Category Archives: Culture

Workers bullied on basis of looks

For the first time, a research links looks with office bullying. The results are not pretty.

A study of 114 workers at a health-care facility in the Southeast showed that those considered by others to be unattractive were bullied or belittled more often then others.

The unattractive workers were treated much more harshly than attractive employees, even when other factors such as age, gender and tenure were taken into account.

The lead investigator on the study was Brent Scott, Michigan State University associate professor of management. The study’s co-author was co-author was Timothy Judge of Notre Dame.

You can read more on MSU Today.

Comic hero stands up to bullying

Kurt created an epic anti-bullying adventure for The Cardinal—whose alter ego is a mild-mannered high school student who sometimes is a target for bullies. The lengthy comic adventure involves the Cardinal facing the torments of bullies himself, plus sub-plots about several other young people who face various forms of abuse and react in different ways. One former victim turns himself into a super villain bent on revenge, which is an additional tragic outcome of bullying.

Media ease taboo on suicide news

By Joe Grimm
Staff writer

The connection between bullying and suicide is elusive, but news coverage of suicide has clearly become more acceptable.

Erosion of the old taboo leads to more coverage of suicides and the natural impression is that they must be increasing.

Main headline on front page describes a teen's death. Photo by Hayley Beitman

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control, a decline in youth suicide rates from 1990 to 2003 was followed by a rise in 2004 and, from 1999 to 2009, attempts by students in grades 9–12 requiring medical attention decreased 26.9%.

However, suicide news has become more frequent and more prominent as newsrooms continue to relax what had been a largely unwritten rule against covering suicides.

The Hastings Star Gazette in Minnesota described its policy change in January, 2012.

The newspaper told readers, “Essentially, we were sweeping the problem under the rug.”

“This week we changed that policy. We will write about mental health issues in the police report … It’s a significant use of police resources, and the public ought to know how their department is spending its time. …

Cartoon Network takes a stand

By Devyne Lloyd
Staff writer

Children’s television channel Cartoon Network realized how important bullying is and decided to take a stand. It started with a definition. According to the Cartoon Network website, bullying is “when someone repeatedly hurts or threatens another person on purpose. Bullying comes in many forms. And it can happen in person, in writing, online, on cell phones, in school, on the bus, at home, anywhere.” The last part of the definition is the most important: “Wherever it happens, it’s NOT acceptable.”

During the fall of 2011, Cartoon Network created and marketed a campaign to promote anti-bullying. It started with a few commercials starring Ali, Jackson and CJ from the show “Dude, What Would Happen.” They present a situation where a newcomer is bullied by another child, and an innocent bystander runs to an adult for help. At the end, they say bullying is wrong and if you see something, say something.

A few months later, more and more anti-bullying commercials began airing on the network. The commercials feature cartoon characters, actors from various shows and celebrities who have been bullied, all joining together for the Stop Bullying, Speak Up initiative. Programming suddenly switched from the Dude commercial to a huge variety: there was an anti-bullying advertisement being played almost every commercial break.

A new bullying: social exclusion

By Dustin Petty
Staff writer 

Bullying has taken a new form on playgrounds across the county.  Instead of the child being teased, pushed around or called names, they are shunned and not invited to join games and activities.

The child is being socially excluded.

According to Dr. Lynn Todman, the term “social exclusion” was initially used during the 1970s by a French politician trying to describe those excluded from the labor market.  Todman, the executive director of the Institute on Social Exclusion at Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, studies the subject in terms of socioeconomics.

“Social exclusion is actively created by the structures and systems that organize and guide the functioning of our society,” said Todman.  “These structures and systems determine the allocation of rights, resources, and opportunities such as food, safety, education, health, due process and shelter.”

Celebrities use platforms to denounce bullying

By Seth Beifel
Staff writer

“Baby, I was born this way” is one of the lyrics of Lady Gaga’s hit song, Born This Way. The song highlights what it means to be different or unique and how it should be less of a faux pas and more of a norm. A growing number of celebrities have started to speak out about how they were picked on as children and to speak up for people who are bullied today.

Raising awareness of bullying has led to people speaking out regarding the topic; celebrities are no exception.

“There are many celebrities that are now openly talking about their own bouts with bullying, it is THE popular topic,” says Bully Police USA Co-Director Kevin Epling. Celebrities ranging from the aforementioned Lady Gaga to former President Bill Clinton to TV host Ellen Degeneres all experienced bullying and are now talking candidly about it.

Degeneres has recently used her television program to communicate this message: “teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country.” Referencing the death of former Rutgers student, Tyler Clementi, who was bullied and would later take his own life, Degeneres uses her personal bout with bullying to emphasize the reality of the topic.