When I was a young girl in elementary school, my sister and I used to take the bus to school. We took the bus to round-trip to school and more than one time, we experienced being bullied by a couple of the neighborhood boys. I am four years older than my sister, I was her protector. I felt scared and vulnerable and yet I had to be strong for my little sister. The bullying that we experienced was traumatic for me and I have very vivid memories and feelings from those days. I also remember some of my classmates in elementary school being teased, bullied and ostracized for being “different” in any way. I wonder how those classmates from the past are doing now?
These days, bullying has escalated to a whole new level of threats, danger and intensity. Teaching in the public school systems in rural New York and inner city Los Angeles for 14 years total, I saw first hand what it can be like for our youths and the peer to peer bullying these days. I did my best to protect and be an ally for all of my students. Recently I watched a documentary called “Bully” made in 2011. The opening scene was devastating for me, the whole film was actually. Thank God for these parents, educators and educational leaders who are taking a stand for kids being bullied. And, thank God for the courage for the bullied kids to be willing to report to the adults what’s happening.
What can we do? At the very least, we can raise awareness, talk about it and be advocates for our children, ALL children, so that we can decrease the bullying going on and keep our children safe and protected. There is much that we can do as both childless caring adults and parents to educate our kids about the effects of bullying and what can be done to prevent it. It’s a complicated and a wide-spread issue in our schools, across the internet and at times out in the community where kids hang out.
One thing we can do is to become educated, watch “Bully”, speak out and give voice to this issue and support the kids who we are in contact with about bullying, openly. Let’s be a safe haven for them. Some proactive actions we can take to take on the issue of bullying, are organizing town hall meetings, giving classes, and creating anti-bullying events in your community.
If you are in the Laguna Beach area, this week we are hosting this event at the gallery where I am a showing artist. Please come out and bring your kids to participate in this event!
Paint Workshop for the Kids
Let them express their thoughts on bullying through art.
On Thursday, April 24th, 3p-7p at the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art
611 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Educators involved in Living Values Education in more than 60 countries, welcome you to the website of the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE). We invite you to join us in this global endeavor to help students explore and develop positive values and move toward their potential. We hope you will join us in creating caring, respectful environments where students feel safe, want to learn, and live their values. The Living Values Education Program is effective in decreasing violence and bullying, and in creating safe, caring school climates which are conducive to quality learning.
A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America.
The BULLY Project, the social action campaign inspired by the documentary film BULLY.
In love, gratitude and beauty…