Monday, April 11, 2011

Stop Bullying!

Bullying is a big problem in schools all across America.

I suppose it always has been.  The difference is that nowadays adults are taking an active role in educating children about this topic. We are teaching victims how to get back the power, self confidence and safety that is being stripped from them every time a bully taunts and terrorizes. Children are learning ways to deal with this unfortunate situation and not feel ashamed. Bullying is no longer an issue to be swept away or laughed at or downplayed. Bullying is serious stuff.

And it's not just kids stuff anymore.

Bullying has lead to a rash of teen suicides.  Recently the It Gets Better Project published a book to provide hope to LGBT youth who are struggling to find a way out of the injustices thrust upon them from a less than tolerant society.

Our school has taken on the crusade to stop bullying.  The fifth grade students researched the topic and presented their findings to the school. They created a poster (see above) and invited everyone to commit to Stop Bullying by signing their name.

School counselors and social workers visit our classrooms for "What's Up?" meetings to discuss issues surrounding bullying.  The book Stop Picking on Me by Pat Thomas is a terrific resource to get the conversation started.

And just this week I read a poem written by Shaili Patel and Myisha A. Bryan, two deaf high school students attending Passaic County Technical Institute. It seems fitting to include it here.

Silent Hands

Some talk by mouth, I talk by hands
Never once hearing your continuous demands

When woken, no alarm clock sounds
Only vibrations are felt all around

Once you're aware, you mock and jeer
Thinking its okay just because I can't hear

But I feel your scoffs and I feel your taunts
Always in my nightmares, you never cease to haunt

Never once do you attempt to understand my ways
Of my abilities, one day you'll be amazed

I understand more than you know
I feel more than I'll ever show

Days come and go, with your unchanging style
Making me wish I was worthwhile

Never once did you share a smile
Did you think I was a useless scrap pile?

You don't get it; your words are like bombs
I have a voice; it just rests in my palms

My reverence toward you has begun to decline
I respect your voice, can you respect mine?


Angella Lister said...

an excellent project. i wish i could sign your poster.

Hilary said...

Wonderful poem.. and fantastic project. Bullying is a serious problem and just has to stop. Great post.

SVS said...

Bullying is real for children and young adults in schools as well as adults in workplaces. People need to know about it so they know what is happening and know coping strategies. Thanks for the post

Gary said...

Angella - Feel free to drop by to sign and then we can grab some lunch.

Hilary - I thought this was a very honest poem from H.S. kids. The situation is outta control.

SVS - Welcome to FYB! Yes, little bullies can grow up to be big bullies. Sad but true.


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