This entry is part of a series also being posted at www.managebullying.com. These are the unedited versions. Anything in italics, I edited out of the submission. I try not to look or worry about what others change.
There is a lot of public outcry about bullying on the televised news, in the daily papers, and across the internet’s myriad of forums. It’s a popular lead. Interesting, shocking, plenty of drama, and blame to go around.
It’s the retro water cooler conversation. Did you see that story? Someone was being bullied and he/she had to switch schools, was physically assaulted, or became so depressed that they killed themselves. Isn’t it terrible? There is a little hand wringing – nothing really we can do about it – and then on to the next topic. But we are just spectators. There is no real caring. I’m not blaming – how much of others peoples problems are we obligated to take on ourselves?
Your son comes home with a black eye. Your daughter is mocking someone on Facebook. And still we revert to “Oh, boys will be boys.”, or “Girls that age are mean one day and best friends the next.” We forget that these behaviors are learned and will continue as long as we allow them to continue.
There are things that we can do. Post a comment on this site. Continue to raise awareness. Learn how to redirect behavior with words and pass it along to adults as well as children.
Make it personal before it is personal.