, maybe the SOMEONE is so overwhelmed by the information that they can’t even HEAR it properly. Bottom line: Most people give the wrong advice about to kids about dealing with bully actions. Elementary students are far more likely to tell someone than middle or high schools students. Why is that? Because they’ve learned that the adults don’t make it better anyway.
(Tangled Ball's take on this: The one thing all adults can do is say "You don't deserve that. I don't have all the answers but maybe we can work on this togehter.")
So, Kelly, get on that bus and tell us what you hear. I'm sure our good friends up north can help shine a little light on what's happening here in the states...because as Kelly would say, "Bullying happens here."