Category Archives: News

Career Coach addresses bullies at work

The Washington Post’s Career Coach has a column up with advice about addressing bullies in the workplace.

Writer Joyce E.A. Russell keys off the 2011 book, “The Bully-Free Workplace: Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes From Killing Your Organization,” by Gary and Ruth Namie, then addresses the definition of workplace bullying and some behaviors. Russell says the solution lies in stronger bosses and policies.

In the United States, the concern over bullying began with schools and has moved on to other areas. In other places, such as the United Kingddom, anti-bullying movements actual began with workplace bullying.

7-year-old’s suicide blamed on bullying

The Detroit Free Press reports today that a 7-year-old Detroit boy who took his own life had been bullied.

The article, by a team of reporters, said, “The mother told police that her son ‘had been depressed due to her recent separation from his father; the fact that he had been bullied continuously by the children at school, in addition to the constant teasing that he had endured because he was the only boy in the home of eight females,’ a report says.”

In a related article, Detroit City Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins said the boy’ death indicates the need for a anti-bullying laws like the one she had proposed and that the city recently enacted.

Competition and bullying — not the same

In a Detroit News commentary, “Losses in sports help kids learn not to act like losers,” sports author John U. Bacon writes about a neighborhood event in which “competition was confused with bullying, which schools are rightly focused on eradicating. But the two could not be more different. Competition, properly taught, teaches respect, fair play and good sportsmanship — the exact opposite of bullying.”

Bullying called a growing cause of teen injuries

A new report from The Trust for America’s Health identifies bullying and sports injuries as two leading causes of increased injuries to young people.

Michigan hospital opens anti-bullying center

By Tony Briscoe and J.T. Bohland
Staff writers

Michigan was the 48th state to pass anti-bullying legislation, but it may be one of the first to develop clinical treatment for those affected by bullying.

William Beaumont Hospital, of Royal Oak, is expected to open a clinic to help victims of bullying, bullies, bystanders and families on May 4.

Kevin Epling, a major proponent of Michigan’s anti-bullying law, said the concept is on the cutting-edge of bullying therapy.

“I’ve not heard of anything like this taking place in a hospital,” said Epling. “Most of these are providers that parents would have to find such as counselors or someone at the general community health office.”

Dr. Marlene Seltzer, director of the No Bullying Live Empowered (NoBLE) Center, stumbled upon the idea while practicing gynecology through the years.

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.

Workplace bullying: Every day is Monday

By Lynn Bentley
Staff writer

“It’s like every day is Monday,” said one executive assistant who works for an insurance firm in New York City.  “I just dread going to work and my work days seem endless.” She feels she is the target of a workplace bully. Work projects get delayed by her boss but the delay is publicly blamed on her.  She will often come to work an hour or two at his request only to find that he hasn’t completed his part of the project or, worse, he isn’t coming in at all.   Conversely, he will impulsively demand that she stay late, and if she can’t due to other commitments, he will complain about her lack of dedication to her job.  He has taken his complaints to HR many times.

This executive assistant is one of an estimated 53.5 million Americans or 35% of the U.S. workforce who are bullied at work each year, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, an organization created 15 years ago to study workplace bullying and advocate for its remedy.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, workplace bullying is defined as “persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior or unfair actions directed at another individual, causing the recipient to feel threatened, abused, humiliated or vulnerable.”