Category Archives: Uncategorized

Romney charges fuel debate on bullying

Bullying became an issue in the 2012 presidential election this week, with allegations that Mitt Romney bullied high school classmates in the 1960s.

The Washington Post was first with the story, reporting allegations that Romney bullied other students. The Post led with an incident in which Romney led a group of students to hunt down John Lauber, a student rumored to be gay, and who had bleached his long hair over spring break. Led by Romney, who brandished scissors, the pack teased Lauber and then held hom down while Romney snipped off chunks of hair.

The Post also described Romney calling out, “Atta girl,” to a closeted gay student when he tried to speak in English class.

Romney attended Cranbrook, an exclusive school in his home state of Michigan.

Romney quickly went on Fox News Radio, saying he did not remember either incident and that, “Back in high school, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that. … I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.”

Get ‘The New Bullying’ book

Much of this website is now available in a variety of book editions.

* Paperback edition from Amazon

* Kindle edition with text-to-speech enabled, on Amazon

* Nook edition, Barnes & Noble

* Google Play

* Also available on iBooks (iTunes).

“It gets better” for bullied LGBTQ youth

By Dustin Petty
Staff writer

Billy Lucas, a freshman at Greenburg High School in Indiana, hanged himself in his grandmother’s barn after allegedly being taunted by classmates. Friends and family of the 15 year old said he was bullied because he was perceived to be gay.

Lucas was one of at least 34 American students to take their own lives in 2010 after dealing with an instance of bullying.

When Dan Savage, a syndicated advice columnist and blogger, read about Lucas’ suicide and the suicides of other young people who were bullied for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or because others believed they were, he and his husband decided to take action. On September 21, 2010, they posted a video on YouTube. They told their experiences from high school, coming out and finding happiness in their adult lives. The message, he said, is simple: it gets better.

He explained his motives in sharing the message in a 2011 interview with National Public Radio.

“I believe when a 13- or 14- or 15-year old gay kid kills himself what he’s saying is that he can’t picture a future with enough joy to compensate for pain he’s in now,” he said. “And watching the suicide crisis unfold last fall, my husband and I decided we weren’t going to be shamed out of speaking to LGBT youth anymore. And the idea behind the project was for gay adults to talk to queer kids about our lives to give them hope for their futures.”

Trying to define bullying

By Dustin Petty
Staff writer

The national debate about bullying starts with a simple question: what is it?

Like many organizations, schools and legislatures across the county, the Obama administration tried to come up with a definition at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March 2011.

Kevin Epling, who lost his son Matt to suicide after being bullied by older students,was part of the panel asked to devise a definition. Epling remembered sitting in a White House office for hours because no one could agree on one definition.

“The funny thing is that with all of the discussion of the definition,” said Epling, “there was not consensus. There are several definitions available. I tried to cut out the fluff and get to the heart of why people bully – not how they bully.”

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.”

Can rules stop bullying?

By Leslie Tilson
Staff writer

With each new tragedy, schools react by looking for effective ways to raise awareness and combat bullying within the walls of schools. Some schools implement new policy, but others are left wondering if that is the most effective course of action.
Many schools are implementing school-run programs and seeing results.

One such program is K.A.R.M.A, an initiative to end bullying in schools, founded by Jessica Brookshire, a contestant in the 2009 Miss Alabama pagent. K.A.R.M.A stands for Kids Against Ridicule, Meanness and Aggression. Brookshire says that her program began as a grassroots effort in Alabama schools and it is now her “dream that one day we will see a generation of children who encourage and help one another rather than tear each other down with words.”

Part of the program includes Brookshire educating students on how to ‘stand S.T.R.O.N.G.’ against bullies. Participants sign a pledge card stating that they will take action if they are a target witness of bullying. The acronym S.T.R.O.N.G stands for:

Say something.
Tell an adult.
Respect the feelings of others.
Offer a helping hand if you see someone in need.
Never use your words to hurt others.
Give your best every day.

For some schools, bringing in outside programs may be too costly, but many teacher education publications are now bringing up bullying issues and solutions in their content.

Brainstorming on bullying project

Students on the first day of class at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism sort ideas they brainstormed for a semester-long project on bullying. We’re aiming to have a website and book out in about 90 days.

Michigan passed a law in December, 2011, that requires school districts to have anti-bullying policies within six months. We are operating inside that window, but our multimedia project with national reach.

After the brainstorming John Hile, publisher of David Crumm Media, will put the words and phrases through keyword analysis. We need to know:

* What are people searching for?
* What do they call what they are searching for?
* Is the information out there for them?
* Can we provide the answers that aren’t there?

Our target is 8-12 hot and under-covered topics on bullying.

We plan to have e-books out on several platforms in early April and paper copies out soon after that.

We will build the website at http://news.jrn.msu.edu/bullying/

Can we go from Post-It notes to a book in 90 days? Watch us do it.

Bullying information for kids

Students need facts on bullying, too

Kids need bullying information just as much as parents and teachers do. After all, providing bullying facts for students puts the numbers out there so they can help where the bullying happens.

K-12 anti-bullying campaigns are becoming more popular and bullying information for kids can fuel them. Kids who have the bullying facts can share that information with other kids to supplement the stories and experiences they all know personally.

Whether kids have been bullied themselves or witnessed bullying, they are getting active trying to stop bulling. A few bully statistics for kids can help them succeed.

School anti-bullying activities are more effective if they rely on facts. Kids also need the information about bullying to help keep their schools safe.

This site includes information for kids about bullying, hazing, cyberbullying, and how to stop bullying.

Helpful links:

*”It gets better” for bullied LGBTQ youth

*Boys are the more physical bullies

*Girls’ bullying can be almost secret

*Youths turn to books on bullying

*School transitions are trouble spots

*Private-school bullying

*What is the definition of cyberbullying?

*Students talk about bullying

*Facebook fights bullying

*Cartoon Network takes a stand

* Bullyfree.com has seven things kids should know about bullying.

* Helping kids deal with bullies from the Nemours Foundation

* The federal StopBullying.com site has bullying information for kids at different ages.

Anti-bullying games, songs, poems, posters

Games, songs, poems combat bullying

Parents and teachers are helping students oppose or overcome bullying with songs, games and poems. Some adults lead anti-bullying games or have students write and perform anti-bullying songs and poems in anti-bullying song workshops.

With social media sites like YouTube, there is a worldwide collection of videos with anti-bullying messages in music and verse. Students create their own anti-bullying songs or perform the work of others.

• Songs for Teaching offers links to a number of anti-bullying songs
Anti-bullying games from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Bullying questionnaires measure the problem

Anti-bullying efforts can start with bullying questionnaires

Schools have used bullying questionnaires to quantify the problem. Bullying surveys can also point to possible solutions or pressure points.

Bullying surveys have been the basis for some national studies, but most bullying questionnaires are used at the state or local level to measure bullying and its effects.

Bullying questionnaires are often completed anonymously, of course, and results reflect the feelings and experiences of the group, rather than individuals.

You may create a bullying questionnaire of your own from information on this site. It will help you build a tool that measures the situation at your own school or in your own group, but it will not tell you how your group compares to a state or national population. A good bullying questionnaire can, however, tell you where the critical areas are and help direct your efforts.

Administering the same bullying questionnaire several times over the years will show you how things are changing. Ideally, your bullying questionnaire will lead to some measurable improvements.

These are some bullying questionnaires:

* Delaware’s bullying questionnaire was directed at kids of different ages.

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