The New Year has been welcomed by a number of articles and blog posts describing legal weapons to help school administrators, principals, teachers and parents take action against all types of bullies. Some recent examples:
- In her blog post, “Banning Cyberbullies,” Joanne Jacobs reports that in California, cyberbullying at school or during school activities will be banned and punished. The original article, “School Cyberbullying law takes effect Jan. 1,” was in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
- The blog post, “Kansas vs. Cyberbullying,” reports on anti-bullying policies throughout Kansas. The original article, “Anti-bullying plans and policies for area schools,” in the Topeka Capital Journal details the anti-bullying plans that each school district must provide this year.
- In Barcelona, Spain, a “school ordered to pay 30,000 Euros in damages in bullying case,” for allowing bullies to abuse a student for two years. Part of the evidence documenting the abuse was in a school video.
These are only a drop in the bucket, but I’m glad some states and individual school districts are making laws to protect children from bullies and bullying. We need new laws because so many administrators are cowards. They’re afraid they’ll be sued by parents who want to protect their little terrorists. Therefore, we need to require administrators to act and also to protect them from legal suits when they do act.
The amount of bullying allowed in a school is completely dependent on the administration and teachers in their tussle with parents. I’m from Denver and know Columbine High School very well.
On an individual basis, parents must teach children how to face the real world in which they’ll meet bullies all their lives, even if the children are small and outnumbered. That’s independent of the type of bullying – cyberbullies, physical bullying or verbal harassment or abuse.
Sometimes, a child can handle a bully by himself, beginning with peaceful, non-violent tactics and moving step-wise toward being more firm and eventually fighting to win. Or, depending on the situation, just get the fight over with the first time. Other times, adult help is needed.
As I show in my books and CDs of case studies, “How to Stop Bullies in their Tracks” and “Parenting Bully-Proof Kids,” bullies are not all the same, but their patterns of behavior, their tactics, are the same. That’s why we can find ways to stop most of them.
Most children will naturally bully the weak or different. Children must be taught, primarily by parents, if they’re going to learn to be more civilized.
True bullies will take empathy, kindness and tolerance as weakness. They’ll think we’re easy prey. It will encourage them, like sharks, to attack us more. Bullies will show you how far you need to go to stop them. Get out of your comfort zone and stop them.
When children learn how to stop bullies in their tracks, they will develop strength of character, determination, resilience and skill. They’ll need these qualities to succeed in the real-world.