Yes… That’s Bullying

Bullying has become a most overwhelming problem in schools. For so many children the threat of being bullied means being afraid to be harassed, scared,  feeling lonely, embarrassed, sad, sick, and mistreated in school and in their neighborhood. Being bullied turns the experience of learning into an eternal hell for many children.

 

Bullying is serious, mental as well as a physical health hazard. A bully might say mean things about someone, grab a kid’s stuff, make fun of someone, or leave a kid out of the group on purpose. Some bullies threaten people or try to make them do things they don’t want to do.

 

What is bullying, is a good place to start dealing with this disturbing social issue. I found the www.nobully.org site to be a good and simple start to understanding the subject.

What is bullying?
Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person.
Some of the ways they bully other people are by calling them names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them, or making them do things they don’t want to do.

 

Have any of these things happened to you? Have you done any of these things to someone else? Really, bullying is wrong behaviour which makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable.

 

Why do some people bully?
There are a lot of reasons why some people bully.

They may see it as a way of being popular or making themselves look tough and in charge. Some bullies do it to get attention or things, or to make other people afraid of them. Others might be jealous of the person they are bullying. They may be being bullied themselves. Some bullies may not even understand how wrong their behaviour is and how it makes the person being bullied feel.

 

Why are some young people bullied?
Some young people are bullied for no particular reason, but sometimes it’s because they are different in some way – perhaps it’s the colour of their skin, the way they talk, their size or their name.
Sometimes young people are bullied because they look like they won’t stand up for themselves.

 

Why is bullying harmful?
Some people think bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can make young people feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. It makes them feel unsafe and thinks there must be something wrong with them. They lose confidence and may not want to go to school anymore. It may make them sick.

 

What can you do if you are being bullied?
Coping with bullying can be difficult, but remember, you are not the problem, the bully is. You have a right to feel safe and secure. And if you’re different in some way, be proud of it! Kia Kaha – stand strong. Spend time with your friends – bullies hardly ever pick on people if they’re with others in a group.

Federal officials aim to prevent bullying

 

Day two of the bullying summit focuses on prevention—but officials were short on answers to cyberbullying

 

At a government site called Stop Bullying.gov, federal officials address topics such as:

What is bullying, cyberbullying, who is at risk, prevent bullying, respond to bullying, and get help now. The site has many effective and appropriate short videos that have proven to make a difference and send a clear message that we mean business when it comes to bullying.

 

Rodemeyer was the victim of several hateful anonymous comments left on his Formspring blog. ED’s “Stop Bullying” website includes the following advice on prevent- ing cyberbullying…

  • Educate students, teachers, and other staff members about cyberbullying, its dangers, and what to do if someone is cyberbullied.
  • Discuss cyberbullying with students. They might be knowledgeable about cyberbullying, and they might have good ideas about how to prevent and address it.
  • Be sure that your school’s rules and policies address cyberbullying.
  • Closely monitor students’ use of computers at school. Use filtering and tracking software on all computers, but don’t rely solely on this software to screen out cyberbullying and other problematic online behavior.
  • Investigate reports of cyberbullying immediately. If cyberbullying occurs on campus or through the school district’s internet system, you are obligated to take action. If the cyberbullying occurs off campus, you can still help. Even cyberbullying that occurs off campus can affect how students behave and relate to each other at school.
  • Closely monitor the behavior of the students involved at school for all forms of bullying.
  • Investigate to see if those who are cyberbullied need support from a school counselor or school-based health professional.
  • Notify the parents of students involved in cyberbullying.
  • Talk with all students about the negative effects of cyberbullying.
  • Contact law enforcement. Notify the police if the aggressive behavior is criminal.
  • The following might constitute a crime: threats of violence; child pornography and sexting; taking a photo image of someone in a place where he or she would expect privacy; harassment, stalking, or hate crimes; obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages; sexual exploitation; and extortion.
  • Common Sense Media, an independent nonprofit organization that helps parents and educators teach children how to be savvy users and consumers of media and technology, has created a free toolkit to help educators address the issue of cyberbullying in their schools.

     

    For each grade level (elementary, middle, and high school), “Stand Up, Don’t Stand By” contains two of the organization’s best lessons on cyberbullying from its digital literacy and citizenship curriculum. The toolkit also includes a parent-focused “workshop in a box” to help incorporate parents into the conversation.

     

    Research from the Pew Internet & American Life project suggests that one in three kids is a target of cyberbullying—which leaves two in three who play a different role, Common Sense Media says. “Stand Up, Don’t Stand By” is part of the group’s upcoming campaign to encourage parents and teachers to start a conversation about cyberbullying with their children and students and support kids in taking a stand against digital harassment.

 

Breaking the Cycle

We can say the cause and root of bullying are bad parenting, human nature, kids are kids, our violent culture, deteriorating civic life, lack of emotional intelligence, lack of social intelligence, violent media, moral decadence, or plain power struggle and seeking dominance as we all try to get ahead. But deep down the seed of this human spiritual and social disease lies in our ignorance of the vital principle of the oneness of our humanity, that we are indeed cells of the same body, drops of the one ocean, leaves of the one tree, and waves of the one see. Our physical reality deceives us by the erroneous nature of our physical senses and we become in reality self-destructive. Teaching the principle of the oneness of all humanity is the real and permanent antidote to the spiritual cancer of division and destruction and the beginning of peace and harmony within and without.

 

Do adults bully each other?

Yes but we may call it a different names such as intimidation, control, abuse, violence, gossip, competition, survival of the fittest, win/lose, and finally the most legitimate label and cover, politics!!

 

The answer to bullying is not resting with one group. The whole community must mobilize to uproot it. That means, parents, school, religion, and the rest.  ‘It takes a village to stop bullying. Bullying is a social spiritual and moral virus that thrives on the bedrock of ignorance of the oneness of all humanity.

 

Resources to find more support:

Nickelodeon and Common Sense Media are teaming up to teach you how to be cyber-savvy. Harness the power of the Internet and learn how to be a good digital citizen.

No Bully.org

Parent Further

Ask Kids

Keyvan Geula is a licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist; LMFT. She received her Master of Science in Marriage, family, and Child Therapy from the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California. She employs the latest research in behavioral sciences, neuroscience, and the Baha’i principle of the oneness of all humanity to serve the well-being of her clients.

She offers her services as a clinician, lecturer, trainer, and supervisor to a global set of clients in person and online. In her clinical work, she incorporates the wisdom of the Baha’i Writings, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy research, Mindfulness meditation, and consultation skills, as well as knowledge of the spiritual self.

She is an adjunct professor of Behavioral Sciences at Citrus Community College, faculty of continued education at Claremont Graduate University. She teaches psychology online to students at Baha’i Institute of Higher Education.

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Center for Global Integrated Education (CGIE), a non-profit Baha’i-inspired educational organization, which explores oneness of all humanity, and teaches the integrated mind-body-spirit approach in education.

She has served for two years as the producer and host of a two-hour weekly live radio show for the Persian community in Sothern, California focusing on the role of the psychology of spirituality in personal and social transformation, creativity, emotional and social intelligence, and a greater sense of harmony in a global society. She also has been the host and producer of TV series called Transforming Human Consciousness for eight years. She regularly writes and blogs on www.cgie.org/blog on topics related to integrated education, the oneness of humanity, the powers of the human spirit in the betterment of global society, elimination of all prejudice, equality of women and men, and education reform. Some of her shows are posted on her; Keyvan Geula YouTube Channel.

Mrs. Geula has served in several Baha’i institutions since her youth in Iran and USA.

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