Bullying. Cyber Bullying. Let’s pledge to fight bullying together. Let’s put an end to it. #Bullying #cyberbullying

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My son was recently accused of bullying.  He’s five years old.  He’s in Kindergarten.  It wasn’t bullying, as it turns out. But the hours and days until we knew for sure that it wasn’t?  A hellish nightmare full of heartache for us as parents.  He was wrestling with a pal on the bus (not appropriate, but it happened) and got carried away.  Both boys said the same thing to the principal in separate conversations.  They walked from the office together as buddies after they met with the principal.  We got lucky-both families, I mean.  Really lucky.  That’s a big part of why I agreed to work with Take Part and help them to promote this STOP BULLYING campaign to try to get as many people to pledge against bullying with me.
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But every single day, kids aren’t so lucky.  It isn’t just wrestling gone too far, or a misunderstanding.  It’s real and in your face and life changing for many.  It’s pain and crying and heartbreak and loneliness and suffering- often, in silence. Our experience with our son and his friend was so short, and had a happy ending, but it gave me a lot to think about.

Please won’t you retweet this and help spread the word?

 

With the dawn of social media has come all kinds of new ways to taunt peers and belittle others- and another way to bully others.  Sure, I love social media. It’s fun.  It’s clearly a huge part of my blog, interacting with friends, family, peers, readers, fans, brands and PR folks.  Normally, we talk about the happy side of things. But the fact is that social media isn’t all sunshine and roses.  It just isn’t.  But really, nothing ever is.  Just like school isn’t just about academics.  People are people and sometimes they are mean.  Cruel.  Enough to send people into depressions, to hurt themselves, or take their own lives.  That’s not me being dramatic, friends. That’s the truth.  That’s why I’m writing this today. We have to make it stop.  The bullying, the cyber bullying.  We have to promise, each of us, to take a pledge and follow it and put a STOP to bullying.

fight bullying
What IS bullying?  By definition, it’s intentional aggressive behavior (there are other definitions, but this one pops up the most, the idea is there) .  And it’s not restricted to any age group, it’s not just kids and it’s not just adults.    What scares me is how much more open we all are- especially our kids- to this, in this day of social media.  We have to teach our kids how to protect themselves, but we also have to educate ALL children about bullying and what it means- and what to do if it happens.  Actually, I take that back. We have to educate everyone about what bullying is.  As we educate one another about bullying and get them to understand how devastating it can be and is, we can take the pledge to fight bullying together.

My friend’s little girl was bullied on her school bus when she was in kindergarten.  An older child was taunting her, pulling her hair, and ultimately, video footage from the school bus helped to ensure the older child was no longer able to hurt my friend’s little girl.  A boy in a high school near mine took his own life – he was bullied by peers for years and years.  Bullying isn’t just happening in some other town in some other state. It’s not on the West Coast, nor the East Coast.  It’s here, it’s there, it’s in my school, it’s in your school.  It’s happening everywhere.

Thanks to TakePart for sponsoring today’s discussion

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

78 comments… add one

  • as a grandparent, I am always worried about my 5 grandchildren and I hope that they are never bullied! I hate bullying! I take the pledge!

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  • I think it is a sad part of life.

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  • I am 60 years old and most of the bulling in my school days had to do with being poor. Those who had a big house a car and even a television set were the ones who degraded ones the didn’t have all that. Now it seems like the problem with bulling comes from broken homes, child abuse, drugs, and so forth. We need to try to educate and help the ones that are in this situation and hopefully bulling will cease in the future.

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  • I am 69 years old and still recall clearly the bullying I endured at several stages in my school life, not only from the age of 7, from other students but also from one high school teacher in particular. As a matter of fact I was quoting that teacher’s hateful words last evening, to one of my grandchildren, who also has been experiencing some bullying and rudeness from some of her peers. Mercifully, counselling and a new puppy are helping her cope, so hopefully it won’t be such a clear memory for her in her winter years. Here in Canada we have been deeply affected recently by 2 highly publicized teen suicides, both the result of bullying. I am positive that these two girls are just the tip of the iceberg. This MUST stop. Lives are being ruined.

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    • I should add, bullying by emotionally abusive husband/partner, serves to exacerbate the long-term effects of childhood bullying. Don’t put up with it, get out before the verbal and emotional becomes physical.

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  • it seems people are good actors, we will always have bad,mean or inhuman people for we are all not the same nor on the same page

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  • I believe that, in one way or another, we have all been affected by bullying. Let’s make that a thing of the past.

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  • I applaude everyones efforts in working toward change…

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  • As parents we must set a good example because children mimic our actions.

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  • FYI

    THE BULLY EFFECT on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. (ET/PT)

    As a journalist, author and minister, the topic of bullying means a LOT to me and to others.

    Cartoon Network continues its vital conversation with kids and families about speaking up against bullying with a special presentation of THE BULLY EFFECT on Sunday, April 28 at 5:30 and 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Produced in partnership with Cartoon Network as part of its award-winning Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative and presented commercial-free, THE BULLY EFFECT is a half-hour CNN original documentary abridged for family audiences and features additional original content, including a special introduction by Cartoon Network President/COO Stuart Snyder as well as a candid conversation with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper

    THE BULLY EFFECT chronicles the journey of 14-year-old Alex Libby, whose emotional life is both restored and wonderfully activated because someone spoke up in his defense against bullying.

    14-year-old Alex Libby from the documentary, “The Bully Effect.”

    In 2011, filmmaker Lee Hirsch embedded himself in schools across America and captured footage so raw and eye-opening, it sounded alarm bells and helped create a tipping point about how critical the issue of bullying has become. Hirsch documented a then 12-year-old Alex, who was confronted with slurs, threats and beatings on the school bus nearly every day.

    Following supportive intervention from an adult on his behalf, today he has become an anti-bullying rock star with appearances on national television and a visit to the White House.

    During and immediately following the Sunday telecasts, bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman will provide further explanation of key bullying issues for kids and families, answering viewer questions via an online chat at http://www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com.

    Following the live chat, THE BULLY EFFECT documentary will be posted in its entirety on the website starting Monday, April 29 at 10 a.m. for free, ongoing viewing by students, parents, educators and community leaders.

    THE BULLY EFFECT will include an introduction by Cartoon Network President/COO Stuart Snyder (Right), and a follow-up conversation with documentary host Anderson Cooper.

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  • This very bad behavior has to end, is it does not, it will most likely continue all through life. Bullies sometimes goes on to become very bad people.

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  • What happened to this world? I don’t remember any bullying in the elementary, junior or high schools that I attended when I was a kid; if anyone was mean to anyone else, even if they were not in the “in” crowd, they would have been shunned. Maybe the internet has just made it easier?

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  • I can relate the story of yours and I think this article can help to guide everyone that child must be look by their parents so that they will know if their kids bully by other playmates or not.

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  • it makes sense. parents must guide their kids and support them even in school.

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  • My son was threatened with death and dismemberment by a cyberbully. It was so terrifying!! We were very lucky to have the child jailed and get a restraining order against him. It turned out, while he was in juvenile hall, he had a full psychiatric evaluation and got started on meds he had probably needed for a long time. Now, almost two years later, he and my son are, believe it or not, almost friends.

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    • Wow, Teressa, what a powerful story. I’m so glad the system didn’t fail that boy!

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  • Sometimes fate has a way of taking revenge- my number one enemy throughout my childhood is serving time in a womans’s prison- she murdered her cheating boyfriend and then shot her own baby.
    Bullies always end up paying for their deeds somehow or other.

    Reply

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